Do you want strong muscles and a sleeker physique? Are your days so packed that you can’t find the time to go to the gym? Do you need a faster, easier way of getting your workout in? The answer is right here — bodyweight exercises.
Below are some of the most effective bodyweight exercises that don’t require any extra tools. These are so effective that even the military uses them. I’ve also added some videos so you can see just exactly how you’re supposed to do each move so you’re never left wondering what proper form looks like. Remember that you can do all of these together in HIIT style, or alone for more concentrated results. I also advise you to consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Squats are one of the best ways for anyone to strengthen their glute and leg muscles. As you can see from the pictures above, you want to make sure that you keep your legs shoulder width apart and that you keep your posterior parallel to the floor when you squat. Controlling your movements like this will ensure that you keep your balance and proper form.
- They release the hormone testosterone, which is essential to promote the growth of muscle fibers.
- Strengthens the bones in the legs as well as connective tissue, which means there’s a reduced risk of injuries.
- Helps you maintain your balance by ensuring that you always know where your center of gravity is.
Burpees are the ultimate all-over body workout in one exercise. It also burns a lot of calories per minute. If you’re new to this exercise, take it slow and make sure you’re keeping proper form like shown in the photos above. Once you’re comfortable with your form, try to do as many burpees as you can within a five-minute window for an exhausting, but rewarding, workout.
- Great for conditioning for any endurance sport.
- Works all the large groups of muscles in your core, arms, and legs.
- Will make push ups and squats easier as isolated exercises.
Push ups are the number one way to strengthen your core and arm muscles. It’s important to remember when doing this exercise to keep your spine neutral and rigid. If you allow your back to sag while doing the push-up, you could seriously injure yourself. Try doing push-ups with the help of a mirror to ensure you have the correct form.
- Will strengthen your bones as you age, which will decrease your chance of osteoporosis.
- Increases your metabolic rate both during and after your workout.
- Strengthens, tightens, and tones your core.
This exercise is perfect for people who want to build their back muscles. It’s also very simple. Just find a wall and pretend that you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Make sure you keep your legs together and your back straight while you’re doing this exercise. Try to hold the position for at least a minute.
- Strengthens your back, as it engages support muscles while you’re doing the exercise.
- Acts as a meditative exercise and incorporates flexibility into your workout.
- Will increase your endurance in all other areas of your workout.
This is probably one of the hardest exercises on this list, but it’s also one of the most beneficial. Try to keep your body in a straight line while doing the plank. Make sure to keep your forearms on the ground.
- Will safely strengthen your core, which is actually made up of 29 groups of muscles.
- Perfect for people with back issues because it doesn’t require any more steps than just holding the position.
- Corrects your posture with noticeable effect.
Lunges are very similar to squats except that they isolate the muscles in each leg, toning the muscle groups by concentrating your attention on one leg at a time. If you’re a beginner and need help balancing, put your hands on your hips. This will help you with the exercise. When you feel more comfortable, move on to lifting your hands over your head. This will improve your balance.
- Strengthens muscles from your legs to the small of your back in one continuous exercise.
- Can be used as a stand-alone HIIT workout for maximum results.
- Creates a strong core when hands are held over the head, leaving the core to work harder.
This is an exercise that focuses your attention on your core muscles, but don’t be fooled — it’s possible to also strengthen your legs and arms with the glute bridge. When performing this exercise, focus on keeping your back as neutral and as rigid as possible when pushing your posterior to the sky. This will ensure proper form.
- Reduces back and knee pain by strengthening the muscles in the back, taking the pressure off of your knees.
- Improves your posture by engaging the erector spinae, a set of muscles that sits at the small of your back.
- Conditions your body for better athletic performance.
These, again, are very basic bodyweight exercises. With time, you’ll be able to move into more advanced versions of these same exercises, which means you can keep challenging yourself to do better!
Featured photo credit: Scott Web for Unsplash via unsplash.com