Bodyweight training is finally making a comeback. Ever since Arnold and Sly burst onto the scene glorifying the wonders of the gym, bodyweight training has been relegated to the shadows. Now, as more and more fitness enthusiasts and experts actually realize the power and value of old-school push ups, pull ups and crunches, bodyweight training has taken the spotlight once more. Without the hassle and expense of a gym membership, bodyweight workouts have become the exercise of choice for those attempting to lose weight, build muscle, and get super fit.

Here are some tips to keep in mind so you can make the most of your bodyweight workout:

* Begin each bodyweight workout routine with warm ups and end with cool downs. This might seem very elementary, but you’d be surprised at how many rush into the workout itself and strain or injure themselves in the process. Warm ups get the blood circulating and preps you up for the exercise. Cool down exercises normalizes your system and aids it as it recovers from trauma. Five to ten minutes of aerobics should suffice for your warm ups while ten minutes of stretching should cool you down.

* Workout gradually. Just because bodyweight exercises don’t use weights or machines doesn’t mean that they cannot be intense and strenuous. They are. Whatever your current fitness level is, you have to begin each workout slowly and build it up as you progress. Take note that since you are exercising multiple joints and muscles with bodyweight exercises, you’re opening yourself to the risk of injury if you’re not careful.

* Follow proper form and technique. This is important. Because bodyweight exercise regimens can be deceptively simple to do if you’re an observer, you need to follow proper form and technique to avoid injury and get the most out of it. Watch videos, view pictures and more importantly, read up on how to these routines properly. Get information on the number of sets and repetitions you need to do or how long you need to perform each routine to get the desired results as well.

* Exercise at your own pace. To get the most of bodyweight workouts, you need to increase your intensity over time. However, you have to do it at your own pace. Let your body dictate how many repetitions you’re going to add to a particular routine.

* Know when to stop. If your body feels pain where there shouldn’t be any during the course of your exercise, you have to stop. Bodyweight exercises increase your heart rate and respiration, but you must not to do it to the point that it leaves you gasping for breath. You have to know when to stop.

* Consult your physician first if you have any preexisting medical condition. If you are hypertensive, diabetic or have any other medical condition or illness, it’s a must to consult your doctor first before attempting any form of exercise. Calisthenics are generally safe but certain bodyweight workouts may be not be appropriate for individuals who have cardiac or lung problems. Your doctor can tell you how far you can go with your regimen.

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