Bodyweight Workouts for Beginners

Working out doesn’t need to be complicated or hard. If you’re starting out you don’t need a fancy gym membership or to do any crazy workouts. Exercises like bench press, squats, pull ups can be both intimidating and off putting especially for a beginner.

What’s more important is to simply get your body moving and get an a consistent schedule of working out. There’s no need to do 20 different exercises or to split up up your workout into isolated lower body workout routines and upper body workout routines. Instead, a simple body weight workout that targets your full body will help you get into the habit of exercising and will give you increased strength, energy and confidence.

As a beginner, your body weight is the best tool you have to get stronger or leaner. With that in mind we’ve put together a simply body weight workout for beginners that is designed to get your heart rate pumping and help you progress towards your fitness goals. Because this workout only requires your bodyweight you can do it literally anywhere: at home, the office, while you’re traveling, etc.

The workout routine is split into 5 exercises that will give you the maximum full body return on your time and should take around 15 minutes to complete. You can do the exercise routine as many times a week as your want, but you’re truly starting off – give yourself a day or two rest in between workout sessions to recover. The exercises are:

  • Push Ups (3 sets of 10 repetitions)
  • Bodyweight Squats (3 sets of 10 repetitions)
  • Mountain Climbers (3 sets of 30 seconds)
  • Plank (3 sets of 15 seconds)
  • Lunges (3 sets of 10 per leg)

How to Do the Exercises

Push Ups (3 sets of 10 repetitions)

Push Ups are regarded at one of the best all around exercises. This will mainly target your triceps and chest, but you will get a slight workout in your core, shoulders and biceps. If you’re having trouble doing push ups, put your knees on the floor or do the push ups with your hands against the wall instead.

  1. Get down on the floor supporting yourself with your hands your toes, with your hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  2. As you inhale, lower yourself until your chest just about touches the floor.
  3. Exhale while pushing your body back up to your starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

Bodyweight Squats (3 sets of 10 repetitions)

Squats are another super exercise in the sense that they workout such a large portion of your body. The exercise mainly targets your lower body, particularly your hamstrings and glutes, however it’s great for core strength and fat burning as well

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You can put your hands behind your head or together out in front of you. This is your starting place.
  2. Begin the movement by flexing your hips and your knees, squatting down, pushing your butt and hips back and your knees forward. Through this movement keep your chest forward and your back as straight as possible to prevent injury.
  3. Bend until your hamstrings are parallel or slightly less than parallel to the ground, and reverse the movement back to your starting place. As you’re coming up push through your heels and keep your head and chest up.

Mountain Climbers (3 sets of 30 seconds)

Mountain climbers are a great cardio exercise as well as a core and ab blast. To really challenge yourself, in crease the speed at which you’re doing the mountain climbers. If you’re having trouble doing them on the floor, put your hands on a flat bench instead.

  1. Start by getting into pushup position with your hands on the ground or on a flat bench.
  2. Now kick one knee forward until it’s right under your hip or waist.
  3. Quickly move this leg back to starting position while also kicking your other leg forward under your waste. Repeat this aggressively to get your heart rate up and complete the set.

Plank (3 sets of 15 seconds)

Planks are a designed to blast your core and abs, however you’ll also feel strengthening in your arms. You can do them in push up position or on your elbows, totally up to you.

  1. Get into a pushup position on the ground or with your hands on a flat bench.
  2. Bend your elbows 90 degree and rest your body weight on them. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head. Hold this position for as long as directed.

Lunges (3 sets of 10 per leg)

Lunges are another all around beneficial exercise. They mainly target your lower body (glutes, hamstring, quads), however you’ll feel strengthening in your core and abs providing fat loss, strength, and stability.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step forward with one leg, while lower your entire body and the other leg down. Be sure to keep your torso straight up during this movement. If you aren’t using dumbbells keep your hands on your hips.
  2. Pause for a moment, then push through your front heel to bring you body back up.
  3. As you’re coming back up step forward with your other foot to repeat the movement with the other leg.
  4. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

Tip:Make sure your front knees don’t bend past your front foot to prevent injury.

Improving and Progressing

As you get stronger and better at this workout you can challenge yourself by increasing the number of sets or repetitions and time. After doing this workout routine consistently for about a week or two, consider adding 1 extra set to each of the exercises. After an additional week add additional set to each exercise.

As you improve and increase your strength, you can also add dumbbells to the squats and lunges. For the squats, you can hold a dumbbell in front of you with both hands. For lunges you can hold a dumbbell in both of your hands on either side of your hips.

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