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Bodyweight Exercises

Here is a great full bodyweight workout comprised of two bodyweight exercises. I really think you are going to like the first bodyweight exercise because it utilizes your body entirely…except for maybe your baby toe…maybe!

Your two exercises for this workout are:
1. Extreme Burpee
2. Skipping

Watch closely for the demonstration then follow along in the video. YES I KNOW ITS WINDY! But only for the first minute and 9 seconds. I like the mountain top.

Here is a list of other great bodyweight exercises for getting lean and BodyRipped!

Bodyweight exercises have become one of the most important aspects of building your fitness foundation. Getting lean and Ripped is something everybody strives for as one of their goals in their overall approach to becoming healthy.

The days of throwing around big weight in the gym are all but gone. Bodyweight workouts take a natural approach to your training and allow you to progress from the basics when you are just starting out to more advanced movements.

The mindset of what is considered to be “fit and healthy” in society today has drastically changed. A three hundred pound muscle laden athlete without balance was viewed as fit where as today a 110 lb female who can do a 12 minute session of purely bodyweight exercises, is more likely to be viewed as an example of fitness.

The simplicity of these kinds of movements is what makes them so attractive. The ability to put together a training session (like those you see in the BodyRipped Workout of the Day) which you can do in a 5 foot square area, using only bodyweight exercises, is a much more acceptable approach to achieving a ripped and lean body. Spending hundreds of dollars at a gym is no longer the way people want to train.

We have put together the top body weight exercises for our RIPPED NATION. If you think these, along with the variations of each, aren’t enough to get you lean and ripped, you may not be doing them properly.

In fact, we want to see what you can do with these. We will be looking for a combination and variation of the top bodyweight exercises, to create fantastic workouts in the RIPPED Challenges area of the site. We want to see what you have come up with based on the exercises Kyla has outlined below.

1. BURPEE
This is one of the body weight exercises I will call a FULL BODY MOVE, or a DYNAMIC EXPLOSIVE move.

You can watch a video of the burpee in one of our demonstration videos. The Burpee works every muscle including your legs, glutes, back, abdominals, arms, chest… you name it, when you do a properly executed BURPEE, it’s being worked.

The Burpee is a fantastic cardiovascular move as well, with the fast paced up and down, your heart rate will be UP UP UP!!

The proper execution of a burpee looks like this:

Begin in a standing position, bend your knees and place your hands on the floor beside your feet. Keeping your core tight, hop both feet back into a plank position
From here hop your feet back in between your hands, be sure to land FLAT FOOTED and upper body straight up, driving your feet into the floor, jump up as high as possible.

THIS my friends… is a BURPEE…. the top full bodyweight exercise perfect to be added to ANY workout routine.

 

START Position

 

MIDDLE Position

 

POSITION BEFORE LEAP

 

There are multiple versions to the famous burpee, simply adding to the reasons as to why it is
the number 1 full bodyweight exercise in my books…..

*The push up burpee
*The knee drive burpee
*The tuck jump burpee
*The side-ways burpee
*The press up burpee
*The hop over burpee

Add these into your session to start seeing serious results.

2. SQUATS

The squat…. sometimes gets given a bad wrap…. TOTALLY UNFAIR and UN REALISTIC because it is such an effective exercise when performed properly and vital to your home workout. You can see a video of how to do a squat properly just by clicking the link above.

A proper squat using your own bodyweight, is up there on my list of favorite body weighted exercises for a few reasons.
Performed slower and deeper you activate those big muscles we call the GLUTEOUS MAXIMUS, and the QUADRICEPS.
Working these babies is where we really begin burning calories and shedding fat.

Using your own bodyweight with a squat allows you to target these muscles in a safer manner with the
depth, rather than adding on a ton of extra weight and sacrificing depth.

The Proper execution of a body weighted squat looks like this:

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width ( this is hip BONE) This is approximately 2.5 feet.

In your mind, SUPER GLUE your heels to the floor, and try to avoid pressing into the balls of your feet and your toes (This is where the knee troubles come in)
Bending at the hips, sit down into an imaginary chair, keeping your core tight and slightly erect,
allowing a slight tilt forward as to not fall over backwards.
Sit down as low as you can without compromising your knees. (This typically is just slightly lower than 90 degrees)

Drive your heels through the floor, stand straight up, squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.


The squat can be manipulated into many variations, some include:
*Pulse squat
*Jump squat
*Plie Squat
*Sumo Squat
*Speed Skater squat
*1 legged squat

3. PUSH UP

The “Oh so loved PUSH UP”… famous now and always as one of the best bodyweight exercises you can have in your workout arsenal, and again.. it forms the foundation of any home workout.

