Most Popular Types of Bodyweight Exercises

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All opinions remain my own. You can learn more about our editorial policies here.

Working out is important, but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a little bit. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most popular types of bodyweight exercises, as well as their benefits. From beginner-friendly moves like squats and lunges to more challenging exercises like handstand push-ups and pistol squats, there is something for everyone on this list!

Plus, all of these exercises can be done anywhere – without any equipment – so you can mix up your routine wherever you are! Give these exercises a try and see just how rewarding they can be!

Benefits of bodyweight exercises

Bodyweight exercises are any type of exercise that uses your own body weight as resistance, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups. While they may not be as flashy as other types of workouts, bodyweight exercises have a number of benefits that make them worth considering.

One benefit of bodyweight exercises is that they can be done anywhere, at any time. There is no need for a gym membership or expensive equipment – all you need is your own body. This makes bodyweight exercises ideal for people who travel frequently or have busy schedules.

Another benefit of bodyweight exercises is that they are relatively low-impact, making them easier on the joints than other types of workouts.

Finally, bodyweight exercises can be scaled to any fitness level, meaning that everyone can find a way to make them challenging. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned athlete, there is a bodyweight exercise that is right for you.

So next time you are looking for a workout, consider giving bodyweight exercises a try. You may be surprised at how effective they can be.

Bodyweight exercises vs. other workouts

When it comes to working out, there are many different options to choose from. Some people prefer to lift weights, while others prefer cardiovascular exercises like running or biking. However, one type of exercise that is often overlooked is bodyweight exercises.

Bodyweight Exercises vs. Other Workouts

Bodyweight exercises vs. gym

For many people, the decision of whether to exercise at home or in the gym comes down to a simple question of cost. Gym memberships can be expensive, and equipment can take up a lot of space. However, there are other factors to consider when choosing between bodyweight exercises and going to the gym.

One key difference is the level of intensity. With bodyweight exercises, it can be difficult to progress beyond a certain point without adding additional resistance. This is where gyms have an advantage, as they offer a wide range of weights and machines that can help you keep pushing yourself.

Another difference is the level of support and motivation. If you exercise at home, you’re more likely to skip a workout if you’re feeling tired or uninspired. At a gym, however, there’s always someone around to encourage you to keep going. In the end, the best way to exercise is whichever method you’re most likely to stick with.

If bodyweight exercises are enough to get you moving, then there’s no need to complicate things with a gym membership. However, if you find that you need the extra motivation and support that a gym can provide, then it may be worth the investment.

Bodyweight exercise vs. cardio

For many people, the choice between bodyweight exercises and cardio comes down to a question of time. Cardio, after all, can be done relatively quickly, while bodyweight exercises often require a significant time investment. However, there are a number of reasons to consider bodyweight exercises over cardio, even if time is limited.

First, bodyweight exercises are far more efficient than cardio in terms of calorie burn. In other words, you can burn more calories in less time with bodyweight exercises.

Second, bodyweight exercises are highly adaptable, meaning that they can be scaled to any fitness level. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, you can find a bodyweight workout that’s right for you.

Finally, bodyweight exercises offer a greater variety of movements than cardio, which can help to prevent boredom and plateaus. So if you’re looking for a workout that’s effective and efficient, bodyweight exercises are the way to go.

Bodyweight training vs. free weights

One of the eternal questions in the fitness world is can bodyweight exercises build muscle like using free weights? The answer, as with most things in life, is that it depends. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Bodyweight exercises, for example, can be done anywhere and require no equipment. They are also often less intimidating for beginners than free weights, which can require a spotter or be difficult to use without proper instruction.

However, bodyweight exercises may not provide enough Resistance to build muscle for advanced lifters, and they can be repetitive and boring after a while. Adding resistance bands can help, but free weights will always offer more options in this regard.

