You really don’t need expensive gym memberships to get fit and healthy. Your living room floor is perfect for your needs.
Bodyweight exercises are not just effective and flexible, but simple and great for those who have no equipment. You can fit in a workout anytime that works on all parts of your body, from your shoulders to your legs creating a strong fit body.
Pick 1 to 2 exercises per body part.
Complete 10 to 15 reps.
Repeat 2 to 4 sets.
See below our list of body weight exercises you can do at home PLUS access our list of infographic fitness workout routines.
SHOULDER AND ARM BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
1. Pike Push Ups
The pike pushup is a fantastic bodyweight shoulder exercise. It’s adaptable to any strength level.
Start in a pushup position and walk your hands back to a pike position. Legs straight, butt up in the air, upper body mostly straight, and do a pushup. You will push through the shoulders.
2. Tricep Dips
Grab a bench or seat for this exercise. Start on the floor, knees slightly bent, and then grab the edge of your seat. Straighten your arms, and then bend them until they have a 90-degree angle. Push your heels into the ground as you straighten your arms. You can add more to this by lifting one leg and reaching the opposite arm out while bending.
3. Alternate Tricep Swing
Lie face up with feet on floor, knees bent, with a can of food in each hand. Keep back pressed into the floor and belly tight. Keep arms straight in the air above your chest, move left arm back behind your head while right arm stays over your chest. Then move right up back while you bring your left arm above your chest. Switch back and forth. Do 15 reps for 2-3 sets.
4. Diamond Push Ups
Start in the push-up position, but with your hands together to make a diamond between your thumb and index fingers. You’ll feel more of a burn in your triceps.
5. Pilates Push Up
Start in a position of a pilates plank with your hands under your shoulders, arms straight and your legs together with toes pressed into the mat. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Tighten your core. Lower your body down in a push up position and inhale. As you push back up exhale, pull your belly to your spine and straighten your arms to push yourself back up to plank. Try 8 to 10 push ups.
6. Arm Circle
You will have done plenty of these in school, but did you know they make great workouts? Stand with your arms by the side, perpendicular to your body. Make slow circles, clockwise, for about 20 to 30 seconds. Reverse the movement.
CHEST AND BACK BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
7. Push Ups
Push-ups are classic exercises for a reason. Start with your hands shoulder-width apart, and your feet at hip-width apart. Keep your core tightened, as you bend your elbows so your chest reaches the ground. Push back up. Make sure your elbows stay tucked into your body.
8. Dolphin Push Ups
Start in a down-dog with elbows on the floor position (this is a dolphin pose). Lean forward, lowing your shoulders so your head goes over your hands. Pull back up and return to the starting position.
9. Limb Raise
Lie on your front, with your arms out and palms facing each other. Lift one arms slowly, so it is only inches from the floor. Don’t rotate your shoulders, and keep your torso and head still. Lower the arms and repeat on the other side.
10. Donkey Kick
Start as if you’re going to do a push-up, but keep your legs together. Keep your core tightened and hands on the floor, as you jump to lift your legs up. Keep your knees bent, so your feet can reach your glutes. Concentrate on landing gently.
11. Handstand Push Ups
This is an exercise for the more advanced. Do it against the wall, and get into a handstand position. Bend the arms, so they have a 90-degree bend, keeping your legs against the wall. If you’re trying this for the first time, ask someone to spot you.
12. Judo Push Ups
Start in a push-up position, and then raise the hips. In one movement, lower your front body with the arms, so your chin is close to your floor. Swoop with your shoulders and head, lowering the hips to the ground. Keep your knees off the floor. Reverse back to a push-up position. Repeat this for about 30 to 60 seconds.
13. Reverse Fly
Use two bottles of water or cans as dumbbells. Stand straight, right foot in front of your left. Keep a bend in your front leg. Make sure your abs stay tight, and your cans face each other. Bend forward from the waist, extending the arms to the side. You’ll feel the shoulder blades squeeze. Go back to standing and then repeat.
Lie on the ground, with both arms and legs extended out. Keeping your torso still, raise the arms and legs together, so a small curve appears in your back.
15. Double Leg lifts
This exercise can help you to develop a strong back. Keep your back pressed into the ground the entire time and lower your legs as close to the floor as possible without allowing them to touch. To make this exercise easier, bend your knees. Or for more of a challenge, keep your legs straight.
CORE BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
16. Plank With Lateral Arm Raise
Start in a plank position. While keeping your torso stable, slowly reach your left arm out to your side, pointing away from you. Hold this position for five seconds. If unstable, try moving your right hand so it is under the center of your chest rather than under your right shoulder. Now bring your arm back to the plank position. Again keeping your torso stable, extend your right arm to your side. This counts as one rep
17. Elbow Plank
Resting on your forearms and knees, step your feet out one at a time, coming into a plank position. Tighten your butt, so your stable, while pulling in your abs toward the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds, and work your way up to one minute as you get stronger.
