The great thing about bodyweight exercises is they can be done anywhere, anytime, with minimal space required. In this 4 part post I am going to give the top 20 bodyweight exercises; 5 upper body exercises, 5 lower body exercises, 5 whole body exercises and 5 bodyweight ab exercises.
So let’s start off at the top;
Upper Body Bodyweight Exercises
These exercises will mainly work the upper body, but of course, you will use other muscles for stability.
Standard Push Up:
We should all know what a standard push up looks like. The standard push up isn’t that most exciting of exercises. However with that said, it is one of the most widely used exercises in any training program – because it works. To perform a push up, place your hands underneath your shoulders with your feet medium width apart, and lower yourself down by bending your elbows. Make sure to keep your back straight – don’t let your hips drop, and equally don’t push your bum up in the air!
SpiderMan Push Ups:
There are absolutely loads of variations to the standard push up – the SpiderMan Push Up is just one of them. Set your body up exactly how you would as if you were doing a standard push up. On the downward phase of the push up, lift your right knee towards your right elbow. This should be done in a smooth movement as you bend your elbows.
As you come back up, bring right leg back to its starting position. On the next rep do exactly the same, but this time bring your left knee up to your left elbow. Again making sure this is done in a smooth motion as you bend your elbows
This one requires 2 towels and a smooth hard floor, so almost bodyweight – although you won’t be lifting them or anything. Fold towels so they cover just more than your hand span. Get into a push up position but instead of having your hands directly on the floor put them on the towels. Now spread your hands outwards as if you were about to do a wide grip push up. Spread hands a little further so that your chest is a couple of inches off the floor by pointing finger outwards.
Now in a controlled manner bring hands back to starting position. Try to keep the bending of the elbows to a minimum.
Shoulder Press Push Up
Another push up variation –this one makes the shoulders do most of the work. Put you feet on an elevated surface (for this example lets use a bench) – as if you were about to do a decline push up. Now bring your hands as close as possible to the bench.
Bend your elbows and lower your head to floor, then using your upper body push yourself back up into the starting position.
This exercise primarily works the upper back area. Now you might think at first glace this exercise is relatively easy to do – however looks can be very deceiving.
Stand with your back to the wall. Place you arms and hand against the wall. Finger pointing up, elbows at a right-angle. Move your hands upwards so that your elbows are almost straight. Now come back down into the position you were just in, but as you come back into this position squeeze your shoulder blades together.
The one I like to use is; ‘Imagine squeezing an orange in-between your shoulder blades’