If the idea of a home workout makes you yawn, think again!
When executed correctly, using just your body weight can give you a run for your money.
So, whether the gym isn’t your thing or you’re short on time, clear out a space in the living room and prepare to sweat.
The 10 body weight moves we’ve detailed below can be scaled for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers, so start where you feel ready and progress from there.
Our 4 picks for beginner body weight exercises will provide a full-body workout.
Complete 2 sets of 10 to 15 reps of each exercise, with 30 seconds to 1 minute of rest between each move.
This circuit should take about 15-20 minutes — a great beginner routine.
1. Chair squat
Share on PinterestSquat to strengthen your legs and core, which will make everyday movements easier. Starting with a chair underneath you will help you master proper form.
- Stand in front of the chair with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out.
- Hinging at your hips and bending your knees, lower back and down until your bottom touches the chair, allowing your arms to extend out in front of you.
- Push up through your heels and return to the starting position.
2. Knee push up
Share on PinterestA beginner-style push up, this move will help you build strength before attempting a standard push up.
- Get into a high plank position from your knees.
- Maintaining a straight line from your head to your knees, bend your elbows to lower yourself down to the ground. Keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle.
- Push back up to start.
3. Plank to Downward Dog
This move will test your upper body, especially your shoulders. Who says you need weights for a shoulder workout?
- Get into a high plank position, with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders and your feet close together.
- Keeping your core engaged and your hands and feet stationary, pike your hips up and back into the Downward Dog pose. Your body should form a triangle with the ground. Keep your neck neutral. Your gaze should be directed toward your feet.
- Hold here for a second, then return to the plank. Repeat.
4. Forearm plank
Share on PinterestA full-body exercise that requires strength and balance, planks put the core into overdrive.
- Assume a plank position on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from head to feet.
- Ensure your lower back and hips don’t sag. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
If you’ve mastered the beginner routine, you’re ready to take on these intermediate moves.
Complete 2 sets of 10 to 15 reps of each exercise below, then move on to the next after 1 minute of rest.
An alternative, more advanced approach is to complete timed rounds. For instance, complete 1 minute of each exercise and repeat the circuit twice.
Compete against yourself to get just 1 or 2 more reps each time you complete the routine.
Taking out the chair allows you to master the form of a regular body weight squat.
The same motion is still applicable here, though. Imagine you’re sitting down in a chair by hinging at the hips and pushing your bottom back.
6. Push up
A standard push up is the more challenging version of a knee push up. Assume a high plank position and complete the push up in the same way, allowing your elbows to flare out at a 45-degree angle.
7. Get-up squat
Get-up squats are great for time under tension, or keeping your legs and glutes under continuous work, which adds to the burn.
- Drop down into a squat position. You won’t stand at all during this move.
- Drop your knees down to the ground one at a time so you’re kneeling.
- Step your feet back to the ground one at a time, maintaining that squat position.
- Repeat as quickly as you can while maintaining good form.
When the intermediate routine becomes a breeze, take a stab at these advanced moves.
8. Overhead squat
Extending your arms overhead will challenge your mobility and range of motion in your upper body, as well as give your lower body the benefits of a squat.
To perform, complete a squat with your arms extended overhead throughout.
9. One-legged push up
Lifting one leg will again put more weight into your other three limbs, thus creating more of a challenge.
To get it done, assume a push up position and lift one leg off the ground, then complete the pushup.
10. Side plank with hip abduction
Plank off your foot instead of your knee for a full-body challenge in this hip abduction.
To perform, assume a side plank, then perform a leg lift. Repeat on both sides.
The bottom line
Body weight exercises will make your at-home workout challenging no matter your fitness level. Start with our beginner routine, and in just a matter of months, you could be well on your way to mastering the advanced routine. Earn that sweat equity today!