Why Are Bodyweight Exercises Harder Than Weights

Why Are Bodyweight Exercises Harder Than Weights

Upon hitting up the gym, you may wonder how bodyweight exercises or training are more challenging compared to regular weight exercises. This is because bodyweight training mainly uses all of our body weights. In regular strength training, we mostly use how much load we want. Without further ado, let us look into what bodyweight exercise is really about and its benefits.

What Is Bodyweight Training?

Exercises that rely solely on your body for resistance are known as Bodyweight Training. This form of workout is both highly stimulating and advantageous. By making minor adjustments, you can enhance the difficulty of these exercises, resulting in increased strength. These movements are typically natural and involve a more flexible and responsive force. They encourage muscle stretching by working the joints. Unlike strength training, Bodyweight Training is not focused on developing muscles but rather on improving endurance and stamina.

Why Are Bodyweight Exercises Harder Than Weights?

It is commonly stated that people feel more exhausted following a bodyweight workout in comparison to weight training. Professionals believe that this increased level of fatigue may be due to the necessity of using multiple stabilizing muscles during bodyweight exercises, as well as a wider range of motion than is typically utilized with gym equipment. There are numerous views regarding why this may be the case, and let us see the reason why.

Lack of External Support:

When you perform bodyweight exercises, your muscles have to work harder because there are no external weights to help you maintain your balance. This activates smaller muscle groups and improves your coordination.

Functional Complexity:

Exercises that utilize one’s own body weight often replicate natural movements, resulting in greater involvement of various muscle groups. Weightlifting can be more specific and less representative of everyday functional activities.

Limited Load Variation:

Adjusting weights is a simple way to change resistance, but when it comes to bodyweight exercises, the resistance is dependent on the angles and leverage used, which can make it difficult to make precise load changes.

Higher Relative Intensity:

When performing bodyweight exercises, your body serves as the resistance, resulting in a higher relative intensity than using weights, so these exercises can place greater demands on your cardiovascular system.

Greater Focus on Muscular Endurance:

Endurance is the main focus of bodyweight exercises, which usually involve longer sets and higher repetitions, while weight training is geared towards building strength through short bursts of heavy lifting.

Challenging Core Engagement:

Consistency in the core body is necessary to maintain stability in bodyweight exercises, which in turn improves core strength and stability more than weightlifting movements.

Less Isolation of Muscles:

Targeted muscle isolation is achievable through weight training, whereas bodyweight exercises tend to engage multiple muscle groups at once, resulting in a more comprehensive functional workout.

Functional Movements:

Bodyweight exercises increase overall functional fitness, which imitates natural, multi-joint movements that we use in our daily activities.

Read more : How To Increase Athleticism

Greater Flexibility and Mobility Requirements:

Performing bodyweight exercises with proper form can be harder due to the dynamic movements involved, which require increased flexibility and mobility, like heavy reps of pushups.

No Equipment Dependency:

Exercises that use your own body weight can be performed in any location without requiring equipment, while weight training may require the use of weights and machines, which can restrict your options.

Read more: The Difference Between Strength Training and Functional Training?

Benefits Of Bodyweight Training

As bodyweight training can be an excellent tool to help you achieve your fitness goals, it is a great way to challenge yourself and try something your body may not be used to. This section will explore the benefits of bodyweight training and discuss why it is crucial.

Helps Balance Of Movement:

When done right, body weight exercises can improve your overall coordination of the body and your concentration during workouts. With frequent practice, your muscles will operate more efficiently and at a faster pace. Having good balance can help in correcting any accidental falls more swiftly and effectively.

Increase Mobility And Flexibility:

Bodyweight training helps in maintaining how the joints and muscles work as it helps in joint flexibility and mobility even during tough activities. Weightless training is comprised of exercises that target multiple muscles at once through the use of multi-joint movements. Compared to other workout types, weightless training is deemed safer and has low injury rates.

Beneficial For Endurance:

Physical workouts usually require considerable effort from the entire body. Consistent physical activity generally enhances lung capacity, which means that the muscles require less oxygen to move and produce less carbon dioxide. Consequently, the lungs inhale and exhale less air during exercise. These types of hard-bound exercises decrease the risk of having heart disease as well.

It Also Increases Strength:

Exercises like Pushups, Chin-Ups, and Dips activate a variety of large muscle groups and smaller stabilizers with each repetition. This means that bodyweight exercises are ideal for building/increasing strength and allow for greater stability and motor coordination.