Free weights, on the other hand, offer a greater range of motion and can help to build stabilizer muscles. They are also more versatile, allowing for a greater variety of exercises. However, free weights do require access to a gym or some sort of equipment, and they can be tricky to use without proper form.

In the end, the best approach is probably to use both bodyweight and free weight exercises in your training program. This way you can take advantage of the benefits of each while minimizing the drawbacks.

Best Bodyweight Warm-Up Exercises

There’s no need to spend a fortune on gym memberships or workout gear to get great weight-loss or muscle building results. In fact, you can achieve the same results by incorporating some great bodyweight exercises into your routine. These exercises will help increase muscle strength and endurance, which is key for maintaining a healthy weight over the long term.

Not to mention, there are a variety of best bodyweight warm-up exercises that can be used for different purposes like flexibility or range of motion. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bodyweight exerciser, make sure to warm up your muscles before starting any workout. You won’t regret it!

Best Bodyweight Warm-Up Exercises

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are a great way to get your heart rate up and improve your overall fitness. They work the large muscles in your body, such as the chest, back, and legs. They also help to increase strength and flexibility. A great warm-up exercise to start your day is jumping jacks!

Plank Pull-Through

Plank pull-through is an effective and all-round exercise that is perfect for toning and conditioning your body. It can be modified to work for almost any fitness level, starting with the beginner gym goer. The oblique muscles in your side are often neglected, making this a great way to target them specifically.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are a great way to start your workout. You can do them with weights or without and they will work your entire body. They increase muscle strength and endurance, so calf raises are great for overall health too!

Wall Sit

Wall sit is an excellent exercise for improving balance, flexibility and core strength. It can be done at home or in the gym, and it’s a great way to warm-up your body before starting your workout.

Bodyweight exercises for beginners

For those of you who are new to fitness and bodyweight exercises, don’t worry! There’s a perfect exercise for you. These exercises work all your major muscles, help tone your body evenly, and are easy to learn – perfect for beginners. So, what are you waiting for? Give bodyweight exercises a try today!

Bodyweight exercises for beginners

Standard push-up

The standard push-up is a great exercise for building endurance, strength and flexibility. It can also be modified to target different areas of the body, helping improve posture, balance and coordination. Best of all – it’s easy to do at home! So don’t wait any longer – start doing some push-ups today!


Planks are a great way to improve your core strength and tone your body. They can be done at any time of the day, and are perfect for when you have a little bit of time to spare. To make the plank as effective as possible, keep your back straight and focus on contracting your abs muscles firmly while keeping your hips in line with your torso. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, depending on how intense you want it to be.


Squatting is a great exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels. It tones your entire body, including your butt and thighs. As a result, squatting can help you lose weight or improve your fitness level overall. It also helps improve balance and coordination, two important skills that are necessary in everyday life. As Squat isn’t just an effective workout – but it’s also great for toning the whole body – it is one of the best exercises to do if you want to achieve general fitness goals!


Burpees are an excellent beginner exercise that targets your entire body. They are a versatile workout that can be done at the office, in your own home, or even outdoors. Keep your repetitions low to start with and work your way up as you become stronger.


Lunge is a great exercise for beginner runners and gym-goers. It can be done at home or in the gym, and helps to improve your leg muscles, core strength, and balance. lunge not only works your body but also trains your glutes! A great starting point for beginners is to do 10-15 reps with good form each day. As you get stronger, try going up to 20-30 rep range

Type of Bodyweight Exercises for Chest and Back

If you’re looking to improve your bodyweight fitness levels, you should definitely work out each area regularly. In this section, we will focus on two key areas – the chest and the back.


There are plenty of benefits to push-ups, and they’re great for strengthening the back, core muscles, and respiratory system too. You can do them with your hands on the ground or elevated on a chair for an intensified workout. Push-ups are one of the most popular body weight exercises out there – perfect if you want to tone your chest and arms!

To do a standard push-up, start in a high plank position with your palms on the ground and your feet hip-width apart. Lower your chest towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

For an added challenge, try doing a push-up with one hand elevated on a chair or bench. This will work your muscles even more!


