You’ve probably heard people say things like, “You don’t need any equipment to have a great workout,” and “You can do these bodyweight exercises anywhere,” a hundred times. And honestly that’s great news because the current situation means you need to be creative with your workouts.

While you might think of strength training as requiring heavy weights and maybe some grunting (for good measure), the truth is that your body is itself a fantastic piece of workout equipment. Just by using the weight of your body and the power of gravity, you can build muscle, burn fat, and get a great workout.

Keep these 30 handy moves in your at-home arsenal to work up a sweat anytime, anywhere. There are some effective bodyweight exercises for biceps and your entire upper body, as well as moves for your lower body and your core. And they aren’t just bodyweight exercises to build muscle—there are plenty of cardio-focused moves, too, which will get your heart rate up so you’re burning calories while working your muscles.

 

Lower Body

 

  1. Squats
  • Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart. Your hips, knees, and toes should all be facing forward.
  • Bend your knees and extend your buttocks backward as if you are going to sit back into a chair. Make sure that you keep your knees behind your toes and your weight in your heels
  • Rise back up and repeat.
  1. Cossack Squat
  • Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart. Your hips, knees, and toes should all be facing forward
  • Bend your knees and extend your buttocks backward as if you are going to sit back into a chair. Make sure that you keep your knees behind your toes and your weight in your heels
  • Rise back up and repeat.
  1. Forward lunge
  • Stand with your feet shoulder’s width apart. Step forward with your right foot, while keeping your left foot planted.
  • You will bend your right leg until your right thigh is inline with your knee and parallel to the floor.
  • Return to starting position and repeat for opposite leg.
  1. Reverse lunges
  • Stand up straight while grasping a dumbbell in each hand. This is the starting position.
  • With your right leg, step backward approximately two feet from your left foot. Lower your body, keeping your torso upright and taking care to keep your balance. Inhale as you do so.
  • Push up and return to the starting position. Exhale as you do so. Push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale. Tip: Use the ball of your feet to push in order to accentuate the quadriceps. To focus on the glutes, press with your heels.
  1. Side lunges
  • Stand with feet about twice shoulder-width. Place hands together in front of chest.
  • Next, shift your weight to the right leg and push hips and bend knees into a squat. Your right leg should stay perpendicular to the floor and your left foot should remain flat on the floor (your left leg however will be straight).
  • Now reverse movement back to the other side and repeat as necessary. This completes one set.
  1. Lateral leg raises
  • Lie on your back, legs straight and together.
  • Keep your legs straight and lift them all the way up to the ceiling until your butt comes off the floor.
  • Slowly lower your legs back down till they’re just above the floor. Hold for a moment.
  • Raise your legs back up. Repeat.
  1. Glute bridge
  • Lie flat on the floor on your back. Place your hands by your side and bend your knees. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. This is the starting position.
  • Push with your hips and lift them off the floor. Keep your back straight. Exhale as you perform this part of the exercise and hold it at the top for a second.
  • Slowly move your hips back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  1. Skater hops
  • Stand with your weight on your right foot and your right knee bent. Lift your left leg off the floor behind you.
  • Now bound to your left by pushing off with your right leg. Land on your left foot, lifting your right leg off the floor behind you.
  • Continue hopping back and forth. If needed, touch your back foot on the floor behind you for balance.
  1. Donkey kicks
  • Get on all fours, with your hands stacked directly under shoulders, and knees under hips.
  • Make sure your back is flat, and tuck your chin slightly so the back of your neck is facing the ceiling.
  • Without rounding your spine, engage your lower abdominals.
  • Keeping the 90-degree bend in your right knee, slowly lift your leg straight back and up toward the ceiling. Your max height is right before your back starts to arch, or your hips begin to rotate. Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat all reps on one side, then switch legs.
  1. Side plank clams
  • Lie on your left side with knees slightly bent and your elbow underneath your shoulder.
  • Press into your bottom forearm to lift the hips as high as possible, keeping your abs engaged.
  • Lower the leg to the starting position and repeat.

 

