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10 Bodyweight Training Exercises You Can Try at Home

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You know you should exercise, but that gym membership you’ve been thinking about hasn’t yet materialized. Maybe you’re not quite ready to venture outside to run or walk in public. The good news? You can get a full-body workout in the comfort and privacy of home—and it won’t cost you a dime.
While many mistakenly assume that they need a full home gym with pricey equipment and tons of space to get a good workout, with bodyweight exercises, you can work all of the major muscle groups without a single piece of fitness gear. It’s a great way to ease into strength training if you’re still a little daunted by weights. Best of all, you can do them anywhere—from your living room floor or hotel room to your backyard or local park.
Ashley Stewart, a NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of Kardiá Personal Training, loves these 10 effective moves that use your own body resistance to build strength, balance and flexibility, all while burning calories and raising your heart rate. All you need to get started is a mat or towel, some floor space and a motivating playlist to power you through to the end.

Superman Hold

Benefits: This movement works the entire back side of your body. The glutes are the primary muscle used, but the upper and lower back are involved as well, which helps build strength for lower-body pulling movements, like deadlifts.
  • Start by lying on your stomach.
  • Squeeze your glutes and pull your chest and legs off the ground.
  • Keep your arms out in front of you to engage your entire body.
  • Hold for anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes, two to three times. Increase time as you progress to build strength.

Split-Stance Deadlift

Benefits: This deadlift variation is a great way to work the "hinge" pattern, which teaches you to hinge at the hips versus squatting into a deadlift. It works the glutes, and is also a great way to mobilize the hamstrings. Since it is also a single-leg movement, muscular imbalances can be improved here as well.
  • Begin with one leg out in front of your body and your back leg trailing for balance.
  • Sending your hips back first, hinge at the hips and reach down to the ground.
  • Keep your core tight and back flat.
  • Squeeze your glutes (mainly in your lead leg) to stand up.
  • Repeat for 15 to 20 reps per leg, for two to three sets.


Plank Shoulder Taps

Benefits: This move promotes core stability and strength, and also works the glutes, triceps, deltoids and lower back.
  • Begin in a high plank.
  • Touch one hand to your opposite shoulder while balancing on your other hand.
  • Hold this position for one to three seconds, then return to start and repeat on your other side.
  • Keep the core and glutes tight throughout the movement. To make the movement easier, widen your feet.
  • Repeat 20 alternating reps for one to two sets.


Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Benefits: This movement works the glutes in a single-leg fashion, which helps even out muscular imbalances.
  • Begin by lying on your back with one leg up, and your opposite foot on the ground close to your body.
  • Push through the heel of your working leg while keeping the other straight. The goal is to get your hips up until they are in line with your knee and shoulder.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 12 to 15 reps per leg, for two to three sets.

Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat

Benefits: This movement helps to even out imbalances, but involves more muscles. The glutes and quads are targeted here, and the balance necessary to complete the movement helps ensure proper muscle engagement.
  • Begin with your back foot up on a bench or chair, with your lead leg positioned a few paces away from the bench. Find a setup that feels comfortable, not cramped.
  • Lower yourself to the ground as far as possible, dropping your back knee down toward your bench or chair.
  • Keep the knee of your working leg in line with your foot, and keep your chest up tall.
  • Press up through your front foot to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  • Repeat for 12 to 15 reps per leg, for two to three sets.

Single-Leg Hip Thrusters

Benefits: A more advanced version of the single-leg glute bridge, this move targets the glutes as well, but allows for more range of motion and more muscle recruitment.
  • Rest your upper back on the edge of a bench.
  • Begin with your hips raised to find your ideal foot position. Send one leg straight out in front of you and plant the other firmly on the ground. The foot of your working leg should be directly beneath your knee.
  • Lower your hips as close to the ground as far as possible, keeping your non-working leg straight and in the air.
  • Push through the heel of your working leg and raise your hips until they are in line with your knee and shoulders.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top.
  • Repeat for 12 to 15 reps per leg, for two to three sets.

Bench Dips

Benefits: This movement targets the triceps, and is good for building upper-body pushing strength.
  • Begin with your hands on the edge of a bench or box.
  • Keep your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Lower yourself as far as possible, keeping your body close to the bench. Ideally, your shoulders should be in line with elbows.
  • Press back up into your starting position.
  • Repeat for 15 to 20 reps for two to three sets.

Star Side Plank

Benefits: This is an advanced plank variation targeting the obliques and gluteus medius, two muscles that play a role in overall stability.
  • Begin by balancing on one hand and one foot in a traditional side plank.
  • Activating the muscles of your core, raise your top leg and top arm to form a star.
  • Squeeze your glutes and core to maintain balance in this position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, two to three times.


Pike Push-Up

Benefits: This movement targets the shoulders and is a great way to build overhead pressing strength.
  • Begin in a pike position, with your hips as high as possible and your chin tucked.
  • Keeping your legs straight, lower your head and touch it to the ground slightly in front of your hands. Try to make a triangle between your two hands and the top of your head.
  • Press back up into your start position, bringing your head back through your arms.
  • Perform 10 to 20 reps, for two to three sets.

