If you feel you need to hit the gym for performing body weight exercises, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that you don’t. In fact, you can do these types of exercises without ever stepping into to the gym.
If you want to build muscles and burn your fat, you will have to include body weight exercises into your program. These exercises rapidly transform bodies, improve your strength and help you to build muscles.
The thing that you are going to appreciate about these exercises is that you can do them anywhere and at any time of the day, since none of them requires any equipment like dumbbells, for example. Mastering some of the moves will take a lot of practice, but the reward that you will get will be worth it.
Read this article to find out about the different bodyweight exercises you can do to build your muscles. Let us start with some of the common and easy ones.
1. Standard Push-Ups: The Most Common Body Weight Exercises
Push-ups not only work on the upper body like the shoulders, chest and triceps, but it also helps maintain your body and prevent it from sagging.
In case you are unable to do push-ups in a conventional manner, you can modify them by bending at the knees. All you need to do is to make sure that entire body weight is in the upper-body and that your back is in a straight line.
- In order to do a push up, place your hands on the floor in alignment with your shoulders.
- Keep your legs straight and use your toes to maintain your balance.
- Your back should be straight while doing the exercise.
- Your hips shouldn’t be sagging and your butt shouldn’t be sticking up in the air.
- Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor.
- After a while, straighten your arms and come back up again.
- Repeat, building up to 10, 20 or even 30 reps.
2. Squats: Improve Your Leg Muscles and Maintain Your Overall Fitness
Squats are an obvious choice on the list of body weight exercises. Be it with weights or without weights, squats will help you to develop the strength of your hips and legs. Squats can also help in maintaining your overall fitness and improving your leg muscles. One of the best things about squats is that they are versatile. Once you become adept in doing a fair number of squats, you can make variations to make the exercise more challenging.
- To do a squat, stand with your feet parallel. You can also keep it turned out to 15 degrees. Do it the way you feel most comfortable.
- Crouch slowly by bending your knees and hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- In order to return to the standing position, you have press through the heels. This is a kind of body weight exercises for beginners.
3. Pull-Ups: Develops Muscles and Strengthen Your Grip
This goes hand in hand with push-ups. Experts consider it to be one of the best body weight exercises that can help develop a strong back. It develops your muscles and also your grip strength. You will have to work with different kinds of grip variations for this. The common grip variations are narrow grip, neutral grip, palms facing in, and palms facing out.
You need to lower yourself in a controlled way in order to make your muscles work harder. This is one of the forms of body weight exercises for biceps.
- To do a pull-up, grip pull-up bars with the help of you palms. Make sure that your palms are facing out when you grip the bar.
- Pull yourself up with your arms fully extended.
- Keep pulling until your chin is above the bar. If you are finding it difficult to keep your body centered, cross your feet.
- Now slowly lower yourself till your arms are fully extended.
4. Inverted Rows: The Best Workout for Your Back
In case, you find regular pull-ups to be too difficult for you, inverted will help you get a thorough back workout.
- Grab a bar that is the same height as your waist.
- Place your chest under the bar when you are extending your arms and keeping your legs straight out, so that you can be on your heels.
- Now, squeeze your abs, lats, and upper back in order to pull up your chest.
- Then, gradually lower yourself back to the starting point.
- If you have to make it less challenging, keep your knees in a bent position and your feet flat on the floor.
5. Front Lever: One of the Most Effective Body Weight Exercises for Men
The front lever is an advanced movement that needs full body tension. At the end position of this exercise, your body will be parallel to the ground with your feet and legs straight out. Your back will be facing towards the ground and you will be facing the ceiling. The arms, lats, delts, abs, and chest play a part when you perform a front lever. Even though the front lever and back lever are quite similar, most people report that it takes more strength to do a front lever.
The front lever is a tough form of body weight exercises for men and requires ample amount of strength. Here’s how to do it:
- Take an inverted hanging position on a pull-up bar or gym rings.
- Slowly lower your body until it is completely on the horizontal level.
- Maintain this position as long as you can.
