Is Your Body Weighing You Down? | Guide to Getting Fit | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Is Your Body Weighing You Down? 

One of the most intimidating and overwhelming aspects of going to a gym is all the equipment. There is so much equipment there! Treadmills, barbells, those Bowflex-style ones with all the handles and strings that make no sense. And for fitness newbies who don't know how to operate these contraptions, gym equipment can quickly turn into a modern-day torture machine.

A recent fitness trend has been to forgo all this fancy equipment to utilize the one weight that everyone posses: the human body. Bodyweight workouts utilize exercises that use your own body as a form of resistance, instead of external equipment such as weights and resistance bands. Think of push-ups, crunches, squats, all the fun stuff you did in grade school gym. Most bodyweight workout focus on efficient, fast-paced exercises that combine cardio and strength. (If you're doing it right, you won't be moving at your grade school pace.) You're directly working out your entire body, especially your core. A strong core can greatly improve posture, coordination and balance, as well as help you find those washboard abs you know are hidden somewhere around your belly. Studies show that bodyweight practitioners also benefit from increased flexibility, improved metabolisms, and low injury rates.

The convenience factor is also a big selling point. Since speed is emphasized, most bodyweight workouts last around 30 minutes. And because it is free of any burdensome equipment, it can be done almost anywhere—a gym, your house, the park, etc.—for almost no fee.

However, the key to a successful and productive bodyweight workout is proper technique. That's where trainers come into play. Although it's easy to find plenty of bodyweight exercises on YouTube or Google, having a personal trainer or an exercise group provides focus and interaction lacking in the online world. Bend has no shortage of trainers and gyms that offer bodyweight regimens, so even the exercise-averse have no excuse.

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