Almost everyday it seems like a new piece of exercise apparatus is popping up on the market as the next best thing to give you the results you want to see! With the mass amount of in home equipment sales & traditional walk-in machine based fitness gyms springing up world-wide, people are forgetting the basics when it comes to exercise. Surprisingly enough, you are able to reap a bigger over-all benefit from your workout just by using your own body rather than the all of the high tech equipment most gyms are filled with. If this sounds bogus to you, here is some food for thought; the Olympic athletes considered to have the most desirable physiques are gymnasts and they don't lift heavy weights or use machines!
1)Training Multiple Muscle Groups Simultaneously: By using your own body to exercise you are constantly training multiple muscles groups simultaneously whereas if you are using a machine you are isolating one group. Besides this you can train the same muscle group in an almost endless variety of positions giving you strength in all directions and cutting your muscles from all angles (meaning instead of having a bicep like Popeye, you will be able to notice all of the major and minor muscles all the way around your arm!).
2)Increased Flexibility & Range of Motion: Using your own body as equipment always allows you to complete your exercises in the body's maximal range of motion which not only strengthens your muscles at wider angles, it makes your body much more limber. After only a short period of time training this way you will be able to notice an ease in your movement when completing everyday tasks because your body can move much more smoothly!
3)More Balance=Better Posture: Having to constantly maintain your balance while exercising strengthens all of your postural muscles. This strengthening can alleviate daily aches & pains in your joints, muscles spasms, and increase the functionality of your lymphatic system. Not to mention you appear leaner when you stand up straight!
4)Lean & Toned not Monstrous: Constantly changing up your routine, working your full range of motion, and being able to complete a higher number of repetitions rather than constantly pushing as much weight as you can in the same direction/angle allows your muscles to look cut and lean rather than big and bulky.
5)Better Bones: The "good stress" your body takes when your feet hit the floor after a leg kick or when your fist hits a mitt after a punch increases your bone density & strength!
Of course adding in light dumbbells or even ankle weights can add to the intensity and difficulty or whatever exercise you are doing but they are not absolutely necessary to not only break a sweat but to tone & strengthen your body.