Five Great Body-Weight Exercises to Do at Home

24th July 2018
Individuals who love to lift weights and want to be more muscular may wrongly dismiss calisthenics as an activity for 'weak' people, or for those who do not want to commit to training.

Body-weight exercises, also known as  calisthenics, are exercises which are performed with minimal equipment, and typically just use your body’s own weight. It is ideal for those who train at home or who are not very fond of gym equipment. In some cases, the routines may include bars or ribbons, without neglecting the original purpose: exercising by lifting one’s own weight.

Are body-weight exercises for ‘weak’ people?

No, this is not true. The world of fitness changes continuously and it is not even necessary anymore to go to the gym or hire a personal trainer; using mobile applications at home, you are able to exercise and obtain very good results.

Bodyweight exercises are based on strengthening your muscles by using only your own body weight for resistance. It can be perfect for those who are not very active or do not like the idea of ​​going to a gym to exercise. 

Perhaps this may sound like just a trend? However, exercises using the body’s own weight are the most primitive that exist and they provide a fun alternative for those who consider gym equipment or weights ‘boring.’

Not only can these exercises tone your muscles and help you to lose weight, but they also strengthen your cardiorespiratory system. This technique also allows you to work out specific areas of you body depending on which exercises you choose to do.

The best body-weight exercises

Do you want to exercise but you do not like the idea of ​​going to a gym to lift weights? Do you prefer to exercise without spending money? Then calisthenics may be ideal for you. Within this field of exercise, you can find the following activities:

1. Planks

Woman holding plank position

In order to have enviable abdominal muscles, planking is one of your best exercise options. Not only does it tone your abs, but it also works your glutes and legs.

Position yourself face down on the mat, making sure that you are resting your forearms and the tip of your feet on it. Lift up your body so that your torso is parallel to the ground and maintain that position for at least 30 seconds. Make sure that you constrict your abdomen for the entire time.

The plank has several variations, including the side plank (where you only rest one forearm on the mat) or the one-leg plank (where you only rest one foot on the mat while you raise the opposite leg and leave it suspended). These exercises are extremely effective in helping you to achieve a more defined abdomen in a shorter amount of time.

2. Push-ups

Push-ups are a classic body-weight exercise. You can also try different variations as you train. The basic thing to remember is to rest only your hands and the tips of your feet on the floor, whilst keeping your arms outstretched. Bend your elbows and bring your body as close as possible to the ground without touching the ground, and then lift yourself back up.

3. Bridge

Exercise Bridge Pelvis Stretch Back

This exercise helps to tone your buttocks and also works your abdominal muscles. Lie on your back on the mat and rest your arms along the sides of your torso. Bend your knees and rest the soles of your feet on the mat.

Lift your pelvis and take your back off the floor, leaving your head, neck, and shoulders resting on the ground. Bring your body down slowly without touching the floor.

4. Mountain climbers

This exercise, (pictured in the main photo at the top of the page), is done by using the weight of your body to work your abdominals, legs, and glutes, and to improve your coordination. Get in a push-up position, resting your hands and the tips of your feet on the floor.

Bring your right knee up to your chest, whilst keeping your left leg extended. Then, do the opposite: bend your left knee and leave your right leg stretched. The idea is, that the movement is coordinated and completed as quickly as possible.

5. Burpees

It could be said that burpees are one of the best-known body-weight exercises. It is also one of the most complete… the activity makes you work your entire body! Burpees include push-ups, jumps, and bringing your knees to your chest. They will make you sweat a lot.

Start in a standing position. Jump up slightly, and then bring your body down, rest your hands on the ground, and bring your legs back to get in a push-position. Bend your arms and bring your knees up to your chest. Afterwards, jump up to start again.