Are you on the path to a fitter self but can’t invest in expensive gym classes or workout equipment? Or is it just not feasible or desirable for you to travel to a professional gym and train every day? Whatever your reasons may be, the great news is that fitness equipment and gym lessons aren’t the only way you can enhance your strength, endurance, and flexibility. Bodyweight exercises enable you to train your body without free weights or machines and they need little or no tools other than your own weight.
Bodyweight exercises use simple activities like pushing, pulling, bending, squatting, balancing, and twisting to improve a range of abilities from power and speed to coordination. They are ideal for people who don’t have easy access to equipment, want variety in their training, or cannot leave their homes. Another positive of these exercises is that they can be adapted to all fitness levels.
So check out these 110 effective bodyweight exercises:-
#1. Shoulders & Arms:
Work on: pectoral muscles, triceps, and anterior deltoids
A push-up is a total-body functional exercise performed in a prone position by raising and lowering the body using one’s arms.
- Dolphin Push-Ups
Work on: arms, shoulders, back, and core
Dolphin Pushups strengthen the core muscles and also work on the upper back and shoulders.
- Diamond Push-Ups
Work on: triceps, deltoids, traps, pecs
The diamond pushup is the advanced progression of a standard pushup exercise. It puts more stress on the triceps and shoulders.
- Handstand Push-Ups
Work on: triceps brachii muscles, anterior deltoids, lateral deltoids
It is a push-up exercise where the body is in a handstand position. An ideal handstand push-up is performed free-standing.
- One-Arm Push-Ups
Work on: chest, shoulders, triceps and core muscles
A one-arm pushup is an advanced form of strength progression with the aim of lifting more weight and challenging the muscles.
- Incline push-ups
Work on: triceps, biceps, pectoralis major, clavicular pectoralis major
It is a simple bodyweight exercise that mainly improves and strengthens the pectoral muscles.
- Triceps Dips
Work on: chest, triceps, front shoulders
Dips are a compound push-up exercise with a small range of motion. It primarily strengthens the triceps.
- Single Leg Tricep Dips
Work on: triceps, shoulders, chest, hamstrings, glutes
This modified variation tones flabby arms and strengthens the upper body.
- Reverse Tabletop Lifts
Work on: arms, core, shoulders, glutes
Reverse tabletop lift is a great exercise for stretching the front of the body and strengthening the back side.
- Plank Ups
Work on: Triceps, abs, core, lower back, quads
This is a combination exercise which brings together planks and pushups.
- Walking Push-Ups
Work on: chest, shoulders, middle back, and triceps
This is a calisthenics, cardiovascular, and plyometric exercise that targets the chest and also works on other muscles.
- Hindu Push-Ups
Work on: triceps, pectorals, deltoids, hamstrings, glutes
The name and exercise originate from workouts followed by Indian wrestlers. It improves endurance, cardiovascular capacity, and stamina.
- X pushups
Work on: chest, back, arms
X Pushup is an advanced exercise for extreme exercise enthusiasts. It puts immense strain on your upper body and also works the legs.
- Pike walk/pushup combo
Work on: arms, shoulders, chest
Pike walk with pushup is a bodyweight exercise that targets the upper body and core.
- Decline Pushups
Work on: chest, pecs, shoulders, back, and arms
The decline pushes up is an advanced upper body exercise that is excellent for chest development.
- Air boxing
Work on: arms, abs, and back
Shadowboxing involves all body areas and provides a good balance between cardio and resistance training.
Work on: latissimus dorsi and biceps
Both pull-ups and chin-ups are great for back and overall upper body conditioning. But chin-ups especially target the biceps.
- Bench Dips
Work on: triceps brachii, anterior deltoid, pecs
Bench dips can develop all three heads of the triceps if followed with strict form.
- Chest Dips
Work on: arms, shoulders, chest, upper back
Chest dips provide that hormonal boost you need to grow muscle and tone your chest.
- Flexed-Arm Hangs
Work on: biceps, back, shoulder muscles.
The Flexed Arm Hang is not complex, but it is ideal for piling muscle mass on the biceps.
