Most bodyweight exercises can be progressed or regressed to match the individual's abilities. This progression/regression strategy allows people of nearly all levels of fitness to participate. Some basic methods to increase or decrease the difficulty of a bodyweight exercise, without adding extra weight, are: changing the amount of leverage in an exercise (such as elevating the feet for a standard push-up, or performing the push-up with knees on the ground), performing the exercise on an unstable platform (such as performing push-ups on a basketball), modifying the range of motion in an exercise (such as squatting to a 45 degree angle rather than a 90 degree angle), incorporating unilateral movements as opposed to bilateral movements (such as performing a one-armed push-up), and adding isometric pauses during the exercise (such as holding for a few seconds at the bottom of a push-up).
Bodyweight exercises are the ideal choice for individuals who are interested in but do not have access to because they do not require weights or specialised machinery. While some exercises may require some type of equipment, the majority of bodyweight exercises require none. For those exercises that do require equipment, common items found in the household are usually sufficient (such as a bath towel for towel curls), or substitutes can usually be improvised (for example, using a horizontal tree branch to perform pull ups). Therefore, bodyweight exercises are a good choice when travelling or on holiday, when access to a gym or specialised equipment may not be possible. Another advantage of bodyweight training is that there are no costs involved, such as gym membership fees.
Bodyweight exercises are that do not require or machines as the individual's own provides resistance against gravity. It is recognised that bodyweight exercises can enhance a range of biomotor abilities including strength, power, endurance, speed, flexibility, coordination and balance. This type of strength training has grown in popularity for both recreational and professional athletes, with a range of sports disciplines using bodyweight resistance training as part of their fitness programs. Bodyweight training utilises simple abilities such as pushing, pulling, squatting, bending, twisting and balancing. Movements such as the , the , and the are some of the most common bodyweight exercises.
Gymnasts make extensive use of isometrics by doing much of their training with straight arms (such as iron crosses, levers, and planches). When compared to , bodyweight exercises often require much more flexibility and balance.