13 Best Bodyweight Exercises You Can Nail at Home
It just feels so hard to finally begin doing sports! Look all the stuff you need to get – gym membership, all the special equipment, those running sneakers you just have to buy…
Wait, let’s rewind.
The truth is, in order to enjoy sports and still get awesome results out of it you don’t actually need anything special – just you, your wish to exercise, and the floor under your feet.
Bodyweight exercises are an amazing way to improve your strength and get some stunning training results. And the best part is – you don’t need any special equipment at all.
By working only with gravity and weight of your own body, you can lose weight, gain muscle, do cardio, and, of course, stay healthy, balanced, and energetic. Every part of your body is covered by these exercises, so even if you’re in search for something specific (you only want to work on your abs, for example) – just scroll down to find the best workouts suited for your purpose.
Check out our bodyweight workouts ideas, make a list of exercises you would like to try first (but don’t get stuck on that – there is a whole bunch of awesome things to do), and get ready for some sports!
Arms & Shoulders
In this list of bodyweight exercises we gathered the most effective ways to work on your shoulder and arms area. However, it doesn’t mean that these parts won’t be involved in the busyness later on – most of the exercises involve a distribution of effort to different body parts, so that you can enjoy a complex and effective workout.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Put your arms up by the sides, perpendicular to the torso, as if you were showing a letter T with your body language. Then, keeping your arms like that, slowly start making clockwise circles – imagine that you are a bird with very stiff wings. Do the circles for about 20-30 seconds, then reverse this movement and do the same circles counter-clockwise for the same period of time.
2. Diamond Push-Ups
Known for a specific palm position, this exercise will make your muscles burn – all for the sake of a great result. Put your hands on the floor in a position where thumbs and index fingers touch, with the space between the fingers resembling a kind of diamond-looking shape. With your hands firmly laying on the floor, start doing push-ups. Though looking a bit bizarre, this hands rearrangement will put some extra effort on your triceps, so keep going!
3. Boxer ring
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slightly bent the knees. Bend down so the torso will be almost parallel to the floor. Hug your elbows to sides, hands near the chest. On the exhale extend the right arm forward and the left arm back with the palm up. On the inhale, hug the arms in, back to the starting position. Repeat, switching your arms, for about 20-30 times. Keep your arms parallel to the ground and your back flat, face looking down to the floor.
This set provides the best bodyweight exercises to cover your whole body with complex activity. Get yourself to work, let your body temperature get higher, and make those muscles burn!
1. Tuck Jump
Stand still, slightly bend your knees as a starting position. Jump as high as you can and bring the knees towards the chest while you are in the air. Lend in the same starting position with your knees bend slightly and immediately jump again! Make sure that you have enough space for the move, so you won’t accidentally break anything fragile or hurt yourself while enjoying the workout.
2. Standing Oblique Crunches
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Put your hands behind your head, elbows wide (as if you were lying down and resting – except now you’re doing sports!) Lift your right knee toward your right elbow while bending the torso over to the right, making your elbow and knee touching each other for a moment. Get back and repeat on the left side. Continue doing this exercise for 10-15 times per each side.
This exercise may look silly at first glance, but don’t worry – it is a great example of a body resistance workout and it totally does what it’s meant for.
Stand tall and slowly roll down (try to keep your legs straight) until your hands reach the floor. Walk your hands forward until you find yourself in a plank position, as if you were about to do push-ups. Then, start taking small steps walking your feet toward until your feet reach the hands. Repeat – walk hands back to the plank position and then bring feet back to hands. Repeat the exercise 5-6 times.
This set of exercises is meant to give your legs and butt some extra attention! Do them early in the morning to give yourself a boost of energy, or find a few spare minutes during the day to stay active, balanced, and refreshed.
Those good old squats will never go out of fashion. And they have every right to stay famous – nothing will boost your butt and leg muscles as good as squats.
Stand still, feet hip-width apart. Make sure your body weight is on your heels (if you’re in the proper position, you should be able to wiggle your toes during each part of the exercise – although you don’t need to). Start crouching: bend your knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Remember, your heels need to stay firmly on the ground without rising off the floor! Press through your heels to get back to a standing position.
2. Step up
Even if there are no stairs near you, you can still work on those leg muscles! Find a step, a bench, or any other surface that is approximately bench-high. Take a step – place your foot on the elevated surface and step up – lift yourself until the other leg is straight. Put yourself back down. Repeat this movement for 10-13 times, then switch legs and do the same exercise for the other side.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on your hips. Step your left leg forward and slowly lower your body, trying to make right knee bent and touch the floor.
If putting your knee down hurts, go slow and don’t put yourself under too much pressure – with regular workouts your flexibility will improve over time.
Return to the standing position and repeat for the other side. Aim for 10-15 reps for each side.
Try doing reverse lunges! Start with the same position, but step backwards and bend both knees to create two 90-degree angles. Return to standing. Repeat several times.
4. Wall sit
Forget about the chairs and couches for a minute – all for the sake of this simple, yet efficient bodyweight strength training for your legs. Stand next to the wall with your back close to it. Slowly slide down as if you were about to sit on a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground. Be sure to keep your back straight and pay attention to your knees: they should be directly above the ankles. Try to stay in this position for about 30 seconds – or make the sit longer, if your body tells you that you can do more.
This compilation is going to set your abdominal muscles on fire – in a good way. Shape those abs of yours with our set of simple, yet effective exercises.
The simplest exercise that involves minimal movement – some might say it’s boring, but this exercise is a true cornerstone for all core workouts.
Lay down. Place your hands under your shoulders (a bit wider than shoulder-width), as if you wanted to do some push-ups, and, by straightening your hands, slowly push yourself up. Ground the toes into the floor, your head should be in line with your back. Pay attention to the knees – you don’t want to lock them! Hold in this position for 20-30 seconds. As you become more acquainted to this exercise, you can later prolong it for a minute or even a few.
2. Dynamic plank
Got too comfortable with the regular plank? Let’s put the stakes (and your hips) higher. Start in the regular plank position. Raise your hip as high as you can and slowly put it back down. Repeat for the other hip. Try doing this movement for 10-15 times for each leg, but make sure your back stays straight.
Make Freddie Mercury proud and ride your imaginary workout bicycle. Lie down on the floor with your hands behind your head and knees in toward the chest. Then, bring the left elbow to your right knee, simultaneously straightening the left knee. Continue alternating sides one after another, aim for 15-20 reps per each side.
Enough with the reading – let’s get to work! In order to get the best result out of the exercises, plan a schedule for your workouts, so that you will equally distribute the effort throughout your daily routine. Even if exercising doesn’t seem fun now – sport is proven to help your body produce the happy hormones, so chances are, you will love that after-sports muscle pain soon enough. Needless to say, your body will later thank you for the effort!