The Ultimate List of Bodyweight Exercises: The Best Of The Best

Matthew Conn Body Mastery Leave a Comment

Ultimate List of Bodyweight Exercises

Have you used that excuse too?

You know the excuse I’m talking about – skipping a workout because the equipment you needed wasn’t readily available.  Maybe it was because you didn’t have the required equipment at home. It could have also been because the gym you regularly attend was too busy; or maybe it was because the hotel you were staying at had poor, out-dated equipment.

Don’t be ashamed, we’ve all used similar excuses more than a few times.

But, I have bad news for you! You’ll no longer be able to use those excuses because you’ve just stumbled across the ultimate list of bodyweight exercises. These are the 43 best bodyweight exercises for losing weight and for building muscle.

Most of the bodyweight exercises on this list require no equipment at all.  While some do require a piece of equipment such as a pull-up bar or a bench, there are many everyday objects that can be used if you don’t have the required equipment.

If you are interested in getting or staying fit I recommend you check out my fitness hacks. They contain tricks and tips to help you lose weight, build muscle, and get fit. You can read them by Downloading your FREE copy of the Get Fit Get Rich Kickstart Guide by clicking this link. It is packed with Fitness, Nutrition, & Money-Saving Hacks that will help you to achieve better health and greater wealth.

LOWER BODY EXERCISES:

SQUATS

Basic Squat: Stand with your back against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees are in line with your feet and keep your back flat against the wall. Hold for as long as you can.

Pistol (Single-Leg) Squat: Stand with your back against a wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your right leg off the floor and slide your back down the wall until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Go as low as you can aiming to get your butt to touch the back of your calf. Return to a standing position and repeat on the other side. Have something nearby to hold onto so you can squeeze in a few extra repetitions.

Jump Squat:  Start like you would for a normal squat and begin to squat down. When your thighs are 45 degrees to the floor push-up with the soles of your feet and jump as high as you can while reaching your arms straight over your head. Land softly and begin the next repetition.

Chair Squat: Start like you would for a normal squat and squat down till your thighs are parallel to the floor while extending your arms straight out in front of you. Lift up your right leg and touch your right knee with your left hand. Return to a standing position and repeat on the other side.

 

JUMPS

Snowboard Jump: Start by squatting down with your knees shoulder-width apart and your left hand on the floor. Jump and rotate 180 degrees while you’re in the air. Land in a squat position, touching the floor with your right hand. Repeat the same movement to end up back in the starting position. This is one repetition. You can increase your speed and jump height to increase the difficulty if it becomes too easy.

Broad Jump: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms straight up in the air. Bend your knees and swing your arms back behind your body as you lean slightly forward. Once your arms are all the way back swing them forward and explode up off the floor. Land with your knees slightly bent and then straighten up. Repeat the steps for the next repetition. You can increase your speed and jump height to increase the difficulty.

Tuck Jump: Stand with your knees slightly bent and jump up as high as possible. While in the air, bring your knees into your chest while extending your arms out in front of you. Land with your knees slightly bent and repeat the steps for the next repetition.

High Knees: Bring your left knee up to your chest as high as you can and lower it back to the floor. Immediately repeat the movement with your right knee. This is one repetition. You can increase your speed to increase difficulty.

Plank Pike Jump: Start in a downward dog position with your feet and hands on the floor and your butt in the air. In a jumping motion without moving your hands, bring your feet up as close to your hands as possible. Make your feet land to the right of your hands then jump your feet back down to the starting position. Repeat the movement but make your feet land to the left of your hands on the next repetition. Continue alternating sides with each repetition.

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LUNGES

Basic Lunge: Start with your hands on your hips and your feet shoulder-width apart. Stretch your right leg out in front of you and lower your body until your left knee is almost touching the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Split Lunge: Start in a lunge position with your hands on your hips and your right leg stretched out in front of you and lower your body until your left knee is almost touching the floor.  Jump into the air and switch your feet position before landing. Upon landing your left leg should be stretched out in front of you and your right knee should be almost touching the floor. This is one repetition. You can have your arms out to your sides to help with balance. To increase difficulty try holding weights in your hands.

