Workout Anywhere! 50 Best Bodyweight Exercises
If you can’t make it to the gym or you are just looking to switch things up, try these 50 best bodyweight exercises that you can do just about anywhere!
Well, it’s that time of year again. The time of year where cookouts, parties and the beach start calling your name. Even the most disciplined people are going to have a tough time staying focused. Instead of giving in to temptation and taking a break from training, take this opportunity to try something different.
Bodyweight training is coming back in a big way. Let’s face it, people are just getting sick and tired of expensive gyms and pushy personal trainers. They want something exciting, challenging and (more importantly) inexpensive.
By using your natural bodyweight as the resistance, you expose yourself to a new form of growth: functional exercise.
The following are the 50 best bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere and may just make you wonder why you ever had a gym membership in the first place!
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Chest
- Basic push-ups: The staple of bodyweight exercises. A solid stand-alone exercise, with tons of variations for the rest of your body.
- Spider-man push-ups: Time to work on your balance! Give this one a shot; bring your knee up your elbow, then switch to the other leg. Stay strong!
- Spider-man push-ups 2 (walking): Precision, focus, power and endurance…not for the faint of heart.
- Chest push-ups (feet elevated): Wide stance for your arms, slow descent and explosive rise. One of my favorite chest exercises in the bodyweight category.
- Chest push-ups 2 (diamond): Proving that push-ups are one of the most versatile of upper body workouts. Make a diamond with your hands and get to work!
- Chest push-ups 3 (staggered and alternating): Definitely going to need some stamina for this one. Don’t rush through this one; the slower you go, the stronger you’re going to get.
- Hindu push-ups: Fantastic for improving your range of motion.
- Archer push-ups: Give yourself plenty of room for this one! One of the hardest push-up variations I know! Simply move one hand further away from your torso, which makes your other arm—and that same side shoulder, pec, and upper back— work harder to handle the load.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Triceps
- Tricep push-ups: A variation of the basic push-up; keep those elbows tucked in for a great chest and tricep workout.
- Tricep push-ups (diamond): Bring your hands together to form a diamond. A vicious chest and tricep exercise that is all about power; push through!
- Tricep dips (feet on ground): Great for beginners; get ready to strengthen those triceps! Focus on solid range of motion here.
- Tricep dips 2 (feet on bench, box or chair): More challenging; more rewarding.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Shoulders
- Handstand holds: A test of endurance; stay focused and you’ll see the results.
- Handstand push-ups: For the truly daring; time to tap into that explosive energy!
- Pike shoulder press (a push-up for your shoulders!): A great way to work your shoulders and your stability at the same time.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Back & Biceps
- Standard Pull-ups: Classic. Challenging. Versatile. If it’s good enough for the military, it’s good enough for me.
- Wide Pull-ups: Weak lats? Try this one. Much harder, but the reward makes it worth it.
- Chin-ups: Pull-ups for a great bicep workout!
- Jumping negative pull-ups (for beginners): Terrible at pull-ups? No worries, I used to be awful at them myself. Try jumping up, then resisting the fall on the way down.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Abs & Core
- Hanging leg raises: Great for when you don’t want to be on the floor; control and proper form are critical for this one.
- Hanging oblique crunches: Since you’re already up, might as well target those obliques too!
- Oblique planks: Lie on your side and hold to engage those obliques.
- Standard planks: The ultimate in stability exercises for your core; hold that pose and don’t cheat! Keep that butt up!
- Lying leg raises: Slow and steady; rushing through this exercise is a great way to make it pointless.
- Scissor Kicks: Surprisingly challenging; hang in there and you’ll see results.
- V-sits: Lift your legs and upper body to strengthen your entire core!
- Snakes (sit up, hold and swing side to side): An innovative exercise that manages to involve both your ab and oblique muscles.
- Sit-ups: Time to go back to basics with this one. Make sure to engage your core the whole exercise!
- Sit-ups 2 (Figure 4 legs, squeeze at both ends): One of my favorite variations. By squeezing at both ends, you engage your entire core at once!
- Crunches: A classic, but underappreciated. The slower, the better.
- Vertical Leg crunches: Make sure you understand the proper form for this exercise; anything less than perfect form is just a waste of time.
- Bicycles: Constant contraction is key for this exercise; don’t stop moving those legs!
- Russian twists: Great exercise for engaging every part of your core.
- L-sits: Straight out a gymnastics workout; stay strong!
- Burpees: This is one of my favorite full-body exercises. For added difficulty, do the entire push-up instead of that little ‘controlled fall’ that people pass as a push-up.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for Legs
- Standard lunges: Shoot your legs out and work your quads. Simple and effective.
- Walking lunges: Standard lunges with a focus on full extension and exploding into the next rep.
- Jumping lunges: Alternating lunges; emphasis on balance and control.
- Single leg lunges (from chair): All about control and contraction with this exercise; don’t cheat yourself!
- Box jumps: The ultimate explosive lower body workout; precision and power are everything with these.
- Box jumps 2 (single leg): For advanced athletes only!
- Step-ups: Climbing stairs or steps to engage your quads, glutes and hamstrings all at once.
- Standard squats: Air squats, focusing on proper form, breathing and range of motion.
- Jumping squats: Standard squats with a dynamic finish!
- Wide stance squats: A wider stance to increase your range of motion.
- Pistol squats: Easily the hardest exercise here, focus on balance and explosiveness to get the most out of this exercise.
- Wall sits: Lean against a wall and challenge your quads.
- Donkey kicks: Shoot your legs out back to work your glutes and strengthen your legs.
- Calf raises: Isolate your calves for definition and explosive power.
- Stretch First & Last! When it comes to bodyweight exercises, stability and control is everything. Make sure to stretch out your joints and muscles to make sure you stay injury free!
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