The 11 best bodyweight exercises recommended by experts

In this article you will get to know 12 bodyweight exercises that fitness experts will introduce to you.

They help you to integrate regular training more easily into your everyday life, because you can do it without expensive additional equipment.

And because you get practical tips on the advantages of bodyweight training and how you can stay tuned.

Let yourself be inspired!

11 bodyweight exercises that will make you fitter in no time

In this article you will get to know experts from a wide variety of disciplines who regularly incorporate bodyweight exercises into their training and also perform them with their clients.

They not only introduce you to their favorite exercise, but you will also find out what the greatest advantages of bodyweight training are for them and how they have built their training into their lives in the long term.

Because one thing is also clear: Only when training is no longer an annoying obligation, but is fun for you, have you taken an important step towards becoming really fit forever.

At the end I will give you a summary of the tips and a workout video with all the exercises that you can take part in right away.

So what are you waiting for: read and get started!

Tight push-ups by Ariana

My focus is on the one hand on sport and nutrition (you will find hundreds of bodyweight exercises with me), but on the other hand also very much on the review of books and the linking of great articles.I’m Ariana and I write on my own about how you get fitter every day , healthier and happier.

After all, knowledge is the key to (almost) everything.

Bodyweight exercises have many advantages

Training with self-weight exercises is a great form of training, as the entry barriers are incredibly small. You can do it anywhere (on the beach, in your apartment, in the forest …), you only need yourself (and maybe a few clothes) and you can do it variable (long, short, difficult or simple) as you like.

Enge Liegestütze - eine Bodyweight Übung vor allem für den Trizeps (Oberarmrückseite).

Tight push-ups – a bodyweight exercise especially for the triceps (back of the upper arm).

Explanation of exercise – tight push-ups

I would like to introduce you to tight push-ups today. With this form you primarily train the triceps, but at the same time the entire trunk is stabilized and strengthened. For beginners in particular, it is a great sense of achievement when they do their first “real” push-ups. And this is how it works:

  • You are in a supporting position, you place your hands close to your body at about chest height.
  • Now slowly lower it and push yourself back up. It is important to keep the body under tension all the time.
  • Beginners perform the exercise with raised arms (e.g. on a wall or on a bench) and if you have wrist problems you can do the push-ups on handles or on perform the fists.

Enjoy training

I have found that the more you look forward to training, the greater your chances of success in actually training.

If sport is not a chore, but your dearest hobby, you will do everything possible to ensure that the units do not fail.

Especially at the beginning it helps to experiment a little.

Maybe it’s the group dynamics in a crossfit box that makes your eyes shine. Maybe you love the outdoors and enjoy being outside. Perhaps you are also fascinated by learning different skills (handstand, backflip …) or you would like to compete against others.

Just experiment a little – there is an ideal sport for everyone!

Rowing sit-up by Zimo

I also keep giving my readers updates on my current form of training, preparation for competitions and everything else that moves me in this regard.Hi, I’m Zimo. Like Patrick, I write on my blog about functional training with your own body weight, a balanced diet and about various mindset topics and motivation.

Explanation of exercise – rowing sit-up

One of my favorite bodyweight exercises is the rowing situps.

Ruder-Situps (Bildrechte:
You train not only the straight abdominal muscles, but also the hip flexors, differently than you might think at first. At the same time, this bodyweight exercise is also very demanding in terms of coordination. To be precise, you need strength, speed and coordination. That’s why you work up a sweat really quickly.

  • During the first few attempts, it can be a bit difficult to move the upper and lower body at the same time.
  • The best thing to do is lie straight on the floor.
  • Extend your arms next to your body towards your feet.
  • Now straighten your upper body (similar to a sit-up) and at the same time pull your legs towards your chest.
  • If you don’t succeed in this exercise at first, that’s completely normal. Often it takes a few tries before you really get the hang of it.

How you can stay tuned

I really like bodyweight training because I like to learn new movements over and over again and thereby simply develop myself and my body.

My training ranges from classic bodyweight exercises, which I package into a strenuous HIIT workout, to calisthenics and tricking. The possibilities for new bodyweight exercises are almost unlimited and yet you always see something that you can’t yet. Then it’s back to “practice, practice, practice” and at some point you have mastered the new exercise again.

