- They’re fast, so you don’t have to waste endless hours at the gym or doing cardio.
- They’re free, which means you don’t need to buy any expensive equipment or even a gym membership.
- They’re effective, which means you can get a lot accomplished in a little amount of time.
When it comes to exercise, I think the most important things are finding something you actually enjoy doing and varying your routine with a lot of different movements. This body weight workout routine is a great way to add some variety into your workouts. What’s cool about it is it’s completely versatile.
Here are a two different routines you can try:
Body Weight Workout Routines
1. Body Weight Circuit Training: Circuit training is where you complete one exercise after another with little or no rest in between. Here’s an example:
- Start by completing 10 squats.
- Immediately do 10 pushups.
- Then complete 10 deadlifts.
- Then complete 10 Turkish getups.
- Then hold the Plank position for 30 seconds.
This would be one “circuit.” Depending on your fitness level, you can do more or less exercises. I generally like to stay in the 6-7 range, but I recommend a little less if you’re a beginner. Rest for 2-3 minutes after completing each circuit then do the entire circuit 2-3 more times. It’s a fast and effective way to burn calories and build lean muscle.
2. Body Part Specific Training: This body weight exercise routine involves training each body part separately. I personally prefer a “split” routine where I train two body parts on the same day. Here’s what this type of routine looks like:
|Day||Body Parts Trained||Exercise/Repetitions|
|Monday||Chest/Back||Pushup: 10 sets of 10 reps, Suspended Row: 10 sets of 10 reps|
|Tuesday||Legs||Squats: 10 sets of 10 reps, Lunges: 10 sets of 10 reps, Deadlifts: 10 sets of 10 reps|
|Wednesday||REST or light cardio|
|Thursday||Shoulders/Arms||Side Plank with Arm Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps, Pushup: 5 sets of 10 reps, Close grip pushup: 3 sets of 5 reps|
|Friday||Abs||Bicycle: 10 sets of 10 reps, Turkish getup: 5 sets of 10 reps|
|Saturday||REST or light cardio|
|Sunday||Legs||Squats: 10 sets of 10 reps, Lunges: 10 sets of 10 reps, Deadlifts: 10 sets of 10 reps|
Best Body Weight Exercises
Squats are often called the “king of all exercises” for good reason. They work multiple muscle groups–your calves, thighs, butt, core and abs, and back. Here’s how to do it.
Pushups are another great all-around exercise that works multiple muscles, including your arms, shoulders, chest, and core. Here’s how to do a proper pushup.
Deadlifts are one of my favorite exercises for strengthening your legs and core, increasing lean muscle mass, and decreasing fat. Doing deadlifts with just your body weight can help prevent injuries too, because many people try to load too much weight on when using a barbell and other weight lifting equipment. Here’s how you perform a bodyweight deadlift.
Lunges are another body weight exercise I absolutely love for burning fat and building lean muscle. They work almost every muscle in your legs and promote a strong, solid core. Here’s a video that explains how to do a bodyweight lunge.
Planks are a really awesome exercise for building a strong core and midsection area. As you get stronger, try and hold the plank for longer and longer. You can also do side planks, which help target love handles, which are a common trouble spot for lots of people. Here’s how to do a plank.
- Turkish get up
I’ll be the first to admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Turkish get ups. They are brutally taxing but also one of the best all-around body weight exercises you can do. Here’s a video on how to do it. Note that this video demonstrates how to the exercise with a kettlebell. You can also do it without them obviously.
The bicycle is one of the best ab exercises. In fact, according to researchers at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, the bicycle recruits more abdominal muscle fibers than any other exercise.
Want More Tips on Getting Tight and Toned?
This article is #4 in my free 12-part tutorial called “Exercise 101: How to Get In Shape“.
Next up is article #5, which will walk you through another body weight workout routine that only takes 20 minutes.
Or you can go back to article #3 and read about some great office exercises to do at work.