Best Bodyweight Workouts For Beginners (The Complete Guide)

Getting fit, lose weight, confidence

Think you can’t get a great workout or build muscle with your body weight? think again. Getting fit doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple, safe, and effective with bodyweight workouts you can do anytime and anywhere for the rest of your life.

Regardless of whether you are an athlete, recreational exercise enthusiast, or someone who hasn’t lifted anything but small children or everyday household items, using your body weight as resistance is one of the best ways to get and keep your body in tip-top shape for years to come.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Bodyweight Training?
  2. Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises
  3. Will I Build Muscles With Just My Body Weight?
  4. Designing a Bodyweight Workout Program
  5. Best Beginner Total Body Workout
    • 1. Plank Push-Ups
    • 2. Push-Ups
    • 3. Step-Out Squat
    • 4. Stationary Lunge
    • 5. Hip Bridge
    • 6. Isometric Knee Press
  6. Conclusion
  7. More Beginner Workouts You Can Try

What Is Bodyweight Training?

Bodyweight training or workout uses your body as resistance and is essential for gaining and maintaining muscles, especially as you age. According to the National Institute of Health, beginning as early as age 30, we gradually lose muscle mass and strength as a natural part of the aging process.[1] The rate of loss varies from person to person and will increase due to a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutritional selections. If you don’t do anything about it, the average human will lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade. But there is excellent news. With the addition of daily movement, weekly strength training, and proper nutritional choices, gaining muscle is more straightforward than you will expect.

If you want to build confidence, endurance, move better, feel stronger, and lose weight, start with bodyweight workouts. Your body is one of the most fantastic fitness machines ever created to handle life’s physical demands and challenges, and it is always available to you. With a bit of effort, consistency, and proper progressive programming, you will not only improve your fitness level, but you will also continue to feel mentally focused, and you might even minimize the effects of the aging process.

Need more convincing? Advertising

Jane M. Taylor, MS, CSCS, PN L1, Owner/Coach of Raw Fitness Performance, says:

“Mastering bodyweight strength is crucial if you plan to add strength training to your overall fitness plan. Having coached thousands of athletes, adults, teens, and kids, I apply the same movement paradigm to everyone, especially beginners.

First, can you get in position? In other words, do you have proper mobility and stability? You do? Great.

Next, can you get in and out of position? That’s bodyweight strength—movement with control.

Spending time practicing bodyweight workouts is time well spent. Not worrying about an external load allows you to groove the movement, laying down the foundation and establishing the fundamentals to eventually express more significant amounts of strength with weights when you are ready to progress.

Not only that, no matter where you go, you’ll NEVER miss a workout!”

Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises

Here are 12 benefits that will motivate and excite you to put your body to work.

  1. It helps improve any muscle imbalances, especially from rounded shoulders and tight hips from sitting too long (hello, new work from the home model).
  2. It works the whole body.
  3. It lays down an excellent foundation for future weighted programming.
  4. It helps improve strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and coordination.
  5. It can increase your confidence.
  6. It saves time going to the gym.
  7. It can be done anywhere, so there is never an excuse not to work out.
  8. No equipment is necessary.
  9. It never gets boring.
  10. It’s free.
  11. It’s great for any body type.

Will I Build Muscles With Just My Body Weight?

Yes!! Following an intense workout, muscle fibers break down and need to repair. It’s during this repair phase that the muscles will strengthen and grow. Note that for this process to occur, the body must be pushed outside of its comfort zone. Using external resistance, aka free weights, barbells, or bands, will speed up this process and is a fantastic addition to any strength program, but it is doable with just your body weight.

As you improve, the trick is to continue changing your training variable (sets, reps, intensity, time under tension). Once you have mastered your technique, it is time to take it to the next level by mixing high-intensity exercises with exercises performed slowly, focusing on engaging the muscle during the contraction phase, which I will demonstrate in the video.

Let’s break down a few beginner exercises and body parts to get you started. Advertising

First, there are seven basic movements the body can perform; pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting, twisting, skipping, jumping. From these seven, there are many different variations for each body part which I will show you below. With bodyweight workouts, you work all your muscles, including your heart, as you elevate your endurance.

