Best Bodyweight Exercises: Top 10
Bodyweight exercises must be a part of everyone’s routine if you are really looking to get fit fast.
The thing I love about bodyweight exercises is the fact that you can do them anywhere at anytime, and you can make them as hard or as easy as you want. With the 10 best bodyweight exercises I will be going over, you can adjust each one to make it more or less difficult.
When it comes to your workouts, the best way to build muscle, burn fat, and get stronger is the combination of heavy lifting, bodyweight exercises, and high intensity cardio (i.e. sprints). Not only will you gain strength but adding in bodyweight exercises will help build endurance which is always key in a workout routine.
Be sure to take a look at the top 10 exercises for building six-pack abs so you can get an idea of what kinds of exercises you should be focusing on first in order to get in great shape. Then you can add in the exercises we will be going over below!
Below is a list of the top 10-bodyweight exercises you can do when it comes to getting fit fast:
Top Ten Bodyweight Exercises
A very difficult move especially for a beginner. However, just like anything new, you must work on pull-ups in order to improve them. Stop avoiding them and start incorporating them back into your workouts.
You can start by doing assisted or jumping pull-ups for strength gaining purposes. Pull-ups are an incredible exercise that really helps build the lats and biceps, plus will build an incredibly strong core and help burn the fat around your abs!
No matter where you are at right now, each person should shoot to complete at least 40-50+ pull-ups a week. For beginners this may mean to do 10 sets of 1-2 pull ups a day for five days while for more advanced this can be done in two sets. (more advanced should incorporate more than 50 a week!)
Whatever the case may be for you, pull-ups should start to become a regular part of your workout routine.
- Knee push-ups (beginner)
- Wall push-ups (beginner)
- Bench push-ups (beginner)
- Decline push-ups (moderate)
- Wide grip and close grip push-ups (moderate)
- Medicine Ball push-ups (moderate)
- Dive Bombers (moderate/advanced)
- Spiderman push-ups (moderate/advanced)
- Suspended push-ups (moderate/advanced)
- Handstand push-ups (advanced)
- TRX or Ring push-ups (advanced)
- One-armed push-ups (advanced)
- Planche push-ups (very advanced)
The push-up variations that you can come up with are endless and as you can see they can be catered to all fitness levels. Some are far more advanced than others but each one will get you stronger and more fit. It is important that you are constantly challenging yourself to improve your push-ups and your push-up totals.
3. Inverted Row
This exercise really targets your entire back, will improve core strength, and helping to build ripped forearms and biceps. Once again there are many different variations that will make this exercise more or less difficult.
Depending on what you are using for the inverted row will determine the difficulty level. Take a look at a few of the options below:
- TRX Band
Each of these brings more or less difficulty to the exercise and are all very beneficial. You can also increase difficulty by pausing at the top of each repetition or by suspending one or both legs in the air.
Incorporating dips into your workout routine is one of the best ways to build ripped triceps. Not to mention it is also a great core and chest workout depending on the angle you perform the dips.
- Chair (beginner)
- Bench (beginner)
- Dip bars (moderate)
- Rings (advanced)
- TRX straps (advanced)
Once you become better and better at dips, you should start incorporating weight to make them even more challenging.
5. Single Leg Squat
Single leg squats are a very hard exercise but will build incredible strength all throughout your lower body and core. This is an advanced move that must be slowly transitioned into but is another that you should work your way towards.
There are a few different ways you can perform a single leg squat:
- Placing your foot on a bench
- Single Leg Deadlift
- Placing your foot on a TRX band
- Performing a pistol squat
For beginners, it is recommended to go in the order as you see it above. Some people may never be able to perform a pistol squat but that definitely does not mean you should not work towards doing one!
6. Jumping movements
When it comes to burning fat, building your core, and improving your athleticism jumping is where it’s at! Jumping can be used to build both strength and endurance and is something everyone should incorporate into their routines a few times per week.
Here are a few jumping options you can start to incorporate:
- Squat jumps
- Box jumps
- Single leg leap ups
- Jump rope
- Broad jumps
- Tuck jumps
- Quick jump
- Jump lunges
- Step down to hop up
- Dunking a basketball
If you have not jumped in a while be sure to start slow as jumping is very demanding on your joints and body. Build up to doing more each time you go workout!
In our top ten exercises for six-pack abs, burpees where described as “the ultimate high intensity workout.” Not only will they bring you an incredible cardio workout but they will also bring a great full body strength workout.
Burpees involve using nearly every muscle in your body and are great for building upper body and lower body strength. With the many different burpee variations out there, the options are endless when making them more or less difficult.
From adding in push-ups and squat jumps to adding in a pair of dumbbells, this movement is incredibly difficult and you can expect some great results doing it.
Aside from squats and deadlifts, lunges are the go to exercise when trying to build great leg strength and a nice backside. Although incorporating weight is the best way to build muscle more quickly, doing bodyweight lunges will still bring results.
Lunges require lots of core strength and balance so you will be getting a great overall workout. You can also easily bump up the intensity on lunges by doing jump lunges. This will bring a cardio style workout all while building up strength.
9. Planks/Side Planks
All the exercises that we have covered so far incorporate using your core. Planks and side planks however are the only ones that will directly target your core. Side planks will also directly target your obliques which are essential to overall strength and aiding in different movements that we engage in (like squats and deadlifts).
Planks and side planks can be made as easy or as difficult as you make them to be. Adding in outside objects such as an exercise ball, TRX band, or medicine ball will make planks and side planks more difficult.
To make them easier, start by planking on a bench or chair.
10. Bodyweight Squats
The key to doing bodyweight squats is to always be improving on them. Just like regular squats as you are always trying to increase the weight, bodyweight squats should always be getting more challenging.
To do this you must always be pushing yourself to go lower and lower until your hamstrings are able to meet your calves. This will greatly help in improving your flexibility and will help when doing weighted squats.
Bodyweight squats can be used during any style workout and are another exercise that will build solid muscles in your legs.
Beyond The Top Ten
Aside from the top ten, here are a few more bodyweight exercises that did not quite make the list but were very close:
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Rock Climbers
- Single Leg Hip Thrust
- Barbell Roll Out
- Back Extensions
The bodyweight exercises above are just a few of the many exercises I see myself incorporating into my weekly workouts. As you can see, there are plenty of great bodyweight exercises that you can start doing to build strength, lose fat, and get fit.
These bodyweight exercises alone will bring you great results. However, the best way to get results fast is by combining them with a solid strength training routine. Whichever you decide to do, whether that be doing the bodyweight exercises above by themselves or combining them with some strength training, I can guarantee you will be happy with the results you get!
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