Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athlete - people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!
So you’re thinking of getting into bodyweight training? Perhaps you are a beginner to this prospect with no expertise on how to progress onto the bodyweight exercises which display the utmost levels of strength, endurance and mobility. Don’t be afraid, because at Bodyweight Training Arena we look to set you on your way to bodyweight training success. We have compiled a list of exercises which hold all the principles of the efficiency of calisthenics and will allow you to progress on to more difficult exercises and workouts as you will become more used to exercising with your own bodyweight.
1. – Mountain Climbers
This is one of the bodyweight exercises which work your whole body as your arms support your body while your legs quickly tuck themselves one after another bending your knees toward your chest. Your arms and core work to hold your body in the elevated position above the floor while your legs are pumping to maintain the movement. The rapid repetition of this exercise also give a very good cardio workout, meaning that the whole combination of benefits in this exercise provide you with very efficient training.
2 – Burpees
Another whole body exercise which can be described as a more intense version of a traditional squat thrust. The variation of movement gives another intense cardio workout and the explosiveness of the exercise will put stress on every muscle group in your body. At the end you will be breathless and weak but the results prove burpees to be one of the most effective bodyweight exercises there is.
3 – Plank
The basic plank involves supporting your body on your toes and forearms while holding your whole body straight for a predetermined length of time. The tension whole supporting your body requires stability throughout your whole core as well as the top of your arms. This is one of the endurance bodyweight exercises and doing this regularly will help you easily maintain perfect athletic form in ever motion you perform, as well as burning fat and bringing a lean appearance.
4 – Squats
A squat is where you support your body with your legs bending them until your hamstrings are parallel to the ground and pushing back up. It is a very simple but still effective way of exercising your quadriceps and hamstrings, giving you explosive power and strength from your legs. It will also help tone your gluteus maximus or “bum” into that shape you have always wanted it to be.
5 – Triceps Dips
Your equipment for this exercise is a chair, box or any other solid flat surface about knee height. The aim is to place your heels on the floor and support you body on the equipment with your hands behind your back. By lowering your body so that your arms are almost at a right angle and then pushing back up, you will give your arms a nice burn as they move and hold your weight. This is another one of the more simple bodyweight exercises but it is also very effective. The motion will give you better defined and leaner upper arms, getting rid of those bingo wings.
6 – Basic PushUps
One of the much more mainstream bodyweight exercises which everyone will have heard of. It is also one of the most effective upper body workouts. The motion works to build great muscle on your arms, shoulders and chest while your core also holds strong to support your body position. It is a great way to stay lean, strong and physically stable.
7 – Wall Sit
Place your back against a wall, then bend your legs until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Hold yourself in this position until you cannot hold yourself there any longer. Sooner or later your legs will greatly feel the strain and you will have worked your quadriceps and hamstrings up to a burning constant contraction. Bodyweight exercises like this may seem to be hardly of any use, but the strength endurance gained from such simplicity is a great reward for the patient work.
8 – Crunches
This classic and very well known exercise can create great basic core strength by contraction of your abdominal muscles in one very static motion. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and knees bent, put your hands on the back of your head and lift your head and shoulders off the floor making your abdomen contract, before slowly lowering back down and repeating. Increased strength and endurance in your core muscles will be the ultimate gain, while the tension involved in doing the exercise will go towards giving your abs a chiselled and defined look.
9 – Sprints
On the spot, simulate running by driving up your knees one after another level with your waist, pump your arms to simulate an athletic sprinting action and do this for a predetermined length of time. This is another one of the cardio bodyweight exercises which works your whole body. Certainly this is one which will tone you up and give you a lean athletic physique and great movement capability.
10 – Lunges
Step forward on one of your legs and bend your knee to a near 90 degree angle until you other knee is very close to touching the floor. repeat this for the other leg as well. This is another very easily done bodyweight leg exercise which works your quadriceps allowing for more explosive athletic action from these muscles.
Your Next Step
So there you have it, your list of basic bodyweight exercises which can be done anywhere and are not very difficult to do, but are still able to give you a well-balanced and effective workout nonetheless. Try these exercises and be sure to work your way towards more difficult exercises as your experience and capability with this in of exercise increases.
Try our basic calisthenics workout routine to get your started and if you are a bit more serious with building real strength have a look at recommended training program: Getting Started With Calisthenics