Using your own body weight as resistance provides a great challenge during a workout, not to mention offering many other great benefits, like:
- Combining cardio and strength training
- Using multiple muscle groups at once, while also training your balance, agility and reaction time
- Burning more calories
- Convenience–you can do bodyweight workouts anywhere, anytime
- Better results over the short- and long-term
This body weight workout takes very little equipment–just you and a sturdy bench or chair–and 30 to 35 minutes. Perfect if you want a new challenge, or you don’t feel like going to the gym or you don’t have a ton of time. It’s also a great workout to take when traveling.
Don’t forget to warm up before starting the workout. See the instructions on how to complete each move below. Questions? Send me an email!
Print a PDF copy of the workout.
Learn how to do the exercises
Squat with Pulse
Place your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles. Pull your elbows close to the body, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up. Start the squat by inhaling into your belly, and unlocking your hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backward as your knees begin to bend. While your butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and your back stays straight. Keep your head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine. Let your hip joint squat lower to the ground than the knees, if comfortable. Engage your core, and exhale while driving through the heels to return to standing. Imagine the feet are spreading the floor (the left foot to the left, right foot to the right) without actually moving the feet. Complete 5 squats, then sink down into a squat and pulse slightly up and down 5 times.
Single-leg Mountain Climbers
Get into a standard plank position. Raise your right knee to your chest and return to start. Raise your left knee to your chest and return to start. Remember: keep your back as flat as possible, engage your core and legs during this exercise.
Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise.
Rear Lunge with Touch Down
Stand tall and take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your right foot. Lower your hips so that your left thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your left knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your right heel should be lifted. Touch the fingertips of your right hand to the floor. Push up using your heel to starting position, squeezing your glute as you stand.
Eccentric Push Up (on Knees)
Lie prone on floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend knees and raise body up off floor by extending arms with body straight. Keeping body straight and knees bent, lower body to floor in a count of three by bending arms. Push body up until arms are extended in a count of 1. So, your rhythm in doing these push ups is: 1 – 2 – 3 , 1. Both upper and lower body must be kept straight throughout movement.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms extended at sides. Bend forward from hips and place hands on floor in front of your feet. Walk hands forward until you’re in a plank position. Walk your hands back to your feet (it’s okay to bend your knees here), and stand back up.
Alternating Side Lunge
Start with your feet to start together, head up, chest out, and shoulders back. Inhale stepping out to the side, sitting back on your heel and keeping both feet facing forward; the trailing leg should remain straight. Exhale pressing through the heel, standing back up, bringing both feet together briefly before stepping the other leg out and lunging over it. Each lunge counts as one rep.
Full Sit Up
Lie on your back with your legs straight. Place your fingertips behind your ears. Pull your shoulder blades back so your elbows are out to the side. Brace your abs, exhaling, raise your head and shoulder blades off the floor, then sit up fully. Exhale as you sit up. Head always looking straight, no chin on chest and do not pull the head forward. Roll back down to the starting position.
Air Jump Rope
Pretend you are jumping rope, by hopping slightly off the ground, circling your arms by your side as if you are spinning the rope around your body.
Lie on your back, knees bent. Using your core, bring your knees up toward your chest, and thrust your feet toward the ceiling, raising your hips off the ground by a couple of inches. Come back to starting position and repeat.
Lie on your back, hands just under your butt for lower back support. Flex your feet, and with straight legs, raise your feet up to the ceiling. Hold there for 20 seconds. Remember to breathe. Lower legs back to floor for 10 seconds, and repeat.
(Floor) Glute Bridge Series
Lie on your back on an exercise mat or the floor in a bent-knee position with your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with the toes facing away from you. Keep the abdominals engaged and lift your hips up off the floor. Press your heels into the floor for added stability. Avoid pushing your hips too high, which can cause hyperextension (arching) in your low back. Keeping your abdominals strong helps to prevent excessive arching in the low back. Hold for 3 seconds, lower yourself part way to the floor, and press back up and hold. Repeat until you finish the reps, then:
- Move your feet together so they are and zip your inner thighs together. Do the next set.
- Move your feet arm width apart, toes slightly turned out. Do the final set.