A question that I am asked very often is: How do you manage to stay on the ball? Or to put it another way: How do you manage to integrate regular training into your life?

There are many ways this works, but if you want to know my number 1 tip, I’ll tell you right away.

The answer is: Find your personal why.

  • Why do you want to do sports?
  • Why do you want to get fit?
  • What happens if you make it?
  • What exactly do you want to achieve?
  • Gain 10 kilograms of muscle?
  • Lose 20 kilograms of fat?
  • Do you finally want to look proudly in the mirror and be at peace with yourself?
  • Or maybe you just want to know what it feels like to be able to climb a tree with ease?

There are so many more reasons than just looking good naked.

Did you find your reason?

Good, then write it down now and place it somewhere clearly visible in your apartment. Preferably directly on the refrigerator or wardrobe. It is only important that you are reminded of your “why” every day and that it burns deep into your memory!

Pull-up by Bernadette

I want to help you find the sport that suits you.Hello! My name is Bernadette and I have been working as a fitness coach and personal trainer for 17 years.

The fitness world today has a lot more to offer than weight training, football and jogging! So that you too can discover your life sport, I will introduce you to new sports trends and give you tips on how you can lead an active lifestyle even if you have health problems. Especially for sports with Hashimoto – an autoimmune disease that I’ve suffered from since 2005 – you can find recommendations and first-hand experience here.

Explanation of exercises: pull-up

Der Klimmzug - eine super Bodyweight Übung für deinen Oberkörper

The chin-up (with belt support) – a great bodyweight exercise for your upper body

Pain in the back and shoulders (impignement) is increasing sharply today. The reason is a lack of exercise, but also one-sided stress.

In daily work, upper body pushing movements (bench press, shoulder press, push-ups etc.) dominate, upper body pulling movements (pull-ups, lat pulldowns, rowing movements) are neglected. The pull-up is such a simple and at the same time super efficient method to rebalance the balance of power in the trunk and shoulder girdle and to eliminate so much pain.

      • For the classic pull-up, hang on a bar, the handle a little wider than shoulder width, palms facing forward.
      • Now first pull your shoulders down (away from your ears) and your shoulder blades together, then start to lift yourself up by bending your arms until your chin is over the Rod is.
      • Then lower again, but only so far that your arms are straight but your shoulders are still far away from your ears. So don’t let it “hang down” completely, but stay in shoulder tension.

Tip 1: Beginners step into a superband with one leg, which reduces their body weight.

Tip 2 : Experience shows that just hanging out (without pulling up) for a total of 10-15 minutes a day can improve many back and shoulder problems.

3 reasons why I love bodyweight training

I really enjoy using bodyweight exercises. Because they have 3 major advantages over workouts with aids:

  • They are perfect for beginners.
    Movement sequences are carefully rehearsed and you learn to regain your own body weight powerfully and to wear correctly through everyday life. Only after a few months do I install additional equipment for beginners.
  • You can do it anytime and anywhere.
    Whether in the gym, in the living room or when going for a walk. Push-ups, squats and the like are always possible! So you are ultimately flexible and there is actually no excuse that there is no time for a workout.
  • They are functional and optimally prepare you for everyday life or a sport.
    Our musculoskeletal system always works in 3-dimensional muscle chains – that is, over several joints and levels at the same time. Bodyweight exercises take this into account. Through complex movement patterns, they strengthen the stabilizing muscles, improve coordination and thus reduce the risk of injury.

My tip for sustainably integrating exercise into life

On my blog, it is extremely important to me to convey the fun factor in exercise. Because although exercise is essential for health, it is bad to exercise only for “health” reasons.

Joy is the most powerful motivator. As soon as exercise is associated with something positive, you enjoy doing it and may not even realize that it is strenuous.

Every beginner should therefore take the time to try out several sports.

Only when you have found an activity that you really enjoy is it advisable to make resolutions and incorporate them into everyday life. Your life sport rewards you with every training session!

Only then do we fitness experts come into play, with the development of a meaningful workload.

