List Of The Best Bodyweight Exercises
Bodyweight exercises are great because you can do them anywhere without the need for equipment. They are performed by using your body’s natural resistance and the pull of gravity.
The type of exercises that use your body weight is known as calisthenics, in technical terms. These exercises are fun to do because there are variations constantly being created. Being that they can be done anywhere, it also incites exercising in nature while enjoying beautiful. For those who want privacy, some floor space is all you need.
Let’s take a look at 42 of the most popular bodyweight exercises that help you burn fat, increase flexibility, improve endurance, and build strength without a single piece of equipment!
How to Choose Today’s Exercise Routine
Each day you workout, you may choose a combination of the exercises presented below. They are chosen for intensity, muscle activation, and complexity. To create a workout plan each day you exercise, follow these tips:
- Choose four exercises.
- Perform each exercise for 10-12 reps.
- Repeat each exercise for four sets.
- If 12 reps are not challenging enough, choose a more advanced variation of the exercise. You may progress as long as you keep excellent form.
We will target the whole body with exercises in these five categories:
- Full Body
- Back and Chest
- Shoulders and Arms
Let’s get to it!
Lay facing down with forearms on the floor and fingers facing forward. Clasp your hands and contract your core. Next, extend both legs behind and raise your body off the floor with your toes. Be sure to keep your back straight and engage your glutes as you hold the position for 30-60 seconds or for as long as you can.
#2 Plank to Push-Up
Perform the plank exercise previously described. Then, one arm at a time, place each palm flat on the floor to lift into a push-up position. Keep your core engaged and spine straight. Return to the original plank by placing the forearms back to the plank position, one at a time. Repeat the exercise while alternating arms to make one rep.
Begin by standing up with legs straight as tall as you can without locking your knees. Lower torso towards the floor very slowly until your hands touch the floor. Then, walk your hands forward until you’re in a push-up position. Take small steps until your feet meet your hands. End by standing up erect to your original position to complete one rep.
#4 Plyometric Push-Up
Get on a padded surface and perform a traditional push-up. In a swift and explosive motion, push to come off the floor and land in the original position. You will then be ready for your second rep!
#5 Bear Crawl
Tap into your inner grizzly! Begin on your hands and knees and elevate onto your toes while tightening your core. Slowly reach forward using the right arm and knee followed by the left in a crawling motion. It’s similar to a baby crawl, but without letting your knees touch the floor. Your weight should all be on your hands and toes.
#6 Tuck jump
Standing with your knees slightly bent without locking them, in an explosive boost, jump up as high as you can. Bring your knees towards your chest, extending your arms straight out. Land in the original position, with your knees slightly bent, and quickly begin the second rep.
Start in a low squat position with your hand on the floor. In a quick motion, kick your feet backward to a push-up position. Do one push-up and immediately jump your feet back to the original squat position. Jump as high as you can and land immediately squatting and returning to the push-up.
#8 Mountain climber
Begin on all fours and bring the left foot forward under your chest while straightening your right leg. Now tighten your core, and in a quick jumping motion, keep your hands on the floor and switch legs. You’ll end with your right knee forward and the left leg extended backward.
#9 Prone Walkout
Engage your core and get on all fours. Walk hands forward very slowly while staying on your toes without moving them forward. Then, you’ll gradually walk your hands back returning to the starting pose. While doing the whole exercise, challenge your balance.
#10 Dynamic Prone Plank
Get into the standard plank position raising your hips as far up as they can go and lower them back down. Keep your back straight and hips engaged, don’t let them drop. Continue the motion for as long as you can keep good form.
#11 Flutter Kick
While laying belly up with palms facing down and arms at your sides and legs extended, lift both heels about six inches off the floor. Pulse quickly up and down in a fluttering motion with tightening your core and legs. Stay kicking for at least one minute or as long as you can.
Here, you’ll sit with your legs extended while keeping your feet flexed. Lightly round your torso and keep your hands on the floor. Next, you’ll raise your hips off the floor, stay for five seconds, then release. You’ll repeat the whole series for one rep.
#13 Side Plank
While laying belly up, roll to one side. Engage your core and lift your hips while you come up onto one foot and elbow. Hold for 60 seconds or as long as you can. Return to the belly up position and repeat on the opposite side.
#14 Russian Twist
While sitting on the floor with your feet together and knees bent, lift your hips a few inches from the ground. In a twisting motion and with your spine at a 45-degree angle to the floor, move your arms from side to side. The slower you twist the more intense the exercise will be.
Laying on the floor or mat belly up with feet flat on the floor and knees bent, lift your torso gazing at the ceiling. To keep good form keep your chin up and place your hands lightly behind your ear.