Work on: arms, shoulders, scapular, abs, forearms
A pull-up is an upper-body compound pulling exercise.
- Side-To-Side Pull-Ups
Work on: back, biceps, forearms, and core
Although tough, this advanced variation is great for keeping your arms toned.
- Inverted Rows
Work on: back, biceps, traps, stabilizer muscles
Inverted rows improve shoulder health and strengthen your grip and upper body.
- One-Arm Inverted Rows
Work on: back, biceps, forearms, and shoulders
This is a multi-joint advanced progression that allows a greater range of motion.
- Isometric chest squeezes
Work on: pectoralis major, biceps, deltoids
Isometric exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles that can help maintain muscle strength.
- Shoulder stabilization series
Work on: rotator cuff, upper back, posterior deltoids
Shoulder stability exercises prevent shoulder injuries and enhance performance.
#2. Lower Body:
Work on: quadriceps, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips
Lunges are best for strengthening and toning the lower body. It is considered a functional move.
- Clock Lunges
Work on: glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, quadriceps
Clock lunges can help you to sculpt your butt, hips, upper legs and lower legs.
- Standing Split Lunges
Work on: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calf
This is a great compound lift exercise for beginners to include in their strength training.
- Lunge Jumps
Work on: glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves
This cardiovascular exercise improves lower body strength and challenges dynamic stability and coordination.
- Reverse Lunges
Work on: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves
Reverse Lunges keep the body in the ideal lunge position and improve strength and endurance.
- Alternating Side-lunge
Work on: glutes, quads, hamstrings and inner thighs
This exercise improves dynamic balance and agility and increases performance and flexibility.
- Curtsy Lunges With Side Kick
Work on: quads, hamstrings, thighs, glutes, hips, core
The curtsy lunge sidekick is an exercise that engages the lower body and improves balance.
Work on: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves
Squats are compound full-body exercises that strengthen and enhance the core and legs.
- Plié Squats
Work on: thighs, hamstrings, glutes
This exercise improves strength in the legs, glutes and calves and increases the range of motion in the hips.
- Side Step Squats
Work on: quadriceps, hip adductors, glutes
The side lunge and the side squat require stepping the foot to the side but they differ in leg position.
- Sumo Squats
Work on: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves
This move targets the inner thigh adductors and glutes.
- Pistol Squats
Work on: lower body, abs, lower back
This exercise greatly improves balance, leg strength, flexibility, and coordination.
- Lateral Leg Raises
Work on: rectus abdominis, obliques, hip flexors
The side leg raise mainly targets the abductor muscle group, crucial for daily activities and sports.
- Alternating Knee-To-Chests
Work on: lower back, hamstrings, and glutes
This exercise stretches and stabilizes the pelvis and low back.
Work on: quadriceps and gluteus maximus
This is a unilateral leg exercise, which implies that you work on each leg independently.
- Calf raises
Work on: gastrocnemius and soleus muscles
A calf raise improves the strength of the gastrocnemius, and even the soleus if the knees are bent.
- Inverted hamstrings
Work on: hamstrings, glutes, calves, core
This dynamic flexibility exercise stretches the legs and challenges balance, core and stability.
- Standing Oblique Crunches
Work on: obliques, rectus abdominis, hip flexor
This functional standing ab exercise works on oblique muscles.
- Quadruped Opposite Arm and Leg Lift
Work on: erector spinae, gluteus maximus, deltoid and trapezius
Quadruped opposite arm and leg lifts help develop strength in your lower back and reduce the risk of injury.
- Single Leg Deadlifts
Work on: butt and legs, back, core
The single-leg deadlift improves hip strength and power.
- Wall Sits
Work on: glutes, calves and quadriceps
Primarily, wall sitting builds your isometric strength and endurance in.
- Side Kicks
Work on: hips, glutes, adductors, abductors, iliopsoas, quadriceps and hamstrings
This side-kick exercise looks like an old-school move, but this exercise targets muscles that give your butt that lifted the look.