  1. Back – Plank Push-Ups, Back Extensions
  2. Chest – Push-Ups, Incline Regular, High to Low Plank
  3. Arms – Modified Side Plank, Side Plank Hip Drop, Dips
  4. Core/Hips – Planks (high and low; you may perform off your kitchen counter), Elevated Mt Climbers, Opposite Arm Leg Reach, Bear Crawl Hold, Isometric Knee Press (Single and Double Knee Hold), Heel Drops (Single and Double Heel Drop), Deadbug, Crunches, Floor Bridge
  5. Legs/Hips
  6. Quadriceps – Seated Bent Knee Extensions, Seated Straight Leg Lift
  7. Hips – Side Leg Raise, Deadlifts, Prone Leg Lifts, Glute Extensions
  8. Squats – Chair Squat, Step Out Squat, Plie Squat, Wall Squat Hold
  9. Lunges – Step Ups, Stationary, Side Lunge, Curtsy Lunge, Swing Lunge

Designing a Bodyweight Workout Program

With bodyweight workouts, the variety is endless and can be applied to any current life situation. Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, use the simple format below to keep your muscles constantly guessing. If you are just starting, begin with 20 minutes twice a week for two to four weeks. As your fitness level improves, increase the time and amount of days/week.

The greatest thing about bodyweight workouts is there are multiple variations, and you will never get bored. Select an exercise from each category. Always starting with a movement that works numerous muscles at once ex push-ups and squats, then move to exercises that work smaller muscles, aka dips for the triceps.

Best Beginner Total Body Workout

Beginner: two times a week

(Repeat 2 x 10 to 15 repetitions)

Advertising

1. Plank Push-Ups

  1. Begin on your elbows on an elevated surface such as your kitchen counter or dining table.
  2. Step your feet back and together so you are supporting your body weight on your elbows.
  3. Maintain a straight line from the top of your head to your toes.
  4. At the same time, brace your core by pulling your stomach muscles in towards the back of the body and begin to retract your shoulder blades as if you are squeezing a pencil, then push the counter away with your core and elbows and come back to the starting position.
  5. Perform the prescribed repetitions (reps).
  6. Your whole body should move as a unit.

2. Push-Ups

  1. Begin by placing your hands shoulder-width apart on an elevated surface such as your kitchen counter or dining table.
  2. Step your feet back and together so you are supporting your body weight on your hands, maintaining a straight line from the top of your head to your toes.
  3. At the same time, brace your core by pulling your stomach muscles in towards the back of the body and begin to bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the counter, then straighten your arms and push back up to the starting position.
  4. Perform the prescribed reps.
  5. Your whole body should move as a unit.

3. Step-Out Squat

  1. Begin standing with your feet together.
  2. Step out to the right and lower your hips back behind you, pushing through the heels. Keep the knees behind the toes.
  3. Stand up and step together, tucking the tailbone under and squeezing the butt at the top.
  4. Perform the prescribed reps.
  5. Repeat on the left.

4. Stationary Lunge

  1. Step out about hip bone/hip distance.
  2. Step the right foot back and stagger your stance about the same distance as the length of your leg.
  3. Keep the back heel off the ground and begin to bend into both legs, lowering your body towards the floor.
  4. Be sure to place more of your body weight through your front heel and keep the front knee behind the toe.
  5. Perform the prescribed reps.

5. Hip Bridge

  1. Lie on your back, either on the floor or couch.
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor.
  3. Press through the feet, squeeze your butt and press the hips to the sky.
  4. Lower down 1/2 way, then repeat.
  5. Perform the prescribed reps.

6. Isometric Knee Press

Depending on your core strength, begin with one side at a time or both legs on a tabletop.

Level 1: Single-Leg Knee Press

  1. Lie on your back, either on the floor or couch.
  2. Bend your knees and place your right foot on the floor.
  3. Keeping the left knee bent, bring it up off the floor into a 90°-angle (otherwise known as tabletop position).
  4. Place the left hand on your thigh.
  5. At the same time, push your hand into your thigh and thigh into your hand. You should feel your abdominals contract.
  6. Hold that contraction for 10 sec, then pause.
  7. Perform the prescribed reps.
  8. Switch sides.

Level 2: Double Knee Press

  1. The exact format as above, only this time, both legs will be in tabletop.
  2. Keep the abdominals braced for 10 sec, then pause.
  3. Perform the prescribed reps.

