10 Bodyweight Training Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

By , - with Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer
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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And we do hope that isn't Chris, altho cute, showing us how to do the exercises.... Report
Glad to have this. Had not seen it before and needed the info! Report
Recycled blog from 12/6/2011. SparkPeople must be running out of ideas so we can't get points. Report
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! Report
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! Report
Why do you keep reposting articles and not letting us get the points for them? Report
I am always looking for travel workout ideas--the Morning Riser looks like a serious challenge! Report
These exercises will be good for business travel and can be done in hotels. Report
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!! Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
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! Report
YEAH. this will help a lot. Report
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!! Report
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

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. Report
I am going to try some of these exercises Report
It's very useful. I did today and it's not difficult. Everybody could try. Report
Awesome Nancy! I'm going to share this :) Report
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! Report
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. Report
Thanks. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Report
I try to do push-ups.. i can do 4. Report
great ideas. TY!!!!! Report
In the past several months I've become absolutely addicted to Bodyrock which is mostly bodyweight exercises, and I've never been in better shape, ever. Report
Love it! These will be great for those days when the swim team is hogging the gym and there's no equipment available. Thanks! Report
These are AWESOME workouts thank you so much for sharing. Report
My regular workout includes a number of body weight exercises, including the following:

- bridges
- plank
- dead bug exercise (for core)
- pushups
- calf raises
- exercises for my hip flexors (clamshell, angled leg raise, leg circles)

Most of the other strength exercises I do involve only one set of dumbbells (15s these days) or a few pieces of equipment (like a balance ball). Report
Great "on the go" workout! My daughter and I were just looking for something like this today; Thanks! Report
This will be truly useful. Thanks! Report
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