18. Oblique V-Up
To perform an oblique v-up, lie on your side with your legs slightly in front of your body. Tighten your oblique muscles then lift your legs off the floor, pressed together. Pause at the top before slowly lowering your legs back to the ground.
19. Seated Core Twist
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you and keep your back straight. Pull your stomach in tight. Twist from right to left, lightly touching both hands on the ground.
20. Core Trunk Twist
Lie on your back with knees bent to 90 degrees. Twist your torso to lower your legs to the floor. Use your abdominal muscles to return your legs to starting position, and then switch sides.
21. The L Seat
Sit on the floor with your legs out and feet flexed. Place your hands on the floor, slightly around your torso. Lift your hips off the ground, hold for five seconds and then lower. Repeat the exercise.
22. Rotational Push Ups
When traditional push-ups don’t do enough, variations on them can help. Do a normal push-up, and as you come back up, rotate your body towards the right, extending your right hand over your head. You’ll form a T with the torso and arm. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the other side.
23. Flutter Kicks
Lie on your back, arms to the side with the palms down. Keep your legs extended, lifting the heels from the floor by about six inches. Pulse the legs up and down, keeping your core tightened the whole time. Try to kick for 60 seconds.
With feet together and the toes pointed towards the ceiling, lift your legs up keeping them straight and raise the upper body off the floor reaching for the toes with your hands. Tighten your abdominal muscles as you reach for your toes. Slowly lower the body back down to the starting position.
25. Side Plank
Roll to one side, raising on the feet and one elbow. Tighten the core, hanging for between 30 to 60 seconds.
26. Russian Twist
Sit down, with the feet together and knees bent, keeping them a few inches off the floor. Lower back so you are at a 45 degree angle from the floor, and move the arms each side in a twisting motion. The slower, the better for this exercise.
Lie on your back, with the hands behind the head and knees bent. Pull the knees up to the chest, and bring your right elbow across to the left knee, straightening your right leg at the same time. Repeat on the other side. It looks just like you’re pedaling.
Lie on your back, keeping your feet flat on the floor and a bend in your knees. Place your hands behind your head and chin down. Peel your head and shoulders from the floor, tightening the core. Curl to the point where your upper back is off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, before returning to the lying position.
29. Reverse Crunch
Lie flat on the floor with lower back pressed to the ground. Place hands behind head or extend out alongside your body. You may cross your legs at the ankles, then lift your feet up towards the ceiling. Pull your lower back off the floor as you tighten your abs. Point your legs toward the ceiling with each contraction.
30. Shoulder Bridge
For this bodyweight workout, lie on your back with the feet hip-width apart and knees bent. Keep your arms at your side, lifting the hips and spine off the floor. Your head, arms, shoulders and feet will remain on the floor. Lift a leg up, engaging your core. Lower the leg and then back up 10 times. Repeat on the other side and then lower back to the floor.
31. Single Leg Abdominal Press
Lie on your back again for this bodyweight workout routine. Have your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Raise your right leg, tightening your abs and keeping your knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Push your right hand to the top of your lifted knee, allowing pressure between them with your core. Hold for five and then lower back down. Repeat the bodyweight exercises on the other side.
32. Double Leg Abdominal Press
Follow the single leg exercise, but bring both your legs up at the same time. Push both your hands against your knees this time.
33. Sprinter Sit Up
For the last in the bodyweight workout routine, lie back, keeping your legs straight. Your arms should be by your side, with a 90-degree bend at the elbows. Sit up, bringing your left knee up to meet your right elbow. Lower back down and then repeat on the other side.
LOWER BODY BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
34. Lying Hip Raise
Also called a bridge, the lying hip raise will strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, while also working your back, inner thighs and abdominals. For a nice variation, lift your hips with your feet flat on the floor and slowly extend one leg up to the sky.
35. Plie Squat
Place your feet wider than shoulder-width with your toes pointed outward. Lower down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Now move back up to a standing position.
36. Squat Leg Lift
This exercise will target your inner and outer thighs, butt, & quadriceps. Stand with feet hip-width apart, feet parallel, hands on hips. Squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor, keeping weight back in your heels. Now rise back up, straightening the legs completely and lifting the left leg out to the side, squeezing the outer glute. Next, step the foot back into shoulder-width position, squat down again. Then stand up and do a side leg lift on the right side. Lower the leg back to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
37. Standing Glute Squeeze
This exercise will tighten the glutes without making it larger. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes forward and knees slightly bent. Keep your stomach in and your shoulders back. Slowly squeeze your glutes and hold your butt tight for 3 to 5 seconds, then release. Perform one to three sets of eight to 12 reps.