6. Back Lever: One of The Challenging Yet Impressive Body Weight Workouts
The back lever is one of the popular body weight workouts that has its origin in the gymnastics. According to experts, it is a powerful move for the posterior chain. You do the back lever with your legs in the tucked position, progressing to a single leg tuck. Next, go to a straddled leg position prior to performing the move with both of your legs.
You can also start off at a high angle and then slowly progress to lowering your body to make it parallel to the ground. Make it a point to avoid excessive arching of the spine when you perform this exercise. Albeit, this isn’t dangerous, a deep arch is capable of making the move comparatively less difficult.
In order to do the back lever, you need a huge level of strength. Here’s how to do it:
- Hold on to a bar and take an upside-down tuck position.
- Now, continue to pass your knees up and over your head and then down into a skin the cat position.
- Raise your legs so you hang upside down.
- Keep in mind that your body needs to be straight and has to be fully extended at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower your body, leading from your toes to a horizontal holding position. Your body needs to be parallel to the ground.
- Keep this position for some time, and then come back to the starting inverted hang position.
7. Lunges: For Better Body and Muscle Strength
The best part about lunges is that you can use one leg at a time when you do the exercise. Also, it not a calisthenics exercises. Apart from this, it allows you to move in a better manner and is also convenient to perform.
If you aim is to build up muscle strength, lose body fat, and build muscle, then performing different varieties of the lunge is a necessity. If you manage to do lunges you will be able to increase your flexibility.
Here is how to do a lunge.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your spine has to be straight.
- Step forward with one leg in a wide stance.
- Be careful to maintain the alignment of your spine.
- Slowly lower your hips until both your knees are at an angle of 90 degrees. Your front knee should not extend over your ankle. Your back knee should be hovering above the ground.
- Keep the weight on your heels when you come back to the starting position.
- Repeat this exercise on both the sides.
8. Hand Crawling: Imparts Stability to Your Shoulders
Walking on the hands is an excellent bodyweight workout to develop strength and stability in your shoulders. You can do it in a handstand position or in a push-up position with the help of your feet.
When it is with the help of the feet, you will be able to train your abs and make sure there is no sagging of your hips. It is also good for enhancing full body strength. There are several types of crawls such as bear crawls, crab walk and tiger crawls. If you incorporate them into your body weight exercise routines, you will see noticeable results.
9. Hill Sprint: Keep Your Body In Perfect Shape
Sprints are one of the effective forms of bodyweight workouts to maintain your youth and keep the muscle fibers in perfect shape. It also helps to melt down the excess fat in your body.
For this, you have to look for a land that has at least 20-degree inclination and is longer than 30 yards. After doing a warm up, you should perform some hard sprints once or twice every week.
10. Step Ups: For a Healthy and Strong Body
This is a cardiovascular exercise that works as a lower body exercise. In order to do this body weight workout, follow these steps:
When you perform the exercise every day and you become comfortable with it, shift to a higher bench or step.
- Find a six-inch bench or step to get started.
- Stand in front of the bench and step up on it with your right leg.
- Keep your left foot on the floor.
- After this, squeeze through your glutes and push with the help of your right leg in order to bring up the left leg.
- Hold it for some second and then step down, switching between legs.
- Make sure that you set your right leg down firmly before you switch on the left one.
11. Burpees: Intense Exercise for Conditioning Your Body Fat
For decreasing and conditioning body fat, this is the most effective body weight training that you can perform. The best part about this exercise is that you do not need any equipment for this.
This is the correct form of the burpee, but for the purpose of intensity and speed you can opt for a push-up position. Following this, you will have to jump back to a squat position and perform a jump in the air.
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- To do this exercise, stand straight and squat down to place your hands on the floor.
- Kick your feet back to a push-up position.
- On the basis of your strength, you can do the push-ups by lying down flat on the floor.
12. The Box Shuffle: The Best Cardio Exercise to Include in Your Routine
This exercise works amazingly for your glutes and legs. Follow these steps to do the box shuffle:
You have to move as quickly as you can and go as high as possible. If you are moving slowly, you will not be able to gain much from the exercise.
- Place a bench or a box on the floor.
- Start by standing just next to the box. Place the box at your side and face forward. Now place your foot on top of the box.
- If you have placed the box on the right side then place your right foot and if the box is on the left side then place your left foot over the box.
