The Importance of Bodyweight Exercises for bodybuilding
It’s no secret that bodyweight exercises will always be the last pick when it comes down to building a fully-functional bodybuilding program. If modern bodybuilding history has taught us anything it is that the only way to transform a physique is through the principle of progressive overload. Even though bodyweight exercises for bodybuilding purposes alone fall short and offer fewer benefits than a fully functional gym when it comes down to promoting hypertrophy and growth, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have their place.
It doesn’t take an expert to know that bodyweight movements on their own don’t have the ability to transform a physique into a Mr. Olympia over night (or ever), but they can still be useful and promote muscle growth under certain (very specific) scenarios. Bodyweight exercise for bodybuilding purposes act as secondary tools that have the capability to add an extra kick to any designated workout under the following instances: warming up, perfecting form, and enhancing intensity.
Professional athletes have always stressed the importance of warming up before performing a series of heavy compound movements for hypertrophy. This not only helps improve blood flow to the muscle fibers but also reduces the risk of injury. Even though there are many options as far as warming up goes, there isn’t a better and easier way to go about it than with high rep bodyweight movements.
Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, dips, calf raises, pushups, pull-ups, and shoulder raises- for example- are a good way to warm up the body’s muscle fibers before progressing into compound movements. I’m sure there are many others than could me mentioned in the previous sentence but you probably get the point. Activating the desired muscle fibers before working out will highly reduce your risk of muscle tears, joint pain, and tightness.
Paving the path for Beginners
There’s no better way to get an exercise’s form down than with bodyweight exercises. These types of movements strip everything away and require full emphasis on repetitive form and execution. Bodyweight exercises in bodybuilding are truly the bread and butter, not only because they set the foundation for more complicated free-weight-movements like the deadlift, but because their use is widely ample.
How many lifters with horrendous form have you seen at your gym? I’m betting than more than a couple. The explanation behind their poor execution, lack of progress, and high risk for injury has to do with skipping the basics and not learning how to do them the right way. Bodyweight exercises may not be intense muscle builders by themselves, but we can confidently say that they are a tunnel that leads to progress and success within the realm of bodybuilding.
The last scenario in which these types of movements play a very important role is the workout itself. Bodyweight exercises can have a tremendous impact for hypertrophy and growth if used correctly. At first you may think I’m crazy but after your hear (or read) me out you will understand where I’m coming from. Bodyweight exercises on their own won’t challenge you but incorporating them into a routine can be the key to newer levels of growth.
Workouts can be very boring when you don’t have the tools to venture out and try new things. Most gyms outside the USA lack the necessary weights and equipment needed to build a world class physique, but hey, we do what we can with what we have. Super sets, drop sets, and pyramid sets can be a great way to bump up intensity when weight isn’t an option or a possibility.