Don’t let the cost or the hassle of a gym keep you from becoming your best self when you can perform each of these exercises using only your body and a few items you have around the house. Thanks to our friends at FitFluential, you can get a killer workout without leaving home!
The Best Bodyweight Exercises
You can find articles and books full of hundreds of bodyweight exercises—but you only need the most effective ones for the best workout!
Pushups will build your chest muscles better than any other bodyweight exercise. You’ll be tempted to try and do as many as you can as quick as possible, but resist this urge!
Fortunately, nobody is watching. You’re at home and have nobody to try and impress. Focus diligently on your form and work on perfecting your pushup.
Quality will always reward you more benefits than quantity!
If you’re new to pushups, here’s a quick how-to-pushup guide.
The perfect shoulder building exercise for beginners! Pike pushups primarily focus on your shoulders but also work your tricep muscles as well.
You might see people in your gym doing handstand pushups. Crazy, right? Well, this workout is the fundamental building block to performing the handstand pushup.
So stick with it and build your shoulders with the pike pushup, and you’ll be doing handstand pushups in no time!
Here’s an explanation of the pike pushup.
All you’ll need for this exercise is a chair, bench, or even a window ledge. Most individuals neglect to train their triceps, but your tricep muscle makes up 2/3 of your arm size!
As you build stronger triceps, you’ll gain strength to do other exercises, like the pushup and pike pushup.
It’s easy to lose focus and start bouncing up and down with this exercise. Concentrate on your tricep contraction as you lower yourself and as you explode upwards.
This post will show you how to use a chair for tricep dips.
Building your home inverted row station is easy! Find two chairs and place them side-by-side with about 3 feet in between. Place a sturdy broom on top of the seats. You now have your inverted row bar.
Struggling with pull-ups? Inverted rows primarily train your back and bicep muscles—the muscles required to perform a proper pull-up.
See this article for key points when doing inverted rows.
To fully benefit from the plank, you’ll need to perfect your form. Many plankers just go through the motions and don’t work their core enough.
Performed properly, the plank will work all of your abdominal muscles. When you rest on your forearms, squeeze your core as tight as you can. Don’t allow your stomach to sag or your butt to raise. Keep your body straight—like a plank of wood!
The most effective variation is the hanging leg raise, but if you don’t have anything to hang from, leg raises on your back will work fine.
This exercise targets those pesky lower abs—the ones typically the most difficult to uncover. Alternate raising each leg to make the exercise more challenging.
Make sure not to swing your legs up and down, but lower each in a slow and controlled manner.
Often when people think of strong abs, they think of the “6-pack” muscles. However, one of the most important core muscles are your obliques.
Your obliques are responsible for your upper body rotation, and they also act as stabilizers throughout many compound exercises.
Oblique muscles can be built with exercises like the bicycle crunch. Don’t cheat yourself on this exercise! Once again, quality over quantity. Take it slow and focus on the stretch as you touch your elbow to your knee.
Squats build your entire leg muscles with a major emphasis on your quads and glutes. But wait, there’s more!
Squat exercises actually work almost every muscle of your body: your back and core support your spine—your shoulders and arms squeeze and balance the bar.
The practicality of the squat is what makes it such a perfect exercise! You squat each and every day as you get in and out of bed, sit down at your chair, and even when you use the bathroom.
Train your whole legs for explosive power with lunges. This exercise will really work your glutes and hamstrings to give you balanced leg strength.
You can do a variety of lunges to emphasize your different leg muscles. When doing the traditional forward lunge, make sure your knee doesn’t go over your toes!
Although your calves will get some training during your other leg workouts, don’t neglect to give them specific attention.
Steady yourself against a wall or sturdy object while doing the calf raise. This will allow you to put more tension on your calves and get a deeper stretch.
Increase the effectiveness of the leg raise by standing on your stairs or on a box. Let your heel drop below the stair before lifting up to achieve your full range of motion.
Daily Bodyweight Workout Routine
- Day 1: Upper Body/ Arms/ Abs
- Day 2: Lower Body & Cardio
- Day 3: Cardio
- Day 4: Upper Body/ Arms/ Abs
- Day 5 – Lower Body & Cardio
- Day 6 – Cardio
- Day 7 – Rest
If you find this daily routine to be too difficult, trying substituting a rest day on Day 3.
For this workout, you will do each set until failure or just before failure. Failure means you perform the exercise until you can no longer physically do another repetition.
You’ll rest for 1-2 minutes between each set. The only exception is with the ab circuit—you will do all 3 ab exercises in the ab circuit without stopping. Then take a 1-2-minute break before starting the circuit again.
Since these exercise are intense and exhausting, do your cardio separate from your bodyweight workout. Try to separate your cardio and your workout by at least 5-6 hours.
Upper Body/ Arms/ Abs Workout
- 2x Pushups
- 4x Inverted Rows
- 2x Pike Pushups
- 2x Dips
- 3x Ab Circuit (60-second plank, leg raise, bicycle)
Lower Body Workout
- 2x Squat
- 3x Calf raises
- 2x Lunges
- 2x Squats
No, you don’t need a gym to get a good workout! You can workout anywhere at any time with these effective bodyweight workouts.
Continue to push yourself to do more of each exercise to build your strength and muscle definition!
This article originally appeared as Home Bodyweight Workout and is being used with permission from FitFluential.
Whether you’re a biker, runner, lifter or yogi, FitFluential wants to help you find your fitness. With workouts and recipes that encompass all types of exercise and eating, their goal is to provide you with the tools and information you need to find a healthy lifestyle that works for you, whatever that may be. Follow FitFluential on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for more inspiration!