#16 Segmental Rotation
Keep your obliques looking great! While laying belly up, tighten your core, and bend your knees. You’ll slowly bring your knees to one side stretching your torso and holding for five seconds. Very slowly and controlled return to the center in the original position and repeat on the other side. That will count as one rep!
#17 Rotational Push-Up
This variation to a standard push-up will sculpt a strong core. While up at the initial push-up position, rotate and reach to extend your arm pushing your hand towards the ceiling. You’ll create a “T” with your arms and torso.
Hold for a couple of seconds and return to the original position. Then, bring your body towards the floor to do a regular push-up, come back up and repeat on the other side. Alternate sides in control and smooth motions.
#18 Shoulder Bridge
Place your knees and feet hip-width apart while laying belly up. With arms at your sides, lift your back and hips while keeping your feet, arms, shoulders, and head glued to the floor. For an advanced variation, lift one leg and bring it back down.
Then, bring your back and hips down to the floor. Make sure to engage your core throughout the whole exercise.
Here, you’ll practice a peddling motion. Laying belly with hands behind your head and knees bent, lift knees towards your chest. Bring one elbow to the opposite knee while keeping the leg straight. Lift torso until your upper back is off the mat.
Hold for a couple of seconds, then, bring torso, knee, and elbow back to the original position. Engage your core and continue to alternate from side to side experiment with the speed. The slower the peddling, the more challenging it will.
Keep your core tight in a controlled motion. Let your imagination take you on a bicycle ride!
#20 Single-Leg Abdominal Press
Laying belly up, bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground. Raise your leg and place your knee at a 90-degree angle while keeping your core tight. Create pressure against the knee with your hand on the same side. Hold for five seconds and lower leg to return to the original position.
Repeat on the other side.
#21 Sprinter Situp
Lay belly up with your legs extended and arms at your sides. Bend elbows at a 90-degree angle. Then, raise one knee towards the opposite elbow. Lower back down to the original position. Repeat on the opposite side.
BACK & CHEST
#22 Standard Push-Up
Push-ups never go out of style! Place your hands shoulder-width apart and feet flexed hip-width apart. With your core engaged, lower chest toward the floor bending your elbows without letting your torso rest on the ground.
Immediately push up to return to the original position. You must keep your elbows tucked by your sides.
#23 Dolphin Push-Up
The Dolphin Pose looks like a Downward-Facing Dog, but with elbows on the floor. Lower your shoulder while leaning forward until your head is over your hands. Use your arms to push yourself back up to the original position.
Gain superhero status by laying belly down with arms and legs at an extended position. Keep your torso very still while raising your arms and legs to form a small arch in your back as though you were flying through the air, costume optional!
#25 Donkey Kick
Get in touch with your animalistic side! Begin in a classic push-up position keeping your legs together. Kick legs into the air at the same time with knees bent and your core engaged while you reach your feet back towards your buttocks.
Come back to the original position in a gentle and controlled landing.
#26 Judo Push-Up
Channel your inner martial artist by putting yourself in a classic push-up position. In one fast and smooth motion, raise your hips and bend elbows so that your chin comes close to the floor.
You’ll immediately continue the dive with your head and shoulders upwards and hips lowered as you keep your knees off the ground. Reverse the motion to return up to the raised-hip posture. Repeat for 30-60 or longer if you can.
#27 Reverse Fly
Stand up with your spine erect, shoulders relaxed, and one foot in front of the other. Let your front knee bend slightly and place the palms of your hands facing each other bend forward from your waist.
Keep your core tightened reach out with arms to your sides while squeezing shoulder blades together.
#28 Contralateral Limb Raise
Lie belly down and extend your arms with palms facing each other. Begin by lifting one arm a few inches off the ground, keeping it straight, and without allowing your shoulder to rotate. Keep your head and torso still and hold the position for one or two seconds.
Lower your arm back down and repeat on the opposite side. For a more challenging variation, raise the opposite leg a few inches off the floor at the same time.
#29 Handstand Push-Up
This is a more advanced exercise, so beware! Get into a handstand against the wall With elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, do an inverted push-up moving your head towards the floor while keeping your legs against the wall.
For safety, do this exercise with a spotter until you have practiced enough to feel comfortable on your own.
ARMS & SHOULDERS
No need for boxing gloves! You’ll start this move, by standing straight with knees slightly bent and feet hip-width apart. Bend forward until your torso is as parallel to the floor as you can place it.
#31 Diamond Push-Up
This variation of the classic push-up will work your triceps. Get into a push-up position with your hands in a diamond shape, touching your index fingers and thumbs together. This subtle change in hand placement makes a huge difference, which you’ll notice immediately!