Lunge To Row: Start by doing a basic lunge with your left foot forward. After lunging forward, instead of stepping back into your original starting position, lift your right foot straight up off the floor. At the same time, lift your arms straight over your head. After holding the position for a few seconds lower your right leg back down and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement with your right leg forward.

Clock Lunge: Complete a traditional basic lunge with your right foot forward (the 12 O’clock Position.) Then take a large step to the right with your right foot (to the 3 O’clock position.) Complete the semi-circle by taking a backward lunge with your right foot (to the 6 O’clock position.) Finish the series of movements by returning to the starting position. Repeat the movements in the opposite direction with your left foot forward (12-9-6 O’clock.)

 

OTHER LOWER BODY EXERCISES:

Calf Raise: Stand straight up and slowly lift your heels off the floor rising up onto your toes. Hold for a few seconds and then come back down. To increase difficulty, try standing on an elevated platform so you can drop your heels down to hang over the edge of the elevated platform. You can also try single-leg calf raises, hold weights in your hands, or wear a weight vest.

Step-Up: Stand in front of a chair or bench. Step-up with your left foot and let your right foot dangle over the edge. Then step back down with your right foot. Repeat the movement but the next time step-up with your right foot.

 

UPPER BODY EXERCISES:

PUSH-UPS

Basic Push-Up: Lay on your chest with your legs straight. With your hands shoulder-width apart and while keeping your back straight and core tight, lift yourself up so only your toes and hands are touching the floor. Bend your elbows until your chest reaches the floor, and then push back up. That is one repetition. To increase difficulty, try clapping during each repetition when in the up position. You can also try single-arm push-ups, you can use your knuckles instead of your hands, or you can add resistance by wearing a weight vest.

Close-Grip Push-Up: Get in a push-up position but instead of placing your hands shoulder-width apart, position them underneath your body close to one another so that your thumbs touch. While keeping your back straight and core tight, lift yourself up so only your toes and hands are touching the floor. Bend your elbows until your chest reaches the floor and then push back up.

Dive-Bomber Push-Up: Start by bending over with your butt raised in the air and your hands and feet on the floor. Picture a downward dog position. Bend your elbows and lower your chest as if you were going to do a push-up but instead, push forward and go through to an upward dog position. You will then reverse the movement. Bend your elbows again and lower your chest and push back up into a downward dog position. That is one repetition.

Conn Push-Up: Start in a plank position by lying face down on the floor. Extend your legs out straight and make a diamond formation with your hands by placing them on the floor underneath your chest. Your thumbs and index fingers should be touching one another. While keeping your back straight, rise up so only your toes and hands are touching the floor. Keep your core tight. As you lower down by bending your arms keep your elbows as close to your body as possible. To decrease the difficulty, lower your knees to the floor and do the push-ups while keeping your knees stationary on the floor.

 

PULL-UPS & CHIN-UPS

Wide Grip Pull-Up: Find a pull-up bar (it can even be one of those $20 door pull-up bars, just make sure it’s secure and can support you.) Grab the bar with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. After a slight pause, lower yourself back down. Immediately go into the next repetition. To decrease difficulty you can do an assisted pull-up by using a chair or exercise band. You just put your foot on the chair or in the band to displace some of your weight when pulling yourself up. You can also do what’s called a negative pull-up where you jump up and grab the bar and then slowly lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended. You would then let go and begin the next repetition.

Close Grip Pull-Up: The close grip pull-up is performed the same way as a wide grip pull-up, the only difference in performing the exercise is that your hands are only 6-8 inches apart. Grab the bar with an overhand grip 6-8 inches apart and pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. After a slight pause, lower yourself back down.

