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July 04, 2022
Are you looking for a super-effective workout you can do from nearly anywhere without any equipment? Great, we have you covered. Here, we’re going to share an awesome full-body bodyweight workout that is great for losing weight and getting lean - no equipment needed at all (not even a pull up bar).
This full-body bodyweight workout targets multiple areas of the body so you can tone and even build muscle mass. It will also help you increase performance, power, and raw strength. The workout is full length so you can follow along to it on your phone, computer or TV. We've also broken it down step-by-step for those who want to do the workout on their own.
Before we get to the workout, let’s quickly go over why bodyweight workouts are one of the most convenient ways to build muscle mass and get that strength and physique we all strive for.
We often get asked if bodyweight workouts are effective. The answer is heck yes! In fact, they should be one of the key components to your strength training rotation. Bodyweight workouts build a different yet equally important kind of strength that free weights don't. After all, being able to move your own body around with ease is essential to truly being "fit".
Bodyweight workouts are stellar for stripping down your routine and getting back to basic compound movements. They allow you to build strength while improving your muscle memory and coordination. Many bodyweight movements also help you gain more flexibility and balance due to large ranges of motion.
Furthermore, a good bodyweight workout tends have a higher volume and less rest time than other types of equipment-based strength training. This will get your heart pumping and help boost your endurance. It also means a lot of calories will be burned, which is what you want if you are trying to get shredded.
All you need is the weight of your own body and good old gravity to get a killer workout, and if you stay consistent, your bodyweight alone is enough to get and stay in great shape.
On top of all that, the convenience of bodyweight workouts eliminates the excuse of not being able to make it to the gym!
Bodyweight workouts are great for building lean muscle mass. Consistent bodyweight training will surely lead to hypertrophy so long as you do the exercises correctly and focus on time under tension. Focus on higher rep ranges and/or really slow down the tempo.
To build muscle with bodyweight exercise you just need to be super consistent. You aren’t going to see results after a few workouts. But keep at it and you’ll be able to see some changes from your bodyweight exercises in the near future.
Besides just being consistent, if you really want to build muscle, you need to learn how to progressively increase the difficulty of your workouts. This is called progressive overload. The progressive overload principle applies to both free weight training and bodyweight training. We talk about this in more detail in our article: Calisthenics vs Weights: Which One Should You Do?
Note: We have also have a guide to building muscle that you should read. While it discusses free weight training as well, the concept of building muscle is exactly the same with or without weights. You will find all you need to know about building muscle there.
Bodyweight workouts are great for building muscle and burning fat, two essential components of getting ripped. The best way to get ripped with bodyweight exercises is to focus on workouts that burn a lot of calories and that will build muscle as well (as the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be).
To burn a lot of calories, keep rest time to a minimum. Also, mix in some explosive movements that really get your heart rate up.
Bodyweight HIIT is great for getting ripped too.
Again, since building muscle is also vital to getting lean and shredded, you'll want a good mix of slow tempo movements to really maximize tension and time under tension (this will also get your heart rate pumping and burn a lot of calories) to build muscle, as well as dynamic and explosive exercises to burn higher amounts of calories.
Ideally, a good bodyweight workout will be high volume with low rest time, with each set making your muscles really burn. This will create the perfect metabolic effect for building muscle and losing fat. Workouts can be perfectly effective in the 25-40 minute range, especially when they are high volume.
And don’t forget that focusing on getting the right nutrition is a huge part of the equation!
This depends on your goals. If you are looking to improve your muscular endurance, lose fat, get lean, and boost your overall fitness levels, bodyweight exercises are enough. Bodyweight training is also great for improving your relative strength (meaning strength of handling your own body), increasing flexibility, and building long lasting, dense muscle.
Now, that said, if you are looking to get very beefy and develop raw power, then weights will be a more effective choice. It’s tough to get the same gains from bodyweight exercises that you can from heavy lifting. In terms of strength, you simply can't compare bodyweight movements to free weights. Free weights build absolute strength whereas bodyweight exercises build relative strength.
