10 Bodyweight Training Exercises You Can Try at Home

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You know you should exercise, but that gym membership you’ve been thinking about hasn’t yet materialized. Maybe you’re not quite ready to venture outside to run or walk in public. The good news? You can get a full-body workout in the comfort and privacy of home—and it won’t cost you a dime.
While many mistakenly assume that they need a full home gym with pricey equipment and tons of space to get a good workout, with bodyweight exercises, you can work all of the major muscle groups without a single piece of fitness gear. It’s a great way to ease into strength training if you’re still a little daunted by weights. Best of all, you can do them anywhere—from your living room floor or hotel room to your backyard or local park.
Ashley Stewart, a NASM-certified personal trainer and owner of Kardiá Personal Training, loves these 10 effective moves that use your own body resistance to build strength, balance and flexibility, all while burning calories and raising your heart rate. All you need to get started is a mat or towel, some floor space and a motivating playlist to power you through to the end.

Superman Hold

Benefits: This movement works the entire back side of your body. The glutes are the primary muscle used, but the upper and lower back are involved as well, which helps build strength for lower-body pulling movements, like deadlifts.
  • Start by lying on your stomach.
  • Squeeze your glutes and pull your chest and legs off the ground.
  • Keep your arms out in front of you to engage your entire body.
  • Hold for anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes, two to three times. Increase time as you progress to build strength.

Split-Stance Deadlift

Benefits: This deadlift variation is a great way to work the "hinge" pattern, which teaches you to hinge at the hips versus squatting into a deadlift. It works the glutes, and is also a great way to mobilize the hamstrings. Since it is also a single-leg movement, muscular imbalances can be improved here as well.
  • Begin with one leg out in front of your body and your back leg trailing for balance.
  • Sending your hips back first, hinge at the hips and reach down to the ground.
  • Keep your core tight and back flat.
  • Squeeze your glutes (mainly in your lead leg) to stand up.
  • Repeat for 15 to 20 reps per leg, for two to three sets.


Plank Shoulder Taps

Benefits: This move promotes core stability and strength, and also works the glutes, triceps, deltoids and lower back.
  • Begin in a high plank.
  • Touch one hand to your opposite shoulder while balancing on your other hand.
  • Hold this position for one to three seconds, then return to start and repeat on your other side.
  • Keep the core and glutes tight throughout the movement. To make the movement easier, widen your feet.
  • Repeat 20 alternating reps for one to two sets.


Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Benefits: This movement works the glutes in a single-leg fashion, which helps even out muscular imbalances.
  • Begin by lying on your back with one leg up, and your opposite foot on the ground close to your body.
  • Push through the heel of your working leg while keeping the other straight. The goal is to get your hips up until they are in line with your knee and shoulder.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 12 to 15 reps per leg, for two to three sets.

Rear-Foot Elevated Split Squat

Benefits: This movement helps to even out imbalances, but involves more muscles. The glutes and quads are targeted here, and the balance necessary to complete the movement helps ensure proper muscle engagement.
  • Begin with your back foot up on a bench or chair, with your lead leg positioned a few paces away from the bench. Find a setup that feels comfortable, not cramped.
  • Lower yourself to the ground as far as possible, dropping your back knee down toward your bench or chair.
  • Keep the knee of your working leg in line with your foot, and keep your chest up tall.
  • Press up through your front foot to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  • Repeat for 12 to 15 reps per leg, for two to three sets.

Single-Leg Hip Thrusters

Benefits: A more advanced version of the single-leg glute bridge, this move targets the glutes as well, but allows for more range of motion and more muscle recruitment.
  • Rest your upper back on the edge of a bench.
  • Begin with your hips raised to find your ideal foot position. Send one leg straight out in front of you and plant the other firmly on the ground. The foot of your working leg should be directly beneath your knee.
  • Lower your hips as close to the ground as far as possible, keeping your non-working leg straight and in the air.
  • Push through the heel of your working leg and raise your hips until they are in line with your knee and shoulders.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top.
  • Repeat for 12 to 15 reps per leg, for two to three sets.

Bench Dips

Benefits: This movement targets the triceps, and is good for building upper-body pushing strength.
  • Begin with your hands on the edge of a bench or box.
  • Keep your legs straight out in front of you.
  • Lower yourself as far as possible, keeping your body close to the bench. Ideally, your shoulders should be in line with elbows.
  • Press back up into your starting position.
  • Repeat for 15 to 20 reps for two to three sets.

Star Side Plank

Benefits: This is an advanced plank variation targeting the obliques and gluteus medius, two muscles that play a role in overall stability.
  • Begin by balancing on one hand and one foot in a traditional side plank.
  • Activating the muscles of your core, raise your top leg and top arm to form a star.
  • Squeeze your glutes and core to maintain balance in this position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, two to three times.


Pike Push-Up

Benefits: This movement targets the shoulders and is a great way to build overhead pressing strength.
  • Begin in a pike position, with your hips as high as possible and your chin tucked.
  • Keeping your legs straight, lower your head and touch it to the ground slightly in front of your hands. Try to make a triangle between your two hands and the top of your head.
  • Press back up into your start position, bringing your head back through your arms.
  • Perform 10 to 20 reps, for two to three sets.

Bear Crawl

Benefits: This is a full-body movement. The core is heavily involved in keeping the body stable, while the quads and shoulders get a good burn as they support the body, as well.
  • Begin on your hands and feet, with your knees hovering one inch above the ground.
  • Crawl forward by shifting your right hand and left leg up. Follow with your left hand and right leg. Don't overthink the movement; the focus should be keeping your core tight and making deliberate, small movements forward.
  • Keep your core tight and hips level. Take small steps to avoid excessive hip swiveling.
  • Crawl up approximately 20 meters, then come back. Repeat two to three times.