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Bodyweight Workouts: 16 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Beginners

Bodyweight exercises are a great way to get in shape without having any equipment. These 16 amazing exercises can be done anywhere and they're perfect for beginners!

Sandra Adams
Bodyweight Workouts: 16 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Beginners
Table Of Contents

Are you sick of the endless stream of complicated workouts offered by online exercise platforms? Do you feel like you spend more time reading about the workouts than actually doing them?

Well, believe it or not, you can get in shape without performing all those complicated workouts using just your bodyweight!

Yes, you heard that right!

Bodyweight exercises are a great way to stay fit, especially for beginners at home since they require little to no equipment. These bodyweight conditioning workouts use the force of gravity against your muscle mass to provide resistance training for all areas throughout your body.

So, even if you are busy with the schedule or don’t feel like going to the gym, here is the perfect bodyweight workout! It includes simple exercises that you can do anywhere without using any special equipment.

Bodyweight Workout for Beginners

If you're looking to start a workout routine, you should keep a few things in mind.

First, choosing exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at once is essential. It will assist you in getting the most out of your workout and quickly see results.

Second, make sure to warm up before you start your routine. A few minutes of light cardio will help your heart pump and prepare your muscles for the work ahead.

Finally, don't forget to cool down after every workout. Some stretching will help your muscles recover and prevent soreness.

Having these tips in mind, you're ready to get started!

1. Chin Ups

Have you ever seen someone doing chin ups and thought, "Why are they doing that? It looks so hard!" Well, it turns out that chin ups offer a lot of benefits, apart from a great workout.

Chin ups help improve your grip strength and build stronger arms as you effectively work all the muscles in your forearm and hand as you pull your body up, which results in improved upper body strength.

How to Do It?

  • Take a tall stance and hold the bar. Then, raise your head and look towards the ceiling. Make sure your neck is stretched.
  • Breathe deeply, tighten your abdominal and glutes, and brace your core. Drive the elbows straight down to the floor while tightening the lats.
  • Do as many reps as possible by pulling your chin towards the bar until your lats are fully contracted, then slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position.

2. Glute Bridge

The glute bridge is a simple but effective exercise for toning and strengthening the glutes. It can be done with your body weight, making it a great option for beginners. You can make it more challenging by adding weight, such as a barbell or dumbbell.

The key to doing this exercise properly is to focus on squeezing the glutes throughout the movement and keeping your core engaged, as it’ll help target the right muscles, prevent injury, and strengthen your spine.

So, if you want to improve your butt and leg strength while also getting a good core workout, glute bridge is the way to go.

How to Do It?

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground about hip-width apart.
  • Put your hands down on the floor next to you.
  • By tightening your hamstrings and glutes, raise your hips off the floor.
  • Hold for a short while, then gradually return to the beginning position by lowering your hips.
  • Start with 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, and add more as necessary.

3. Bear Crawl

The bear crawl requires the utilization of practically all of your body's muscles. This exercise targets your core, glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders (deltoids), chest, and back, and regularly performing bear crawls will help you develop overall body strength and endurance.

The bear crawl is frequently included in in-depth agility training. According to studies, agility exercises can assist athletes in adjusting to the varying physical and physiological demands of various training periods (such as pre and post-season workouts).

However, it is not necessary to be an athlete to benefit from this kind of workout. Agility exercises increase calorie burn and help non-athletes become more conscious of their bodies, and may even improve your memory, listening comprehension, and visual vigilance.

How to Do It?

  • Start with a push up position. Your core must be tight, your back must be straight, and your hands must be tucked behind your shoulders. The heels should be off the ground, and the feet should be a hip distance apart.
  • Move ahead by crawling with the left leg and right hand simultaneously. You never let your knees hit the earth.
  • After putting weight on the right hand and left leg and moving the left hand and right leg forward, switch sides quickly.
  • Continue to advance while crawling for the specified number of steps or distance.

4. Burpees

Burpees are one of the most effective full-body exercises out there and one of the most challenging as well. But the benefits of burpees are definitely worth the effort.

Not only do they tone your whole body, but they also get your heart rate up and give you a great cardio workout. Plus, they're excellent for building strength and endurance.

And if that's not enough, burpees can also help improve your balance and coordination. So if you're looking for an exercise that will give you results, try adding some burpees to your routine. You'll be glad you did!

How to Do It?