One thing we love about free weights is that they build bone density to a greater degree than bodyweight exercises. Conversely, when done improperly, they can wreck havoc on the body (so many people have joint pain from lifting weights). Bodyweight workouts just don't have this high injury risk, as they are easier on your joints.
All that said, even if weightlifting is where you center your fitness routine, adding a bodyweight workout into your routine is not only a refreshing change of pace, but it will hit your muscles and fitness in a completely different way.
Here's how we see it, people who do bodyweight-only workouts (or calisthenics) can get everything they truly need from fitness without weights, but those who do weightlifting must not completely neglect bodyweight exercises, whether it's mixing in bodyweight exercises or doing bodyweight workouts once a week.
In an ideal world, you should be doing both bodyweight and free weight workouts.
Bodyweight workouts have a ton of great benefits. Be consistent and stick with it to reap these awesome rewards.
a) Bodyweight Workouts Build Strength and Muscle Mass
Bodyweight workouts are a great way to build strength and muscle mass. This is especially true with full-body versions like the one below. These dynamic movements use your body weight to increase your strength and prompt the hypertrophy that prompts muscular growth.
Planks are part of many bodyweight workouts and for good reason. They are a killer way to build strength in your super important core area. Moves like push-ups and tricep dips are an effective way to strengthen and tone the arms.
Squats benefit the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, even when performed without weights. Lunges and calf raises are awesome ways to create strong legs and increase power.
Bodyweight exercises can be made more challenging even without adding weights. By modifying the movement, you can increase the amount of weight you need to bear. For example, try one-leg calf raises or triangle pushups if standard versions of these are too easy.
b) Bodyweight Exercises to Improve Balance and Mobility
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to improve balance and mobility. For many, balance is a barrier to so many physical activities. Improving it can make everyday activities and certain exercises much easier The standing exercises that are common in bodyweight training are a fantastic way to improve your balance and stability.
Mobility is all about your coordination and range of motion. Improving your mobility can enhance your performance. It can also make you less prone to injury. The big movements and flow of bodyweight exercise allow you to greatly improve your overall mobility.
c) Bodyweight Exercises Improve Mobility & Flexibility
One of the most common problems we see is a lack of flexibility, especially in those that commonly train with heavy weights in a small range of motion. This issue can lead to limited mobility, which then makes you more susceptible to injuries. Don’t allow yourself to get sidelined by this completely preventable issue.
Bodyweight exercise, along with stretching, is a great way to boost your flexibility. Lengthen your muscles as you strengthen them for multiple benefits. This is because bodyweight exercises are most often compound movements that lend themselves to large ranges of motion.
Make a mental note to focus on getting the full range of motion out of each exercise.
Check out this full-length bodyweight workout to get moving and build muscle. Scott Viala will show you how you can take less than half an hour and make the most out of it for your body.
1) COMPLEX x 1 time each complex exercise:
1. Squat to Sprawl x 10 reps
- 30 second rest
2. Squat to Sprawl to Push Up x 10 reps
- 30 second rest
3. Squat to Sprawl to Push Up to Kick Through x 10 reps
- 30 second rest
2) SUPERSET x 3 sets x 10/15/15 reps (reps increase to 15 after the first set):
1. Reverse Lunge to High Knee (each side - back to back)
2. Plank Push Up
- 30-60 seconds rest between superset (take more rest if needed)
3) SUPERSET x 3 sets:
1. Bodyweight Squats x 20 reps
2. Goodmornings x 20 reps
3. High Side Plank x 30 seconds each side
- 30-60 seconds rest between superset (take more rest if needed)
Here's a full breakdown of the workout above with pics, in case you don't want to follow along to the video...
Set #1: Squat and Sprawl x 10 reps
How to: Stand with feet just wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump your feet straight back into the sprawl position with a flat back. Then, either jump forward and stand up. Or, for lower impact, step forward one foot at a time and raise to standing. Complete 10 reps.
Rest 30 seconds, then move to set #2...
