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Bodyweight Training: 15 Movements to Strengthen and Tone

Body Weight Workouts

 

Bodyweight exercises for fitness anywhere, anytime.

 

We’re nearly ten months into the pandemic and the end is clearly not in sight. But you can still stay fit—and in fact, you can learn to master movements and routines that will keep you toned and in top shape, anywhere and anytime, pandemic or not. We’re talking about bodyweight training.

Bodyweight training is an incredible tool, for countless different reasons. A bodyweight workout is one you can do in any location—at home, at the gym, in a park, or in a hotel room—without any gear. You can add hand weights, a kettlebell, or bands to some of the movements if you want to increase the challenge, but there’s no need. Ideally you’ll want a mat for any floor work, but that’s truly all you need to get a killer workout using only your own bodyweight as resistance.

Here are some of the many reasons you may want to try bodyweight training:

 

  • Bodyweight training is free—no membership dues required

  • You can do it anywhere, anytime

  • It’s never boring—learn a variety of movements and then mix them up to create new workouts every day

  • It’s challenging for everyone from beginners to elite athletes—movements, reps, and pace can be modified to match any fitness level

  • Bodyweight training improves strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance—booyah!

  • It works and strengthens those key core muscles

  • It can provide a full-body workout

  • It’s highly efficient—you’ll see results

  • It can help improve your resistance to injury

  • A bodyweight circuit routine, including short bursts of cardio (jumping jacks, jumping rope, high knees, driveway sprints, etc.) helps train your cardiovascular system, too


 

There are literally hundreds of bodyweight movements that target different muscles and muscle groups. To narrow it down, we’ll detail five of our favorites for each key area: lower body, upper body, and core. As a general rule, we recommend performing a selection of bodyweight exercises as three sets of 10-15 reps each, three to four times a week. If you prefer visual demonstrations of these movements (and many others), a quick search on YouTube will provide plenty of results. Also be sure to check out our BlenderBottle® Trainer Team videos for fun and engaging workouts, including bodyweight training you can do at home.

 

LOWER BODY MOVEMENTS

 

Jump Squat

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Begin with a normal bodyweight squat, moving your hips back and squatting down as far as possible as though you are sitting down. Be sure to keep your chest lifted and your knees behind your toes. As your hips dip below your knees, push up through your heels and jump as high as you can, landing softly on your feet to return to the start.

 

Backward Lunge

Stand with your feet together. Step one leg back, lowering down so that both knees form a 90-degree angle with the lower knee hovering just above the floor. Drive through the heel of your standing leg to return to the start, then repeat on the opposite side.

 

Plie Squat with Calf Raise

Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, and hands on your hips. Bend your knees over your toes and lower your body into a wide-legged squat. While holding this position, raise your heels (without raising your hips) and press them back down 10 times. Return to starting position and repeat.

 

Skater Jump

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides. Bring one leg behind you in an angled reverse lunge, with your front knee bending to 90 degrees. Simultaneously swing your arms out and leap to the opposite side, landing in the reverse position (opposite leg in back, opposite leg in front). Repeat this side-to-side motion (which resembles a speed skater’s movements), shifting your weight each time and remembering to land with your knees and hips slightly bent.

 

Singe-Leg Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet planted on the floor, and your arms at your sides. Extend one leg up toward the ceiling, so that both knees are aligned. Engage your core and glutes as you lift your hips up, driving through the heel on the ground and keeping your hips level. Lower your hips back to the floor, keeping one leg extended and repeat for 10-15 reps; then switch sides.

 

CORE MOVEMENTS

 

Mountain Climber

Start in a high plank position with your core, glutes, and thighs engaged so your body forms a straight line. Drive one knee in toward your chest, then quickly step it back to plank position. Immediately drive the opposite knee in toward your chest, then step it back. Continue alternating, as fast as you can while maintaining good form, for 10-15 reps per side.

 

Butterfly Sit Up

Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together, your knees bent and opening out to the sides, and your arms stretched overhead. Engage your core and roll your body up to a sitting position. Continue reaching forward to touch your toes, then slowly roll back down to the starting position.

 

6-Inch Hold

Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms by your sides, with your hands below your glutes. Engage your core by pulling your belly button into your spine. Lift your legs six inches off the mat, being sure to keep your low back from lifting up. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

 

Plank Hip Dip

Start in a forearm plank position: forearms on the floor, hands facing forward, elbows stacked directly under shoulders, legs extended. Tuck your tailbone and engage your core, glutes, and quads. While keeping your upper body and feet in position, rotate your hips to one side and tap the floor. Repeat on the other side.

 

V-Up

Lie on your back with your legs and arms extended on the floor, arms close to ears. Engage your core and press your low back to the ground.

Point your toes, squeeze your thighs and glutes, and simultaneously lift your legs and upper back off the ground, reaching your hands forward toward your feet (your body will form a “V”). Slowly return to start, keeping your core engaged.

 

UPPER BODY MOVEMENTS

 

Inchworm With Shoulder Tap

Start in a standing position. Bend at the waist to place your hands on the floor in front of you, then walk your hands out until you reach a high plank. Alternately tap each hand to the opposite shoulder while maintaining the high plank, engaging your core and keeping your hips as still as possible. Walk your hands back and return to the standing.

 

Triceps Dip

Sit on a chair or bench with your hands behind you on the edge of the seat and your feet planted on the floor. Move your hips and butt forward off the seat. Bend your elbows, lowering your butt to the floor. Push back up and repeat.

 

Plank March

Start in high plank position: arms straight, wrists stacked directly under shoulders, body forming a straight line from head to heels. Bend one elbow to lower your forearm to the floor. Lower your opposite forearm to reach the forearm plank position. Work your way back up to high plank, raising one arm at a time. Repeat, alternating which arm you start with each time.

 

Superman/Superwoman Hold

Lie face down with your arms out to your sides, forming a “T” shape. Engage your core and then lift your torso and legs off the floor. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then lower back down and repeat.

 

Handstand Wall Walk

Squat down with your back to a wall and your hands on the ground, shoulder width apart and 2-3 feet away from the wall. Keeping your hands on the ground, lift your hips up and slowly walking your feet up the wall. Then walk your hands forward while walking your feet down the wall until you reach the bottom.

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