Thursday, February 10, 2011

Body Weight Excercises Vs. Free Weight Excercises

I am going to discuss about bodyweight exercises vs. free weights exercises in this article. Bodyweight exercises are superior for wrestling and other grappling and martial arts, gymnastics, and for those who want to join the armed forces. Weight training is superior for brute strength, football, lifting competitions, and many of the sports. However, when training for other sports, free weights should be combined with sprints, some bodyweight exercises, as well as sport specific drills.

Why are bodyweight exercises superior for grappling, combat, and gymnastics? For several reasons. First of all, in each of those activities one needs the ability to use a muscle group over and over again at high levels - that is, muscular endurance, which is developed very well by bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. Second, each of those events requires body awareness.

I define body awareness literally as being aware of every part of your body at any given point in time in any given position. The problem with weight lifting exercises, even the good ones like snatches, cleans, jerks, or bent pressing, is that you use "weight awareness" - that is, you have to be aware of where the weight is at all times more than where your body is. As long as the weight is lifted and caught in the correct position(s), the body will naturally follow suit (or else the lift fails).

However, bodyweight exercises take the weights out of the equation. To successfully do such challenging exercises as handstand push-ups, one-legged squats, headstands, and bridges, you have to be focusing on every part of your body. That is why they are so good for wrestling, and other combat sports where your body is in many different positions during a match, and to be able to successfully recover and counter attack, you must have full awareness of where each part of your body is at all times. Similarly, in gymnastics, where you flip and end up in many different positions, body awareness is crucial.

Not all bodyweight exercises develop body awareness equally. Some of the ones I mentioned above such as handstand push-ups and bridging do a very good job, but regular push-ups on the other hand develop it to a lesser extent. The more a bodyweight exercise requires agility and balance, the more body awareness it develops.

Bodyweight exercises are also good for people always on the road, those without money to purchase weights, and those with very little time, as a set of push-ups or squats can be squeezed in at odd moments during the day.


  1. Hey nice information but i read all only about body weight exercises. What about the free weight exercises? What are they? How are they performed? You gave examples and details about pushups, squats, bench presses etc which are body weight but what about free weight?

  2. see its simple !

    the exercises which require the weights (such as dumbells, rods, kettlebells etc. in short artificial weight) are known as free weight exercises.

    and the exercise which require the weight of our body itself (such as pullups, squats, chinups, situps, pushups etc. in short natural weight) are known as body weight exercises.

    i hope u understood !
    if not feel free to ask me !
    i have written it in short, will describe it more properly if u did not get it.
    ok ?

    and thanks for the comments & suggestions !