Mountain Climber by Freddi & Daniel

Hi, I’m Freddi and I run the sports blog. As the name suggests, our blog is about training at home. From training, nutrition, flexibility to sports equipment, every topic is represented.

I tried many different sports myself until I ended up with strength training, which has been with me for years.

But enough about me, let’s get to the actual topic: bodyweight training.

Explanation of exercises: Mountain Climber

Der Mountain Climber - eine Bodyweight Übung für dein Herz-Kreislauf-System

The mountain climber – a bodyweight exercise for your cardiovascular system

As many strength exercises would like to have presented I’ll show you a bodyweight exercise for endurance training.

The mountaineer is the ideal exercise to train your endurance at home. And this is how it works:

  • You get into the push-up position and start sprinting on the spot.
  • Your head forms an extension to the spine and your torso is tense.

You do the mountaineer 3 times 30 – 40 seconds.

What are the advantages of bodyweight training?

The biggest advantage of bodyweight training (or training with body weight) is that you are totally flexible. You can do a short workout both on vacation and at home. Place, time or lack of equipment are no longer excuses for this training.

That brings us to the second point: You don’t need any equipment. Apart from a mat, although not even that is absolutely necessary. This saves a lot of money and makes bodyweight training especially attractive for beginners, because you can try the training without spending a lot of money.

You also have various options to train with this type of training. You can do classic strength training, but endurance, circuit or interval training is also no problem with bodyweight exercises.

How do you stay on the ball?

If you have problems motivating yourself to exercise, I have a tip for you:

Find one or more people who will train with you.

Other people put the pressure on you because you don’t want to admit in front of the others that you didn’t train. If it is difficult to train with the others, you can simply set up a group (on WhatsApp or Facebook) and report there on your progress and experiences.

Burpees by Andrea

With my podcast, blog and online programs I pass on my knowledge from over 15 years of experience.Hey, I’m Andrea Szodruch personal trainer and yoga teacher and I help busy business women create a fit, slim and relaxed lifestyle online and offline.

My greatest sporting success was the 3rd place at the Bavarian Championships in the bikini class. I am an enthusiastic yogini myself and love crossfit, travel a lot through world history and give yoga workshops and training courses and love my job.

Explanation of the exercise: The Burpee

The burpee is one of my favorite bodyweight exercises because it challenges the whole body and even the cardiovascular system. In any case, the correct execution must be observed, otherwise you will do more harm than good for yourself.

The nice thing about this exercise is that it is scalable for beginners as well as advanced users. There are no upper limits.

How it works:

  • You start shoulder-width apart, your knees are slightly bent. From there you get down on your knees and put your hands on the floor in front of you. Then you put your feet back one after the other (advanced skiers can also jump). Pay attention to a basic tension in the body. When you jump, land softly (with knees bent) that you won’t injure your lower back.
  • Then you lie down on your stomach and push yourself up in a straight line with a lot of tension.
  • From there, the feet sit or jump forward again. ATTENTION: Outside on the hands so that you do not injure your knees! And straighten up again. Advanced can build in a stretch jump here.

Three unbeatable advantages

The three biggest advantages of bodyweight training for me are:

  1. You can do it anywhere and don’t take up much space.
  2. The exercises are realizable and scalable for everyone.
  3. With bodyweight training, a lot more muscles have to be worked than when we work on guided machines, that’s a huge plus.

Enjoy training

My best tip is that you should definitely look for something that you enjoy.

Enter your training in your calendar, as well as your work appointments or other obligations. Training is an appointment with yourself because it helps you feel better and improves your quality of life.

Cycling by Kerstin

Because of her passion for business, the athletic needs and the mindfulness of my customers are often neglected for themselves. Together we build sport, the right nutrition and relaxation into your life exactly where you are guaranteed to stick with it and see results.Hi, I’m Kerstin. I help self-employed and employed power women to successfully advance their heart business again with full energy.

On my blog I mainly give Tips on how to change your mindset so that you can voluntarily start doing sport and manage to stick with it.

Explanation of exercise: Supine Cycling

Lie on your back and lift your legs.You proceed as follows:

  • Place your arms comfortably next to your body.
  • Riding a bike with your legs.
  • Make sure that the entire back remains on the floor and that there is no hollow back.

