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Putting a new name on an age-old form of exercise
By Lisa Jones
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Putting a new name on an age-old form of exercise

The lists of exercise trends for 2016 have been published, and everyone is talking about body weight exercise. Sounds difficult; sounds complicated. Right?

You might be surprised. Bodyweight exercises are back-to-basics strength training exercises done using your own body weight to provide resistance to help build muscle and burn fat. Those of you who are a bit older may be familiar with some of the age-old forms of body weight exercise – the push-up, squat jumps, pull-ups, jumping jacks and sit-ups – historically referred to as calisthenics.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016,” the body weight training trend is fast gaining in popularity, coming in at number two on the list. This comprehensive list is compiled with input from nearly 3,000 fitness professionals who determine what’s new and hot in the world of exercise. In describing the trend, survey respondents commented that body weight exercise appeals to the minimalist, no-equipment-needed fitness proponents, pointing out that humans will never likely be able to lift dumbbells equal to our own body weight, so why not use our own body weight to our advantage?

There are many benefits to body weight exercise, starting with the fact you don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership. All you need is some comfortable clothing, good exercise shoes and healthy doses of motivation and persistence. Exercise programs which include body weight exercises tend to be very efficient and well-rounded, as they provide great strength training along with an effective cardiovascular workout and marked increases in flexibility.

Whether you use body weight training to supplement other workout routines, or if it is your major source of fitness training, you’ll see and feel the benefits to your body and your overall health and well-being. Before you get started, however, you will want to do a little research or work with a trainer to develop a program that best meets your individual needs.

Source: American College of Sports Medicine

Learn more.

Exercise routines need to be tailored to each individual’s circumstances. Please check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to begin a new fitness program. Learn how to exercise safely and effectively with a membership to the YMCA Healthy Living Center. Visit for more information.


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