Pull-ups are a great way to tone your back and arms. They can be done with an overhand or underhand grip, and you can use a resistance band if you’re new to the exercise. If you’re feeling confident, try adding weight to your pull-up by holding a dumbbell in between your feet.

To do a pull-up, grip the bar with your palms facing away from you, and hang from the bar with your arms extended. Pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar, then lower back down to the starting position. Repeat as many times as you can!

Isometric Chest Squeeze

Isometric chest squeeze exercises are a great way for people to increase their cardiovascular health and strength. They work the chest and back muscles in a similar way to actual physical activity, which leads to better muscle definition. This exercise is also recommended for people who have trouble reaching their target muscle group in other exercises- it can be done at home with just a chair and your own body weight!

To start, sit on a chair with your back straight and your feet firmly on the ground. Place your palms on either side of your chest, and squeeze your muscles as hard as you can for 30 seconds to one minute. You should feel your chest getting tighter as you squeeze!

Push-Up Shuffle

Push-ups are one of the most popular exercises around, and for good reason. They work your chest, back, arms, and abs – all at the same time! And if that’s not reason enough to do them regularly, consider this: push-ups can be done anywhere! In terms of intensity levels, you can start with a lower level (if you’re new to push-ups) or gradually increase the difficulty as you go along.

The best way to train is by alternating sets between easier and harder workouts. So make sure to mix it up so that every workout feels different. Last but not least: push-up shuffle exercises are great for improving your stamina and explosiveness. Not only do they work your body in a similar way as regular push-ups do – they also improve coordination which makes these cardio drills even more effective!

Donkey kick

Donkey kick is an excellent cardio workout that will help you lose weight and tone your body. It is an easy-to-do exercise that can be done at home with good form and balance. It also strengthens your back and chest muscles, making it a great warm-up for other exercises.

To do the donkey kick, start in a quadruped position with your hands and knees on the ground. Keep your back straight and kick one leg up behind you, keeping your foot flexed. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Complete 3 sets of 10 donkey kicks on each side.

Reverse fly

Reverse fly is a great exercise for toning your chest and back. It also restores balance to your body, preventing injury in the future. You can do it at home with little equipment or with a bit of help from gym equipment. Reverse fly is a great exercise for toning your chest and back. It works the front and back muscles evenly, so you can achieve results quickly!

Best Core Bodyweight Exercises

There’s a reason why core bodyweight exercises are so popular – they work your entire body! Not only do they help strengthen your core, but they also help tone your body and improve your balance. Plus, they’re easy to modify if you’re new to them or want to increase the intensity level. Below are some sample exercises but for more bodyweight workouts, see our best bodyweight exercises for core strength article.

After a few weeks of doing them, you’ll start seeing results. There are many types of core bodyweight exercises out there, so it’s important to find the right one for you. These exercises can be done at home with no equipment required, making them the perfect workout for busy people on the go. So, what are you waiting for? Give these best core bodyweight exercises a try today!

Reverse Crunch

Reverse crunches are a great way to tone your abs and improve your overall core strength. They’re also easy to do and can be done at home with no equipment required. To do a reverse crunch, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on the ground beside you for support. Use your abs to curl your hips off the ground and towards your chest, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Pelvic thrust

Pelvic thrusts are a great way to tone your glutes and improve your core strength. They can be done at home with no equipment required, making them the perfect workout for busy people on the go. To do a pelvic thrust, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the ground beside you for support. Use your glutes and abs to raise your hips off the ground until your thighs and torso are in line with each other, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.


Plank is one of the most effective core bodyweight exercises you can do. It tones your abdominal muscles and improves your balance, while also working your lower back and abs. Plus, it’s a great way to reduce back pain! There are various ways to do plank – with or without weights – so whether you’re starting out or looking for an intense workout, this exercise is perfect for you. So grab some wooden planks or weight plates and get started!