Conclusion

If your goal is to move and feel better in your body and continue to progress to an advanced fitness level, begin with bodyweight workouts. Not only will it lay down a solid foundation, but it will also help you minimize injury and give you the confidence to keep progressing to more challenging workouts.

Commit to yourself and future strength gains by incorporating bodyweight workouts into your weekly routine. I promise you won’t be sorry.

More Beginner Workouts You Can Try

Featured photo credit: Fortune Vieyra via unsplash.com

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

5 Ways To Finance Your International Higher Education Degree

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the market to study abroad is set to thrive in 2022 and beyond. There is a surge in demand from students seeking to pursue higher education ... Read more »

Billionaire Supermarket Owner Warns: Food Prices Will Go Up 'Tremendously'

The owner of a New York City supermarket chain predicted the food prices will increase sharply in the coming months, with some increasing 10 percent in the next two months. John Catsimatidis, ... Read more »

Toyota Announces Plans for $1.3 Billion US Battery Plant, Expects to Employ 1,750 Workers

Toyota announced Monday it will invest $3.4 billion in automotive batteries in the United States, including nearly $1.3 billion in an unnamed battery plant that is expected to employ 1,750 new ... Read more »

The Questions You Ask Yourself Determine the Answers You Receive

Asking questions is an excellent way to not only know ourselves but also grow our knowledge. According to William McGirr & Roberto Maggio, most people lose their genuine curiosity as ... Read more »

Late And Failed Payments Are Just Another Pandemic Symptom For Businesses. Rethinking Payments Is an Easy Remedy

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the struggles of businesses in Australia and New Zealand to keep pace with the rapidly changing recurring payments landscape, resulting in lower revenue and profits ... Read more »

Lend Me Your Ears: Audio OTT In the New Normal

Music, podcasts, storytelling and other audio OTT content emerged as stress-busters for millions who were screen fatigued during the pandemic. Most platforms saw more than 20 per cent increase in ... Read more »

The Secret To Understanding And Leveraging Cryptocurrency In 2021

Cryptocurrency is a term that you’ve almost certainly heard of today. While terms like Bitcoin and blockchain are globally popular, several aspects and nuances of cryptocurrency remain complex and ambiguous. ... Read more »

Tesla Has Made the First Deliveries of Its New Model X Vehicles

Customers who ordered Tesla’s redesigned Model X are finally getting their vehicles. AdrianHancu | Getty Images A user on the Tesla Motors Club forum uploaded a video of their new ... Read more »

How Foreign Education Reshaped Itself For Indians To Get the 'Global Ticket' Post Pandemic

Students today are flocking to global destinations such as the UK, the US and Canada as prestigious universities have open doors. Students choose courses that suit their unique talent and ... Read more »

Jeff Bezos and Girlfriend Lauren Sanchez Go on a Romantic Trip After Blue Origin's Historic Flight

Last Friday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and girlfriend Lauren Sanchez were spotted in a lip-locked embrace in New York City. Kevin Mazur | Getty Images According to Fox Business, the couple ... Read more »

Report: Bill Gates Was Told to Stop Emailing Female Employees

The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2008, after becoming aware that billionaire Bill Gates had sent “inappropriate” messages to a female employee in 2007, current Microsoft president Brad Smith ... Read more »

How Developing Countries Like India Can Leverage Climate Change To Leapfrog From Fossil Fuels To Clean Energy

A report released recently by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that the earth is likely to breach the threshold of the crucial 1.5℃ warming limit in ... Read more »

Realty Income Corp. (O) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Realty Income Corp. (O) closed at $70.35, marking a +0.99% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. ... Read more »

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Ulta Beauty (ULTA) closed at $406.35, marking a +0.16% move from the previous day. This move lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. – ... Read more »

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) closed the most recent trading day at $161.28, moving +0.47% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. – Zacks ... Read more »

Nokia (NOK) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

Nokia (NOK) closed at $5.91 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.17% move from the prior day. The stock lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. – Zacks ... Read more »

ScanSource (SCSC) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

ScanSource (SCSC) closed at $36.71 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.97% move from the prior day. This change lagged the S&P 500’s 0.34% gain on the day. – ... Read more »

Brand Mentions and How They Can Help Your Business Grow

Digital PR isn’t only about generating links. It can provide search rankings. It can also support revenue growth, attract loyal customers, and build brand recognition. 200degrees / Pixabay – Valuewalk ... Read more »

