Some of the most commonly used excuses for not getting a workout in are lack of time, and lack of convenience. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Losing weight and getting in shape all revolve around workouts that are effective and there when you need them. Bodyweight workouts do just that and then some.
Since you don’t need weights or a gym to do a bodyweight workout, you can exercise just about anywhere at anytime. Even a 20-30 minute home workout in the morning can have lasting metabolic effects throughout the day. Double up and work in two-a-day, and you’ll be seeing results faster than ever. As your strength and conditioning improve, start to increase your frequency, duration, and intensity. Here are the best bodyweight exercises to blast calories so you can lose weight for good!
Your Top 10 Bodyweight Exercises:
1. Basic Push-Up
The trusty push-up will never go out of style! Push-ups are worth the sweat and tears since they work multiple muscle groups all at once. This whole body exercise recruits your shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, back, abdominals, quadriceps, glutes, and calves.
Come into plank position with your hands just outside shoulder-width and with your shoulders right over your wrists. Push through your heels, engage your quadriceps and abs, and then bend the elbows. Lower down and push yourself back up with your body in a straight line.
2. Triceps Dips
Dips work mostly triceps but also help open up your chest to fire your rear deltoids. Strong triceps also help with posture and look good through a tight shirt!
Triceps dips can be done with a chair, step, or nothing at all. With the chair or step behind you, put the heel of your palms on it with your fingertips pointing towards your feet. Bend your elbows and lower your body down. Push yourself back up.
3. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a party for your upper body, abs, and heart rate. Focusing primarily on your shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, abs, quadriceps, and calves, this cardio move also is an isometric strength move.
Come into plank position. From here, pull your right knee in towards your chest without arching your back. Then, jump your right foot back and swap it out with your left knee. Keep a fast pace jumping from right to left, and pull in those abs!
4. Forearm Side Planks with Hip Dips
Doing a forearm side plank works your shoulders, back muscles, and your obliques. If you’re looking to tighten those love handles, this is your move!
Lay on the floor on your side with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Stack or stagger your feet and then lift your hips off the ground. Lower your hip down an inch, and lift it back up. Make sure to keep your navel pulled in towards your spine so that you keep from falling forward.
5. Alternating Reverse Lunges
Reverse lunges focus on working your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves in one move. This is very effective when trying to find exercises that maximize your time. They also get your heart rate up and challenge your balance.
From a standing position, separate your feet hip width apart. Reach your right foot backwards into a lunge so that your left thigh becomes parallel to the ground. Your right knee hovers above the ground. Push off your left foot to come back up to stand. Repeat on the other side.
Burpees are the classic whole body bodyweight exercise! A surefire way to work in cardio, they also strengthen your shoulders, chest, back, biceps, triceps, core, quadriceps, abs, hamstrings, and glutes.
Start standing. Bend your knees and set your hands down in front of your feet. Jump or walk your feet back into plank position. Then, jump or walk your feet back in towards your hands. Stand up and jump straight up.
7. Alternating Lateral Lunges
It’s important to work your stability muscles to support your larger, more dominant muscles groups. This helps to prevent injury and helps improve balance. Lateral lunges mostly work your outer thigh and glutes, but they also work your inner thigh muscles, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
Start standing with your feet together. Keeping your toes pointed forward, lunge out to the right. Bend your right knee while keeping your left leg straight. Push back up and repeat on the other side.
8. Jump Squats
Plyometric exercises like jump squats rev up your heart rate, increase muscle tone and make your legs burn! Jump squats work primarily your quadriceps but they don’t leave out your glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
With feet hip-width apart, bend your knees into a squat position. Here, your knees are just behind your toes, hips are low, and your shoulders are held back. From there, jump up and land softly back into that same squat position.
9. High Knees
Don’t have time for a run? Add in some high knees at home! Abs, cardio, and a little leg work can go a long way!
At a quick pace, run in place bringing your knees up as high as you can by engaging your abs.
Two Total Body Bodyweight Circuits:
1. Kickstarter: Beginner’s Boost
• Warm-up: Jog in place for 1-2 minutes
• 15 Push-Ups (on your knees or toes)
• 15 Triceps Dips
• 15 Alternating Lateral Lunges (each side)
• 15 Squats
• 1-Minute of Jumping Jacks
• 15 Mountain Climbers
• 15 Alternating Reverse Lunges (each side)
• 15 Side Plank with Hip Dips (each side)
• 15 Basic Crunches
• 1-Minute of High Knees
2. Athlete-in-Training: Advanced HIIT
• Warm-up Jog in place for 1-2 minutes
• 15 Alternating Lateral Lunges With A Hop in Between Sides
• 1-Minute Forearm Plank Hold
Come into a plank position but on your forearms.
• 15 High Knees (each side)
• 1-Minute Wall Squat
Sit with your back against a wall with your thighs parallel to the ground.
• 15 Burpees
• 1-Minute V-Sit Hold
Sit on the ground with your knees bent out in front of you.
Lift your feet off the ground, lean back, and hold!
• 15 Jump Squats
• 1-Minute Side Plank with Hip Dips (each side)
• 15 Alternating Lunge Jump
Take reverse lunges up a notch!
Jump from one lunge to the next by switching your legs out mid-air!
• 15 Russian Twists
Go into a V-Sit and this time twist your torso right to left.
Stop getting in your own way with excuses that no longer hold! You do have time to workout! Losing weight is all within your reach. Just give these bodyweight exercises a try and see how much better you’ll feel by taking charge of your fitness!