If you can think of every excuse not to go to the gym, just cut out all the extra steps between your bed and a killer workout with some at-home bodyweight moves.
When you fit in a full bodyweight workout, you’ll have more energy to make it through the week and improve your overall strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance.
Bodyweight training is a super efficient and effective way to get your fitness on. Just crawl out of bed, slide into some workout gear, and work it out with these exercises.
Quit bugging and try the inchworm.
Stand with knees slightly bent. Slowly reach down to touch your toes by bending at the waist, then place your hands on the floor and walk them forward until you’re in a push-up position.
Like an inchworm, take teeny steps until your feet meet your hands.
Do 4–6 reps.
Get fierce with the bear crawl.
Start on all fours. Come up onto your toes, lifting your knees off the floor, and squeeze your core. Slowly reach forward with right arm and right knee. Follow with left arm and knee. That’s 1 rep.
Do 10–15 reps.
Time to walk it out.
Start on all fours with your abs squeezed tight. Lift onto your toes, then slowly walk hands forward.
Take it back now, y’all: Walk hands backward to the starting position.
Keep it movin’ for 4–6 reps.
It’s time to kick some butt.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Kick right heel toward your butt and hinge left elbow forward (like you’re running). Repeat on the other side.
Continue to alternate sides for a few minutes, as fast as you can.
Maybe you hated them in gym class, but burpees will always be a full-body workout MVP — no equipment required.
Start in a low squat position and put your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back so you’re in push-up position. Do a push-up, then jump back to low squat position.
Time to fly high: Jump as high as you can, then land back in squat position.
Feel the burn for 4–6 more reps.
Pro tip: Take it easy on your knees by landing softly on the balls of your feet.
A perfect push-up is basically a work of art.
Start in high plank position, shoulders over wrists, feet hip-width apart. Let your elbows flare out a bit as you slowly lower your body close to the floor. Take a deep breath and push back up.
Do 10–20 reps.
Pro tip: Remember to squeeze your abs, keep your butt down, and keep your neck straight and relaxed. With a little practice, you’ll make a friend out of the push-up.
Time to take your everyday push-up up a notch.
Start in classic push-up position. Lower yourself to about an inch off the floor, and then push back up. Raise your right arm toward the ceiling. Look up at your hand and hold for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Do 10 reps.
Make like Freak Nasty and do the dip — the triceps dip, that is. You’ll need a sturdy chair or couch for this move.
Put your hands on the seat of the chair, fingers forward. With your back flat, walk legs forward until they’re at about a 90-degree angle.
Bend arms and lower your butt to the floor. Straighten arms to return to the starting position.
Do 10 reps.
You don’t have to put on gloves and get in the ring to do the boxer.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend at the waist until your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
Reach one arm forward and the other back. Like a real live boxer, remember to keep your elbows in. Switch arms. Continue to alternate arms. (Extra points if you make pow! sound effects as you go.)
Do 10 reps.
This one seems innocent enough, but it’ll get your shoulders burning in no time.
Start in T position: arms out to the sides, fingers pointed. Make slow, clockwise circles about a foot in diameter for 20–30 seconds.
Repeat in the opposite direction.
An oldie but a goodie.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes angled slightly out. Clasp hands by your chest, push hips back, and bend knees.
How low can you go? Remember to keep chest lifted and butt squeezed as you take it to the floor (or as close as you can get). Press up through your heels to return to the starting position.
Do 10–15 reps.
Now that your glutes are warmed up, it’s time to set them on fire.
Start by doing the classic squat (see above). Now squeeze your core like your life depends on it and jump to the sky. As you land, lower your body back into squat position.
Do 10 reps.
Pro tip: Go easy on your joints by using a mat or choosing a carpeted area. Coming down lightly on the balls of your feet will also help absorb impact.
Single-leg half squat
Test your balance and the sheer strength of your butt with the single-leg half squat.
Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart and shift your weight onto one leg. Raise the other knee so your leg forms a 90-degree angle. Stretch arms out for balance as you lower halfway down into a squat. Push back up to the starting position.
Do 15 reps, then switch sides.
Pro tip: Maintain balance by keeping your weight in your grounded heel.
Who says squats can’t be fancy?
Stand with legs spread out as far as you find comfy. (Your toes should point slightly out.) Lower yourself into a wide squat: knees out, hips back, hands clasped in front of chest.
Aim for about a 90-degree angle, or as low as you can go while keeping your back straight. Squeeze glutes, hamstrings, and thighs to push back up to the starting position.
Do 10–12 reps.
This move’s the bridge between you and the killer glutes of your dreams.
Lie faceup on the floor (or on a mat to make things more comfy) with knees bent and feet planted. Driving through your heels, squeeze glutes and push hips up. (Your bod should make a straight line from shoulders to knees.) Lower yourself back down.
Do 10–15 reps.
Make it harder: Hold the bridge position for about 10 seconds.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a bird dog.
Start on all fours with back flat, knees over hips, and shoulders over wrists. Extend left leg and right arm. Bring right elbow toward left knee, just inches above the floor, then extend arm and leg back out.
Do 10–15 reps. Repeat on the other side.
Hold up! For strong abs, you gotta try the 6-inch hold.
Lie faceup on the floor (or a mat). Keep legs straight, arms by your sides, and eyes on the ceiling. Tighten your abs and slowly lift legs 6 inches off the floor. Keep belly button drawn toward spine to prevent your back from curving. Hold for 45 seconds.
Do 4–6 reps.
Try this twist on your classic crunch:
Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent and heels touching the floor. Squeeze abs and lean your upper body back to a 45-degree angle. With elbows bent and hands clasped, rotate your torso to one side and then the other.
Keep it up for 10–15 reps on each side.
Make it harder: Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell as you twist.
Take your core exercises to new heights with some leg lifts.
Lie faceup on the floor with legs straight. Place your hands under your butt for support. Lift legs toward the ceiling, knees straight. Slowly lower them to about an inch off the floor. (Be sure to keep your back pressed against the floor to prevent strain or pain.)
Keep taking off for 10–15 reps.
It might sound like a ’90s dance move, but the windshield wiper is actually a killer ab exercise.
Lie faceup on the floor with arms out to the sides in a T position. Bring legs up to a 90-degree angle with toes pointed toward you.
Tighten your core and bring legs slowly to one side. Go as far as you can without your shoulder lifting. Then, bring them to the other side.
Do 15 reps (or continue until you’re totally wiped out).
Not sure how to put together the ideal workout without leaving home? Luckily, all you need to get started is your body (and maybe a chair and a mat).
Get fired up
To reduce your risk of pain or injury, warm up your muscles with at least 5 minutes of cardio. Don’t want to go outside and don’t have a treadmill? Jumping jacks, running in place, or even speed-walking will do the trick.
Give it some time
Aim to fit in at least 30 minutes of these exercises for a well-rounded workout. Pick at least three moves from each category.
Too much of a hassle to check the recommended number of reps every time? Aim for at least 3 sets of 10 reps, or as many as you can comfortably tackle. Take a breather for 30–90 seconds between sets.
Work your way up
As you get stronger and more agile, you can increase your reps. Remember, if you feel any pain or strain, stop right there! You want to feel the burn, but you don’t want to break your back. Taking it one step at a time will help you stay safe while you get fit.
Remember: Safety first!
If you’re a workout newbie (or could use a refresher), reach out to a personal trainer to make sure you’re using proper form. Focus on your form to prevent injuries and to get the most out of each move.