Independent Training Experience:

Bodyweight training is efficient because you can do it pretty much anywhere, even in your backyard or while catching up on your favorite TV show. Plus, you don’t have to pay for a pricey gym membership or any fancy equipment. And the best part? You can totally choose your workout to fit your needs and abilities. So if you’re looking to get fit without leaving the comfort of your own home, bodyweight exercises are a great way to go where you can take  online Zoom classes where personal trainer can guide you in a more better way. Just remember to establish a routine and stick with it because no one’s going to do it for you.

Increases Muscle Mass:

According to some studies, bodyweight exercises performed through the full range of movement can be just effective like using weights. Pushups are said to be equally effective as bench presses in terms of increasing strength. Research published in Physiology & Behavior suggests that muscle growth can occur without the use of external loads. Some trainers believe that bodyweight training can promote muscle mass gain, albeit within certain limits. Since most exercises impact multiple areas of the body, it is difficult to isolate and train individual muscles. This is why many people do not associate bodyweight training with muscle building. However, it is important to note that using lighter versions of bodyweight exercises will not result in significant muscle growth. Switching to more challenging variations will lead to greater muscle building.

Calorie Burner:

Bodyweight training boosts metabolic rate, which in turn burns more calories, so choosing exercises that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously can help you burn a significant amount of calories in a shorter span of time. Bodyweight training is effective in reducing body fat and enhancing muscle tone. If you’re looking to increase calorie burn further, you can increase the intensity of your exercises by trying HIIT or circuits. Weightlifting exercises may not require as much energy, but they still contribute to overall weight loss in a significant way.

Decreases The Risk Of Injury:

Weightlifting tends to result in more injuries due to the heavier loads and increased pressure on the joints. Conversely, bodyweight training places much less stress on the joints, making it less likely to result in injury.

Complete Control Of the Body:

It can help improve your body control by mastering control over objects in free space, as you can gain dominance over your body by performing movements that increase your muscle awareness. Doing this kind of exercise is great for getting your body moving and working those important stabilizing muscles. It helps you stay mobile and strong in all the right places.

Mental Health:

When you exercise, it not only benefits your body, but it also boosts your confidence and makes you feel good mentally. Who hasn’t felt the rush of endorphins after a good workout? It’s like a natural high that helps get rid of anxiety, stress, and even symptoms of depression. Most of us have experienced that awesome feeling of well-being that comes after some physical activity. It’s like our bodies and minds are thanking us for taking care of ourselves.

Read more: What Is Corrective Exercise & Why Is It Important?


What Makes You Stronger- Weights Or Bodyweight Training?

If you’re looking to get stronger muscles, working out with weights can definitely help. But keep in mind that the exercises you do will determine the kind of strength you build. For example, if you want to get better at doing pull-ups, the best way to do it is to practice doing pull-ups. You can’t expect to improve by doing something completely different, like going for a swim. Basically, lifting weights will make you better at lifting weights, and doing bodyweight exercises will make you better at those specific exercises. But sometimes, you might find that some of your strength carries over from one type of activity to another.

What Burns More Calories: Bodyweight Exercises Or Weight Lifting?

All types of exercise are pretty much equal when it comes to burning calories. It really just depends on how much effort you put in. But just so you know, none of them are going to burn a ton of calories – maybe like 5 to 10 per minute. So keep that in mind when you’re planning your workout routine.

Should I Lift Weights Or Do Bodyweight Training First?

If you’re just beginning with strength training, a great way to get going is with bodyweight exercises. They’ll help you learn all the important moves and reduce the risk of injury. Once you’re feeling more confident, you can mix it up with a combo of bodyweight and weightlifting exercises. For example, you could do a Bench Press, followed by Horizontal Pull-ups, then Dips, and finish off with some Hollow Body Holds. Good luck!

Can You Build Muscle With Only Bodyweight Training?

You can actually build muscle through calisthenics alone. Your body doesn’t care if you’re lifting weights or doing body-weight exercises – as long as you’re pushing against something, it’ll respond by building muscle mass. But, building lower body muscle mass with just bodyweight exercises can be pretty tough.


To make weightlifting more challenging, you can simply add more weight. However, bodyweight exercises have limitations in adding weight, and leverage can affect the level of difficulty. Reducing leverage is the most effective way to increase the difficulty of bodyweight exercises. Free weights are more versatile, while bodyweight exercises are generally more demanding. So the choice is yours to make in deciding what is better for you and your goals, and we hope you have a wonderful reading experience with us!

If you are looking for the best fitness trainer in India, contact us by calling 9076306262 or email us at info@6262fitness.com.

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