Steel Dynamics (STLD) Surpasses Q3 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

Steel Dynamics (STLD) came out with quarterly earnings of $4.96 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.95 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.51 per share a ... Read more »

TJX (TJX) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, TJX (TJX) closed at $64.64, marking a +0.45% move from the previous day. This move outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. – Zacks ... Read more »

Altria (MO) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

Altria (MO) closed the most recent trading day at $48.13, moving -1.17% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. – Zacks Heading ... Read more »

Buy Now, Pay Later Isn't Bad — But Be Careful

Those cheesy TV infomercials promising “three easy payments of $19.99” were quite ahead of their time. Though calling a toll-free number to buy as-seen-on-TV items is no longer in style, ... Read more »

Annaly Capital Management (NLY) Flat As Market Gains: What You Should Know

Annaly Capital Management (NLY) closed the most recent trading day at $8.58, making no change from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. ... Read more »

Markets Bounce Back on S&P 500, Nasdaq

Markets closed the first trading day of the week mixed, after starting the day in the red across the board. Bouncing off lows nearly -260 points, the Dow this morning ... Read more »

Cassava Sciences, Inc. (SAVA) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

In the latest trading session, Cassava Sciences, Inc. (SAVA) closed at $50.16, marking a +0.95% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. ... Read more »

United Parcel Service (UPS) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

United Parcel Service (UPS) closed at $193.39 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.19% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500’s daily gain of 0.34%. ... Read more »

5 Retail Stocks to Beat Q4 Volatility

Volatility can be scary. Because stocks can move higher or lower for no apparent reason. Yet volatility creates the opportunities that watchful investors can grab to make outsized gains. So ... Read more »

AR-based Dining App peAR Raises Pre-Series A Funding Round From Venture Catalysts

peAR, AR-based dining, and 3D-based food & beverage app recently announced to have raised funding from integrated incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts. The company took part in Pre-Series A round ... Read more »

SaaS Labs Raises $17 Mn In Series A Funding

SaaS Labs, a cloud-based platform that builds productivity and business process automation software for SMBs and enterprises globally, announced that it raised $17 million in Series A funding from Base ... Read more »

PharmEasy Closes Pre-IPO Investment Round Of Up To $350 Mn; Valuation Jumps To $5.6 Bn

Online pharmacy PharmEasy has closed a funding round worth nearly $350 million ahead of filing its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) before an Initial Public Offering (IPO), according to reports. ... Read more »

AVIOM India Housing Finance Raises $8 Mn Series C Funding From Sabre Partners

AVIOM India Housing Finance, a micro-mortgage housing finance company, on Monday, announced to have completed its SeriesC$8 million equity funding from Sabre Partners. Franchise India AVIOM founded in 2016 by ... Read more »

Full-stack Mobility Startup Automovill Raises Funding From AngelBay

Automovill, a full-stack mobility startup on Monday announced that it raised an undisclosed amount from AngelBay. The round saw the participation from Santosh Chandra, chief executive officer, Essar Oil & ... Read more »

The 40-Hour Workweek Is Dying—This Is the Workweek of the Future

We often credit Henry Ford as the benevolent figure behind the five-day workweek. In 1926, Ford Motor Company became one of the first businesses in America to institute that standard ... Read more »

7 Types of Competitive Advantages and How to Develop Yours

Standing out from the competition is a constant endeavor. Decisions regarding business hours, marketing automation, or ordering and finance all attempt to gain a tactical edge over our competitors. But ... Read more »

3 Ways to Avoid Overspending During the Holidays

In the early years of our marriage, the holidays used to throw a wrench in our financial plans. We’d spend the majority of the year being diligent budgeters and ignoring ... Read more »

6 Problem-Solving Tools to Tackle Your Most Complex Issues

Problem-solving is hard. Resolving complex issues is certainly too complicated to be automated with software tools. You’re better than a robot, of course. But you’ve already done the heavy lifting. ... Read more »

10 Top Penny Stocks To Watch This Week With Potential Biotech Catalysts

Are These The Best Penny Stocks To Watch This Week? Here we are at the start of a new week and a new list of penny stocks to watch. This ... Read more »

How to invest? Tips to build your first portfolio

You have already put your finances in order, you have an emergency fund and a capital savings. Now you want to invest to increase your wealth, but how do you ... Read more »