At-home bodyweight exercises are an ideal way to begin or to supplement your workout routine. The weight of your body provides resistance to strengthen major muscle groups, tone your body, burn calories and increase your metabolism. Plus, you achieve all this from the comfort of home. That means you can perform the workout at any time of the day. You don’t need to undergo expensive renovations that require any number of permits if you know the right moves.
Prior to the workout, warm up with 3 to 5 minutes of full-body movements such as walking, running in place or climbing stairs. Then, aim to complete 3 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions of each exercise. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between each set or move from one exercise to the next and repeat the entire circuit 3 times for a fast-paced and effective workout session. Remember to allow at least one day of recovery between workouts if you are completing all of the following bodyweight exercises during one session:
This is the only exercise for which you will need something not typically found in your home. For example, you can purchase a pull-up bar that rests in a doorframe or go outside and find a sturdy branch. Grasp the bar with your palms facing away from you and slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart. Position your body directly below the bar and straighten arms.
Bend knees and raise your feet behind you to allow your body to hang from hands. Exhale, bend elbows and pull up until your chest is near the bar. Maintain this position for one second and then inhale and release. For beginners, place one or both feet on the ground to provide assistance.
You can perform this exercise in two ways. If you have a sturdy dining table, lie on the floor with your legs underneath the table. Position the edge of the table in line with your chest. Grasp the table top with both hands positioned at shoulder width. Exhale, bend elbows and lift your body toward the table while keeping heels on the floor and body in a straight line.
The alternative is to roll up a long towel and fold it in half. Close the middle of the towel into a door and hold onto an end in each hand. Place feet near the door and lean back slightly to straighten your arms. Exhale, bend elbows and pull yourself toward the door. Inhale and straighten arms.
Push-ups & Dips
Standard push-ups begin on hands and knees with hands positioned under shoulders. Straighten legs and rest toes on the floor. Lower hips slightly to create a straight spine that flows from your shoulders to your hips. Look down at the floor. Inhale, bend elbows and lower body toward the floor. Exhale, straighten arms to the starting position.
Chair Dips require you to sit on a chair and place palms on the chair next to hips. Let fingers drape over the edge of the chair. Bend knees and place feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet slightly away from the chair to move your hips off the chair. Inhale, bend elbows behind you until upper arms are parallel with the floor. Exhale, straighten arms to the starting position.
Planks & Side planks
From a hands and knees position, straighten legs behind you. Place hands under shoulders and rest toes on the floor. Lower hips to straighten spine. Look at the floor and maintain this position for 10 to 60 seconds as you breathe normally. Move into side plank by shifting your weight onto your right hand. Turn body to the left and raise left arm toward the ceiling. Maintain this position for 10 to 60 seconds and then return to plank before repeating side plank to the right; these will offer several key benefits.
Sit on the floor with legs straight in front of you. Place palms on the floor slightly in front of your hips. Keep back straight, exhale, press palms down and raise your backside off the floor. Inhale and release or hold for 10 to 60 seconds.
Place back against a wall and walk feet approximately one foot away from the base. Bend knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor and maintain this squat for 10 to 60 seconds as you breathe normally.
Stand with feet a hips-distance apart. Keep spine straight as you inhale, bend knees and lower hips behind you into a squat. Keep your weight centered in heels and only lower until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Exhale, straighten your legs and repeat.