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Your hands should be on the ground in front of you after you crouch down.
  • Push yourself up into a push-up position by kicking your legs back.
  • Go back to squatting as soon as possible, and then leap as high as possible.
  • An intense cardio exercise can be obtained by repeating this method for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Do 2 or 3 sets of this workout for a greater challenge.

5. Tricep Dip

If you're looking for a way to tone your arms and improve your upper body strength, tricep dips are a great option. This simple exercise can be done almost anywhere, using just your body weight as resistance.

And, because it targets the triceps and chest, it's an effective way to tone those areas. In addition to improving muscle definition, tricep dips can also help increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

They also provide a cardiovascular workout and can help burn calories and promote weight loss.

How to Do It?

  • This workout combines two different strategies, one of which concentrates on your triceps and the other on your chest. The latter exerts considerable pressure on your triceps.
  • Hold the dip bars with a neutral grip to start. If the bars are adjustable, you can make them the width of your shoulders.
  • To reposition your weight on the bars, leap off the ground.
  • Make sure to maintain as much straightness as you can. You must have your legs dangling down.
  • Lower yourself till your elbows are parallel to your shoulders while facing ahead.
  • Regain your height without locking your elbows.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

6. Pull-Up

For many of you, pull-ups are one of those exercises that people dread. They're challenging, and they can be frustrating if you can't seem to make progress.

But even though they may not be the most fun exercise around, pull-ups offer several benefits that make them worth the effort.

They are excellent for building upper body strength by working all of the major muscles in the back, including the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and rhomboids. In addition, pull-ups also engage the biceps and triceps, as well as the forearms and grip.

Since they are a compound exercise that involves multiple joints and muscles, they are excellent for improving overall muscular endurance and posture. When done with proper form, they help train your posterior chain, which helps counteract the effects of sitting at a desk all day.

Pull-ups are also great for boosting your metabolism and burning calories.

How to Do It?

  • Hold a pull-up bar firmly with your overhand grip. The distance between your hands and shoulder width should be a little wider.
  • Hang with your arms fully extended from the bar.
  • If your legs are still on the ground, fold them.
  • Hold the motion for a minimum of ten seconds.
  • Now, flex your elbows while pulling your body upward while maintaining a strong core and back.
  • When your chin is above the bar, slowly raise it.
  • Slowly lower yourself while maintaining your breath.

7. Push-Up

When it comes to exercises that give you the most bang for your buck, it's hard to beat push-ups. This simple move works multiple muscle groups at once, including your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.

They strengthen the shoulders, chest, and arms muscles, as well as the abdomen and lower back core muscles. Push-ups also help improve posture and can help prevent injuries by training the body to absorb impact better.

Also, push-ups increase heart rate and breathing, making them an excellent choice for a cardio workout. Since they can be done virtually anywhere, they are a convenient exercise to add to any fitness routine.

How to Do It?

  • Start in a plank position with your feet hip-width apart and your hands beneath your shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows close as you squat down toward the earth.
  • Press up to the starting position once your chest contacts the floor.
  • Repeat.

8. Squat

Most people think of squats as a move that targets your legs and butt. And while it's true that these are the biggest muscle groups involved in the exercise, squatting has benefits for your entire body.

It helps improve your balance and coordination, and as it works core muscles, it helps improve your posture and stability. In addition, this exercise helps increase your range of motion, making it easier to perform other exercises and activities.

Besides that, squats improve bone density, making them an essential part of any osteoporosis prevention program. So if you're looking for a complete workout that will benefit your whole body, add them to your routine.

How to Do It?

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and your toes pointed forward.
  • You may drive your hips back by bending at the knees and ankles and pressing your knees slightly open.
  • Maintaining your heels and toes on the floor, stoop down while keeping your chest up and shoulders back.
  • Aim to finally reach parallel, which is achieved when the knees are at a 90-degree angle.
  • To return to an erect standing position, drive your heels into the ground and straighten your legs.

9. Inverted Row

Inverted rows are a fantastic way to work your upper back, shoulders, and core. They can be performed with a Smith machine, barbell, TRX, or even just a regular old broomstick. And they're perfect for people of all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.

There are many benefits to inverted rows, including improved posture, increased strength, and reduced risk of injuries. Inverted rows also help build stability and muscular balance.

When done correctly, they can help you achieve a powerful upper body without putting any unnecessary strain on your joints.

How to Do It?

