21 best body weight exercises to do

Body weight exercises

There might be several reasons for you to skip the gym like –

  • The gym is always full. There’s always someone hogging the exercise machine I want to do.
  • I do not find time to go to the gym
  • I cannot find a good spotter at the gym
  • I feel shy exercising in front of so many people
  • Gym membership fee is too high and I cannot afford it.
  • The training exercises are too repetitive and I get bored.
  • The training is too hard and not at all fun.

No matter what reasons you give, the truth is that not everyone can afford time and money to go to the gym every day. But does that mean that we let go of our fitness & health goals? Well, it certainly doesn’t mean that at all. Here we are going to provide you with 25 of the best bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere and anytime. Plus you do not require heavy machinery of the gym to do these exercises. These exercises are simple to do and require minimal equipment to complete. So let us dive right into the list.

Pushups

No matter what you call this exercise – “a timeless classic”, “bread and butter exercise”, “basic exercise of all bodybuilders”; no one can deny the effectiveness of this wonderful exercise. It not just works on the chest muscles but also works on deltoids, triceps, and shoulders. It also works on your core to keep it stronger and works on your ab too. This exercise can have the same effect as the bench press and as in bench press, you can add some weight on top of your back to make pushups harder, thereby increasing chances of developing muscles. Make sure your chest reaches as far down near the floor as possible when you are doing this exercise and your shoulders line in with your wrists. For further progression in this exercise, after you’ve mastered the traditional pushups, you can do diamond push-ups, elevated feet push-ups, and one-armed push-ups.

Pull-ups

The pull-ups are another classic upper body exercise but in truth, it hits so many parts of the body that you can’t even comprehend. It works on your whole arm (triceps, biceps, wrists etc.), back muscles, shoulder muscles and even works on your abs. there are two versions of the Pull-ups –
–> Chinups: In this exercise, your palms are facing towards you and there is more emphasis on the arms.
–> Pull-ups: In this version, your palms face away from you and there is a lesser emphasis on the biceps and more on the back.
You can start doing archer chin/pull-ups and one-arm chin-ups to mark your progress further or add weighted belts/chains to increase resistance.

Squats

Squats are one of the best exercises and the most natural too. If you do not believe us, just watch a baby sit. Squats are a natural form of movement of the body and work on all the lower body muscles including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It also works on your core to keep it strengthened and tight. To do a bodyweight squat, keep your feet shoulder width apart and make sure you keep a natural arc in your back. Make sure you spread your weight through our hips and knees as you hinge and when you raise yourself back up, your knees should be in line with your feet and not drawn inward or outward. The force should hit your knees at their natural hinge. The squat is a great lower body exercise to keep your legs strengthened throughout the life.

Lunges

To perform a perfect lunge, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands placed on the sides. Now step your right leg far enough to sink your body without your front knee going in front of your toe and at the same time allow your left knee to bend towards the floor without actually touching the floor and then return back to your original position. Now repeat the same stepping forward movement with the left leg. Also, make sure you are keeping your back straight during the entire process. You’ve just performed a perfect lunging movement.

Lunges improve your overall balance of the body. You might wobble at first, but as you gain more strength, you’ll be able to perform jumping lunges soon.

Burpees

Burpees are without a doubt one of the most effective full-body exercises around. It starts with a person in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, after completing the push-up, immediately return the feet to the squat position and leap as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up position. It might be a little difficult to get a grasp of this exercise at first, but believe us, once you get a hang of it, there are fewer exercises as good as this one to improve your overall fitness.

Plank

Many fitness experts regard holding a perfect plank for one minute at least to be a great benchmark of physical fitness of an individual. It requires excellent core strength, shoulder stability and involves back, shoulders, neck, and neck altogether. It is one of the most recommended exercises for 6-pack enthusiasts as well.

To perform a plank, lie down with forearms on the floor with your hands clasped. Extend the legs behind the body and rise up on your toes. Keep in mind to keep the back straight at all times. No tighten the core and try to hold this position as long as possible and then repeat. Remember, the more time your body is under the tension, the more strength you build in your core.

Box Jumps

This one is a favorite of CrossFit enthusiasts and gives you a burst of explosiveness and power. All you need is a box to perform this exercise. It is fairly simple to do as well. Just jump into a box from a distance, making sure the box doesn’t move away from its place, bend the knees as you reach the top of the box. Just imagine a cat jumping onto a higher object and you need to replicate the cat-like agility too. Then jump off the box again in reverse motion and that’s it, you’ve performed a box jump. You need to take care of the stress on your knees while performing this exercise. Never put too much stress on your knees while jumping on and off the box.

Sprints

All you need to perform a sprint is an open area. Bend your body and your knees and acquire a crouching position like an athlete running a race. Then burst forward with speed till you reach the end of the space. Now repeat this motion to and fro without breaks till you tire yourself out. Then take a rest for about 90 seconds and repeat the same procedure again. Sprints build your body’s cardiovascular endurance and overall leg strength too.

Bicycle Crunches

Lie down on your back with your hands behind your head and lift your legs off the ground with knees bent at a right angle with your hips. Now straighten your right leg and tucking your other leg towards your body and moving your left arm along with your body towards the straightened leg and then do the same for the other leg. You need to move your legs in a motion synonym with the movement of legs while riding a bicycle. This exercise creates a fire in the core and helps in abdominal balance and rotation. It also works your obliques more than the standard crunch.