- Following this, squat down with your foot on the box. Swiftly jump over the box and place the other foot on top of the box.
- Once you have completed the movements, land on the other side of the box to repeat the same procedure with the other side of your body.
13. Skater Hops: Improves Your Balance And Stability
This is a brilliant bodyweight workout that will strengthen your glutes and will help you to improve your stability and balance. Here’s how to do them:
- To do this exercise, stand on one side of the space where you are about to perform the exercise. This is a lateral hopping exercise, thus, you need to make sure that you have enough space to jump on one side of the area.
- Start off with your right side and shift your weight so that you can stand on your right foot. Now, sink tad down to form little squat and swing your arms down to the front and then out towards the right.
- Slowly jump off the right leg and jump sideways to land on the left leg. Keep your chest facing straight ahead when you jump and land.
- When you land on the left leg, sink into a squat and also push your butt towards the back so that you are able to load your glutes. It will help you jump back towards the right, laterally.
- Use your arms to balance yourself. Your hands will allow you to propel yourself when you will be jumping. They swing to the side you are jumping to.
- Push off the left leg and jump back right to land on the right foot. You should not touch the other foot when you are landing. You can touch your other foot down if you want to balance yourself.
14. Single-Leg Deadlift Hops: Improve General Balance
The single-leg deadlift hop is a unilateral cardio that improves your balance and also enhances the strength of your hamstrings and glutes. It can also improve the stability of your body. Follow these steps to do this exercise:
- Stand on one leg with the knees soft. The toe of the right foot should be touching the ground lightly.
- Jump over and push your buttocks back towards the wall that is behind you. During this exercise, you need to keep your back flat and swing your arms like you do while running or hopping.
- When you jump over, you should keep the opposite arm of your standing leg forward the same hand backward.
- Jump over and bend the standing leg slightly. Following this, get back to the standing position by exploding off the ground when you come back up.
- When you are jumping off the ground, bring up you knee and place it forward. The other arm will swing forward when you are jumping, while the arm that was placed forward in the jump will go backwards. You will be able to propel higher by using your arms.
- After this, land on the same leg and then jump back over before you jump back. You need not jump super-high for this exercise. This is also a good body weight exercises for legs.
15. The Fake Jump Rope: Helps Improve Your Mind and Body Connection
You are wrong if you think this is just for kids. The fake jump rope can also be a good cardio exercise. Apart from building your body, it will also improve coordination and connection of your mind and body. It does not matter if you have an agility ladder or a jump rope. You will either be able to run in a specific place or pretend that you are double under.
You can also mix it up to make this exercise a little fun. In fact, you can make use of cones or books to mark up the area. As you learn to do this, you will have to work to do it faster. But, remember you do these correctly. Doing it in an incorrect manner will only increase your heart rate and will not improve your coordination.
16. The Planche: An Advanced Gymnastic Technique
This body weight exercise is quite common with gymnastics and they perform it on parallel bars and various other elevated surfaces. This exercise becomes even more challenging when you do it on the floor.
The progression to the full planche generally starts with both legs held close to the chest prior to advancing on the position of the straddle leg. This ultimately progresses on to full planche in which both legs are fully extended and straight.
This exercise can be brutal to the connective tissue and your muscles. Thus, you need to perform this exercise with the utmost care.
17. Mountain Climbers: Strengthen Your Body From Top to Bottom
This exercise works wonders for your upper body, abs, lower body and also your heart.
Before starting any new exercise regimen, be sure to talk to your doctor to get their okay. This is especially important if you have a health condition like heart disease or high blood pressure. Body weight exercises are laborious. When you are finished with the body weight exercises, you have to take some time to catch your breath.
The good news is there are so many exercises that you can mix and match, in order to have a different workout, every single time. This will keep you energetic and motivated.
- Start off with a standard push-up position.
- Contract your abs and pull your right knee towards the chest without allowing your butt to sag.
- Keep in mind that you should not tap your toes on the floor when you bring your knee in.
- Following this, you will have to return your leg back to the starting position and repeat the same thing with the other leg and then keep alternating.
- The faster your do this, the higher your heart rate will be. Your legs will also be able to feel the strain of the exercise.
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