The 5 Best Bodyweight Exercises
I get asked ALL the time about workouts that don’t use any equipment. Whenever you travel, or just in case you don’t have equipment with you at home, today’s workout is for you.
The Top 5 BEST Bodyweight Exercises are listed below the video with form cues, followed by a convenient workout printable you can use anywhere or save for another time. Make sure you read through all the form cues below before getting started, and always make sure to do a 3-5 minute warmup before every workout you do.
Without further ado, here are the Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises. To complete a full circuit workout, repeat these each move for 40 seconds of work + 20 seconds of rest x 3-5 rounds.
The Bodyweight Exercises
In your squat, make sure your bodyweight is firmly planted in your heels. Lift the chest, pull the abs in, and pull the shoulders back and down. Keep the neck neutral as you hinge at the hips, sending your glutes back behind you like you’re about to sit on a chair in back of you. Keep the knees tracking in line with the toes and feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Be sure that your knees and/or feet don’t cave inwards; instead keep an outward rotational torque throughout the legs so that your glutes stay engaged throughout the movement. Lower down to a level you’re comfortable with, keeping the knees behind the toes, and then exhale as you drive back up through the heels to return to standing.
Alternating Reverse Lunge (or any lunge variation)
For this lunge variation, you’ll be stepping straight back behind you. Start in a standing position with your hands either on your hips, down by your sides, or straight up overhead. Step one leg back far enough so that your forward knee can stay stacked directly on top of your forward heel. Find your balance, then lower the back knee down towards the ground, going as low as you can go while maintaining core engagement and a vertical torso. Keep the shoulders back and down, chest lifted, and abs in throughout this move. When your reverse lunge is complete, launch forward back to a standing position and switch legs, repeating the alternating lunges until the 40 seconds is over. Keep breathing while doing this, making sure to inhale on the descent and exhale on the step forward.
The burpee is essentially a squat and a plank combined in a fast-paced cardio movement. For this move, start in a standing position. Set both hands down on the mat in front of you and step or hop back into a plank pose, keeping the shoulders stacked over the wrists, eyes on the floor, neck neutral, palms engaged pressing the mat away, straight arms, abs in, tailbone tucked, and legs together. You can optionally add in a pushup here by floating your body all the way down to the ground, then pressing back up to plank. Immediately step or hop back up into a squat position, lifting the hands off the ground and keeping the shoulders back. From here, you can either simply stand up, or use your upward momentum to drive up into a vertical jump, reaching the arms up overhead. Repeat and breathe.
Pushups (any variation)
For the pushup, you’ll want to find whatever lever length works best for your current level of strength. The hardest variation is keeping the legs together, the easiest is lowering the knees down. For an intermediate variation, you can spread the feet wider than the mat to help get your body some leverage and make the motion a bit less intense. Make sure you start in a solid plank position, then let the elbows travel back at about 45 degrees as your torso lowers down to the ground, without losing the engagement of the abs and core (i.e. keep the tailbone tucked and abs engaged throughout). Keep your gaze on the floor, legs straight, and abs in as you exhale to press back up to the starting plank position. Repeat until form starts to fail or until the 40 seconds is over, whichever comes first.
For the plank position, press the floor firmly away and “dome” in the upper back so that your shoulder blades are slightly rounded, not sinking in. If you’re doing the full plank variation, press firmly into the knuckles and grip the finger pads into the floor, keeping the shoulders stacked over the palms and arms straight. If you’re doing the forearm plank variation (as shown in the video), keep the shoulders stacked over the elbows and firmly and evenly press your entire forearm into the ground, keeping the forearms in line with shoulder distance apart. Keep the eyes on the floor, abs pulled in & up, legs together and straight, and glutes engaged. Hold and breathe until 40 seconds is over, then lower the knees down and recover in child’s pose before repeating the circuit.
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