#32 Triceps Dip
This is a great exercise for your triceps that you can perform anywhere you find a firm bench, ledge, or chair. You’ll put your palms at the edge and lower yourself to the ground in a sitting position.
With knees slightly bent, use your hands to push up until your arms are straight. Come back down, but not all the way, you’ll stop when your elbows are bent to 90-degrees without letting your bottom touch the floor.
#33 Arm Circles
Begin by standing straight with core engaged with arms extended perpendicular to your body. Make a circular motion as if you were turning wheels on each side. Let it be a slow steady movement for 20-30 seconds, then reverse the motion.
#34 Wall Sit
Sort of like sitting in a chair, but with your back straight and against the wall, place your feet hip-width apart with feet facing forward. As you tighten your core and buttocks, slide down slowly until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
Be sure not to lock your knees, keep them slightly bent and positioned above ankles. Hold for as long as you can while keeping all muscles tight and slowly raise yourself back up to a standing position.
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart and hands resting on your hips. Step forward with one foot, ahead enough that when you bend your knee it is placed above your ankle. You never want the knee to be further than your ankle.
The back knee will bend towards the ground without touching it to a 90-degree angle. With the forward leg push back to the original standing position. Repeat on the opposite side. A challenging variation is to step back into the lunge.
#36 Clock Lunge
This move will certainly give a challenge! Time for a challenge. Do the forward lunge we detailed above, and instead of coming back to the standing position, immediately take a wide step with the back leg and get into another forward lunge position.
End the move by taking a backward lunge and return to the standing position. This all one rep! Switch legs and do your next rep.
#37 Lunge to Row
You’ll do a traditional forward lunge. Then, you’ll keep the forward leg bent at a 90-degree angle and push it off the floor while raising your arms above your head at the same time.
#38 Pistol Squat
Begin by standing straight with your arms extended in front of you. Raise one leg with the ankle flexed while pushing your hips backward. Lower your body using the strength and stability of the opposite standing leg.
Hold and test your balance for as long as you can before returning to the original standing position.
#39 Lunge Jump
This is an explosive move that will also get your heart pumping! Stand with feet together lunging forward with one foot. Then, jump straight up swinging arms forward with elbows bent. When you’re airborne, quickly switch legs and land in a lunge position with the opposite leg forward.
Repeat and continue alternating legs.
#40 Squat Reach and Jump
You’ll do a normal squat, but will jump up in an explosive motion reaching up with your extended arms overhead. Repeat continuously as fast as you can without compromising your form.
#41 Chair Pose Squat
Start by standing with the spine erect and feet hip-width apart. Squat until your thighs are paralleled to the ground and swing your arms up. Then, straighten your legs and lift one knee while swinging the opposite arm outside that knee.
Return to the original standing position and repeat on the opposite side.
#42 Single-Leg Deadlift
Begin standing with feet side by side facing forward. Slightly lift one leg and bring arms and torso forward and down while you continue to lift the leg backward. Keep the opposite knee slightly bent and reach for the ground with your hands without touching it.
Keep your core engaged and raise your torso as you lower your leg. Switch sides and repeat.
#43 Curtsy Lunge
While performing a forward lunge, step one leg behind the other until the forward knee making that thigh parallel to the ground. Keep your core tight, hips squared, and spine erect. Return to the original position and switch legs.
#44 Quadruped Leg Lift
Get on all fours keeping your back straight and core tightened. Lift one leg straight backward and stop when foot reaches the level of your hips. You’ll want your thigh to be paralleled to the floor.
Stay balancing for as long as you can, then lift the opposite toe off the ground while tightening your buttocks. Hold for 10 seconds and switch legs. The motion should be smooth and controlled.
#45 Calf Raises
Begin standing straight with legs hip-width apart. Very slowly, raise yourself onto your toes while keeping your knees straight. Don’t let your heels touch the ground and hold for a few seconds before coming back down. For an advanced variation, stand on the edge of a step with your heels in the air and perform the same motion.
You may also let one leg float and put your weight all on one leg alternating them. You’ll absolutely feel the burn!
On a step or short bench, place one foot flat on the elevated surface. Step up while the other leg hangs, hold slightly, and return the back leg flat on the floor. You may repeat a set on the same leg or alternate legs as you wish. For a more challenging exercise, increase the height of the step.
It’s important to tighten the core and buttocks as you step up. There are many variations of this exercise to explore!
So, there you have it! Bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere without a single piece of equipment. There are tons of exercises out there and many more variations. The many possible combinations will keep you entertained all year long!