Side Plank

Side plank is one of the best core bodyweight exercises out there. It works the oblique muscles and your pelvic floor, making it a great workout for those who are looking to strengthen all their muscle groups.

To start with, weight lighter than you would typically do on other core exercises and gradually increase over time as you get stronger and more flexible in this challenging workout! Not only does side plank make your abs look amazing, but it also strengthens your thighs, glutes and lower back – making it an excellent exercise for people of all ages.

Hanging Knee Tuck

Hanging knee tuck is a great exercise to do before any other abdominal exercises. It helps warm up the lower abs and core, and can be done at home using an anchor point such as a door or railing. Make sure you are properly warmed up before starting this workout – otherwise you might experience muscle-soreness afterwards.

Knees to Elbows

Knees to elbows is an excellent exercise for all ages and fitness levels. It helps improve balance, coordination and flexibility while toning the abdominal muscles. These benefits make it a great workout for people who want to lose weight or tone their body overall.

Russian twist

Russian twists are a great core bodyweight exercise that can be done at home with minimal equipment. This simple exercise works all your major muscles and tones your abdominal region, making it the perfect workout for beginners. It is also a great way to tighten up any areas of your body, helping you achieve overall fitness goals.

For added complexity, consider adding a resistance band or kettlebell to this exercise. This will help you work your muscles harder and further improve your coordination and balance.

Shoulders and arms

Working out your shoulders and arms is a great way to keep your body healthy and toned. Not only do they provide cardiovascular benefits, but they also work your abs indirectly! Some of the most popular types of body weight exercises for shoulders and arms include push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, squats, crunches, and balancing exercises like the plank pose. The exercises we typically do for our shoulders and arms can help improve posture, strength, and balance.

Tricep dips

Tricep dips are a great exercise for all ages, beginners included! Not only do they help to build muscle in the arms, but they also improve flexibility and range of motion in the shoulder muscles. Doing tricep dips at home is easy – just use a weight bench and chair. Plus, it’s an excellent workout that can be done anywhere you have access to space!

Diamond push-up

Diamond push-ups are a great exercise for improving your posture and balance. They also work the shoulders, arms, chest, and abdomen. To start with, perform a few lightweight diamond push-ups before gradually increasing the weight as you become stronger. This is an excellent workout to do at home or in the gym!

Bodyweight Exercises for Legs

If you’re looking to tone up your legs, there are a few popular body weight exercises that you should know about. Whether you’re looking to tone up your legs or just get a good cardio workout, these are the exercises that you should definitely be adding to your routine.

Bodyweight Exercises for Legs

Lunge to row

Lunge and row exercises are great for toning up your legs. They work the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles in a perfect way, while also training the entire body as a whole. Combined with other leg-toning exercises like squats and presses, you can achieve fantastic results! Make sure to warm up before starting these exercises – it will help reduce pain and inflammation.

Pistol squat

If you’re looking for a great leg exercise that will target the entire muscle group, look no further than the pistol squat. This versatile exercise can be done with either a barbell or resistance band and offers great results in terms of toning your legs and improving flexibility. Plus, it helps increase your strength and balance, making it an ideal leg workout for beginner exercisers.

To do a pistol squat, start with your legs extended in a standing position. Then, lower yourself down into a squat position with one leg, keeping the other leg extended in front of you. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.

As you become more comfortable with this exercise, you can add weight to increase the difficulty.

Single-leg deadlift

The single-leg deadlift is a great exercise for people of all fitness levels. It’s an excellent cardio workout that also tones your legs, and helps improve balance and coordination. If you’re looking to add some leg strength training to your routine, the single-leg deadlift is a great option!

Chair Pose squat

Chair pose squat is a great lower body workout that will tone and tighten these muscles while increasing flexibility in the ankle, knee and hip joints. It can be done at home with just a chair – no need for weights or machines! This exercise is perfect for people of all ages – young and old alike! So pull up your chairs, get down on the floor, and give this squat a try today!

