Bodyweight exercises are simply moves that require no additional equipment beyond the weight of your own body. These exercises are great because they usually work multiple muscle groups at a time and they can be done virtually anywhere. This list compiles some of the best bodyweight exercises that are sure to transform your body inside and out. Incorporate some of these moves to your next routine to start reaping the benefits as soon as possible.
A classic move in many exercise routines, the plank is a great move that utilizes many different muscle groups. There are also numerous variations of the plank including forearm, extended and side. All variations are great to tone your entire core as well as your arms and legs too. The most important part when doing the plank is to ensure that your form is correct, otherwise you run the risk of injury as well as lessening the effectiveness of the exercise.
Squats are another popular move in many workouts. Like the plank, there are several variations with squats as well. Some people prefer the traditional squat where feet are hips-width distance apart and you simply sit back without letting your knees go over your ankles. Traditional squats are great for the quads and glutes as well as your core as it must be engaged to keep balanced. Other people like plie squats where the legs are spread wider and toes point outwards. This variation is great for the inner thighs in addition to the glutes, abs and quads. There are also split squats, similar to lunges but done in one place, as well as one legged squats. All variations target roughly the same muscle groups but some focus more on certain groups than others.
#3: Push Up
Usually a dreaded move for many people, push ups are actually an incredibly effective bodyweight exercise. With proper form and depending on the variation, push ups target the biceps, triceps, shoulders, upper back, core, glutes and quads. They are truly a total body exercise. Try to add different variations to your next workout like diamond pushups, tricep pushups, one-legged pushups, etc.
Lunges are great to tone the quads, glutes, as well as your core as they require a good deal of balance. The most popular form of lunges are typically walking lunges. These require a bit more space but are still done with only your bodyweight. Other variations include side lunges, reverse lunges and even lunges with hops added for an extra challenge.
The bicycle is a great move to work your whole core from your lower abs to your obliques. This move also tones your quads as well. Play with flexing and pointing your feet too to target different abdominal muscles. One important aspect of this move is that speed matters. While you may see most people in the gym going as fast as they can with their ab bikes, slower is actually better. It strengthens the muscles quicker and spikes the heart rate as well.