The 8 Best Bodyweight Exercises | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

The 8 Best Bodyweight Exercises

January 23, 2013 | Brent Rogers

Must See Strength Training Videos


Believe it or not, bodyweight exercises are a great way to get stronger. For starters, they can be done anywhere any time. Since you are not loading the body with extra weight, they are extremely safe. Finally, most bodyweight exercises force your core to engage, strengthening these critical muscles while you work on the targeted muscle group.

Bodyweight training can be incorporated into workouts year-round. More specifically, they are a great option for challenging your body in a different way during an off-loading or rest week.

Make sure the following bodyweight exercises are a regular part of your workout program. Start with 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each. As you get stronger, add reps for a greater challenge. For more at-home exercises, check out STACK's Bodyweight Exercise Library.

Pull-Ups

Find an overhead bar and pull yourself up. If outdoors, use a strong tree branch.

Wall Sits

Sit against a wall for time, making sure you sit low enough so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. If outdoors, lean up against a sturdy tree.

Push-Ups

No explanation needed. To add variety, place your hands or feet on an object and work your chest from different angles.

Walking Lunges

Keeping your upper body tall and straight, walk forward taking big steps, sink your hips and make sure your back knee does not hit the ground.

Side Lunges

Step out laterally, sink your hips and sit back. The outside leg does the work as you drive up to a standing position between reps.

Standing Calf Raises

Find a slightly elevated structure to stand on, like a step. Stand tall on the balls of your feet, allowing your heels to hang down; then drive up on the balls of your feet.

Box Step-Ups

Find a knee-high box and step up onto it repeatedly with both legs. If outside, use a big rock or a log.

Squats

Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend at hips and knees until thighs are parallel to ground.

Use your creativity to expand your exercise options based on your surroundings and your personal goals. The best thing about bodyweight training is that it allows you to train anywhere, at any time. The next time you're on vacation or a business trip, don't excuse yourself because no gym is available.

Put it all together with these killer bodyweight workouts:

Brent Rogers
- Brent Rogers is the director of strength and conditioning for the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio). He was most recently the assistant strength...
Brent Rogers
- Brent Rogers is the director of strength and conditioning for the College of Mount St. Joseph (Cincinnati, Ohio). He was most recently the assistant strength...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Female Athletes: 4 Ways to Test if Your Knees Are Durable

This fall one of my newer athletes, a volleyball player, tore her meniscus the cartilage in her knee.These are common knee injuries to a volleyball...

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

The 12 Best RDL Variations

3 Loading Schemes to Build Muscle Size

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

The Hardest Plank of All Time

Develop a Bulletproof Core With Advanced Barbell Rollouts

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout