No Gym? Five of the Best Bodyweight Exercises

There is no dispute that exercise is an essential facet of all-around health. However, there are times when you just can’t get to the gym, or just don’t like the thought of exercising around other people. Bodyweight exercises are an excellent solution to this dilemma. This type of training requires little or no equipment, and you can do them almost anywhere.

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Here are hve of the best bodyweight exercises.


I know you remember these from gym class, but pushups are a staple in any bodyweight workout arsenal. This one exercise will incorporate your chest, triceps, shoulders, and most importantly your core. It is an all-around muscle builder.

You perform the pushup by beginning facedown on the grounc feet together and hands shoulder-width apart. lighten your core and pushup with your arms until your arms are almost entirely locked out, and then reverse the motion until your chest is a few inches from the ground and you have completed one repetition. Continue repetitions until you have reached your desired number and that ends one set.

Usually, a good ratio, to begin with, is three sets of 10 repetitions.

There are variations of the pushup that can help you keep things fresh. A wide-arm pushup is the same motion, but you move your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. The wide-arm pushup will put more concentration on the chest. Another variation is the diamond pushup. In this variety, your hands are placed closer together right underneath your body. Use the same motion as the regular pushup, and you are now targeting the triceps to a higher degree.

Squats/Calf Raise

Just as the pushup targets the entire upper body, the squat will hit almost all the muscles of the lower body. The most significant muscles used will be your thighs and glutes. Throw in a calf raise at the end of the repetition, and you will have covered the entire leg. Your hamstrings will come into play somewhat, but not as much as the larger muscles.

To perform the squat, you stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. You have a couple of choices on your hand placement. You can either place them on your hips or raise them in front of your body for increased balance during the exercise. You begin by bending your knees and lowering your body into the squat position. It is essential that when you go into the squat that your thighs are parallel to the floor at the bottom portion. If you attempt to go any lower, there is a chance for knee damage. After reaching the lateral position reverse the motion and linish by raising up on your tiptoes for the calf raise portion of the exercise.

As with most exercises, there are several variations of the squat. The sumo squat is one of those varieties. This modiiication is performed by moving your feet slightly further than shoulder-width apart and pointing your toes slightly outward. Perform the squat with the same motion as above, and you will incorporate more of the inner-thigh.


People will often overlook the plank as a plausible exercise to put into their inventory. There is no movement to the task, so there are skeptics. Until you have tried a plank, you do not know the meaning of core strength.

This exercise is simple. You begin facedown on the ground, much like the pushup. Unlike the pushup, you will come up onto your elbows and tighten your core, like the pushup position. The trick of this exercise is to keep your body as straight as possible (hence the name, ” plank”). Most people will begin with 10 seconds at a time, and then work their way up to more extended periods of holding the plank.

There aren’t any variations for the plank. lf you do this exercise correctly, you will not need one.

Glute Bridge

As part of building core strength, your glutes will come into play. Strengthening this muscle also helps in warding off the lower back pain. The glutes, while often overlooked in many workouts, deserve attention.

To begin the glute bridge, you will lay flat on your back, hands by your sides Next, bring your feet in close to your body and spread them shoulder-width apart. Using your hips, push up toward the ceiling and then return to the start position to complete the repetition. Typical ranges are 10 re petitions and three sets.


The pull-up is the only exercise listed here that you will need equipment to complete. The equipment required is minimal. You can buy a pull-up bar at most department or sporting goods stores. These bars are often portable, and only a doorway is needed to put the bar into place. The pull-up is listed because it is an exercise that works multiple parts of the body.

Once you install the bar and test it to ensure it will safely hold your weight, you can begin the exercise. Facing the bar, you will want to grip it with your palms facing away from your body and slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar to begin the exercise. You may have to raise your feet in front of you or bend your knees and raise your feet behind your body. Pull your body up until your chin clears the bar and then return to the start position. Continue the exercise for your prescribed amount of repetitions.

One variation of the pulI-up is the chin up, which you perform in much the same way as the pull-up. You change the exercise by turning your palms toward your body. This variation changes the muscles you engage by bringing in more of the biceps into play.

A quick search of the internet will yield hundreds of bodyweight exercises. However, this list is designed to consider a full-body workout that you can do with minimal space and limited time. As time goes on, you will want to vary the movements to keep your workouts fresh and exciting. Just make sure that you substitute an exercise that works for the game muscle groups so that you retain the full-body benefits


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