For many of us, gym memberships aren’t a feasible option, either because of cost or access. Additionally, pandemics and other disruptive events may force us to forgo traditional gym settings for home or outdoor workouts. Bodyweight training is a convenient, adaptable, and great way to work out without the need for any equipment.
What Is a Bodyweight Workout?
Bodyweight workouts are any exercise program utilizing only your body’s natural resistance as resistance. Exercises used in bodyweight training usually focus on one or more of the major muscle groups. These exercises often require you to use your body’s own weight to resist tension. Bodyweight workouts are the simplest way to build strength, flexibility and balance.
Bodyweight exercise routines have numerous benefits, including:
• Convenience: This type of exercise routine can be done anywhere, anytime, with no special equipment or gym membership needed.
• Cost savings: Bodyweight exercises are often much cheaper (or even free!) than other forms of exercise.
• Improved balance and posture: While completing this kind of exercise routine, you’ll practice standing and maintaining your posture in a variety of positions.
• Easy to modify: Bodyweight exercises can be adapted or progressed for any level.
20-Minute, Beginner-Friendly, At-Home Bodyweight Workout
This beginner-friendly, 20-minute bodyweight workout routine will target the whole body. You should perform each of the following exercises for one minute each with a 10-second rest in between each move.
Squats are the perfect exercise to start with as they provide an all-over body workout.
• Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart
• Push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor
• Make sure you keep your back straight as you lower down
• Press into your heels to push your body back up to the starting position
Lunges can tone and strengthen the thighs, glutes and core.
• Start by standing with your feet together
• Take a big step forward and lower your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle at the same time
• Make sure the front knee is directly over the ankle, and the back knee is almost touching the floor
• Push off the front foot to bring the feet back together, and then repeat on the other side
Push-ups are a great way to target the upper body.
• Start by getting into a plank position, with your arms straight and your hands just outside shoulder-width
• Bend your elbows to lower your chest toward the floor, keeping your body in a straight line
• Push back up to the starting position and repeat as many times as you can for one minute
The plank is a great core exercise.
• Start in a plank position on your hands or forearms
• Squeeze your core and glutes to keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet
• Hold the position for one minute, making sure your hips do not drop or rise too high
Mountain climbers are an effective form of cardio for the body, as it targets the entire body.
• Start in a plank position on your hands
• Bring one knee up toward your chest and return it back to the starting position
• Quickly switch legs, bringing the other one up toward the chest and return it back to the plank position
• Repeat as quickly as possible for one minute
Burpees are one of the most intense bodyweight exercises as they target your cardiovascular system, as well as your upper and lower body.
• Start standing up with your feet hip-width apart
• Squat down and place your hands on the floor
• Jump your feet back into a plank position
• Jump your feet back up to the hands
• Jump into the air and reach your hands up as high as you can
• Land softly, and repeat for one minute
Tricep dips are a great exercise to shape and strengthen the arms.
• Start by sitting on the ground with your legs outstretched in front of you
• Place your hands behind you with your fingertips facing your hips
• Bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor
• Push back up to the starting position, and repeat for one minute
Bicycle crunches are a great core exercise.
• Lie down on your back and bring your knees up towards your chest
• Place your hands behind your head
• Lift your shoulder off the ground and twist your upper body to the right side
• Bring your right elbow to the left knee, and then the left elbow to the right knee
• Keep switching sides as fast as you can for one minute
High Knee Runs
High Knee Runs are an effective form of cardio that target your glutes and core.
• Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart
• Lift one knee up towards your chest, and then put it back down to the ground
• Quickly switch legs, bringing the other knee up to your chest and back down to the floor
• Repeat as quickly as possible for one minute
Alternating Side Plank
The alternate side plank will help to strengthen the core and obliques.
• Start by lying on your side with your feet stacked on top of one another
• Place your elbow beneath your shoulder
• Lift your hips up off the floor and hold
• Lower your hips and switch sides
• Repeat, alternating sides for one minute
Core twists provide a great workout for your core muscles.
• Start by sitting up tall with your legs outstretched in front of you
• Place your hands behind your head, elbows spread wide apart
• Twist your upper body to the right, bringing your right elbow to touch your left knee
• Twist back to center and repeat the movement to the opposite side
• Switch sides as quickly as you can for one minute
Calf raises are a great way to target the calves.
• Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart
• Rise up onto your tiptoes, using your calves to push up
• Slowly lower back to the ground and repeat for one minute
That concludes this at home, beginner-friendly, 20-minute bodyweight training routine. As you can see, bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to stay active without the need for any equipment. Try to incorporate these exercises into your regular routine to build strength, gain flexibility, and improve your balance and posture.
Remember to always warm-up and cool down with some dynamic stretching and breathing exercises before and after each session. Have fun and use good form throughout when you’re doing bodyweight exercises to get the most out of your workout.