By definition, a body weight exercise is one in which you use the weight of your body to work a particular muscle or group of muscles (duh). I’ve been preaching the benefits of using your body’s own weight to work out for some time. I try and incorporate one or more body weight exercises into every workout. They’re that effective.
And this workout, ladies and gentlemen, was one of the best body weight workouts I’ve done in a long, long time.
I’m a firm believer that doing workouts you love is the key to sticking with any exercise regimen. While this body weight routine may be tough, I absolutely love how it makes me feel afterwards, and you will too.
This is a full-body workout in every sense of the word. You’ll work your shoulders, chest, arms, core/abs, and legs. It focuses on compound movements, which are exercises that work multiple groups of muscles. This means you’ll build more lean muscle and burn more fat.
You’ll be doing circuits, which means you’ll perform each exercise one after the other, with no rest in between.*
* If you’re a beginner, however, I recommend taking a 20-30 second rest in between each exercise, then working your way up to no rest after 5-6 workouts.
You’ll do 4 total sets, resting for 2 minutes between sets. The cool part is, you’ll be done with the entire workout in about 20 minutes!
1. Do each of the following exercises, one after the other, with no rest in between. This is one circuit.
2. Rest 2 minutes.
3. Repeat until you’ve done four complete circuits.
Now I’ll explain how to do each of these body weight exercises but in case my explanation makes no sense to you I also included a Youtube video for each that shows you how to do it. Here we go …
- Turkish Getup: Lay flat on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Raise your right hand up into the air and use your left hand and legs to push your body up (while keeping your right hand overhead the entire time). Raise yourself up to standing. Then get back down on the ground and repeat with your left hand in the air. Do five repetitions with each hand in the air.
- Jump Squat: Stand straight up with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor while keeping your back straight. Then explosively raise yourself up and jump. Repeat 10 times.
- T Pushup: Get into a standard pushup position. Lower yourself down to the floor while keeping your back straight (pulling your abs in helps). Raise yourself back up, and as you get to the top of the movement, extend your right arm up in the air until it’s pointing straight toward the sky. Repeat the pushup and extend your left arm up. Repeat for 10 total repetitions.
- Walking Lunge: Place your hands on your hips and step forward with your right leg and lunge down until your right thigh is parallel with the ground. Then use your legs to raise yourself back up and step forward with your left leg. Complete 10-15 lunges (or more if you can).
- Bicycle: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms on either side of your head. Use your midsection to move your right elbow forward while bringing your left knee up to meet it at the same time. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement with your left elbow and right knee.
What I love about this workout is it doesn’t burn out my muscles, so I’m still able to work out the next day. But if you’re just starting off, it’s probably a good idea to take a day off and either rest or just stretch or do light yoga or cardio. Once your body adjusts to regular exercise, you can up the intensity a bit. Do this bodyweight workout routine 2-3 times per week and you’ll start looking and feeling better, guaranteed (if you follow my eating tips too, of course).
Want More Tips on Getting Tight and Toned?
This article is #5 in my free 12-part tutorial called “Exercise 101: How to Get In Shape“.
Next up is article #6, which will walk you through some stretches to increase your flexibility levels.
Or you can go back to article #4 and read about another great body weight workout routine.