5 Best Bodyweight Exercises

By Samuel Kennedy

best bodyweight exercisesFor many of us, exercise is a major part of our everyday lives. It’s how we deal with stress. It’s how we stay healthy and fit. And it’s how we develop focus and willpower for all life’s challenges. But, what do you do on days that you can’t make it to the gym? When I’m traveling, or even just too busy to go lift some heavy iron, I rely on the best bodyweight exercises.

Calisthenics training is the oldest form of exercise in the world, and it’s the one most of us learn first. The best exercises – especially for beginners – are the ones you can master at home, without having to spend a fortune on equipment. I’m a firm believer in mastering calisthenics before moving on to free weights, and learning to use free weights correctly before using machines. Even in calisthenics, there are a lot of exercises for beginners to choose from, but five movements stand out from the rest. These are the simplest, and in my opinion, the best bodyweight exercises.

Best Bodyweight Exercises

  1. Pushups – usually considered just a chest exercise, the pushup also strengthens your arms and core. If you’re new to strength training, or if you’ve been doing nothing but benchpress for a while, you’ll be surprised at how challenging pushups really are. You can make them easier by doing wall-pushups or knee-pushups. Alternatively, you could make them harder by raising your feet off the floor or adding weight on your back.
  2. Chinups – the king of back exercises, the chinup is also one of the best exercises for your biceps. As a compound movement, it provides strength gains quickly. Unlike the rest of the exercises on this list, chinups do require equipment, specifically a bar to hang from. Several companies manufacture bars that you can hang in a doorway in your house. These take up little room, and are relatively easy to install.
  3. Squats – it could be argued that this is the best exercise ever, especially with a barbell on your shoulders. But, even when you don’t have the weights available, you can still benefit from one of the best bodyweight exercises. And, if you’re new to training, you should definitely start here and master the movement before you add a barbell.
  4. Lunges – another great lower body exercise, lunges force you to train each leg evenly. They’re also very effective in improving your balance and stability. Lunges require you to engage more of the small stabilizer muscles on the sides of your legs. This leads to better development overall than you could get from just squatting.
  5. Plank – you may think situps are the best exercise for your abs, but planks are even more effective for training those deep muscles of your core. From a mechanical standpoint, your core muscles weren’t actually designed for movement. Their main purpose is to stabilize your body. Because of this, isometric exercises like the plank are one of the best bodyweight exercises you can do for your core.

Putting It All Together

Taken together, these five exercises target your chest, back, arms, legs, and core muscles, making them terrific exercises for beginners, and even advanced lifters. You could structure a workout with any combination of these exercises, or all of them in the same workout. Or pair them up into supersets. Mix and match the order you do them in, and maybe add some other exercises for a little variety. Whatever your particular training style looks like, the possibilities with calisthenics are practically endless. Just make sure you master these five; they really are the best bodyweight exercises out there.

Samuel Kennedy / www.buildingyoubetter.com

Hi, I’m Samuel Kennedy. I’m an author, fitness advocate, and blogger. If you’d like to know more about me and my mission, you can visit me at www.buildingyoubetter.com . But first, make sure you subscribe here at Aboutlifting.

A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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