The push up is primarily a pectoral (chest) exercise, but in turn works the deltoids, the triceps and the
abdominals if executed properly.

The proper execution of the push up looks like this:
Place your hands palm down on the floor in line with your arm pits but wide enough that your full
upper body can fit between.

A good start is to lay face down on your belly, and get your hands in the start position.

From this point, tighten your core and lift your body off the floor, now with your weight in your hands and toes. (Your foot stance can be slightly apart for comfort and stability)

Keeping your head up, and your torso strong and flat, inhale, bend at the elbows, lowing your full body
to the floor.

Exhale and drive your palms through the floor, squeezing your pectorals together. As a beginner, this bodyweight exercise can be performed from your knees.

Follow all the above steps, but from your belly, drive the weight through your palms and knees rather
than your toes. Focus on keeping your torso straight, hips DOWN, core tight.

Lower the whole body to the floor ( thighs, hips, belly, chest)

PUSHUP START POSITION

 

PUSHUP FINISH POSITION

The push up can be an excellent move to strengthen the arms, chest, shoulders and abdominals.

PUSHUP VARIATION

If you are looking for a ‘step up’ in your push up, here are some variations.
*Decline push up
*1 legged push up
*Medicine Ball push up
*Plyometric Push up
*Reptile push up
*Tricep push up
*Spiderman push up
*Bunny hop push up
……… The list goes on and on

4. PULL UP / CHIN UP

The Pull up or chin up…… WOMEN HATE THEM!!!!! Men seem to have no problem with them…. regardless, this doozy makes my top ten list of most effective body weight exercises.

Both the Pull up AND the Chin up are by far some of the toughest exercises to perform, but for sure the
most satisfying when you finally ‘get it’.

The pull up uses the big muscles in our back known as the Latissimus Dorsi and Rhomboids, as well as the abdominals.

There is a slight difference in the Chin up versus the Pull up, but they are a very close relative and therefore I include them together.

The chin up tends to be slightly easier in that you get the added use of the biceps to pull your body weight UP, rather than just the muscles in the rear.

The grips on these two body weighted exercises are what separates them.
The Pull up requires a wide pal forward grip, and the Chin up has a closer reverse grip, palms facing YOU.

Proper execution of both the Pull up & the Chin up look like this:

PULL UP: Grip high bar slightly wider than shoulder width ( approximately 3 inches wider per side) lift your chest up towards the ceiling, tighten your abdominals, inhale, as you exhale you will pull your chest towards the bar.
As a beginner, place your feet on a chair, or lower bar and slightly push yourself up, remove your feet and slowly lower your body weight down to start again.

CHIN UP: Grip the high bar slightly closer than shoulder width, palms facing you, chest lifted abdominals tight. Inhale, as you exhale, pull your body weight up towards the bar. As a beginner, do as above and place your feet on a chair or low bar to assist on the UP and slowly lower your weight down to start again.

Once you have mastered these moves and are looking for an added ‘oomph’, try these:
*Burpee pull up
*Burpee Chin up
*Low bar elevated feet pull up
*Low bar elevated feet pull up, jump over

5. PLANK
The plank is included in the top bodyweight exercises for the plain and simple reason it is the TOP core exercise. This particular exercise beats out the ‘crunch’ or the ‘sit up’ by FAR!! It is also a part of your abdominal foundation you use during your home workout.

Performed properly, the plank is targeting the muscles DEEP in the abdominal wall. The transverse abdominals…
These are your SIX PACK AB muscles, these are the muscles we want to strengthen in order to build the beautiful six pack which sits just beneath the tummy skin.

Not only are you building a stronger abdominal wall with a plank, you are strengthening the muscles in which protect your back and your spine. You are toning your arms and shoulders with a plank as well.

The proper execution of a plank looks like this:
Begin on your belly with your elbows placed under your armpits with your shoulders directly on top of
them.
Much like a push up, you will be driving force through your toes, focusing on nothing more than breathing and holding your core TIGHT.

Lift your hips and body off the floor, maintaining a flat back, with no arch up or dip down. Think of your belly button having a string attached to it, being pulled through your body up to the ceiling. This enables you to ‘tuck’ your belly in and tighten your abdominals effectively.

Another way to ensure you learn to properly activate your transverse abdominals for the plank is to lay on your back, make an L with your thumb and middle finger, place your thumb on your hip and your finger angled just above your groin. Now pull activate those lower abs just below your fingers by pulling the belly button toward the spine, gently. It doesn’t take much to activate the tranverse abdominals at all, and this technique will teach you how to do it, until you get to the point where you will be able to do it without touching them.

PLANK – Anywhere!