- Rotating Deadlifts
Work on: butt, hamstrings, obliques
This movement reduces some stress off of the SI joint and focuses it in the transverse plane.
- Skater Hops
Work on: Quadriceps, Adductors, Hamstrings, Calves, Glutes
This exercise increases your leg power and gets rid of lower-body imbalances.
- Mountain Climbers
Work on: glute, quadriceps, hamstrings
They are a compound exercise that trains several joints and muscle groups simultaneously.
- Single-Leg Glute Bridges
Work on: glutes, core, hip flexors, knee extensors
The toning exercise targets abs and thighs and also aids in lifting and sculpting the butt.
- Hip Bridges
Work on: hip flexors, rectus abdominus, erector spinae, hamstrings
This chain exercise builds muscle and boosts flexibility of the abs, butt, hips, and lower back.
- Donkey Whips
Work on: abductors, glutes, lower back, adductors
Donkey whips are a strength exercise that enhances flexibility in the hip and lower back.
- Donkey Kick
Work on: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus
This is a great move that can tone, tighten and strengthen your glutes.
Work on: abdominals, back, and shoulders
The plank helps in core conditioning, proper posture, and balance.
- Side Planks
Work on: transversus abdominis, abductors, adductors, obliques
This variation exercise greatly strengthens the core, shoulders, arms, and wrists.
- Elbow Planks
Work on: forearms, abdominals, back, and shoulders
Elbow planks are more challenging as they recruit more of your core muscles.
- Twisting Side Planks
Work on: abs, obliques, shoulders, glutes, quads
Twisting planks help to tone the waist by strengthening the core.
- Uneven Planks
Work on: triceps, core, abs, back
Uneven planks use the downward phase of a push-up with a plank to challenge your core and triceps.
- Plank With Lateral Arm Raises
Work on: core, shoulders, abs, back
The side plank lateral raise contributes to broad shoulders and works on the core.
- Side-Plank Crunch
Work on: obliques, upper back, shoulders
This core body exercise targets your core muscles and strengthens the back and shoulder.
- Plank Hip Dips
Work on: abs, obliques, and lower back, waist
This is a modified variation of the elbow plank with an additional hip rotation.
- Russian Twist
Work on: rectus abdominis, obliques
This core exercise engages muscles of the whole abdomen.
- Scissor Kicks
Work on: hip flexors, transverse abdominis
Scissor kicks improve your stability, posture, and balance.
Work on: glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings
It increases strength and endurance and sheds body fat.
- Bicycle Crunches
Work on: rectus abdominis, obliques
This builds muscle strength, mass, and a stronger core.
- Flutter Kicks
Work on: abdominal muscles, lower abs, hip flexors
Flutter kicks improve core strength, definition, endurance, and flexibility.
- Trunk Rotations
Work on: Rectus abdominus, obliques, transversus abdominus
Trunk rotations improve flexibility and relieve painful pressure in the lower back and core.
Work on: abs, obliques, back, core
This is a strength-based exercise that uses your body weight to challenge the core area.
Work on: rectus abdominis
Crunches improve your balance and posture and add definition to abdominal muscles.
- Reverse Crunches
Work on: rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis
This exercise engages the external obliques and helps achieve flat abs sooner.
- Ab Curls
Work on: rectus abdominis, oblique muscles
Ab curls train the abdominals at their natural length, instead of the length they have in the fetal position.
- Swan dives
Work on: abdominal muscles, pelvis, hamstring
Swan dive is a Pilates movement that strengthens the back and stretches out the front of your body.
Work on: back muscles, glutes, hamstring
The Superman targets your back muscles and can alleviate back pain that is associated with weak back muscles.
- Leg Kick Backs
Work on: glutes, core, hamstrings
Leg kickbacks strengthen and tone your glutes and hamstrings.
- Single Leg Abdominal Press
Work on: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus and calf
This variation exercise provides a greater range of motion and more core stimulation.
- Double Leg Abdominal Press
Work on: quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, glutes
This is a mass building compound leg exercise to achieve big legs without squats.
