A lot of us get our introduction to training through bodyweight movements.
The pushup, squat and pull up are some of the first exercises we learn, but they seem to get traded out for machine work or other variations as soon as possible.
This is unfortunate because these movements set a great foundation for future improvements in both your strength and physique.
Bodyweight movements are excellent for building total body strength, balance, coordination and burning fat. This is because the majority of bodyweight movements are inherently athletic due to their activation across multiple muscle groups and multiple joints. Everyone knows that pushups and pullups are difficult, and that is exactly why they should be practiced!
We include these movements in our group sessions because of all of the positives they add to your training. Once again, pushups or pullups are obviously great for making you conventionally stronger, but they also make you stronger with natural movement patterns. Most people lose mobility in their shoulder blades, which will impact your ability to actually do a pullup in the first place. It even affects things such as how much weight you can bench press or shoulder press.
Correct pushups and pullups make your shoulder blades stronger in each plane of movement they work in, which will translate over to your other movements in the gym!
For all those people wanting to achieve an unassisted pullup, or maybe transition from pushups on the knees to on the toes – you might already be strong enough in your major muscle groups, but your shoulder blades aren’t assisting the major muscles due to the lack of emphasis placed on the pullup or pushup once we have access to a lat pull down chest press machine. This is why bodyweight, or ‘functional’ training is so important.
To sum up, even as we progress and get stronger with our weight training, all of those basic bodyweight movements still have a place in order to keep our bodies as functional as possible, which in turn will help us lift more weight with better form and enable us to get stronger, fitter and leaner! Thanks guys!