Ditch the Gym…Try a Complete Bodyweight Workout Instead

bodyweight workout

Are you tired or leery of exorbitant gym membership fees, group fitness classes that are always at the wrong times, sweaty gym equipment you can never use, and a facility that seems more like a nightclub than a gym?

What if I told you that you could skip all the above and still get into great shape? You don’t need to invest in any fancy equipment (for a home gym) nor do you need to pound the pavement (running). All you need is your own body weight.

You read that right. By using a bodyweight workout, you really can get that physique you’ve been dreaming about, and it’s simpler than you think.

What Is a Bodyweight Workout?

Simply put, a bodyweight workout is a type of strength training routine where the only resistance is your body weight. Unlike traditional strength training routines, body weight training programs incorporate limited rest between exercises.

You may have heard of some popular workout programs like P90X and Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training. These are body weight workouts, and they’ve taken the world by storm. Why?

They work.

I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. So, how can using just your own body weight garner such spectacular results?

body weight exercises

Why Bodyweight Workouts Work

Bodyweight workouts combine two of the most effective tools in the exercise toolbox (resistance training, RT, and high-intensity interval training, HIIT) into a single package, often referred to as high-intensity circuit training (HICT). RT is arguably the most effective way to build that lean, toned look that you desire, and HIIT is very effective at boosting metabolism and aerobic fitness.

The Benefits of Bodyweight Workout

Together, HICT provides the myriad health benefits of both weight lifting and aerobic conditioning in a single workout. In fact, HICT body weight workouts are a fast and efficient tool for fat loss, and they can provide metabolism-boosting benefits for up to 72 hours. Body weight workouts can also improve cardiovascular fitness and insulin sensitivity.

Here are a few more benefits of bodyweight exercises:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Increased strength
  • Improved body composition
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Increased balance

On top of all that, a bodyweight workout is efficient and free, and you can perform them in the private comfort of your own home.

What Are the Best Bodyweight Exercises?

So, now that you’re curious and wondering how you can get started, let’s talk about the how you can put body weight exercises to work for you. Body weight workouts typically include exercises that:

  • Promote strength development for all major muscle groups
  • Use large muscle groups to create appropriate resistance and aerobic intensity
  • Create a balance of strength throughout the body
  • Can be adapted or modified as needed
  • Are safe and appropriate
  • Can be adapted to the environment (using stairs, walls, chairs)

Normally, the exercises you do will come from one of the following categories:

  • Push exercise
  • Pull exercise
  • Core exercise
  • Legs/lower body exercise

An important point to note is if you want to reshape your physique, it will require consistency and effort. Just because it’s generally a less stressful routine, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just like if you were lifting weights at the gym, you still need to put the “work” into your body weight workout.

Are you ready to try it out for yourself?

bodyweight exercises

A Complete Bodyweight Workout for You to Try at Home

As always, be sure to warm up thoroughly. A good warm-up can be a brisk walk, light jog, or maybe a couple of trips up and down the stairs. Once you’re ready to go, get out all the gym equipment you’re going to need. Oh, that’s right, you don’t need any!

Beginner Bodyweight Workout

Instructions: After warming up, progress through the entire list of exercises once with 20 seconds rest between sets. Rest two minutes and repeat.

    • Pushups (You can do these on your knees if you’re just starting out.)
      10 repetitions (Rest 20 seconds and then go immediately to the next exercise.)
    • Crunches
      20 repetitions (Rest 20 seconds.)
    • Triceps Dips (You can do this exercise with your hands on the counter, on a step, or a sturdy chair.)
      10 repetitions (Rest 20 seconds.)
    • Squats
      10 repetitions (Rest 20 seconds.)
    • Walking Lunges
      5 repetitions in each direction for a total of 10 reps per leg (Rest 20 seconds.)
    • Superman (Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended straight. Lift your head, arms, and legs about into the air about 8 inches off the ground and hold for 2 seconds and release.)
      10 repetitions (Rest 20 seconds.)
    • Side Plank
      Hold for 20 seconds on each side (Rest for 2 minutes and repeat entire workout.)

Using only your body weight to create a “body of work” is possible without going to the gym—no weights or expensive equipment required, all in the privacy and convenience of your own home. Dominate your domain and use what your momma gave you to sculpt that body of your dreams. Yes, it really is that simple … just not easy.