Plank

The plank, once mastered can be intensified with multiple variations such as…
*Stability ball plank
*Medicine ball plank
*1 legged plank
*1 arm plank
*Knee drive plank
*Decline plank
*Plank walk up
*Side plank
*Walking plank

6. DIP

The tricep dip is another of the fabulous body weight exercises which can literally be performed anywhere…. even on the floor.

The Dip focuses on the tricep, the back of the arm, otherwise known as the “flabby wiggly part”. (but if you are doing BodyRipped daily workouts.. your triceps will be dynamite!)

Executed properly, the dip will also add tone to your upper back ( your trapezius, as well as your
shoulders or deltoids). Another key point you should know is the tricep muscle makes up 2/3 of the size of your upper arm. So when you want nice ripped arms you want to make sure and include these in your workouts.

Proper execution of a tricep dip looks like this:

Using a bench preferably, have a seat and place your hands palm down directly at your hips.
Lift your body up and off the bench, legs extended out in front. Keeping your back straight and very close to the bench, bend at your elbows, dropping your bottom to the floor.
From this point, drive your hands through the bench and push yourself back up to the starting point.

The dip can be altered slightly to allow for everyone’s ability to increase their strength accordingly.

Beginner:
When extending your legs out in front, keep a slight bend in your knees, the stronger you get, the straighter your legs will become as you move through this position.

 

Advanced:
Place your feet on a stability ball or another bench. Add additional weight onto your legs, or use a dip station, where your body weight hangs beneath you. From here you can also add additional weight around your waist.

BODYWEIGHT DIP – START

BODYWEIGHT DIP – END

Bodyweight Exercises - Dip

Now I know what you’re thinking.. if we add weight this isn’t a body weight exercise… well if you want to be strict you can also up the reps as an advanced use of the tricep dip.

7. LUNGE

A lunge is in the same family as the squat, and yes done improperly, it can be harmful to your knees. My purpose is to help guide you into proper form of a lunge so you can reap the massive benefits of this body weighted exercise. To give you a visual we created this video of a split lunge for reference.

The lunge is incredible for building stronger and leaner glutes, hips and thighs. The lunge is also a very functional body weight exercise, which allows for many variations to be added, to increase the intensity without added weight.

Much like the squat, by using just your body weight in the lunge you can focus on proper form and depth, keeping the weight driven through the heel of the front foot rather than losing form and using your toes, and potentially damaging your knees.

Proper execution of a lunge looks like this:

Stand feet together, take a long step back with your right leg, keeping a gate between your feet of
approximately 3-5 inches ( think yellow street line).

This step should be long enough so you aren’t ‘pulling’ on your extended hip, and when you drop your back knee down, you form a perfect 90 degree bend and your knee to thigh will form a perfect straight line to the floor.

In this position, your front leg is now also at 90 degrees and 100 % of the forward weight is sitting in the left heel, with your knee in a straight line from your ankle.

 

**IF your front knee is pushed forward over your toes, you will notice that your front heel is lifted with all of your weight is in your toes….. ADJUST, lean back slightly until you have found the proper stance with your weight settled into your front heel.

Once you have mastered the form of the basic lunge you can play with some variations such as…
*Walking lunges
*Stationary lunges
*Pulse lunges
*Lateral lunges
*jumping lunges
*Forward lunge / Backward lunge
*Lunge kick up
*Clock lunges

8. SKIPPING / HIGH KNEES

Learn to walk…. Learn to run…. in place. This can be done with or without a jump rope, but either way your heart will be worked and your physique will be toned.

Body weight exercise produce incredible results and no better form then SKIPPING. Running on the spot, or high knees in place are very close the same, and we will discuss both here.

Skipping is among the best cardiovascular activities you can do…. take a look at a professional boxer’s physique. Lean from head to toe, and what do they do for 90% of their cardio work, aside from actual boxing??

SKIPPING!

We all did it as children, and had no problem with it, now as an adult I want you to be prepared and understand, re-learning to skip can be frustrating, so go easy on yourself.

Physical practice really is the only way to regain your understanding and the skills necessary for skipping… but let’s go over the how to a little bit here.

Holding the rope handles lightly in your hands, keeping your arms loose and bent at the elbow. Tuck your elbows in close to your hips, begin swinging the rope around you to simply hop over.

What tends to happen is arms get away from our bodies too much and the rope simply gets higher off the floor, causing you to have to jump much higher to make it over.

Keeping the elbows close to your sides will result in less unnecessary energy spent on struggling to make it over a rope a foot off the ground.

There are many different types of foot work you can play with once you have mastered the initial ‘hop over’ to increase the intensity to suite your ability.

HIGH KNEES

Really much the same movement as skipping, without the use of your ams……If you can walk, you can do this.

