Can One Do Body-Weight Exercises Everyday?

Young man performing press-ups
Body-weight exercises use your body's mass as resistance. (Image: Adam Gault/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A workout using body weight can improve your body's form and function with minimal equipment and a small time commitment. But the fact that you skipped the gym doesn't mean you can bend the rules for recovery. To avoid injury, make sure you give your body time to restore its equilibrium.

Body-Weight Exercises

Exercises that don't require equipment to provide resistance are called body-weight exercises. Because you are replicating movements that are specific to human body function, body-weight exercises may improve your performance of everyday tasks and can optimize your overall fitness. According to exercise scientists Brett Klika and Chris Jordan, body weight can provide an adequate training load for muscular and cardiovascular fitness, provided the exercises are performed at high enough intensity levels.

Recovery in Training

Because body weight exercise can be just as challenging as weight training, muscle recovery is just as important. According to exercise scientist Len Kravitz, recovery time between workouts is necessary to remove metabolic byproducts, restore muscle pH, and return the body to pre-exercise levels. Failure to allow for adequate recovery can lead to muscle soreness and weakness, poor exercise performance, sleep disruptions, intestinal disorders and susceptibility to infections.

Recommended Recovery Time

In its resistance training guidelines for healthy adults, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 48 hours of recovery time between resistance-training sessions. However, exercise scientist Wayne Westcott notes that exercise performed at extremely high intensities may require between 72 to 96 hours of recovery time to allow for complete repair and remodeling of muscle tissue.

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