Bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to incorporate both strength and cardio conditioning all in one workout — best of all, they can be done anywhere, with no equipment.
You can mix and match these exercises to create a circuit, add them into a regular workout, or use them for a warmup. They’re great to have in your back pocket in case you need some quick moves to spice up your routine, or for those times when you don’t have access to a gym.
- The burpee is a classic movement that strengthens the entire body while providing a burst of cardio.
- To complete a burpee, start in a standing position with your shoulders rolled back.
- Jump down into a plank position with your head and neck in a neutral position and your back straight.
- Your hands should be right below your shoulders.
- Jump your feet in toward your hands and then explode upward to complete one repetition.
Planks work your entire body, but more specifically your shoulders and your core. They’re a simple movement that help you build a strength base that will help you with all other exercises.
- Lie down on your stomach and push up with your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Your head and neck should be in a neutral position with your back straight.
- Work hard to ensure that you aren’t sticking your butt up or sinking your hips down.
This bodyweight movement focuses on the back of your legs (hamstrings) and your butt.
- Start in a standing position with your shoulders rolled back.
- Stabilize your left foot and bring your right leg straight back as far as you can as you lower down toward your left leg.
- This will work the back of your left stabilizing leg.
- Complete repetitions on the left side before repeating this sequence on the right side.
Say hello to your new favourite exercise to help tone up the back of your arms (triceps).
- Use a ledge and place your palms on it with your fingers pointed toward you.
- Lower your elbows down to a 90-degree angle before pressing up and extending your arms.
- To make the movement harder, you can move your legs straight out in front of you.
- To decrease the intensity, you can bring your knees in closer.
The mountain climber is another move that will build muscle and strengthen your entire body, but more specifically, your core and shoulders. In addition, it will get your heart rate up and your blood pumping.
- Start in a plank position and walk your legs in a bit to form a down dog yoga position.
- From there, begin alternating bringing each knee to your chest in a fluid sequence.
If you’re looking to target your quads and butt, then try this movement out. Jump squats have the added bonus of cardio.
- Begin in a standing position and sit back into a squat by pushing your butt back like you are sitting in a chair.
- Explode up into a standing position for one repetition.
Pushups target your chest and arm muscles, but they also utilize core strength.
- Start in a plank position with your head, neck, and spine in a neutral alignment.
- Place your hands wider than shoulder-width position and lead with your chest to lower to the ground.
- Extend your arms and rise back up to the plank position.
- Walk your hands in to a more narrow position than shoulder-width and lower down by leading with your chest and then extending to the start position.
- That counts for one repetition.
The bridge works the oft-neglected back muscles, which are essential to for balancing your musculature out and increasing overall strength.
- Lie on your back and clasp your hands with your arms under you.
- Make sure that your shoulders aren’t too close to your head and they are relaxed.
- Keep your feet planted on the ground as you raise your body upward off of the ground.
Hold this position for your desired amount of time.