  • Position a level bench lengthwise in front of the smith machine.
  • Place the bar about 4 feet off the ground.
  • Set your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and place your heels on the seat.
  • Reposition your spine. You'll start off here.
  • Keeping your body straight, pull your upper body in toward the bar.
  • Then, after a small break, return to the starting position.
  • Repeat until the specified reps.

10. Plank

Most people know that planks are a great way to tone your core muscles, but this simple exercise has many other benefits. They can help improve your posture, increase your endurance and stamina, reduce injury risk, and relieve back pain.

Since you can do them anytime, anywhere, they are a convenient way to fit exercise into your busy schedule.

How to Do It?

  • Get down on all fours and extend your legs backward.
  • On your toes, raise your body. Now your forearms and toes are bearing the weight of your body.
  • Make sure that your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders.
  • You have two options: interlace your fingers or flat your palms on the floor.
  • Maintain your forward-facing posture for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

11. Wall Walk

Wall walking is a great way to get a full-body workout. It challenges your balance, coordination, and core strength as you move your body up and down the wall. In addition, wall walking is a low-impact exercise, making it ideal for people of all fitness levels.

According to Katrin Davidsdottir (Ascent Protein athlete), wall walking boosts coordination, core strength, shoulder stability, and balance, among many other benefits.

How to Do It?

  • Make a push-up position. Your feet should be on the wall behind you as you lay face down on the floor.
  • Make sure your chest, quads, and hands are all flat on the ground. Keep your head down and your spine neutral.
  • Stroll up the wall with your hands following your feet. Keep your core as tight as you can.
  • Keep your back straight and raise your shoulders. You should be facing the wall in an upside-down position halfway through the wall walk.
  • Step your feet down gradually and pull your hands away from the wall.

12. Broad Jump

Broad jumps are excellent plyometrics that improve your calisthenics skills while giving you a good cardiovascular workout. It is a natural functional movement that you can incorporate with other exercises.

This easy exercise targets the muscle groups of your kinetic chain specifically and improves agility, flexibility, endurance, and overall sports performance.

As you jump from here and there, it often proves one of the best exercises in lower body training.

How to Do It?

  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart as you stand. Arms in the air.
  • Start your workout by pushing your hips back and bending your knees while swinging your arms back behind your body.
  • Drive your feet into the ground, thrust your hips forward, and leap off the ground with your arms swinging forward.
  • Put yourself back in the beginning position after coming to a standing position. Repeat as required.

13. Lunge

Lunges tone your legs and improve your flexibility. They also work your core muscles and help improve your balance. They can be done with or without weights, making them a versatile exercise for all fitness levels.

Also, lunges can be done anywhere, making them a convenient choice for busy people. And because they are low-impact, they are gentle on your joints. Whether you are looking to improve your fitness or just want a simple way to tone your legs, lunges are a great choice.

How to Do It?

  • Stand with your feet together, then take a giant step forward with your right leg. Lower your body until your left knee is hovering just above the ground.
  • Make sure to keep your right knee in line with your right ankle, and don’t let your left knee extend past your toes.
  • Push off your right leg to complete the move and return to the starting position.

14. Step-Up

There are many benefits to step-up, a type of exercise that involves stepping up and down on a raised platform. This simple movement can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, tone your legs and butt, and improve your balance and coordination.

Step-up is also a low-impact exercise, meaning it is easier on your joints than on high-impact activities like running. As a result, it is an ideal exercise for people of all fitness levels.

How to Do It?

  • Start by completely putting your right foot down the stair, chair, box, or bench. Step onto the bench while pressing through your right heel, bringing your left foot to meet your left so that you are standing on the bench.
  • Step down with the right foot, then the left, bringing both feet to the ground to return to the starting position.
  • Step forward with your left foot for 15 steps, then follow that up with another 15 steps with your left foot. Make 3 sets.

15. Box Jumps

Box jumps are an excellent way to improve your jumping ability and coordination. They also provide a great cardiovascular workout and can help increase your lower body strength.

Also, box jumps can help improve your balance and proprioception (the body's ability to be aware of its position in space).

These jumps are worth considering if you're looking for a challenging exercise that can provide a wide range of benefits.

How to Do It?

  • Standing with your shoulders and feet shoulder-width apart, keep a box of small steps in front of you.
  • Kneel, lower yourself, and extend your arms behind you.
  • Now, leaning forward, hop onto the box with your knees bent.
  • Knees bowed, slightly jumping back onto the ground.
  • Repeat.