The lower the legs go towards the floor, the more strenuous the exercise becomes. The exercise trains the abdominal and leg muscles and is perfect for fitness beginners.

Flexibility is the key

The biggest advantages of bodyweight training for me are:

  • I can do it anywhere, even when I’m out in the hotel
  • I don’t need to go anywhere where there are devices, my living room is perfectly adequate
  • Everyone can do it, regardless of whether they are fit or not yet so fit

Set goals and visualize changes

Set yourself a goal and think about why you want to achieve this goal and no other.

What will change for you in your life once you have achieved this goal?

If you have answered these questions honestly for yourself, then feel within yourself what reaching your goal means for you.

If you feel emotion and can hardly wait to get to where you want to be, then you will also be able to train regularly because you will no longer find excuses, but opportunities.

Pistol Squats by Lotta & Schorsch

As the name suggests, our focus is on triathlon. However, we also consider many other aspects, such as additional strength building, nutrition and regeneration.Hello, we are Lotta and Schorsch and run together the blog.

There are now hundreds of articles on our site with tips for beginners and advanced users as well as a podcast!

Save money and train anytime, anywhere

For us, the great thing about bodyweight training is that you always have the most important training equipment with you anyway. All you need to get started is your own body.

Additional equipment, such as a sling trainer or a pull-up bar, is helpful for some exercises, but in most cases not necessary. Many exercises can be easily carried out with furniture in your own apartment or outside in a playground. So you save a lot of money for any courses or membership fees in the gym because you have your own mobile gym!

Bodyweight training is ideal for beginners and advanced users. With different variants of the same exercise, adjustments in the tempo and the number of repetitions as well as the possibility to increase / decrease the weight, everyone gets their money’s worth.

Explanation of exercise: Pistol Squat (one-legged squat)

Admittedly, this is more of an exercise for advanced users!

You need strength in your legs, a good portion of flexibility and a good sense of balance so that you don’t fall over.

If you still have problems with a sling trainer that you can hold onto with your hands may help.

We personally enjoy doing morning exercise.

That means after getting up, do a round of planks on the mat, run or swim.

At first it may take some getting used to, but it is always a great feeling when you have already completed the most important unit of the day before breakfast and can start relaxed!

Side support from Torsten

In 2008 I started with a lap of only 15 minutes, and years later I did a regular marathon as well as an Ironman.I’m Torsten Pretzsch, author, blogger and coach.

As a manager, this path into sport was only possible through good self-management. Visit me on my endurance blog and let me support you to finally do more sport.

My particular passion is the novice runners, of whom I have already been able to accompany several thousand athletes on their first running kilometers.

Benefits of bodyweight exercises, also for endurance athletes

For me, as an endurance athlete, strength exercises are more of an annoying evil, bodyweight training is a good way to train anytime and anywhere. This eliminates the need to go to the gym and thus another excuse in the discussion with the weaker self, who strangely always screams for me when strength training is in the training plan.

Even on my regular business trips, I don’t have to worry about when and where I’ll come to train. There is space for a few exercises in every hotel room, no matter how small.

And finally, the third major advantage is the functionality of the exercises. As a runner and cyclist, it is not important to me to build up a lot of muscle mass, but to increase my core stability and thus prevent injuries. And that’s exactly what bodyweight training supports me.

Explanation of exercise: side support

My favorite bodyweight exercise is the side support. The side support is a bit in the shadow of the planks and completely wrongly in my opinion. Hardly any other exercise trains the core muscles so intensely and is easy and difficult at the same time. This is how it works:

  • Lean on your forearm while lying on your side.
  • Torsten in side support
  • Now lift your body so that your legs and upper body form a straight line
  • Hold this position for a while and then switch sides.

I combine the side support in a bridge circle, which I do alternately for 3-4 sets. I hold each exercise for 45 seconds (30 seconds is enough at first). My bridge circle consists of:

  • Forearm support (plank)
  • Right side support
  • Bridge lying (with shoulders on the floor)
  • Left side support

Reach your goal with good planning

The ultimate tip is planning.

Every Sunday I think about when and what I want to train in the coming week.

I enter these planned units as binding appointments with myself in my calendar. This is an obligation and a reminder at the same time.