Jumping Jacks

Stand straight with your legs hip-width apart and arms resting on the side. Now in a jumping motion widen your legs a little more than shoulder-width apart and at the same time moving your arms up in a swivel motion in such a way that the hands clap at the top of your head. Now repeating the jumping motion, return to the original position and repeat as long as you can.

It is a great cardiovascular exercise that improves your quickness and Jumping jacks is one of the best plyometric exercises around. It also helps in increasing your bone density.

Mountain climbers

Position your body in a push-up position. Now start a running motion with your legs by pushing your one leg towards the chest with knees bent and straightening your other leg while keeping your arms stationary at all times. Try to keep this motion as long as possible, take a rest of about 90 seconds and then repeat the movement again. This exercise combines the difficulty of the plant, core stabilization and alternating knee drive towards to chest to increase heart rate and burn calories quickly. It is important to keep your shoulders and wrists perfectly stacked while performing this exercise.

Butt Kicks

Start this exercise within a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and then start jogging in the same place without actually moving from your stationary point. The catch here is that you need to bring your heels behind to tap your butt every time, hence the name “butt kicks”. This exercise stretches your quad muscles and gives you a quick cardio workout too.

Frog Jumps

This exercise is just as the name suggests. You need to crouch like a frog with your hands hanging in front of your body and your knees bent with your feet pointing outwards. This is your starting position. Now leap forward mimicking the jumping motion of a frog. You can perform this exercise in a stationary point or you can move around a room if it has enough space, your choice. You need to push off your heels and jump forward, land and immediately sink back into a squat position before jumping again. It is great for lower body strength and gives you a great cardiovascular benefit.

Double Leg Lifts

This lower abdominal exercise builds a stronger back too. You need to lie down on the floor with your hands tucked behind your butt to provide support to the back and keeping your legs straight and the knees & feet touching together. Now lift your legs off the floor, trying to keep the legs straight as much as possible and keep lifting them till the legs form a right angle with your upper body and then move the legs back and without letting them touch the floor, lift them again to repeat the motion. It is recommended to bend the knees for beginners and for advanced people, try to keep your legs straight as much as possible.

Single-leg Squat

A progression for people who have mastered simple squats. To perform this exercise, stand on one leg with the opposite foot in front of you, and without setting the foot on the floor, bend the standing leg and lower down like you’d to perform a squat. Keep your arms straight out in front of you to maintain balance. Repeat the movement for 9-10 reps and then switch the legs and repeat. This exercise works on your quad muscles, hamstrings, glutes as well as the core.

Bridges

This exercise is also known as hip raises in some circles and works to strengthen your glut, hamstrings, abdominals, back and inner thigh muscles. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor. Keep your arms straight on the floor to provide support. Now keeping your legs and arms fixed, move your hips, butt and lower back off the floor, hold for 2 seconds and return back to original position. A variation of this exercise involves your feet firmly flat on the floor, hips raised and extending one leg up towards the roof. It is a great exercise for the beginners.

Bear Crawl

Time to channel your inner grizzly bear. Start on your hands and knees, then rise onto your toes tightening the ccore and slowly reach forward with your left arm and left knee. Then follow it with the same movement but by the left side and continue the crawl for 10-12 reps, take a break of about 90 seconds and repeat to complete 5-10 reps depending upon your fitness levels. This exercise involves almost your whole body to accomplish the crawl and is a great cardiovascular workout.

Wall Sit

A fairly simple exercise with devastating results. All you need is a wall to perform this exercise. Imagine yourself sitting on a chair with your knees bent forming a right angle (almost) with your hips. Take the support of the wall for your back and keep it straight. Now try to feel the pressure on your knees, hips, and legs in general. Try to hold this position for 60 seconds or more. You’ll soon start to feel a burn in your legs which is a good thing, trust us. Do this for 4-5 sets for maximum benefits.

Superman

The name of this exercise sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? To perform this exercise lie face down with your arms and legs extended while keeping the torso as still as possible. Now raise the arms and legs simultaneously to form a small curve in the body and stretch out as much as possible. You are now in the same position as Superman (when he is flying). Try to maintain this posture for 30seconds to a minute, take some rest and repeat. It is a great exercise for lower back strengthening and overall core development.

Crunches

Crunches have been the staple exercise for ab lovers since ages and rightly so. Crunches, if done with a proper form and slow methodological movement is a great exercise that indulges the core, back, and legs too. With your hands behind your head, chin slightly down and knees bent and feet on the floor, push your shoulder and head off the ground and feel the tension forming at your ab muscles. Continue this movement until your back is off the ground, hold briefly and then lower the torso back towards the floor slowly. This exercise is never going out of fashion, period! A variation of this exercise involves crunching towards left and right side of the body to engage the oblique muscles as well.

Handstand Pushup

A deceptively simple exercise but requires a supreme upper body, core strength, and stability. You’ll also need to have strong shoulders and triceps to perform this exercise. We believe that this exercise is for advanced fitness enthusiasts. To do a headstand pushup, you need to get into a headstand, stabilizing your feet against a wall, then lowering the body towards the floor keeping the elbows in front of the shoulders and performing a pushup, trying to go as low as possible. A lot of primary muscles are involved in this exercise.

So you see, you need not go to the gym to get the body that you dream of, all you need is a resolve and little bit of time to perform the above-mentioned exercises. We have handpicked some of the best bodyweight exercises for you so that you do not have an excuse to fall behind your fitness goals. You can also catch of these “fitness tips” to stay in touch with your fitness goals.

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