It is well established that as we age our muscle mass steadily declines (a process known as sarcopenia) with studies showing a reduction of approximately 3% every year over 40 (Pubmed).
The strongest way to fight sarcopenia is to keep your muscles active.
I love body weight exercises and here is a list of evidence-based reasons why you should love them too.
- Body weight workouts give you effective results because you can work several muscle groups at once. For example, when you do a body weight squat you are using the muscles of the legs as well as the glutes and the core.
- Body weight exercises require agility and balance because several muscle groups, as well as connective tissues and joints, are all working in tandem.
- If you’re new to exercise or returning after an injury you can modify a move or choose a range of exercises that work best for you.
- Body weight exercises improve as your efficiency does, so the more skilled you get at performing a squat or the plank, the better the overall impact on your body will be.
- Body weight exercises are functional exercises because they effectively have a direct impact upon how ell we perform general movements in daily life.
- With no equipment there’s no lengthy set up times.
- You can perform body weight exercises anywhere whether that’s in your living room, gym studio, park or the beach because there is no equipment needed or lengthy set up times.
- High intensity training with your body weight is very effective. There is no equipment needed and the moves are quick to pick up, they can be explosive, precise, dynamic and load bearing – everything that will build the body you need, whether that’s faster, fitter, stronger or leaner.
- Body weight exercises are easy to switch up to help you break through a fitness plateau. With infinite varieties of move there’s always something new to try to challenge your body.
- Body weight exercises also build bone density, particularly the exercises that are coupled with moves like running or jumping. These give a jolt to the skeleton which are beneficial to bone health.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to get active. Even walking is great! Move it or lose it.