People aren’t taking chances. With news of the corona virus spreading across the globe, most people are stuck in their homes, wondering how to kill the time. Did your gym shut down? Do you want to maintain or improve your weight loss or muscle building results from home, but you’re not sure how?
Home bodyweight workouts can ensure you stay in shape while boosting your immune system and mood. Continue making progress on your fitness goals with your home gym equipment while you wait for this virus to pass. Here are the best bodyweight exercises and workouts for every fitness level.
Benefits of Home Bodyweight Workouts
Think you need a gym to build muscle or burn fat? Think again. Before modern day gyms, there was only calisthenics. Better known as bodyweight exercises, calisthenics exercises can support the following benefits:
Fat Burning: Bodyweight exercises promote caloric expenditure and fat burning. What’s more, by changing the intensity of the exercises, it’s possible to increase your body’s ability to burn fat through an increase in excess post oxygen consumption or EPOC. This is when your body has to continue working to pay back the oxygen debt that’s created from high-intensity exercise. 
Muscle Building: Although you aren’t using external weights such as dumbbells or barbells, bodyweight exercises are still a form of resistance training. You might not get as large as Phil Heath or Branon Curry, but studies show that calisthenics workouts can trigger hypertrophy, better known as muscle growth. 
Convenience: Home bodyweight workouts are as convenient as it gets. Working out at home doesn’t cost a thing. You don’t need to battle traffic or wait for someone to finish with a machine. What’s more, if you’re shy or want privacy, the best option is bodyweight workouts you can do at home.
Want to mix up these bodyweight workouts with a bit more resistance? Learn more about home gym equipment that you can incorporate into these workouts.
Beginner Home Bodyweight Workout
This beginner-friendly bodyweight workout focuses on the fundamentals of exercise. These movements utilize several muscle groups simultaneously, improving neuromuscular connections and supporting both fat burning and muscle building.
Since this is a beginner-focused workout, the acute variables will involve a few sets per exercise with medium repetitions. The intensity of this exercise will be moderate, but if you feel like you need a longer break, that’s okay.
- Air Squats: Perform 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions
- Pull-Up: 2 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions
- If you don’t have a pull-up bar, perform YTWLs with the same sets and repetitions.
- Single-Leg Deadlift: 2 – 3 x 10
- Traditional Push-Ups: 2 x 5 to 10
- If you can’t perform traditional push-ups, you can substitute with Knee Push-Ups for the same sets and repetitions.
- Mountain Climbers: 2 – 3 x 20
- Burpees: 1 x 5
How to Perform: Complete all of the sets and repetitions for each exercise and take a break as needed but try not to rest for more than 60 seconds. We recommend performing this workout three days per week for at least a month before moving on to the next workout.
Learn more about the best ingredients for fat burning.
Intermediate Bodyweight Workout You Can Do at Home
If you’ve completed the workout above, that means you’re ready to turn up the difficulty a bit. This intermediate-level program is a circuit-style workout, which will increase the intensity. Doing so can help you burn fat and build muscle simultaneously; however, the focus is slightly more on lean muscle development.
- High Knees: 20 repetitions
- Incline Push-Up: 5 – 10
- Walking Lunges: 10 (5 on each leg)
- Superman Holds: 10 seconds
- Russian Twists: 20 (10 on each side)
- Jump Squats: 5
How to perform: Complete all of the repetitions for one exercise then immediately move to the next exercise. Do not take a break until you finish the entire list. Once you finish Jump Squats, rest for three minutes. After your break, do the workout again. If you’re feeling good, make it three rounds.
Advanced (HIIT) Bodyweight Workout
This advanced program is based on another type of circuit style workout. The biggest difference will be the type of exercises. You’ll be focusing on plyometrics or explosive-based movements. Heads up: The intensity will be through the roof.
We highly recommend this workout for improving endurance, burning fat, and supporting lean muscle gains, but only if you have plenty of fitness experience.
- Jump Squats: 20
- Plyometric Push-Ups: 5
- Three-Way Lunges: 12
- Dive Bomber Push-Ups (Yoga Push-Ups): 15
- V-Ups: 15
- Plank: 30 seconds
How to Perform: Complete all of the repetitions for one exercise then immediately move to the next exercise. Do not take a break until you finish the entire list. Once you finish Jump Squats, rest for three minutes. After your break, do the workout again. If you’re feeling good, make it three rounds.
Bonus: Milk Jug and Soup Can Workout
Do you miss using dumbbells but you don’t have a pair at home? Find a milk jug and fill it with water. You can also grab a couple of soup cans. It’s not the same as picking up those metal dumbbells, but given the circumstances, it’s not a bad alternative. This is a muscle growth workout that uses household items to achieve a hypertrophic effect.
- Incline Push-Ups: 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions
- Rear Delt Flys: 3 x 12 – 15
- Overhead Squats: 3 x 15
- Romanian Deadlifts: 3 x 12 – 15
- Bicep Curls: 3 x 10 – 12
- Triceps Extensions: 3 x 10 – 12
- Weighted Crunches: 3 x 20
How to perform: Treat this as a traditional weightlifting workout but go super slow with the lifting speed. Take three seconds to lift the milk jug or soup can followed by a long pause at the top of the movement. To finish, take five seconds to lower.
Another way to make this challenging is by performing two exercises back to back (superset). Take no more than 60 seconds to rest after a set or superset.
Need Energy for Your Workout?
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- Willis LH, Slentz CA, Bateman LA, et al. Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012;113(12):1831–1837. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01370.2011.
- Yamauchi J, Nakayama S, Ishii N. Effects of bodyweight-based exercise training on muscle functions of leg multi-joint movement in elderly individuals. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2009 Sep;9(3):262-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0594.2009.00530.x.