Bodyweight Exercises to Freshen Up Your Home Workout Routine

Bodyweight exercises, in which you use your own weight to provide resistance, save time, money and require nothing but yourself! Such training allows you to move more freely, developing core strength and better spatial awareness.

Bodyweight exercises are so easy to do. So easy, in fact, that it’s sometimes a good idea to challenge yourself by trying to make them a little more difficult. Four factors you should consider while working out are speed, airtime, instability and moves. 

Speed — Vary your workout accordingly. For example, when you spend four seconds in the lowering portion of a push-up then press back up for one second, your muscles spend more time under tension. 

Airtime — Take bodyweight exercises to the next level with plyometric training. This training consists of things like jumps and throws. Plyo push-ups and jump squats are examples.

Instability — Add easy accessories such as a towel or pair of socks to make exercises more challenging.  

Moves — Meet the moves to strengthen all the right muscles:

Traditional bodyweight exercises include sit-ups, push-ups, tricep dips, hip bridges, high-knee run or running in place. Here are some others you can add to your routine, and these four variable factors can be incorporated into any of them.

Squat — Stand with feet just wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out, clasping hands at chest for balance. Send hips back and bend at knees to lower down as far as possible with chest lifted. Press through heels back up to starting position. 10-15 reps.

Lunge — Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with right foot, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Step back, repeat with left foot. Perform this move with body weight or holding two dumbbells or kettlebells for added challenge. You can also do a reverse lunge (stepping backward) or a walking lunge (continue walking forward as you lunge). 10-15 reps per side.

Plyo lunge — Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step left foot back, lower into a lunge, knees forming 90-degree angles. Drive through right heel to jump up, switching legs in the air. Land in a lunge position with left leg forward. Continue alternating lunges with a jump in the middle, aiming to increase time in the air and decrease time on the ground. 10-15 reps per side.

Plank — On all fours, shoulders over wrists (either use hands or elbows to hold yourself up), step feet back, engaging glutes and thighs to keep legs straight. Body should form a straight line. Think about pushing the ground away from you, pulling the belly button up toward the spine to keep back flat. Hold 30-60 seconds.

Burpee — Stand with feet hip-width apart. Place hands down in front of feet, then jump feet back to a high plank position, keeping hips up and in line with shoulders, heels. Drop chest to the ground. Push back up, without arching back, as you jump feet back to hands. Stand and jump up. 10-15 reps. 

Mountain Climber — Start in a high-plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged so body forms a straight line. Engage glutes, thighs to keep legs straight. Drive left knee in toward chest, then quickly step it back to plank position. Immediately drive the right knee in toward the chest, then quickly step it back into plank position. Alternate, 10-15 reps per side.