7 Bodyweight Exercises For Beginners
Wanna work out wherever you are? There’s good news! Bodyweight workouts travel with you, are compact, torch away calories, and send those feel-good endorphins running through your body. Here, we cover some bodyweight exercises for beginners so that you can get started today.
1 | Jumping Jacks
Seeing the word “jumping jack” might bring a flood of memories from your early P.E. classes. At the time, it was a workout used to warm us up or get us to pay attention in class. Jumping jacks, though, are one of the best beginner bodyweight workouts of all time. Not only are they a fantastic workout on their own, but they are also one of the best warm-up exercises for your entire body. Just a minute or two of jumping jacks will start to get your blood flowing and loosen up your whole body’s muscles. Plus, if you do jumping jacks as a circuit, you can start slow on your first round, a little faster on the second, and then a quick, calorie-blasting workout on the third and beyond—taking this from a warm-up to a workout. Our P.E. teachers were definitely onto something.
How to do a jumping jack:
- Stand straight up with your feet together and your arms at your side
- Carefully jump without locked knees and widen your feet just past your hips
- At the same time, move your arms from your side up over your head, keeping your arms straight through the movement
- Reverse those movements back to starting position
- Repeat for one minute
2 | Lunges
Another dynamic warm-up and fantastic bodyweight workout is the lunge. Like jumping jacks, you can start off utilizing lunges to stretch out your muscles before a workout. Targeting your lower body, your thighs, hips, quads, and core will all feel much better after a lunge warm-up—plus, by adding a simple twist as you go down, this truly can become one of the most dynamic exercises ever.
How to do a lunge:
- Stand up straight with your feet about hip-width apart and your hands on your hips
- Lift your right foot and take a big step forward, keeping your core engaged and landing on your heel first
- Lower your left knee down as your front leg bends, attempting to keep your knee at a 90-degree angle (be sure not to allow your knee to go past your toe)
- Press back while engaging your core to return to starting position
- Repeat with your other foot
- Repeat ten times on each side
3 | Squats
These might be the most popular strength exercise, and they are perfect for when you have no equipment. Squats strengthen your legs and glutes, and—less widely known—they also help to improve your core and build strength for powerful movements.
How to bodyweight squat:
- Stand with your legs a little more than hip-width apart, and your feet slightly pointed outward
- With your back straight and core engaged, bend your knees and lower your glutes
- Lower down to 90 degrees, keeping your back straight and head up, and return to start
- Repeat ten times
4 | Pushups
Moving on up to an arm-toning workout, it’s time to talk pushups. You might have tried pushups for a great chest and upper body workout, but, done correctly, a pushup can work your whole body.
How to do a pushup:
- Begin in plank position either on your knees or with your legs extended back (this is where core strength comes in)
- Place your hands on the ground straight beneath your shoulders
- Lower yourself down, bending your elbows and maintaining the plank position
- Return to the start by pushing yourself back up to plank position
- Repeat ten times
5 | Shoulder Taps
Shoulder taps are another workout done in the plank position. They allow you to work your core muscles, shoulders, arms, glutes, and even help keep your wrists strong. These look and sound simple to do—but done correctly—this beginner bodyweight exercise will make you feel the burn.
How to do shoulder taps:
- Begin in plank position with your arms beneath your shoulders
- With your right hand, tap your left shoulder (try not to twist your body, but rather stay straight in a plank position by engaging your core) and then return your right hand to the floor
- Now, use your left hand to tap your right shoulder, then return that hand to the floor
- Repeat 10x on each side
6 | Thigh Taps
As a cousin to shoulder taps, thigh taps are just as effective. Working your shoulders, arms, abs, glutes, and wrists, you will love adding this to your bodyweight training routine.
How to do thigh taps:
- Start in plank position with your arms beneath your shoulders
- Take your right hand and tap the front of your right thigh
- Switch, and use your left hand to tap your left thigh
- Repeat 10x on each side
7 | Superman Back Extensions
This back workout is going to give your arms a deserved relief. And, the best part of this bodyweight workout is that you get to lay down. Pretty great, right?
How to do Superman back extensions:
- Lay on your stomach with your arms straight out towards the wall in front of you
- Engage your core, arms, legs, glutes, and back and slowly lift your arms and legs off of the ground
- Lift until your chest is off of the floor
- Hold for a second
- Slowly lower to start position
- Repeat 10x
You can try any one of these bodyweight exercises independently, or try them together to give yourself a full-body bodyweight workout. To try this as its own workout, go through these exercises three times. You can do bodyweight exercises at any of our locations. If you would like to be led through a bodyweight exercise at home, join iChuze Fitness. Here, you can enjoy instructor-lead bodyweight workouts from the comfort of your living room (or wherever you are)!