16. World’s Greatest Stretch

The world’s greatest stretch works your hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, quads, calves, shoulders, pectorals, upper and lower back, and even the obliques.

It is excellent for releasing tension in the entire body after sitting all day, relieving common aches and pains. It also warms up your muscles before you exercise.

This position can help relieve low back pain because it loosens hip flexors, which are crucial when dealing with spine problems.

How to Do It?

  • Make a plank position. Step your right foot to the side of your right hand while in a high plank stance.
  • Bring your right-hand overhead while pressing your left hand into the ground. Bring your focus to the raised fingertips as you turn your body to the right.
  • Repeat the motion on the other side in reverse.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

How to Progress With Bodyweight Exercises

One of the great things about these exercises is that they can be done anywhere, at any time. Whether you're at the park, in your living room, or even at the office, you need a bit of space, and you're good to go.

However, progressing with such exercises can sometimes be a challenge. Here are a few tips to help you move forward:

Slow them Down

While many people think fast is better when it comes to exercise, the first thing you can do for an exercise that will make it more challenging and provide a bit of extra core stability work (in addition) is slowing down your tempo.

For example, take 3 to 4 seconds to lower yourself into a squat and hold, then stand back up again, taking just as long with each step, so there’s no momentum going through those joints; rely mainly on strength instead of strength speed.

By doing this, you are engaging your core more and will be able to balance better. The biggest benefit? Your muscles stay under tension.

Add Pulsing Movement

Adding a pulsing movement to bodyweight exercises can help you target specific muscle groups and get a more intense workout. For example, when doing a standard squat, simply add a mini-pulse at the bottom of the move by contracting your muscles for an extra two counts before standing back up.

You can also use this technique when doing push-ups by pulsing your chest towards the ground for two counts as you lower down.

Now you might be wondering how it works.

Well, this type of movement recruits more muscle fibers than isometrics (holding a position without moving) or traditional exercises (releasing and contracting your muscles completely), meaning that you can achieve a more intense workout in a shorter time.

Also, pulsing helps increase blood flow to your muscles, delivering more oxygen and nutrients for faster results.

Do More Reps

Many people think they need to lift heavy weights to see results from their workouts. However, this isn't necessarily true. In fact, doing more reps with lighter weights can actually help you build more muscle.

The reason for this is that when you lift heavy weights, you're only able to do a few reps before your muscles start to fatigue. This doesn't give your muscles enough time to develop fully.

On the other hand, when you do more reps with lighter weights, you're able to keep your muscles working for a longer period of time. It allows your muscles to develop more strength and size.

Elevate Your Feet Or Object Used

One way to make bodyweight exercises more challenging is to elevate your feet or object used because that’s how you will increase the weight your muscles will lift.

It helps target different muscle groups. For example, elevating your feet during a push-up and elevating the box for a step-up or box jump will prove to be much more challenging.

Combine Variations

A great way to mix up your workout routine is to combine a few variations of bodyweight exercises. It keeps things interesting and allows you to target different muscle groups.

For example, you could start with standard push-ups, then move on to tricep dips, and finish with planks. Or you could mix up different squat variations, such as jumping squats, goblet squats, and single-leg squats.

By incorporating a variety of exercises into your routine, you can ensure that you’re getting a well-rounded workout that will help you achieve your fitness goals.


1. How often can you perform bodyweight exercises?

You can perform them as often as you like, but it is best to mix them up with other types of exercises to prevent boredom and achieve the best results.

2. Why are bodyweight exercises so effective?

One big reason is that they work multiple muscle groups at once, like squats target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes all at the same time.

Additionally, because your body weight provides resistance, expensive equipment or membership in a gym is no longer needed. Finally, bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere, so they are perfect for people who are always on the go.

3. What will happen if I only do bodyweight workouts?

You will get strong and toned if you only do bodyweight workouts. However, you will not get as big as you would if you also did weightlifting workouts.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a great workout that can be done anywhere, with no equipment, then bodyweight workouts are the way to go. These 16 exercises are perfect for beginners.

They will help you get started on your fitness journey and tone up all over. Be sure to try them – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Sandra Adams

Sandra is a versatile and patient personal trainer with over five years of experience tailoring goals to client needs and guiding them with the best workout routines.

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