When gyms had to close their doors several months ago due to the shutdown, practically everyone was forced to get more creative with their workouts. Suddenly, virtual fitness training exploded, as people scrambled to buy up any equipment they could get their hands on (at a much higher price point, I might add) in order to create their own custom home gyms.
Many people, myself included, also began feeling the frustration of not having access to the very equipment they’d grown used to having, along with the disappearing sense of camaraderie that comes with being part of a fitness community.
Aside from the culture shock we’ve all experienced with this, one upside remains: having limited options for training has forced us to think outside of the box. And, ironically, thinking outside of that box has brought us back to one of the very foundational pieces of equipment we carry around with us every day: our own bodyweight.
Bodyweight Workouts: The Benefits
Bodyweight exercises have been around for quite some time, and for good reason: they are free to do almost anywhere, and they can be just as challenging as free weights, when done correctly. Bodyweight is still weight, and when used for resistance can help improve your overall endurance, strength, increase your speed, and even aid in mobility.
Another great thing about bodyweight exercises is that they can be incorporated into your regular routine to shake things up and challenge you agility and metabolic system in new ways.
If you’ve already dipped your toes into bodyweight exercises, you probably have a decent grasp on what’s most challenging for you. However, if you’d like to learn some additional moves that you can add to your arsenal or get a jumpstart on your fitness, I’m going to share some of my favorite bodyweight exercises that you can do almost anywhere (even if you’re pressed for time).
I do recommend having a yoga or fitness mat on hand to help keep your knees safe while on a hard surface. Try doing each exercise for 30 seconds, in 5 sets, resting for 30 seconds in between each set.
Are you ready? Let’s get it!
Four Epic Bodyweight Workouts
Again: the best bodyweight workouts are those that can be done anywhere, anytime, gym not required. Below I’ve walked you step-by-step through a four-move workout you can run through to blast fat and make gains, even without added weight.
And P.S.: I’ve also linked one of my 22-move bodyweight workout videos if you’re looking for more of a challenge (subscribe to the channel here so you’ll constantly have new videos to follow).
Elbow Plank Step In
This move is a challenging and fun take on a classic plank. You’ll first want to get into a classic plank position with your forearms on the floor, core engaged with your back flat, up on your toes. Instead of just holding the plank, you’ll begin by stepping inward, alternating your feet, pulling them in towards your core (similar to a beast pose) and then back out again, holding yourself up on your forearms the entire time, and not letting your knees touch the ground throughout the set. Try for 30 seconds, alternating between each foot. Remember: You can always go at your own pace, especially if this move is new for you.
Table Top Bear Crawl/Side Kick
For this next move, you’ll want to start out in a bear crawl stance, stepping forward for three to four counts (again, not letting your knees touch the ground). Then while you’ve crawled to the top of your mat, turn your body to one side, lifting your arm up and back by your head, as you kick your opposite leg out and through on each side (just like you’re breakdancing). Do the kick through on one side, and then the other side. Then you can do a reverse bear crawl, moving further down your mat, repeating the same kickthrough motion for each leg. This move is fun and helps you increase your range of motion and balance. Do this set for 30 seconds also, and then onto the next move!
Single Leg Loaded Beast
If you think this one sounds pretty intense, you’re right. This move is similar to a classic beast pose, but you’ll want to start off almost like you’re going into a down dog pose, except you’ll be moving your body forward and down into a push up stance with the toes of one leg pressing into the floor as your other leg is bent inward towards your opposing knee. You’ll then want to push your body in the reverse direction as you look downward towards your knees, and then push forward once again, repeating until you’ve reached that 30 second mark. This movement is very fluid, and an intense flow that will help strengthen your arms, legs and core. You can alternate which leg is suspended for each set.
Table Top Shoulder Tap/Press
For this final exercise, you can start by getting into a bear crawl stance once again. Instead of crawling forward, you’ll keep your feet in the same spot as you go down for a wider stance push up, letting your elbows push outward, away from your body on each side as you lower yourself down. Drop down only once, push yourself back up, and touch each of your biceps with the opposite hand. Drop down for another push up, and repeat the bicep taps on each arm until you’ve done this move for 30 seconds.
BONUS: 22-Set Bodyweight Killer Workout
One of the toughest things I hear when it comes to fitness is that workouts can get a little stale after a while, which is why I love finding fun new ways to incorporate body weight exercises into my ongoing training and sharing them with my followers so that boredom never becomes an issue.
If you’d like to learn even more about body weight exercises, mobility, and how to train with me, download my fitness app, MV Fit – now available for both Apple and Android devices.