There is no limit when it comes to bodyweight exercises. Not only can you do it anywhere and at anytime, you also don’t need to use any equipment if you don’t have any.
Popularly known as strength training, these exercises are extremely beneficial for overall strength and flexibility, and they reduce the risk of muscle cramps and other injuries. Examples of bodyweight exercises include pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and triceps dips.
Bodyweight exercises can be divided into four groups:
- Push: To push the body against gravity — bridge or bear walk.
- Pull: Pull in the direction of the body — towel curls or pull-up.
- Core: Contracting muscles at the abdomen and back — plank or leg raises.
- Leg and Glutes: Movements that resist gravity — squat or calf raises.
Below are five bodyweight exercises that beef up your arms — biceps and triceps; upper body muscles — pecs and deltoids; core muscles — abs; back muscles — obliques; and the legs — calves and hamstrings.
1Bodyweight Exercise for Abs
The lower ab leg tuck and split will promote strength in the body and help to flatten the belly.
- Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head for support.
- Lift your shoulders up off the floor and curve the upper back into a crunch. Remember to keep your abs engaged and your stomach flat.
- Extend your legs straight out on the floor while keeping your feet together.
- Lift the right leg up by bending at the knee and tucking it into your chest; then, extend it out at a 45-degree angle from the hips, keeping it about 6 inches above the floor.
- Repeat this exercise from the beginning by pulling your knee parallel to the chest and then outward.
- Perform 30 reps of the exercise with each leg.
2Bodyweight Exercise for Arms
Perform crab crawls to pump up your biceps, triceps, and forearms and improve your body’s overall stability.
- Get on all fours with your chest facing upward and lift your hips and buttocks off the ground to start crawling in any direction.
- As weird as it may look when you move forward, backward or sideways, the crab crawl gives you results.
3Bodyweight Exercise for Legs
Trim the fat from your legs with squats and side leg raises to work the outer thigh, glutes, and core.
- Stand with your feet about 6 inches apart and point your toes in front to make your feet parallel to each other.
- Bend your knees to lower down into a deep squat and bounce back on one leg as you return to start position.
- While balancing on the leg, raise the other one out toward the side.
- Start with 20 reps and work your way up.
4Bodyweight Exercise for Upper Body
Push-ups are the best exercise to target stubborn fat and firm the chest muscles.
- Get into a high plank position with your hips in line with your shoulders. For triangle push-ups, form a triangle with your hands on the ground and under your chest.
- Once you’ve held position, slowly lower your body to the ground.
- Come up without touching the ground and move on to the next rep.
5Bodyweight Exercise for Back Muscle
Reduce your love handles with a cross-body mountain climber.
- Get into the push-up position with your arms directly under your chest at shoulder width.
- Position your body in a straight line, from your head to your ankles.
- Without changing the posture of your lower back, raise your left knee toward your chest, but move it toward the right shoulder.
- Then return back to the starting position and repeat the same move with your other leg.
- Once you’ve nailed the form, move quickly and do 10 reps.
- Increase the number by five, every alternate week.