Top 5 Bodyweight Workout Exercises

Bodyweight training is the world’s oldest training method and uses only the weight of your body to provide resistance for your workout. If you are not a fan of hitting the gym or getting to grips with complicated equipment, a bodyweight workout could be an option for you.

Bodyweight exercises are great for increasing your strength and flexibility, and improving your overall fitness. Be inspired by our top 5 exercises for your workout:

Bodyweight Workout

1) Pull Ups

Recruiting the lats, biceps, and middle back, there is no better compound back exercise than the pull-up for building mass in the upper body. They’re also extremely convenient – all you need is a bar that you can bring your chin above and you’re good to go.

One of the best things about pull ups is that they’re completely scalable and diverse. You can do all of the following things:

  • Change your grip intensity by using a towel, rope or attachment;
  • Isolate one side of your body more than the other by shifting laterally and doing archer pull ups;
  • Attach bands if the exercise is too hard, or add weight using a dip belt if it’s too easy;
  • Add in some ab work by doing leg lifts or holding an L sit with each rep.

Steps

  1. Grab the pull-up bar with the palms facing forward using the prescribed grip.
  2. As you have both arms extended in front of you holding the bar at the chosen grip width, bring your torso back around 30 degrees or so while creating a curvature on your lower back and sticking your chest out. This is your starting position.
  3. Pull your torso up until the bar touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back. Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
  4. After a second in the contracted position, start to inhale and slowly lower your torso back to the starting position when your arms are fully extended and the lats are fully stretched.
  5. Repeat this motion.
  • Type: Isolation
  • Primary: Lats
  • Secondary: Biceps, Middle Back
  • Equipment: Bar
Top 5 Bodyweight Workout Exercises | Pull Ups | Linked Fitness Community

2) Squats

The regular squat is a great tool for building strength in the legs and is essential to any bodyweight workout. The focus of the exercise is the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves,  but it is also great for the abs and obliques.

If you want more recruitment of the glutes and quadriceps, you can add a jump at the end. This makes the exercise a lot harder,  therefore burning more calories and building more strength.

Another way to make the squat harder is to do split-squats. This is where you elevate one leg behind you on a bench while keeping the other in front of you on the floor. This isolates one leg much more than a lunge ever would, which not only trains the legs at a higher intensity, but also develops stability in the hips and knee. 

Steps

  1. Keep your head and back straight, abs drawn in and toes pointing slightly outward.
  2. Slowly “squat” down so your upper thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Type: Compound
  • Primary: Quadriceps
  • Secondary: Calves, Hamstrings
  • Equipment: Barbell
Top 5 Bodyweight Workout Exercises | Squat | Linked Fitness Community

3) Push Ups - Close & Wide Hands

Push ups are one of the best exercises for chest, arms, and core muscle development.

There are many variations of this exercise but combining the wide and narrow hand positions ensures you get a good overall upper body workout.

The wide-hands push up strengthens the chest, shoulders, and triceps while the narrow hand position places more emphasis on your inner pecs, triceps, and deltoids.

Steps

  1. For a Close Grip Push Up lay face down on the floor, or a mat, with your feet together curled slightly so you rise on the ball of your feet.
  2. Place you hands close together so your thumbs and index fingers form a triangle on the floor.
  3. Draw your abs in and inhale as you raise your body up till your arms are straight.
  4. Keep your head and neck level with your body (don’t look up or down) and don’t allow your back to rise or fall.
  5. Exhale out as you lower your body back to the ground.
  6. For a Wide Grip Push Up move your hands out to a position slightly wider than your shoulders.
  7. Repeat.
  • Type: Isolation
  • Primary: Chest
  • Secondary: Core, Shoulders, Triceps
  • Equipment: Body
Top 5 Bodyweight Workout Exercises | Squat | Linked Fitness Community

4) Lying Hip Raises

The lying hip raise is a very simple exercise but it is highly effective at developing your glutes and core. It’s ability to strengthen and tone the muscles of the lower back make it a great exercise for people of suffer with lower back pain. This is a good addition to any bodyweight workout.

Steps

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift up hips and bum off the floor as you draw your abs in and keep your glutes tight.
  • Type: Isolation
  • Primary:Glutes
  • Secondary:Core
  • Equipment: Body
Top 5 Bodyweight Workout Exercises | Lying Hip Raises | Linked Fitness Community

5) Side Plank

If you’re looking to build strong abs, try adding a side plank to your bodyweight workout. This move not only tones your obliques and internal core muscles but it also strengthens your arms, wrists, and legs.

To take the side plank to the next level, try a side plank raise. This involves lowering your hips until they nearly touch the ground and then raising back up into the start position.

Steps

  1. Lay on one side of your body with your legs straight and your forearm perpendicular to your body in front of you.
  2. Drawing your abs in, slowly raise yourself up so you are balanced on your feet and your forearm.
  3. Hold this position and slowly return back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat on other side.
  • Type: Isolation
  • Primary: Core
  • Equipment: Body
Top 5 Bodyweight Workout Exercises | Side Plank | Linked Fitness Community

Bodyweight Workout Exercise Images & Descriptions by Everkinetic

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