Mistakes Everyone Makes With Bodyweight Exercise

Now, more than ever, people are turning to bodyweight exercises. These can be done anywhere, by anyone, and they don't require a gym membership or any equipment, as pointed out on adidas Runtastic's website.

While there are benefits to doing these types of workouts, there are some points to keep in mind. In particular, it can be easy to make mistakes. You aren't looking in a mirror at a fitness studio, studying your form. You don't have a personal trainer, instructing you what to do and when to do it. You have the freedom to work any and all parts of your body, which can lead to a rushed workout, incorrect form, and poor preparation.

Don't freak out about all of this just yet, though: Down below, we have listed out common missteps that can occur, when it comes to bodyweight-focused moves, as well as tips on how to combat them.

Warm ups are more important than you think

Too often, people simply jump right into their exercise sessions, without warming up their bodies first. However, these few extra minutes are vital, as they can help prevent you from getting hurt and can help prepare your body for an optimal workout, as stated in Women's Health by Janeil Mason, a trainer at Brrrn in New York.

A warm up is a time to get your blood flowing and your heart pumping, so try to do a range of movements (via Health Digest). Some examples include reaching up into the air, jumping jacks, knee lifts/high knees, bodyweight lunges and/or squats, and plank walk outs, where you walk down into a plank, hold it, then walk your hands back to your feet, and repeat.

After doing each of these a couple of times, you will start to feel looser, meaning your body is finally ready and is more equipped for a full workout!

It's easy to do too much too soon or to get comfortable with too little

Another mistake made with exercising and with those focused on bodyweight, specifically, is doing too much or too little. It may seem like a bodyweight routine would be super easy, since it does not require any equipment or machines. Therefore, people may do too many reps or sets, may work out for too long, and/or may not take breaks during the workout/between workouts.

On the other hand, since there are no heavy dumbbells or anything involved, a person could get too comfortable, not pushing themselves enough.

As Pullup & Dip's website says, you need to be progressive and gradually increase time and intensity, allowing your body to adapt and develop. To get the most out of these moves, according to Fitbod, you should increase reps, decrease rest times, and add in variations. While your weight is the only resistance being used, you could make exercises more or less challenging by, say, moving the position of your hands or playing with the number of sets and reps.

If you're going to do it, do it correctly

Perhaps the biggest mess-up that happens when working out has to do with form. As PT Scott Mendelson said in Men's Health, doing moves incorrectly makes them less effective and can lead to serious injuries.

Cosmopolitan lists out some go-to bodyweight exercises, form mistakes that are made with them, and the correct way to do them.

In a plank, some may let their shoulders or hips drop down towards the floor. The key is to keep your shoulders over your elbows, focus on keeping everything straight, and tighten your glutes and core. Hips can drop in push-ups, too, and elbows can be too wide and high. Remember to, once again, keep your elbows below your shoulders, bend your elbows back towards your feet, and engage your core. When squatting, don't let your knees come in, don't lean forward, and don't round your spine. The correct way to do a squat is with your feet positioned just wider than your hips, your weight in your heels, and your chest up.

Be sure to get in regular physical fitness, all while keeping these tips in mind

Bodyweight workouts are more popular than ever, more than as a result of COVID-19.

With any form of fitness, though, there are rules to follow and guidelines to keep in mind. Warm up your body before moving. Make your movements progressive, as you prepare your body for what is to come. And focus on form, using the correct moves that will keep you safe and make your workout more effective. 

We hope that, despite how tough the past couple of years have been, you are finding the motivation to get in regular physical fitness. We also hope that if/when you opt for bodyweight-focused exercises that you remember these tips. Not only will they assist in reducing the risk of injury, but they also will help you truly see the results, as you work to get healthier and stronger ... physically, mentally, and beyond!