The best bodyweight workout routine is one that helps you develop more functional strength. Doing bodyweight exercises requires a different set of body mechanics from conventional weight lifting, the angles and range of motions are very different.
When it comes to building functional strength, bodyweight workouts are superior. This brings up the following question:
What is the difference between bodybuilding and building functional strength?
Bodybuilding is focussed on building muscles and losing fat to create the ‘look’ you want, it is about the appearance.
Functional strength training is about increasing performance. Whether it is to increase your athletic abilities or to increase your chances of survival. It is to become more agile, gain more explosive strength, or increase your tolerance to collision.
Here below are 4 factors that bodyweight exercises can help you improve to increase your performance.
Four Factors of Functional Strength
Training for increased ‘Stored Elastic Energy’ will help you become more agile and tolerate more force from collisions or impact. This includes changing directions during a movement, jumping at odd angles, taking a hit, etc…
Increased Sequential Summation Of Forces gives you more explosive power. This significantly increases your striking power and also helps you accelerate faster. You also use this when you ‘break into’ a sprint.
The mind to body link is another thing that bodyweight exercises can help you improve. You can do more complex movements that improves this bond, which allows you to react faster during physical performance.
Increased mobility is the last factor that I will talk about before moving onto specific exercises. Mobility is slightly different than flexibility. Flexibility allows you to have a greater range of motion…that’s it. Increased mobility is when you have strength in the increased range of motion.
If you are in mixed martial arts, having flexible legs is useless if you can’t generate power in that flexibility. This increased mobility also helps you use more strength in different positions, it comes in handy during activities like parkour, wrestling, judo, or brazilian jujutsu.
Parkour is probably the best demonstration of them all:
Now, let’s talk about specific exercises that you can incorporate into your bodyweight workout routine.
This video below demonstrates a small part of a bodyweight workout. It has 4 great exercises that helps you cultivate some of the things that we talked about in this article.
- Bodyweight Exercise 1: Springing Tripod
- Bodyweight Exercise 2: Swinging Plank
- Bodyweight Exercise 3: Spinal Rock Drop
- Bodyweight Exercise 4: Tactical Popup
4 exercises isn’t enough to make up a whole workout, but it gives you an idea of what some of the bodyweight exercises can be. It’s more than just push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, and etc…
Benefits of Bodyweight Workout Routines
I love bodyweight workout routines because it improves functional strength in the way we have defined in this post, and also gives you a greater amount of freedom. It gives you the freedom to exercise anywhere, anytime, without any equipment.
If you want to focus on bodyweight exercises, it also saves you the gym membership fees which is around $50 a month or $600 a year at GoodLife. More comprehensive gyms are more expensive and simpler gyms are less expensive.
I also enjoy taking a break from weight lifting every once in a while to focus on bodyweight workouts. My joints feel better after a few weeks and it lets me push harder when I resume weight lifting.
The Best Bodyweight Workout Routine
As you probably noticed in the above video, this is a clip out of the program called Tacfit Commando. It is a complete conditioning program that Scott Sonnon created to help various military personnel reach peak condition and stay in that peak condition.
The difficulty increases week after week and there are different levels of difficulty, this is required for growth because your body adapts after a few weeks of doing the same thing.
In my opinion, Tacfit is the best bodyweight program. Most bodyweight programs throw together a bunch of generic movements and they probably won’t help you reach your goals. Good bodyweight workouts are more than push ups, sit ups, and squats.
Tacfit is focussed towards developing real functional strength and it conditions your body. As a nice side-effect, it helps you build muscle and get lean.
In my review of Tacfit, I talk more in-depth about the four (4) factors of functional strength and I also talk about my personal experience with the Tacfit program. Check out my Tacfit Commando Review.