Stand tall, abs tight, lean back ever so slightly, and as quick as you can, run on the spot, keeping your knees up as high as possible. This exercise will really get your heart rate up and can be used during the course of workout or doing some initial prep to get ready for one of our other workouts.

9. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

Another excellent cardiovascular body weighted exercise I like to add into each workout is the Mountain Climber.

This body weighted exercise works primarily the core, including the abdominals as well as your back. You are also working your legs, triceps and shoulders if executed properly.

Proper execution of the Mountain Climber looks like this:

Place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, much like a push up.
Body out straight, legs straight toes in the ground.

Begin by bringing your right knee under your body towards your chest. From here “run” by switching legs as quickly as possible.

Remembering to breath normal in this movement will allow you to maintain form and speed for a longer duration.


An easy way to incorporate this move into your current workout is by performing 30-60 seconds of Mountain Climbers between each set of exercises, or again, you can use this as part of a warm up to prepare your body for other physical activity.

10. Single Leg Dead Lift

The Dead lift is a very well known move in the gym, typically NOT as a body weight exercise.
The single leg dead lift however can be done very efficiently with just your body weight.

This movement uses your own body weight and stability to work multiple muscles, starting with the little stabilizers deep in the foot, up the shins, calves, in and around your knee and into your thigh, hips, glutes and low back.

Proper execution of the single leg dead lift, dramatically helps to lift and shape the glutes and tone the back of the legs, known as the hamstrings.

To properly execute a single leg dead lift, you will :

Stand on your left leg only. Focus on placing your weight into this heel and shooting your hips and glute backwards. Keeping your head up and eyes ahead, core kept tight you will hinge forward at the hips. Reach both hand straight down towards the floor, keeping your back nice and flat, and a slight bend in your knee.

Once you reach the floor, re focus the weight into the heel and slowly stand up straight.
Repeat desired amount on each leg before switching legs.

To “up the ante” on this move, you can:
*Add weight
*Stand on a bosu ball or wobble board

There you have 10 really good body weight exercises you can use in your routine. As you can tell we have linked to actual demonstrations of the exercises to ensure you understand exactly how to perform each of them for fantastic results. These are only a few of our favorites we will work into our training so we hope you like ‘em.

Kyla
~xo


13 responses to “Bodyweight Exercises”

  1. Hanna

    Just found this website today and I love it! Thank you for al the info, video’s and pics. It’s very inspiring!
    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  2. Fitness Wayne | Strength Training and Exercise

    Great list of body weight exercises. One you are missing is the handstand pushup. It is great for your shoulders.

  3. Kevin

    Love the picture tutorials. High quality and great for someone that isn’t familiar with the exercise.

  4. Nate Anglin

    Ahh the burpee. A classic but kicker.

    You can also use some simple tools to increase your resistance at your home gym. One being a pull-up bar. I just wrote an article on these tools. Their SO simple but can help to create a variety in your fitness arsenal.

  5. Emily

    Burpees are insane for cardio. Doing just 10 minutes of it and you will be wiped the rest of the day. I usually combine burpees with high knees on my cardio days. I found your great list of bodyweight exercises that I’m going to add to list of bodyweight exercises to do

  6. Calisthenics

    Loving these exercise ideas – Keep them coming!

  7. Ben

    Like how you keep everything strong in the examples, good alignment. Figuring out the simplest but still complete bodyweight program. Here it is so far: Hindu pushups, bear crawl, crab walk, walking lunges, and pullups. For variety /intensity I add burpees, mountain climbers, jumping rope, climbing trees, farmer’s carry, whatever. But I’m curious what you think about the basic setup in terms of functional movement training. Seems like it moves the body around in just about every plane. I’d really appreciate your feedback or that of equivalently experienced trainers. Thanks, Ben

    1. Kyla

      Hi Ben,
      Noce work, I think what you have in the works sounds great for functional movements.
      Adding in plyo’s for explosive strength will be very beneficial in creating strength and stamina as well:)
      Keep at it!

  8. Ben

    Thanks a lot Kyla. I’ll have to do more research on plyo, not sure how I want to go about it. My biggest thing with picking exercises is that they be as whole body as possible and fun to do. I love jumping around on rocks so I guess that counts. I hadn’t tried the forearm plank before but did because of your article. Super intense and fun, it’s definitely a part of the mix now. Thanks, Ben

  9. vacances norvege neighbor

    Thanks for this very useful info you have provided us. I will bookmark this for future reference and refer it to my friends.

    1. Kyla

      Thanks so much:)

  10. Alonzo Flores

    Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points for first-time blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it. Please take a look this: Những mẫu rèm cửa sổ đẹp năm nay

    1. Kyla

      Wrote from your heart. Wrote as if you are sending your friend a letter:)))

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