Squats by Melanie

Even if I concentrate exclusively on weight training on my blog and YouTube channel, I find bodyweight training very effective and useful. As an absolute beginner in sports, I started bodyweight training at home five years ago.My name is Melanie, I am 21 years old and on my blog Squats, Greens & Proteins I show women how they can not only achieve their dream body with optimal strength training and proper nutrition, but also improve their quality of life .

It has helped me develop basic coordination skills, build a solid muscle base, and get to know my body better – which has helped me a lot later in my strength training career!

Habit is king!

I’m a big fan of building sustainable habits over the long term – and the lower the threshold is to doing something new, the more likely it is to actually do it.

This is exactly the case with bodyweight training. You don’t have to pack your things first and go to the gym to do your training, you can do it at home in front of the TV.

Explanation of exercise: squat

My favorite bodyweight exercise is the squat.

In strength training circles, the squat is considered the “queen” of exercises – and rightly so!

As a relatively complex full-body exercise, many muscles (groups) are involved in performing the squat, so that you not only strengthen your entire body, but also your coordination skills and flexibility.

The squat is one of the body’s most natural movements – because it’s basically the same as sitting down and getting up again.

      • You start in a firm, shoulder-width stand with your toes pointing slightly outwards.

        The squat

      • Then crouch down deeply. Make sure that your back is not rounded and that your heels remain firmly anchored in the ground.
      • If you have reached the very bottom, you can hold out a little in this position (a good tip here is to press your elbows against your knees when you Are “at the bottom” – this way you make sure that the knees do not collapse inwards and that the back is in the correct position).
      • Staying in the final position a little helps you memorize where you should end with each rep – it also improves your flexibility so that you can squat quickly becomes easier.

To go back up, you perform a so-called hip extension. Focus on bringing your buttocks up until you are standing upright again with your legs fully extended.

Triceps dip with Steph

Since she became a mom, she just doesn’t manage to regularly do the sport in her CrossFit box. So she tries to train at home as often as possible.

Bodyweight training benefits: focus, flexibility and savings

Advantage number 1: Time saving & flexibility – because you can simply do it at home!

I save myself the trip to the CrossFit Box. I drive 20 minutes to the next spot. There and back already 40 minutes. I am not tied to a fixed opening time of the gym or class as with CrossFit. If I only manage to do my training at 9 p.m. … no problem!

Advantage number 2: Money savings!

Home fitness equipment is expensive. A kettlebell from the discounter is still possible, but as soon as you have real barbells and the like, you have to dig deep into your pocket. For the money you save, you can go on a great weekend trip or buy a great training outfit – or even both. How does that sound?

Advantage number 3: Full focus on you!

Do you know these looks to the right and left. What is she doing there? Oh, the leg is much higher than mine. Since you can preferably do bodyweight training at home, this stupid comparison with others is simply not possible! You can connect with yourself and concentrate completely and consciously work on weaknesses!

Explanation of exercise: Triceps dips at the table

I think that you immediately look sportier when your arms are defined. Above all, this includes a nice triceps!

If you have too little strength in your triceps, you may find it difficult to push yourself up in the swimming pool at the edge of the pool and the water makes it easier than at the edge of the pool. It happened to me: not nice! Reason enough to train him. For example with my favorite exercise: the triceps dip on the living room table:

  • You need a stable low table or a similarly high edge (bench / sofa / etc.) and support yourself with both Hands on it with your back to the table. Your shoulders come away from your ears, so don’t “sink in”.
  • Now you straighten your legs and put your feet up with your heels. Your upper body is upright and your bottom hangs down directly on the edge of the table towards the floor.
  • Now you slowly lower your bottom, your arms bend to a 90 degree angle and slowly push yourself up again.
  • If this is too difficult for you, you can bring your heels closer to the table & bend your legs. The closer your legs are to you, the easier the exercise.

I recommend you to cleanly repeat at least 3 rounds of 10-15 repetitions!

Every beginning is difficult, but it’s worth it!

If you don’t feel like doing it that day, set yourself a timer and start 10 minutes.

If you really don’t feel like it after 10 minutes, then you can stop.

But you usually don’t do that!

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