Calf raise

Calf raising is an exercise that many people recommend for those who have tight calves. It can improve flexibility, balance and calf strength. It’s easy to do at home – just stand on a stable surface with your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your heels up towards the sky. You can also do this exercise without weights by using your body weight only.

Full body exercises

There are plenty of great body weight exercises that can be done full body. Some of the most popular are hip bridges, pushups/pistols and plank exercises. Each of these exercises provides great benefits, such as strengthening the core, upper body and lower body. Start by doing a few full body exercises each day to see which ones best suit your needs.

Bear crawl

Bear crawls are perfect for people who want to improve their overall balance and coordination. They work the entire body, targeting strength and mobility in key areas. This exercise can be done with a partner or solo – making it great for those times when you have some free time!

Mountain climber

Mountain climbing is a great exercise for people of all ages and abilities. It helps improve balance and coordination, making it ideal for those with Parkinson’s disease or mobility issues. Additionally, mountain climbers burn a lot of calories – which can be useful in weight loss goals.

Plus, this cardio-vascular workout incorporates all the major muscle groups in your body – so you’re sure to get plenty of benefits! However, before starting out on your next adventure up the mountain, make sure you have adequate gear and someone to help guide you along the way!

Plyometric push-up

Plyometric push-up exercises are great for people who have difficulty performing other exercises due to injury or lack of space. They help improve balance and coordination, while also increasing strength in the chest, shoulders and triceps. These can be performed at home with minimal equipment – just a mat and some weights!

Stair climb with bicep curls

Adding stair climbs to your routine is a great way to tone your entire body. The bicep curl exercise is particularly effective in targeting the arms and shoulders, making it an ideal workout for strengthening them both simultaneously. You can do this squat-style exercise with weights or without any equipment at all – perfect for doing anywhere! This cardio-vascular workout will also help improve your lung function and overall fitness level. So go ahead and give stair climbs a try today!

Plank to push-up

Push-up exercises are great for toning your muscles and improving your balance. They can also help reduce cellulite, as plank exercises work out the entire area of the body including the abs and lower torso. Further, plank is a great full-body exercise that targets your core muscle group and reduces stress on other joints in the body.

Should I combine Pre-Workout With Bodyweight Exercises?

No, you don’t need to combine pre-workout with bodyweight exercises. However, if you want to add a little extra boost to your workout, you can try adding some weightlifting or cardio exercises to your routine. This will help increase the intensity of your workout and help you see results faster! Consider the pros and cons of pre-workout to determine if it’s right for you.


If you’re looking for a way to improve your fitness level, bodyweight exercises are definitely the way to go. Not only are they incredibly simple to do, but they also offer a wide range of benefits that can help you achieve your fitness goals. From improving your cardio fitness to toning your muscles, bodyweight exercises are the perfect way to get started! So, what are you waiting for? Give bodyweight exercises a try today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which bodyweight exercises burn the most calories?

There are a few different bodyweight exercises that can burn a lot of calories, such as jumping jacks, burpees and mountain climbers. These exercises are great for people who are looking to lose weight or improve their cardio fitness. Additionally, they work out the entire body – so you’re sure to see some benefits!

How do I determine which type of exercise is right for me?

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers a variety of exercise guidelines to help individuals determine the right exercise for them. The ACE Guidelines recommend the following types of exercise: – cardio: aerobic exercise that uses large muscle groups, such as running, biking, swimming, and elliptical trainers – strength training: weightlifting, push-ups, pull-ups, and squatting – flexibility training: stretching exercises that use common muscle groups, such as side bends, hamstring stretches, spinal twists, and toe touches

Are there any specific types of bodyweight exercises that are particularly good for toning my muscles?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best bodyweight exercises for toning different muscles will vary depending on your own weight and body composition. However, some of the best bodyweight exercises for toning include exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and lunges.