Set #2: Squat and Sprawl With Added Push Up x 10 reps
How to: Perform the same squat and sprawl movement. Only this time, add a push-up at the bottom of the movement. You can either make this a regular push-up or drop your knees to the floor to modify it. Complete 10 reps.
Rest 30 seconds, then move to set #3...
Set #3: Squat and Sprawl With Push Up and Alternating Kick Throughs x 10 reps
How to: Squat down, sprawl back, and do your push up. Then, in the sprawl position, bend your knees 90 degrees. Then, lift your arm and rotate to one side, lifting your opposite leg and planting your back foot to the ground. Kick your opposite foot across your body, opening up your shoulders. Rotate back to center and perform the movement with your opposite foot. Return to center, move your feet forward, and return to standing. Complete 10 reps.
Note: The picture only should one kickthrough, make sure you kickthrough to the opposite side as well with each rep.
Rest 30 seconds then move to the next part of the workout...
Perform the following 2 exercises as a superset for 3 sets x 10/15/15 reps (reps increase to 15 after the first set):
1. Reverse Lunge Into High Knee
Plant your leg foot and lunge your right leg back on your toes and lower with control. Keeping your elbows tight to brace your core. Push off your right leg to drive upwards and bring your right knee towards your chest in one motion. To modify, step back to the center and pause before driving your knee up. Complete 10 reps. Repeat on the other side for 10 reps.
2. High Plank Push Up
Start in a high plank position. Lower to the floor on your right forearm, then your left forearm. Then, push back up with your right hand first, then your left hand. Repeat for 10 reps.
Rest between superset as needed.
After you finish 3 sets of the above superset, move on to the next and final part of the workout...
Perform the following 3 exercises as a superset for 3 sets in total
1. Body Weight Squats x 20 reps
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat downwards and backward, keeping your knees in line with your toes. Bring your arms up as you move down and straighten them as you come up. Repeat for 20 reps.
2. Good Mornings x 20 reps
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Place your hands on the side of your head and engage your core. Slowly bend forward, hinging at the hips, under your torso is parallel with the floor. Then, squeeze your glutes and use your hamstrings to drive your torso back to an upright position. Repeat for 20 reps.
3. Side Planks x 30 seconds each side
Engage your core and use one hand to support you in a side plank position with your bottom foot on the floor. Reach your other arm towards the sky and look upwards. Maintain the position for 30 seconds. Then, switch sides and repeat for another 30 seconds.
Rest between supersets as need.
Now, cool down - you're done!
In this video, you get to take advantage of dynamic bodyweight complex exercises. Complex bodyweight exercises are the combination of multiple movements into one set. And you get to do it in two ways, both as a sequence and in a series.
In the first part of the video, you focus on building a complex exercise sequence. Starting with the squat and sprawl, then adding the high plank push up, and finally the kick through. This complex will have you moving through all three planes of motion, giving you the benefits of cardio, hypertrophy, and mobility training.
These are great to add to your workout to mix up your routine and challenge your body in new ways. Moving through the multiple movements in one sequence is a dynamic way to get all of your major muscle groups engaged.
After the complex series, the workout uses a superset format. First the bodyweight squats, then the reverse lunge into high knee, and finally the side plank.
Supersets are great for burning a lot of calories as it keeps your heart rate up for longer as well as maximizing time under tension. This why this workout can claim to build lean muscle and burn fat!
Every bodyweight workout isn’t created equal. Here are some tips or tricks to help make sure you are making the most of this 25-minute workout.
Don’t Hesitate to Pause the Video
This full-body workout can be intense and form should be your top priority. Don’t let trying to keep up with Scott throw you off. He is a pro trainer, after all!
If you start to notice you are moving too quickly and your form is getting sloppy, hit the pause button. Grab some water, take a few breaths, and regain your focus on maintaining great form before you begin again.
Rest in Between Sets
Again, Scott is an expert and knows the importance of rest between sets. So, follow his lead and take the time to catch your breath and control your heart rate in between sets. Don’t get caught up in trying to maximize your 25-minute workout and injuring yourself or burning out halfway through.
