The great thing about strength training with your own body weight is that it is inexpensive, it requires little to no equipment, and it can easily be done anywhere. Using your own body weight to work out also uses the finer, more stabilizing muscles in your body, which support your posture, such as your abs and triceps. While these muscles are not often moving, keeping them strong helps your other surrounding muscles support your body during other forms of exercise.
Your upper body strength will also be increased through strength training using your own body weight. There is always room for improvement in upper body strength, seen in the fact that there are so many variations in the types of exercises you can do.
While using your own body weight is a great way to exercise, it also has limitations. Because your weight is likely lower than what you would be able to lift at the gym, you will likely need to do additional reps, which will take more time. Another deterrent is that it is very hard to do a lot of strength training in your lower body with body weight training alone.
Pros and Cons of Weight Lifting
However, when working with free weights or weight machines, there is a lot of opportunity to increase the levels of weights you are lifting, which will add some challenge. The good thing about this is that you can keep track of exactly how much weight you are lifting, and measure your progress. Also, lifting weights leads to stronger bones and actually stimulates a better hormonal response within your body.The disadvantage to using weights is that they may limit your mobility. Some weighted exercises, especially the weight machines at the gym, only work a small variety of angles, which limits how much you can move your muscles. Also, some of the movements you do with physical weights may not challenge your body to stay stable, while when using your body weight, you need to keep your balance.
So, Which is Best?
If you want to firm up your body and do some sculpting, weight training is a great idea. A lot of people skip out on lower body weight training, which leaves out the largest mass of muscle in your body. Weight training will help you add lean muscle quickly.Find a way that is best for you to incorporate both upper and lower body strength training. Do eat set of muscle groups three times per week. Be careful not to overdo it, though. Do not go over 12 reps in one set of exercises, and vary your intensity throughout the week.