Upper body

  1. Push up
  • Lie on an exercise floor mat, face down.
  • Press your toes against the floor and place your hands flat on the ground shoulder width apart, fingers extended forward.
  • Push yourself up so that your arms are nearly extended and your torso and legs are off the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Inhaling, bend your arms to lower your body and touch your chest nearly to the floor.
  • Exhaling, contract your chest as you push off the ground and return to the starting position.
  • Pause for a moment and then repeat for a full set.
  1. Pike press up
  • Place your feet up on a bench and your hands on the ground. Chest towards the floor.
  • Keeping your legs straight bend at the waist so that your shoulders and head are pointed towards the ground.
  • Bend at the elbows and lower your shoulders towards the floor.
  • Touch your head to the floor and then push yourself back up. This completes one repetition.
  1. Bench dips
  • Start the exercise by placing a bench behind your back. Keeping the bench perpendicular to your body and while looking away from it, hold onto the bench with your hands fully extended, shoulder width apart. Your legs will be extended in front of you. Bend forward at the waist. This is the starting position
  • Lower your body by bending at the elbows until you have moved down far enough so that the angle between your upper arm and forearm is just under 90 degrees
  • Using your triceps, lift yourself back up into the starting position.
  1. Spider man push up
  • Assume a standard push-up position with legs straight, hands below shoulders on the ground and arms straight.
  • Begin to lower body down by bending at the elbows, as you lower down lift your right foot off the ground and rotate your leg so that your knee is bent and the inside of your leg is facing the ground. Then raise your knee to your elbow all in one motion.
  • Push back up and reverse leg movement back to starting position. This completes one rep.
  1. Dragon walks
  • Get down on your hands and feet.
  • Stagger your feet and hands so that your right elbow is touching your right knee.
  • Begin exercise by coming up out of the push-up and stepping forward with your left hand and left foot.
  • Drop back down into the push-up so that your left knee touches your left elbow.
  • Continue for the desired repetitions. Each step forward is one repetition.
  1. Elevator push up
  • Start in the standard push up position.
  • Lower to the half-way point and hold for 1 second.
  • Lower to just above the ground hold for 1 second.
  • Raise to the half-way position and hold for 1 second.
  • Raise to the top and repeat.
  1. Handstand push-up negative
  • Hand placement: place hands about 6-12 inches away from the wall and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Make sure palms are facing forward, or slightly turned out 5-10 degrees.
  • Kick up into a handstand, with your heels touching the wall. If you have trouble kicking up into the handstand, try practicing this donkey kick drill.
  • Once you have kicked up, establish a strong, rigid midline position. (see above photo)
  • While maintaining this position, lower yourself until the top of your head touches the floor/mat. Try to keep your elbows at a 45 degree angle as you lower.
  • Once your head touches the floor, press up with the same tightness you had lowering yourself, until your elbows reach full extension.
  1. Bicep push up
  • Start in the standard pushup position.
  • Turn your hands so your fingers are facing the wall behind you. Move your hands so they’re aligned with your mid-back.
  • Lower down, tucking your elbows in toward your body as much as possible.
  • Once your chest reaches near the floor, push back up to start.
  1. Active thoracic extension
  • Lay on your front, arms and legs extended out.
  • Raise both your arms and legs off the flow and hold for 1-2 seconds.
  • Lower back to the flow again and repeat.
  1. Cobra
  • Place your hands palms down on the ground beneath your shoulders.
  • Lift your chest up off the ground by straightening your arms.
  • Gaze upwards and keep your abdominals engaged.

 

Core

 

  1. Plank
  • Lie on your front with your fists clasped, elbows pushed into your sides by your ribs, forearms on the floor and toes tucked under.
  • Push your bodyweight up so that it’s resting on your forearms and feet, in a straight line parallel to the floor.
  • Squeeze the muscles in your bottom and thighs and push your heels together (this increases the muscle tension in your legs and bottom), while pulling up on your pelvic floor.
  1. Bird-dog plank
  • Start in a plank position with your body in a straight line, your wrists under your shoulders and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Extend one leg and the opposite arm at the same time.
  • Pause for 3 to 5 seconds, return to the starting position and switch sides.
  • Continue alternating sides until the set is complete.
  1. Side plank
  • Lie on your right side, legs extended and stacked from hip to feet. The elbow of your right arm is directly under your shoulder. Ensure your head is directly in line with your spine. Your left arm can be aligned along the left side of your body.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine.
  • Lift your hips and knees from the mat while exhaling. Your torso is straight in line with no sagging or bending. Hold the position.
  1. Leg pulses
  • Lie on your back and extend your legs up to a 45-degree angle. Keep your arms straight and in line with the floor, palms facing down. Lift your head, neck and shoulders slightly off the ground.
  • Keeping your legs stick straight and glued together with your toes pointed, start lowering one leg.
  • Raise your lowered leg and lower the other, focusing on keeping your core engaged.
  • Continue the movement, alternating between legs.
  1. Supine leg lowering
  • Place both arms perpendicular to the body with he hand pointing to the ceiling.
  • Next, bring the legs to a 90/90 position with the feet off the floor and find a neutral spine position.
  • Slowly straighten and lower the left leg toward the floor to the lowest point where you can still maintain a neutral lumbar spine.
  1. Grasshoppers
  • Start this exercise by laying face down on a mat or a towel, resting your forehead on your hands.
  • Bend your knees and lift your feet up so that they are touching each other, toes turned out, above your knees. Adjust your knees outwards slightly so they are wider than your hips. Your legs should make a diamond shape.
  • From this start position, engage your core, and contract your glutes, hamstrings and lower back muscles to lift your knees up away from the floor by 4 to 6 inches. Then lower your knees back to the floor and repeat the movement for the required duration of the exercise.
  1. Frog Sit Ups
  • Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Lie with your back flat on the floor (or exercise mat) and your legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend your knees and push your thighs down until they are near the floor. The soles of your feet should be touching each other.
  • Push down on the soles of your feet and bring them up as close to yourself as you can while keeping your outer thighs on or close to the floor.
  • Cross your arms in front of you by touching the opposite shoulder. This is the starting position.
  • Flatten your lower back towards the floor, exhaling as you do so. This movement looks similar to the first stage of performing a sit-up. Hold this position at the top for a second.
  • Slowly move back to the starting position as you inhale.
  • Repeat for the number of reps in your set.
  1. Crunch
  • Lie down on your back. Plant your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your knees and place your arms across your chest. Contract your abs and inhale.
  • Exhale and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed.
  • Inhale and return to the starting position.
  1. Abs Circles
  • Lie down on your back. Plant your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your knees and place your arms across your chest. Contract your abs and inhale.
  • Exhale and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed.
  • Inhale and return to the starting position.
  1. L sit
  • If you’re using two boxes, benches, or parallettes, set them up so that they are a little narrower than shoulder width apart. Stand between them and place your palms on each side so they’re under shoulders.
  • Straighten arms, lock elbows at sides, pull shoulder blades down and away from ears, and engage lats. Then, pushing down into palms, engage core lift legs (straight and together) off the floor until they’re parallel with (or close to parallel with) the floor.
  • Hold here, keeping knees straight, squeezing quads together tightly, pointing toes, and looking straight ahead to keep a neutral neck.
  • Aim to accumulate a total of 30 seconds of an L-sit hold per set, resting 10 to 20 seconds each time you drop. As you build strength, increase time to 45 seconds, and then 1 minute or more.

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