10 Body-Weight Training Exercises You Can Do Anywhere


By: , – - with Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer
  :  57 comments   :  538,788 Views

A few weeks ago I was reading through the message boards when I came across a post from Chris 'SparkGuy' Downie to a member who was asking about what type of strength training activities he could do without access to a gym or weight training equipment.  Chris did not let that deter him from offering some great recommendations of performing body-weight exercises--exercises such as push-ups and squats which can be done at home or when traveling when access to resistant training equipment is not at your disposal.

This gave me the idea to link examples of body-weight exercises for you to refer to as the busy holiday travel season rolls around. Hopefully you will can take this with you when traveling and access to weights or machines is not an option. 

A Good Warmup to Start Your Workout

Basic Step-Touch (Forward and Back)

Quadriceps, Hips, Shoulders, Triceps

High Knee March with Reach and Pull

Quadriceps, Glutes, Hips, Outer Thigh

Skater Squats

Obliques, Hips, Abs


Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads


Lower Back


Upper Back and Shoulders


Chest, Triceps and Shoulders

Modified Pushups


Triceps Dips with Bent Knees



Do you incorporate body-weight exercises into your usual workout routine? Would you be willing to do this workout when traveling or when you do not have access to resistance training equipment? 

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  • 57
    I do - I find it far easier to fit it in than machine or free weight workout - 4/22/2017   1:12:33 PM
    Several of these are in my PT plan for back pain. Need to get diligent when it comes to the daily PT. - 4/22/2017   12:43:11 PM
  • 55
    Thanks so much. I can do a few on breaks between classes today - 4/22/2017   12:42:02 PM
  • 54
    I try to work some if these into my day. I do step taps etc while waiting for the elevator, heel raises in the thing, and wall push ups against any sink, but it can be any day, and on workout day too. You can pick and choose a variety of stretches and isometric moves that are fairly discreet, but I prefer to be alone. - 4/22/2017   10:58:34 AM
  • 53
    Body weight workouts are challenging and fun. Love to do them at least once a week. - 4/22/2017   10:33:37 AM
  • 52
    Yes, definitely, as I have avoided gyms all my life and have no intention of going in one now!!!! - 4/22/2017   6:45:36 AM
  • 51
    Yes! Thank you for the list. - 8/15/2016   9:36:19 AM
  • 50
    Great addition to add to my running days! Thanks! - 4/23/2016   6:37:30 AM
  • 49
    No gym for me! Love body weight workouts! I'm an outdoor enthusiast. I combine outdoor cardio with body weight exercises. I use what I find in nature - like a fallen log for tricep dips. I've even been known to combine dog training with body weight exercises - asking my dog to lie/stay while I hop side to side over her. - 4/22/2016   4:48:44 PM
  • 48
    Now there is no excuse for me not to work out! :) - 11/5/2015   11:32:03 AM
    I've only recently been able to do planks. I have back problems and would love to see some of these moves in a modified position. - 11/5/2015   8:24:13 AM
  • 46
    I have a tv show that I want to watch that is premiering tonight....thinking about doing these exercises during the commercial breaks :)

    - 9/23/2015   7:04:11 PM
  • 45
    These are great for when the hotel you are staying at doesn't have a gym except for the jumping one. I to am too heavy to be doing it there - 8/3/2014   6:44:27 PM
  • 44
    I need more bodyweight exercises. Thanks. - 5/24/2014   11:55:20 PM
  • 43
    LOL, anywhere, really? I can just imagine someone of my weight doing some jump and reach in my hotel room first thing in the AM. People would run screaming in panic thinking the building was collapsing. Good article and workout however, but I think I will stick to doing them when I am home, alone. - 4/26/2014   10:17:59 AM
    Some of the most effective exercises mentioned here for all body parts.I ordered my Home exercise equipments from www.lodhisport.com and I would advice the same to others. - 4/14/2014   7:39:23 AM
  • 41
    just what i was looking for ! - 9/20/2013   6:02:04 PM
    Thanks, I finally found something that can help me get motivated. I'm a big supporter of working out at home. My advice for all at-home workouters (like myself): http://homegym-exercises.com/bwe_bo
    - 8/23/2013   9:02:28 AM
  • 39
    thank you for posting this!
    - 5/29/2013   9:06:56 AM
  • 38
    I do a lot of these exercises, but not usually in the a.m. - 5/21/2013   4:47:44 PM
  • 37
    this is a great example of having no excuse to not exercise.. you don't need anything but your body to exercise. great routine. thanks for sharing! - 5/9/2013   9:56:46 AM
  • 36
    I do a lot of these exercises. Convenient and doable anywhere - 5/6/2013   6:36:46 PM
  • 35
    Thanks for sharing. - 4/29/2013   7:33:37 AM
    Thanks so much for this: I am a traveling project manager who spent 44 weeks last year in hotels, and I NEED this info lol. - 4/28/2013   6:11:31 PM
  • 33
    And we do hope that isn't Chris, altho cute, showing us how to do the exercises.... - 4/27/2013   11:02:37 PM
  • 32
    Glad to have this. Had not seen it before and needed the info! - 4/27/2013   6:43:49 AM
  • 31
    Recycled blog from 12/6/2011. SparkPeople must be running out of ideas so we can't get points. - 4/26/2013   12:57:55 PM
    Thanks so much for this.. it's wonder! If we started each day with just three of these, what a difference it would make! And so much for time/equipment/gym excuses! - 4/26/2013   12:42:12 PM
    Thanks so much for this.. it's wonder! If we started each day with just three of these, what a difference it would make! And so much for time/equipment/gym excuses! - 4/26/2013   12:41:53 PM
  • 28
    Why do you keep reposting articles and not letting us get the points for them? - 4/26/2013   12:36:48 PM
  • 27
    I am always looking for travel workout ideas--the Morning Riser looks like a serious challenge! - 4/26/2013   12:03:16 PM
    These exercises will be good for business travel and can be done in hotels. - 4/26/2013   10:48:08 AM
  • 25
    Yes, Nancy, I would be more than willing to incorporate a body-weight routine like this as my usual workout routine!! My ST has been non-existent for quite a long time - ever since a SPteam I was on, that kept me in check, pretty much fizzled. But this looks easy and doable and I love that it doesn't require any equipment other than my own body weight!! Thanks for sharing!! I've bookmarked all the links you've given except for the SPlink which I already had bookmarked and used to use!! - 4/26/2013   9:17:22 AM
  • 24
    This is a great collection to try out to use for travel. Learn them at home first and pick out a list of the exercises most beneficial to your needs. - 4/26/2013   7:20:08 AM
  • 23
    I do several of those plus wall push ups, wall squats, lunges, half jacks, leg lifts, etc.
    The fitness trainer at the gym will occasionally throw in an old fashioned calisthenics class which I really like....except for anything jumping. - 3/2/2013   10:14:25 PM
  • 22
    This couldn't have come at a better time, as I'll be visiting relatives this weekend again and exercise equipment isn't readily available. This is PERFECT. - 2/28/2013   5:14:58 AM
  • 21
    Gee, many of these look suspiciously like the calisthenics we did for Basic Training back pre-Vietnam.