If you are following along to the video and you need more rest, simply take it. If Scott finishes his set before you, focus on completing your reps, don't worry about falling behind. After you complete your set, either pause the video or rewind it. You don't have to keep up with Scott and videos are made to be paused and rewinded!
Note: While Scott is in great shape, he does go at a good pace that most intermediate and even beginners can follow along to. So do your best to keep up but stop if you really need to. Don't just pause because you don't like pain, that's the point of working out. Only pause and take more rest if you absolutely must. You know the difference between absolutely must and mental weakness.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Make sure you stay hydrated before, after, and during your workout. Have water nearby during your workout and grab small drinks during your breaks. And drink plenty of water throughout the day as well. Hydration products are a good way to add some electrolytes and flavor to your water. Check out the Best Electrolyte Supplements on the market.
Be Mindful of Your Breathing
Too many times have we seen people so focused on the exercise that they are doing that they simply forget to keep breathing. Be mindful not to hold your breath. Your muscles need oxygen and you don’t want to end up passing out mid-workout do you? Breathe in deeply through your nose and push the air out through your mouth for the most effective breathing.
Stay Focused on Your Workout
This 25 minutes is your chance to escape as you build your body. Focus on your breathing, your form, and just lose yourself in the awesome feeling of a great workout. Work emails and household chores will still be there when you’re done. Right now, it’s your time so make the most of it and stay focused and in tune to the moment.
This is a great question. Unfortunately, the answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no. A few factors go into how often you should be doing bodyweight exercises.
First, what’s your fitness level? Are you just dipping your toes into working out? Or are you just jumping back in after an injury? Starting off by working out too frequently can lead to muscle strain, joint injury, or just plain burnout. Listen to your body and slowly ramp up the frequency of your workouts.
Also, the intensity of your workouts matter. Vary how intense your body weight workouts are to prevent injury and boredom. Sometimes a little yoga or pilates can be a great way to get in your bodyweight workout at a little calmer pace.
Make sure you cool down and stretch after your workouts. And hydrate and get the proper nutrition so your body can recover. This will help you to bounce back and workout more frequently.
All that said, generally speaking, you can do bodyweight workouts everyday if you are maintaining your fitness, but if you push yourself harder and harder each week, then you should rest just like you would with free weight training. So, for those in great shape looking to maintain, bodyweight workouts everyday are great, but those who are getting into shape, aim for every other day if you do full body bodyweight workouts. That should give you enough recovery time. And if you feel great on an rest-day, go ahead and do a workout or do a less intense workout like we mentioned (i.e. Yoga).
Here are the best body weight exercises to add to your fitness routine to build muscles in your target areas.
Best Bodyweight Exercises for the Hamstrings, Quads, and Glutes:
Related: 26 Best Bodyweight Leg Exercises
Best Bodyweight Exercises for The Back:
Related: 7 Best Bodyweight Back Exercises
Best Bodyweight Exercises for The Biceps, Triceps and Forearms:
Best Bodyweight Exercises for The Chest:
Related: 21 Best Bodyweight Chest Exercises
Best Bodyweight Exercises for The Shoulders:
Related: 9 Best Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises
Best Bodyweight Exercises for The Core:
Related: 30 Best Bodyweight Core Exercises
Total Body Bodyweight Movements:
We hope this bodyweight workout puts you well on your way to losing fat, building muscle, and looking and feeling great. Full body bodyweight workouts will give you the strength, mobility, and flexibility we all should aim for too. Moreover, they can improve the performance of your daily life and sports like you wouldn't believe.
We’d love to hear what you think of this awesome workout video in the comments. So, get moving and build those muscles. A killer workout in less than 30 minutes? What are you waiting for?
Don't want to do full body workouts and would rather a bodyweight split? We have you covered, check out our 8-week upper lower bodyweight workout plan.
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December 08, 2023
December 07, 2023
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