In Bodyweight workouts, I provided bodyweight training workouts that you can use temporarily when you can’t make it to the gym and do not have access to training equipment. For those of you who enjoy bodyweight training, I provide instructions on how to design your own bodyweight workouts below. As you will notice, I’ve made the process as easy as possible for you.
Being able to design your own bodyweight workouts will allow you to incorporate lots of variation into your bodyweight training, which will keep you engaged and your body challenged.
If you enjoy designing your own bodyweight workouts, you might also enjoy designing your own circuit training workouts.
Instructions on how to design bodyweight workouts
Refer to the list of exercises by body part below. Choose at least one exercise from each of the following:
- Quadriceps, glutes
- Back, posterior shoulders, biceps
- Chest, anterior shoulders, triceps
- Lower back
- Abs, hip flexors
Any other exercises that you choose will be a bonus. Men might want to choose additional exercises for elbow flexors and extensors (biceps and triceps), whereas women might want to choose additional exercises for glutes and inner/outer thighs.
Exercises by body part
- Quadriceps, glutes: bodyweight squat, jump squat, split squat (YT), Bulgarian split squat (YT), pistol squat (YT), step-up (YT), lunge, jumping lunge (YT)
- Quadriceps: sissy squat (YT)
- Glutes: single-leg glute bridge (YT), single-leg hip thrust (YT)
- Hamstrings: inverse leg curl, single straight-leg deadlift (YT), lying single straight-leg hip extension
- Inner thighs: side plank hip adduction
- Outer thighs: side plank hip abduction
- Calves: standing single-leg calf raise (YT)
- Back, posterior shoulders, biceps: pull-up, chin-up (YT), inverted row, one-arm towel row
- Back, posterior shoulders: elbow lift
- Chest, anterior shoulders, triceps: chest dip (YT), push-up, decline push-up, pike push-up (YT)
- Anterior and lateral shoulders, triceps: pike press (YT), handstand press (YT; can be dangerous!)
- Triceps: diamond push-up, triceps dip, bench dip, kneeling bodyweight triceps extension
- Biceps: biceps leg curl, side-lying biceps bodyweight curl
- Lower back: superman, alternating superman (YT), bird dog (YT), reverse plank (YT)
- Abs, hip flexors: bicycle crunch, lying leg and hip raise, sit-up (YT), jackknife sit-up (YT), v-up, seated leg raise (YT), front plank
- Abs: reverse crunch, vertical leg crunch
- Hip flexors: lying leg raise (YT), scissor kick (YT)
- Obliques: bicycle crunch, Russian twist (YT), lying oblique twist (YT), lying side hip raise, lying heel touch (YT), side crunch (YT), side plank (YT)
Arrange the exercises in the same order as the list is presented (for example, back exercises should come before biceps exercises).
That’s it! Now, just follow the workout instructions.
- Complete the workout either every other day (i.e. AX, where ‘A’ is a workout day and ‘X’ is a rest day) or three days a week (AXAXAXX)
- Perform at least two sets of each exercise
- Rest for only 20 to 30 seconds between sets
- Rest for only 60 to 90 seconds between exercises
- Try to increase the number of reps that you perform
- Warm up before the workout with five minutes of dynamic stretching (see How to warm up, in the Weight Training Guide)
- Stretch your muscles after the workout with five minutes of static stretching (see How to stretch, in the Weight Training Guide)