Body weight workouts are excellent alternatives to classic gym exercises that lead to surprisingly impressive results, all from the privacy of your own home. Here, we’ll cover five fundamental body weight exercises for beginners and athletes alike.
We recommend doing circuits—completing one exercise right after the other—without taking a break until you’ve finished all exercises. Three circuits per workout with brief breaks in between provide a great starting point, but you can adjust your workout volume to your particular needs.
1. 20 Squats
Squats are the foundation of any strength training routine. This fundamental exercise targets nearly all the muscles in your core and lower body.
How to Perform a Squat
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointed straight ahead or slightly outward.
- Look straight ahead and keep your back straight.
- Stretch your arms straight in front of you, parallel to the floor.
- Engage your core and slowly lower yourself by bending your knees, making sure they remain aligned with your feet.
- Once your hips are parallel to or slightly below your knees, push yourself back up to standing.
2. 10 Lunges
Like squats, lunges primarily target your lower body. In addition to toning your thighs, hips, and glutes, lunges help build balance and coordination.
How to Perform a Lunge
- Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
- Look straight ahead and hold your chin up.
- Engage your core and take one step forward.
- Lower your hips until both of your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
- Your front knee should align with, but not go beyond, your ankle.
- Use your front leg to push yourself back up to standing position.
- Repeat the steps with the other leg.
3. 10 Tuck Jumps
Tuck jumps develop leg strength, increase your heart rate, and make you more agile. Plus, they're fun!
How to Perform a Truck Jump
- Stand with your knees slightly bent.
- Engage your core.
- Jump as high as you can while drawing your knees up to your chest—but be careful not to lean too far back or forward.
4. 10 Push-Ups
Push-ups are the body weight workout equivalent of the bench press. They primarily target your chest, arms, shoulders, and abs.
How to Perform a Push-Up
- Get down on all fours. Only your palms and toes should touch the floor—if you struggle with the exercise, you can get down on your knees.
- Keep your arms and legs straight, and check that your hands are placed slightly wider than shoulder length apart.
- Engage your core. Slowly lower your body while keeping your back straight.
- Once your chest nearly touches the floor, pause for a moment.
- Push yourself back up to the original position.
5. 30-Second Plank
Planks use nearly all muscles in your body but primarily help tone your core and train balance.
How to Perform a Truck Jump
- Get into the push-up position previously described.
- Lower yourself down onto your forearms.
- Your body should be completely straight and off the floor.
- Engage your abs.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
Working out without equipment using body weight exercises is an excellent way to stay fit.
Once you’ve mastered these body weight workouts, challenge yourself by using a timer to see how long it takes you to complete a circuit. See if you can shorten your total time without compromising your form.
Another way to take your at-home workout to the next level is to use a TRX HOME Suspension Trainer Kit. With this kit, you can quickly and easily attach stretchable straps to nearly any doorway. The TRX HOME Kit lets you do a full resistance strength training workout anywhere and adds additional possibility and challenge to these basic body weight workouts.