    Before Breakfast each day we would do an hour of calisthenics and then run a mile. We were encouraged to do the mile run as quickly as possible because that determined your spot in the Breakfast line.

    We burned close to 4,000 calories a day - running everywhere and dropping for push-ups when any active duty person out of training hadn't started the day right.

    Hungover Sargents were to be avoided at all costs - even if you had to go an extra half mile out of your way.

    How did we know the hungover ones from those who hadn't partaken of adult beverages the night before?

    It's 5 AM, if they were wearing sun glasses to protect their eyes from the moon, that was a really Big Hint. - 12/7/2011   9:05:11 PM
  • 20
    This speaks directly to my needs at the moment. I know that I'm better at fitting aerobic exercise into my schedule than strength training. I'm reluctant to cut back on cycling to fit in more gym time, so I've been looking for ways to fit in bits of strength training here and there, using resistance bands and body weight. I've turned up a lot of fun exercises using the terms: "desk exercises resistance bands" in my searches, and I recently bought a book on bodyweight exercises called: "You are your own gym," by Mark Lauren. He shows a lot of different exercises you can do mostly without equipment (except for a chair, a table, a door, and a few other things), along with variations for making them easier or harder. I think it's a pretty good book *for strength training*, although the author downplays the importance of aerobic training.

    I want to look at the exercises you have posted as well. I'm trying to put together a regular strength training routine, especially now that the weather is starting to cut into my cycling.

    Thanks! - 12/7/2011   1:02:39 PM
  • 19
    YEAH. this will help a lot. - 12/7/2011   11:56:38 AM
  • 18
    As a fitness instructor, I teach alot of toning classes w/out any "toys" so that people are aware of all the things they can do when on vacation or away from the gym or house. Participants have reported back to me that since they know these exercise exist and they know how to do them safely that they actually do them when away!! - 12/7/2011   11:33:36 AM
  • 17
    One that is guaranteed to wear you out is the Burpee (otherwise known as squat thrust). Even just 20 of those in a row is enough for me! LOL

    - 12/7/2011   10:51:43 AM
  • 16
    I don't belong to a gym, so I'm happy to see this blog. Some of these exercises I do on a regular basis, already, but I'm always looking for new ideas. Thanks. - 12/7/2011   10:07:48 AM
    I am going to try some of these exercises - 12/7/2011   9:21:58 AM
  • 14
    It's very useful. I did today and it's not difficult. Everybody could try. - 12/7/2011   8:49:52 AM
    Awesome Nancy! I'm going to share this :) - 12/7/2011   7:25:45 AM
  • 12
    Now that I have a new computer I can watch the demos on how to do these exercises. My old one was too slow & the names don't help.. Now I can do more strength exercises! - 12/7/2011   12:29:22 AM
  • 11
    I remember in "TERMINATOR 2" when she was in her Cell at the Psych Ward, and she was working out with just the bedframe. LOL She managed to get in great shape. - 12/6/2011   11:47:14 PM
  • 123ELAINE456
    Thanks. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. - 12/6/2011   10:58:19 PM
  • 9
    I try to do push-ups.. i can do 4. - 12/6/2011   9:22:09 PM
  • 8
    great ideas. TY!!!!! - 12/6/2011   8:11:09 PM

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