Pull-Up To Knee Raise: Perform a wide-grip pull-up with an overhand grip and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. When you pull yourself up and your chin is above the bar hold yourself in that position while you raise your knees to your chest. After a momentary pause lower your arms and knees until they are fully extended. You then immediately begin the next repetition.

Body Weight / Inverted Rows: This is a great exercise if you cannot do pull-ups/chin-ups. Get a bench press bar that is 3-5 feet off the floor (Alternatively, you can get a thick wooden dowel or pipe and lay it across two chairs) and lay under the bar. Grab the bar with both hands using an overhand or underhand grip (overhand if you want to improve your ability to do pull-ups, underhand if you want to improve your ability to do chin-ups.) Your hands should be shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up so that your chin is almost touching the bar and then lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended. Keep your core tight and straight. Try to have the bar high enough so that your back, butt, and shoulders are close to but not touching the floor when your arms are fully extended. That is one repetition.

Basic Chin-Up: A basic chin-up is very similar to a wide grip pull-up. Grab the bar with an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. After a slight pause, lower yourself back down. Without letting go of the bar start the next repetition. To increase difficulty, try a close grip (with your hands 6-8 inches apart) or wear a weight vest.

 

OTHER UPPER BODY EXERCISES:

Dips: Sit down on the floor in front of a bench or chair with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Place your hands on the edge of the bench or chair and straighten your arms lifting your butt off the floor. Then lower yourself back down to the floor. Keep your core tight throughout. To increase difficulty, do single-leg dips by lifting one leg up in the air. You can also add resistance by wearing a weight vest.

 

CORE EXERCISES:

AB EXERCISES (UPPER / LOWER ABS)

Basic Plank: Lie face down with your forearms on the floor. Extend your legs out and while keeping your back straight rise up on to your toes. Tighten your core. Focus on intensity and keeping your core tight rather than on time. To increase difficulty, you can put your hands in a push-up position or do single-arm planks. Try to hold for 30-60 seconds.

V-Up: Lay on your back with your arms and legs extended as if someone was pulling your arms and legs in opposite directions. While keeping your arms and legs straight, raise them in the air. Try to make your arms and legs touch before simultaneously lowering them back down.

Superman: Lie face down with your arms and legs extended as if someone was pulling your arms and legs in opposite directions. Raise your arms and legs up off the floor as far as you can. Try to hold for 30-60 seconds.

Hanging Leg Raises: Hanging from a pull-up bar (or substitute like a ceiling beam, tree branch etc.), raise your legs up so they are parallel to the floor using your core muscles. Try to keep your legs straight. If it is too difficult, try it with your knees bent. You can increase the difficulty by alternating legs, pausing at the top, or trying to touch the bar with your toes. 

L Seat: Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you and your toes pointed in the air. Place your hands on the floor next to each hip and lift your hips and feet off the floor. Try and hold for 5-10 seconds.

Flutter / Scissor Kick: Lay on your back with your arms at your sides and palms facing down. With your legs extended straight out in front of you, lift your heels slightly off the floor. While keeping your core muscles tight, make small but fast alternating kicks (flutter kicks) up and down.  Another variation of this exercise is known as the scissor kick. It is identical to the flutter kick expect instead of small, fast kicks you are making large, slower kicks. Try to raise your legs straight up in the air with each repetition.

Mountain Climbers: Start on your hands and knees. Extend your left leg fully out behind you and bring your right leg into your chest. Without moving your hands, simultaneously switch your leg positions by bringing your left leg into your chest and fully extending your right leg out behind you. That is one repetition.

Shoulder Bridge: Lay on your back with your feet hip-width apart and your knees fully bent. Place your arms at your sides and lift your back and hips up off the floor. While keeping your core muscles tight, lift your left leg off the floor and extend it straight out. After bringing it back down lift your right leg up off the floor and extend it straight out. Bring your right leg back down. That is one repetition.

