These Bodyweight Exercises Should Absolutely Be in Your Workout Routine

Bodyweight exercises are one of the most useful and versatile forms of exercise you can add to your routine. All bodyweight workouts typically involve compound movements, which use multiple muscle groups at the same time, and are typically done in a fast-paced manner, which leads to more overall calorie-burning.

By their very nature, bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere and anytime. There's zero equipment required, and hardly any room. Even the smallest of apartments has enough room to knock out a killer bodyweight workout.

And yet while everyone knows how convenient using bodyweight exercises can be, hardly anyone ever does them. Like most fitness programs that come to a standstill, this is typically because most people don't have a plan to follow. Those days are done; with a mix of these eight bodyweight exercises, you can burn fat, build strength, and feel good (or better) about your fitness level.

Upper body

  • Push-up: Push-ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises that you can do to build shoulder, chest, and arm strength. But the benefits don’t stop there -- they also indirectly work your core by improving core stability.
  • Inverted row: The inverted row is the cousin of the push-up because it works the muscles on the opposite side of the body. Inverted rows work your upper-back muscles, shoulders, and arms, all of which are important for maintaining good posture and shoulder health, plus you'll burn a ton of calories.
women exercising side plank


  • Side-plank pulses: Side planks target the obliques, and side-plank pulses take that to the next level. You have to constantly force your sides to work, like in a normal plank, but the pulse move helps you contract your obliques more, leading to better results.
  • Mountain climbers: Mountain climbers are one of the best calorie-burning moves you can possibly do. They're fast paced, get your heart rate up, and work your shoulders, arms, and abs. All in one magic move.
  • Shoulder taps: Shoulder taps are one of the best core workouts you can do, and yet nobody knows about them. Except you now. By setting up in a push-up position, you're working your shoulders, and thanks to tapping the opposite shoulder, you get excellent ab and oblique work in by fighting the urge to rotate.

Lower body

  • Bodyweight lunge: Lunges are a classic move, and for good reason. They’re essentially like performing a single-leg squat, over and over again. Your quads, hamstrings, and butt have to work constantly. At the same time, they do a great job of elevating your heart rate to help burn calories.
  • Single-leg hip thrust: When most people think of lifting their butt they think about squats, but hip thrusts actually do a better job of targeting your butt and hamstrings at once. And by doing them one leg at a time you get good ab involvement, because you have to fight the rotation.
  • Jumping lunges: We already know why lunges are great, and jumping lunges take them to a whole new level. They work your legs in a much more intense way than normal lunges, which also raises your heart rate and helps burn through body fat.

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Tanner Baze is a writer who definitely did a bodyweight workout this morning. Follow him: @dtbaze.