38. Wall Sit
Walls make great chairs for bodyweight exercises. Keep your back against a wall, and slide down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Your knees should be right above your ankles, and your back needs to remain straight. Hold for about 60 seconds—or as long as possible—and then return to standing. If you want to make it a full body workout, add some bicep curls while you sit.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips. Step forward with the right leg, and bend until the left knee is close to the floor. Your right leg should have a 90 degree bend. Return and repeat with the left leg. You can also step backwards to change things slightly.
40. Clock Lunge
This is more difficult than a traditional lunge bodyweight workout routine. Start with a normal one and return to standing. Now step to the right and do another lunge. Follow with a step backwards. The three lunges is one repetition, and you need to do 10 per leg.
41. Standing Long Jump
With feet shoulder width apart, stand tall with a straight back and tight core. Next slightly bend your knees, bring your hands up and jump forward. Swing your arms back to maintain momentum, then land in a squat position. Repeat.
42. The Pistol Squat
Stand straight, with arms straight out to the front. Raise your right leg, with the ankle flexed and hips back. Lower your body on the left leg and hold. Return to the standing position and repeat on the other side.
43. Lunge Jumps
The aim is to do a lunge and then jump, while switching your legs. You should land with the back leg now in front and the front leg now in the back. Propel your arms forward to get more height. Do this 10 times.
44. Curtsy Lunge
When you do your lunge, place the left leg so it goes behind the right. Lower so the right thigh is as parallel to the ground as possible, keeping your torso upright and hips square.
Have your feet shoulder-width apart and either parallel or with a 15 degree turnout for comfort. Crouch, with a bend at the hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Do not let the heels leave the floor. Return to a standing position and repeat.
46. Single Leg Deadlifts
Stand with the feet together and then lift your right leg slowly. Lower your arms and torso forward, lifting the right leg behind you. Keep a slight bend in your left knee, and get your arms as close to the floor as possible. Return to standing and then switch legs.
47. Squat Jumps
Add some cardio to your bodyweight workout. Do a squat and then jump straight up with your arms over your head. Do this 15 times.
48. Chair Pose Squat
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and squat as normal. Swing your arms up while you squat, and then straighten your legs. Lift your right knee up, and swing your left arm down to the outside of your right knee. Return to a standing position, and then repeat with the other side.
49. Quadruped Leg Lifts
On your hands and knees, keep your core tightened and back flat. Lift your left leg backwards, stopping when the foot is hip-level. Keep your thigh parallel to the floor. Balance for as long as you can, before raising the right toes off the floor. Keep your abs, back and butt tightened, and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
50. Step Up
Use a bench, step or anywhere with elevated surface. Step up so the right leg is straight, and then return to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg. Aim to do 10 to 12 repetitions on each side.
51. Calf Raises
Start by standing, and then raise to your toes. Keep your heels off the floor and knees straight. Hold the position and then lower back down. You can use something elevated to increase the motion range for raising.
FULL BODY BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
52. Tuck Jump
Stand with a slight bend in the knee. Jump as high as you can, bringing your knees to your chest at the same time. Extend your arms out while you jump. When you land, make sure you have slightly bent knees, so you can quickly jump again.
53. Bear Crawl
Pretend to be a bear, by starting on your hands and knees. Rise up to your toes, keeping your core tightened, and reach forward slowly. Start with the right arm and right knee, and then move onto the left arm and knee. Continue this eight to 10 times.
54. Mountain Climber
This is another one that starts on your hands and knees. Bring your left knee so it is under your chest, and straighten your right leg. Keep your core tight and hands on the ground, while you switch legs. Your right leg should now be under your chest, with your left leg out. Ready to tackle Everest?
55. Plyometric Push Up
You’ll need a well-padded surface for this. Do a regular push-up, but push yourself back up with enough force so your hands leave the floor and your body comes up. Once you’re back on the ground, you can repeat the exercise.
56. Stair Climb With Bicep Curl
Your stairs make a great cardio machine. Grab dumbbells or items with weight in your home and hold them as you briskly walk up and down the stairs. Do bicep curls while you walk to work on your whole body at the same time.
57. Prone Walkout
Start on your hands and feet, with your core tightened. Walk forward on your hands, keeping the toes on the floor. Walk the hands back to your feet.
This is arguably the most effective exercise for the whole body. Start in a low squat, with your hands on the floor. Kick both feet out so you’re in a push-up position, and complete a push-up. Jump back to the start, then jump up into the air, squat and then return to the push-up part of the exercise.
Lie flat on the floor, face down. Your forearms should be on the floor under your chest, with your hands clasped together. Rise up, so only your elbows and toes are touching the ground. Keep your core tightened and back straight. Hold the position for as long as possible, preferably for at least 30 seconds.
60. Plank to Push Up
Start by doing a plank. One at a time, place your hands on the floor to lift yourself up into a push-up position. Keep your back straight and core tightened the whole time. Move back into the plank position, and then repeat. You should alternate your first arm that moves each time.
ADDITIONAL FITNESS WORKOUTS
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