Work on: abdominal muscles, hip flexors, legs, chest
Sit-ups improve the overall torso health and engage a combination of muscles for more gains.
- Incline Sit-Up
Work on: Rectus abdominis, obliques, iliopsoas
This variation engages abdominal muscles more intensely than standard sit-ups as you are working against gravity.
- High Knee Skips
Work on: core, hips, thighs, and feet
This challenging and complicated exercise increases leg strength, coordination, and endurance.
- Lateral Bunny Hops
Work on: butt, legs, adductors, hamstrings
Bunny hops greatly improve the strength, mobility, and explosivity of the lower body.
- Gate Swings
Work on: legs, glutes, core
This cardio movement strengthens the heart, increases aerobic fitness and trains the legs.
- Jump Squats
Work on: calves, glutes, hamstrings, core, quadriceps
Jump squats help build and tone leg muscles while promoting an anabolic environment.
- Plank Jacks
Work on: core, lower body, shoulders
This is a great cardio exercise that burns calories, develops core strength and alleviates lower back pain.
- Ring Box Drill
Work on: glutes, hamstrings, outer thighs, quads
This calisthenics and plyometrics exercise teaches athletes fast movement, acceleration, and mobility.
- Tuck Jumps
Work on: Legs, hip flexors
This high-intensity interval movement burns more calories quickly.
Work on: quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings, outer thighs
Bounding improves speed, coordination and rhythm.
- Butt kicks
Work on: knee flexors, glutes, abs, legs
Butt kicks are a great cardiovascular exercise that warm up the body and burn calories.
- Squat Thrusters
Work on: quads, glutes, hamstrings
Squat thrusters build muscular endurance, strength, and conditioning in the legs.
- Box Jumps
Work on: Glutes, Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves
This exercise improves the reaction of fast-twitch muscles throughout your body.
- Quick feet
Work on: outer thighs, quads, calves, glutes
This cardio exercise also increases speed and agility.
Work on: chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, core
The burpee is a full body strength training exercise and promotes functional fitness.
Work on: calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads, leg
This exercise helps in toning and reduces stiffness and leg pain.
- High Knees
Work on: hip flexors, quads, glutes
High knees improve strength and endurance of the hip flexors and quads.
- Dot Drills
Work on: major leg muscles
Dot drills improve conditioning, foot speed, quickness and agility.
- Jumping Rope
Work on: hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, forearms, deltoids
Skipping uses the abs to stabilize the body, lower body for jumping, shoulders and arms for turning the rope.
- Toe Taps
Work on: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves
This is an effective plyometric exercise that engages the hamstrings and quadriceps.
- Lateral Jumps
Work on: quads, calves, glutes, hamstrings
This advanced exercise develops power, coordination and stability.
- Clapping Push-Ups
Work on: pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps
This plyometric exercise builds explosive power in your upper body.
- Deficit Plyometric Push-Ups
Work on: pectoralis, triceps, anterior shoulder
This variation increases the range of motion, stretch on the pectorals and muscle control.
#5. Full Body:
- Bear Crawls
Work on: core, shoulders, arms, glutes
Bear crawls improve mobility, stability, coordination, and strength.
Work on: core, shoulders, arm, chest, back
This exercise strengthens the entire body and increases balance and stability.
- Stair Climb with Bicep Curl
Work on: quadriceps, calves, biceps, arms
This combination exercise strengthens and tones both legs and arms.
- Crab Walks
Work on: Triceps, upper arm, shoulders, back, abdominal, hamstrings, upper legs
This full-body exercise improves coordination and agility.
Work on: abdominals, arms, shoulders, back, chest
This challenging movement increases strength, coordination and stability.
Work on: whole upper body, Back, Chest, Shoulders, Abs, Biceps, and Triceps
This full-body workout improves upper body power and strength.
- Human Flag
Work on: delts, lats, obliques,
This amazing move is about full body control, core and upper body strength.
- Frog Stands
Work on: Shoulders, Arms, Back, Chest, Abdominals
Frog stands to improve balance and strength skills needed for hand-balancing movements.