Top 15 Bodyweight Exercises

man in black tank top raising his hands

Here they are.

1) Chin / Pull Up

Back, arms, biceps, being lean. Being able to do these is requisite to being athletic. The best grip is actually a parallel grip, its the most joint friendly. Do them on rings if possible.

2) Pushup

Chest, shoulders, triceps. Man has been building his upperbody with these since the dawn of time. Put your feet up, use rings, try staggered or 1-arm, there are many many variations to make them harder.

3) Squat

Your hips go down, your hips come up. If you’re a strong person, doing a 100+ of these is barely challenging. It should be EASY to do high rep sets. And if you know how to modify them, you can build very muscular legs without ever using weights.

4) Lunge

If you cannot do these, you’re not athletic, period. Lunges should be able to be done in every direction. Every sport takes place on the transition between two legs.

5) Inverted rows (sometimes called reverse pushups)

I love these. Inverted rows are best done with straps or rings, can also do them in a squat rack or smith machine with the bar. Works entire upper back. Aim to do 20 in one set.

6) Dips

Dips can be progressed with weight, but the basic version is done on parallel bars, chin tucked to the chest, slight forward lean, lowering the body, pressing up through the shoulders, chest, triceps. The strength standard to aim for with dips is 20 reps

7) Situps and Crunches

The science geeks will hate on these, but every fight gym and military in the world has their men do them, and they WORK. Do them properly and reap the rewards. Being able to pull yourself up with your abs is a mandatory strength

8) Handstand Pushup

FYI, these are HARD. You have to build up to them by doing Pike pushups, and you’ll eventually need parallettes to do them properly. But they build shoulders better than any free weight exercise. And if you can do them free standing, thats strong AF.

9) Reverse Hyperextensions

A fantastic exercise for strengthening the low back, glutes, and hamstrings. Can be done with a bench, or anything else you can hang your legs off of.

10) Nordic Leg Curl 

These are hard as hell, and you’ll need a partner to do them.  Be warned, this is one of the best hamstring exercises you can do, but I’ve had clients do 1 and then immediately cramp up. Start with low rep sets.

11) L-Sits

Gymnastics movement that anyone can build up to doing. Start with short 5 second isometric holds, build up from there

12) Hollow Body Hold

A basic movement that every gymnasts spends endless hours doing until its easy. Can be incorporated into any training routine

13) Superman 

An underrated exercise the works the entire length of the spinal muscles and the glutes. And if you do them with light weights its disgustingly hard

14) Australian Pullups 

Essentially this is a bodyweight facepull. Great intermediate movement to build to pullups. And very effective on its own as an upperback row

15) Calf Raises

Can be done literally anywhere. Do them with one leg, do them with both legs. No reason to have toothpicks for calves