 

AB EXERCISES (OBLIQUE’S)

Side Plank: Lay on your left side and prop yourself up using your left foot and left forearm. Make sure that your hips are lifted so your body is straight and that you keep your core tight. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then relax and flip over and repeat the movement on your right side.

Bicycle: Lay down on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your hands behind your head. Bring your left knee into your chest and simultaneously bring your right elbow across your body to touch your left knee. While doing this straighten your right leg. You will then alternate sides. Straighten your left and bring your right knee into your chest while simultaneously bringing your left elbow across your body to touch your right knee. Continue alternating sides as if you were peddling a bicycle.

Knees To Elbows: Start in a push-up position. Lay on your chest with your legs straight. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and while keeping your back straight and core tight, lift yourself up so only your toes and hands are touching the floor. Now bring your left knee up to your right elbow. Hold for a few seconds then return your leg to a straight position. Repeat with your right leg by bringing it up to your left elbow. That is one repetition.

Segmental Rotation: Lay on your back with your knees bent and your core tight. Let your knees fall to your left side. You should feel a stretch. Hold the position for five seconds and then return your knees to the center of your body. Be sure to keep your core tight throughout the movement. Repeat the movement on your right side. That is one repetition.

 

FULL BODY EXERCISES:

Burpees: Start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and place both hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet into a fully extended position and land so you end up in the elevated part of a push-up. Complete one push-up. Next, jump your feet back up so they are near your hands and then jump straight up into the air as high as you can with your arms fully extended in the air.  Immediately begin the next repetition.

Shadow Boxer: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. While keeping your elbows tucked in close to your sides and your fists clenched extend your left arm forward in a punching motion. As you extend your left arm forward pull your right arm back in preparation to throw a punch. In synchronization with your punching motion move your left foot forward 6 inches and your right foot back 6 inches in a hopping motion. You will then repeat the movement on your right side by moving your right arm and right foot forward and pulling your left arm and left food back. Immediately begin the next repetition. 

Skipping: You don’t need a skipping rope to skip. You can do rope less skipping if you don’t have a skipping rope or sufficient ceiling elevation. You perform the same motions as if you were holding a rope. Maintain a fast pace for 60 seconds.

Jumping Jacks: Stand with your feet together and your arms down by your side. In one motion jump your feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head. Immediately reverse the motion by jumping your feet back to the starting position and lowering your hands back down by your side. Maintain a fast pace for 60 seconds.

Box Jumps: Stand about two feet back from a box (or any stable platform) with your feet shoulder-width apart. The box should not be any higher than knee height if you are new to box jumps. Bend down and explode up in a jumping motion onto the top of the box. Your arms should explode up above your head during the jump. You’re landing on the box should be as soft and quiet as possible. Then step down off the box and repeat. Take your time in order to ensure correct movements. Unlike some other bodyweight exercises you should not perform box jumps as fast as possible.

Burpee To Broad Jump: Start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and place both hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet out into a fully extended position and land so you end up in the elevated part of a push-up. Perform a push-up and then pull your legs back up to your hands. From the frog-like position, jump forward as far as you can. That is one repetition. Immediately begin the next repetition.

 

Who Said You Need A Gym To Get In Shape!

I hope you have enjoyed the above ultimate list of bodyweight exercises. Who said you need a gym or fitness equipment to get or stay in shape. There are lots of examples of people who have only used the exercises in this article to get in amazing shape. 

These simple but powerful bodyweight exercises can keep you on track on days when you can’t make it to the gym. 

Before you go, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Plus, if you are interested in getting or staying fit I recommend you check out my fitness hacks. They contain tricks and tips to help you lose weight, build muscle, and get fit. You can read them by Downloading your FREE copy of the Get Fit Get Rich Kickstart Guide by clicking this link. It is packed with Fitness, Nutrition, & Money-Saving Hacks that will help you to achieve better health and greater wealth.