5 basic bodyweight exercises for home workouts

Where do you start if you’ve never exercised with your weight at home? I would not consider exercises with a barbell or dumbbells, as with this equipment you can easily make a home gym and then the workouts will be no different from those that you do in the gym.

First, a little theory. I know it’s boring, but you will definitely find this information useful. So, you are sitting at home and during the quarantine period you want to eat, not to get thick sides, but huge muscles. I have to disappoint you but you will not become Ronnie Coleman at home. Bodyweight training works to increase functionality, endurance and to a lesser extent, mass and strength. This does not mean that you will not grow in mass at all. If your diet creates a calorie surplus for the body (that is, you get more energy from food than you burn), then you will add a little volume. It is important to follow some training principles:

  • Do all exercises at a slow pace, especially in the negative phase.
  • Get enough rest between sets, at least 2 minutes. In general, rest should be intuitive, so you can start a new approach when you feel that your breathing and heart rate have returned to their normal pace.
  • Don’t train the same muscle group every day, as muscles need recovery to grow.
  • A fast pace of execution increases your stamina. The same thing happens when you do the exercise to failure.

And now let’s go directly to the exercises. I myself, have been using them all in my home workouts for 5 years now.


A universal exercise that we all know from school. This is a really effective exercise that loads the upper belt well. In classic push-ups, the pectoral muscles, deltoid and triceps, are involved and as auxiliary muscles, the backs and the abs are involved.

The advantage of push-ups is that you can diversify them by setting your hands at different positions. Lower them under your belly and you will shift the load to the front deltas and lower pectoral muscles. Place your arms wider and you engage the outer chest muscles, which will visually expand your chest and shoulders.

If you’ve already made progress with the classic push-ups, it’s time to move on to the next level. Take 2 chairs, take the support from the chairs and put your feet on a third chair. This will increase the amplitude as this will allow you to go below the horizontal at the lowest point. This will stretch the pectoral muscles even more. From the bottom position, do an explosive push-up, at the top point additionally reducing the pectoral muscles.

If you have already outgrown this level, it remains only to add weights, you can do this by using a backpack with a weight, a kettlebell or ask your relatives to lie on your back.

Still too easy? Master one-arm push-ups. In addition to strength, this requires coordination, so push-ups from the floor are truly a royal exercise for home workouts.


Another basic exercise with which your legs will grow even at home. Remember the basics, which are; do your squats slowly and rest your muscles. If you want to work hard, squats on two legs will not work. You will have to master the “pistol” or just squat on one leg, leading the other back. 10-20 of these reps and your thighs will burn no less than after squats with a barbell. Do 4 sets and your legs will receive a decent level of stress.

You can enhance the effect with the same additional weights. Squat on one leg with 20-30 kg if the level of your training allows this.


There is a lot of controversy about curls. Many experts say this is not the most effective ab exercise. I will not argue with this, especially since I myself do not like this movement. However, I have to be objective, as crunches work great and they can be done wherever there is a floor. Therefore, for pumping the press at home, this is ideal.

An important point to know about your abdominal muscles is that, you can work hard on these for years, but you may not see the cherished cubes. A layer of fat on your belly prevents them from manifesting, so if you want cubes, follow a strict diet and lose weight, and of course, swing the press. The general principle works by; slow movements works for mass gain and fast movements work for endurance.


The plank is a popular exercise that many people perform. I have my own approach to the bar. I do not break time records by doing it for 5 minutes (although my record is 6 minutes). I do this exercise as a workout for the abs, as the press in the bar only works for the first 30-40 seconds and then the muscles get tired and the main load goes to the shoulders, back and legs. To avoid this, I lay in the bar for 40 seconds. Of course, this is not enough for a full-fledged press workout, so I perform 10 sets of 40 seconds. If your level of fitness does not allow you to do 10, you can start with 3 sets, gradually increasing the number as your fitness level rises.

I rest for the same 40 seconds between sets so that the abdominal muscles don’t relax too much. During execution, it is important to focus on the muscles being trained and slightly twist the pelvis forward as this increases the load on the abs.


And finally, the hardest part (at least for me). Burpee is an extremely challenging exercise that will take your functional training to the next level. Any cardio you’ve done before is an easy walk compared to a Burpee. Do it 20 times and you will feel it yourself. This exercise is especially effective if you want to lose weight or improve your aerobic fitness. Do several Burpees 2-3 times a week and after a month you will not recognize yourself when you walk up to the 5th floor.

Burpees, like push-ups, can be varied. If at first, it is difficult for you to do a full cycle with jumps, you can limit the movement from an exit, from a lying position, to a sitting position and then a standing position. You can do Burpees with a jump and an exit to the support while lying down but without push-ups. There are a lot of options.

When starting home workouts, do not forget about safety precautions. Before any workouts, you need to warm up well! Be sure to warm up the joints and ligaments, slightly accelerate the heart rate and blood flow throughout the body. If you are a beginner, start gradually, even if the workout seems easy to you. For building a beautiful figure, regularity and balance of training and rest are more important than training in snatches and to the limit of possibilities.

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