Case for BodyWeight Resistance Training

As a physiotherapist I am a huge fan of functional exercise and so in this post I am going to briefly talk about what type of weight training is best for your body and make a case for bodyweight resistance training for an injury free and functional body.

This post is for everyone who wants their body to perform well and likes to train their body injury free at home or at the gym.

Types of Resistance Training

Below is a brief description of all three types of resistance training and a table outlining the pros and cons:

1. BodyWeight exercises:

Exercises in which the resistance is provided by your body weight. e.g. push-ups, pull ups, lunges, curl ups, triceps dips.press up training body weight

2. Free weight exercises:

These are exercises where the resistance is applied by a object that is not attached to anything else such as dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine balls.

3. Machine exercises:

This is fairly self explanatory but is any exercise where the weight is stabilized by the machine and you just have to apply force in one plane of movement.






Muscle mass







Low – mod















So What is the Best Resistance Training Type? Hint – BodyWeight Strength Training

Both free and bodyweight exercises make your stabilizing muscles work, leading to much greater functionality and cross over into everyday life. I would recommend them over weights machines absolutely any day.

Weights machines are OK if you purely want to build muscle mass, but this has little functionality due to the machine guiding the weight and stabilizing for you.

The best thing to do would be a combination of bodyweight resistance training and free weight training as you have a much larger range of exercises and workouts available to you and great cross over.

In the next section I will expand on need for stability and how it helps you stay injury free and build a stronger functional body.

Why is Stability Important?

Stability is very, very important, if you do not have a stable base to work off then you are much more likely to get injuries, AND it makes the exercise a lot harder.

Imagine trying to lift up a heavy object while standing on ice (or mud i.e. unstable base).

How hard that would be compared to lifting a heavy object with feet firmly planted on a rubber mat (stable base).

What is easier?

Internal Stabilizers for Injury Free Training

Shoulder stabilizers such as rotator cuff [1]:

If your rotator cuffs are weak then the shoulder is not stable and so all the muscles working off it will struggle.

You are much more likely to get injuries such as rotator cuff tears or tendinopathy due to impingement.

Weak core and hip stabilizers [2]:

Without good strength and endurance in your stabilizers in your hips, you are more likely to injure your back, hips, knees and ankles.

Purely because you are working off an unstable base, leading to poor form and bio-mechanics.

Weight Machines With a Twist

Although weights machines are at times easier, they are not practical the majority of the times.

They can also be costly and do not cross over functionally in to everyday life and sports.

If all you want to do is build muscle, then make sure you also do stabilizing exercises such as rotator-cuff strengthening for your shoulders or hip and core strengthening exercises.

This would reduce your risk of overuse injuries.


It is only fair that I give you some great exercises to increase the strength and the endurance of your stabilizing muscles!

Here is a good post for Rotator Cuff exercises and another one to strengthen Quadratus Lumborum muscle to strengthen your hips and relieve back pain.

These are for EVERYBODY whether you use weight machines or bodyweight resistance training and strength workout at home.

Subscribe or stay tuned for more in up-coming posts.


[1] A. Day, N.F. Taylor, R.A. Green, – The stabilizing role of the rotator cuff at the shoulder—responses to external perturbations, Clinical Biomechanics

[2] Lee SW, Kim SY. Effects of hip exercises for chronic low-back pain patients with lumbar instability. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Feb;27(2):345-8. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.345. Epub 2015 Feb 17. PMID: 25729164; PMCID: PMC4339134.

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