Bear Crawl

Benefits: This is a full-body movement. The core is heavily involved in keeping the body stable, while the quads and shoulders get a good burn as they support the body, as well.
  • Begin on your hands and feet, with your knees hovering one inch above the ground.
  • Crawl forward by shifting your right hand and left leg up. Follow with your left hand and right leg. Don't overthink the movement; the focus should be keeping your core tight and making deliberate, small movements forward.
  • Keep your core tight and hips level. Take small steps to avoid excessive hip swiveling.
  • Crawl up approximately 20 meters, then come back. Repeat two to three times.

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GRITTYBEAR 5/19/2020
Definitely not for beginners or very obese. Should mention that in the title. Report
ARCHI_MAN 4/24/2020
You are an inspiration to us all.Here is a great way i found to lose weight.
I hope it helps some others.https://bit.ly/2SlACHd Report
GRAMLOCK77 4/22/2020
I’m sure these are great exercises but not for this senior citizen. Report
GGRSPARK 4/22/2020
This is very nice... if you have a gym, a bench, and years of trsining behind you. Not for beginners. Report
GGRSPARK 4/22/2020
This is very nice... if you have a gym, a bench, and years of trsining behind you. Not for beginners. Report
GPLATERO10 4/10/2020
These exercises are great !! I combined them with my personalized diet and I obtained optimal results in a short time, 100% recommended https://bit.ly/34rp9uk Report
DAWNGW 3/24/2020
love these! Thanks! Report
SUSIEMT 3/24/2020
Wow! What great exercises! I will attempt them it may not be pretty but anything to keep my attitude in check. Report
LJK091354 3/24/2020
Thanks for these. I'm determined that the Corona virus will not take my exercise away from me. My Jazzercise location owner has given us 60 days of free access to Jazzercise on Demand (I believe Jazzercise, Inc. actually offered this) and I'm doing more of that than when I go to class and my daughter gave me a Barre DVD also. We all have to remain strong and keep moving. Report
NIKO27 3/20/2020
Great Article
KHALIA2 3/1/2020
Great Exercises!!!!!!!!! Report
PATRICIA-CR 2/28/2020
Some are very intense. Report
HOLLYM48 2/28/2020
Great article! Report
PICKIE98 2/27/2020
I am no longer able to do all but two of them, but DO do them! Report
NANASUEH 2/27/2020
thanks Report
some good ideas Report
NEPTUNE1939 2/27/2020
ty Report
Thanks! Report
NANCYPAT1 9/8/2019
Ty Report
NANCYPAT1 9/8/2019
Ty Report
Question: how would you log this in "my Fitness"? When tracking your sets, reps, calories and minutes, what would you use for weight? Report
MNABOY 7/20/2019
Thanks for sharing Report
Great information. Report
Excellent article with great information. Thanks. Report
These are good exercises but, i am not fit enough to do these yet. I will need to build up to them. Report
These are good for people with no physical limitations Report
Thanks for the tips Report
Great article, thank you. Report
I’ll try some. Report
I'm excited to try some new moves! Report
Goals for most!!

When I started my journey I wanted to be stronger. Lol not hard since 1 lb weight was enough!!

I'm now 10 lbs so some of these I may be able to try now

TY Report
I have to agree with PRUSSIANETTE - nearly all of these would be quite difficult for me, at least at this stage. In truth, the article does not say "...for beginners," so that is a clue that these perhaps aren't designed for those starting out. I plan to research modifications or find similar exercises for beginners, seniors, the morbidly obese, and work from there. I also looked up Ashley's website - she has some good ideas on there, and her "online trainer" concept sounds quite appealing. She may have some exercises that could be useful to overweight people, beginners, etc. Report
Although all of the above are great exercises, many would be extremely difficult to do for people who are significantly overweight. I have done strength training for 3 decades, but pumping 20 and 25 pound weights is easier than trying to balance 250 pounds (or more) on your wrists and knees. Strap another 100 to 150 pounds of weight to this guy and let's see how easy he can do these--although that wouldn't even be equivalent as he has the start up advantage of being extremely fit--those who are significantly overweight most likely don't have the core strength or balance control to even attempt most of these without injuring themselves.

So, if you are significantly overweight and still want to try these exercises, please, please, PLEASE, have someone there to spot you while you are attempting. Report
thank you Report
Good info. thanks. Report
Thank you. Very informative. Report
Some of these are currently out of range, but good goals all of them. Report
Love these and can do most of them well with my physical limitations.
Thanks Report
I love these different exercises, I can do them in my basement gym Report
Good suggestions. However, I would have loved to have seen the suggestions done at a house instead of the gym. Report
thanks Report
This looks like a lot of great information, but I am confused as to exactly how a Pike is different from a Downward Dog? This came up a few weeks ago, as a Sparker was cheering herself on for holding a pike for a certain length of time. From the context, I couldn't tell if she was talking about a plank or a downward dog. So?? just curious. Report
Thanks Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thanks!!! Started off in a power chair, slowly I've gotten stronger(took 8 years!!) But I'm up to trying these!-

Slowly if you're able make your body stronger. If not modify them or cheer on others. Report
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