Who needs a gym when there’s the living room floor? Bodyweight exercises are a simple, effective way to improve balance, flexibility, and strength without machinery or extra equipment. From legs and shoulders to chest and abs, we’ve covered every part of the body that can get stronger with body resistance alone. Here’s our top 18 moves.
1. Mountain Climber
Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward. Next up? Everest.
2. Plyometric Push-Up
Ready to catch some air? Start on a well-padded surface and complete a traditional push-up. Then, in an explosive motion, push up hard enough to come off the floor (and hang ten for a second!). Once back on solid ground, immediately head into the next repetition.
One of the most effective full-body exercises around, this one starts out in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion of the show.
Lie face down with forearms on the floor and hands clasped. Extend the legs behind the body and rise up on the toes. Keeping the back straight, tighten the core and hold the position for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can hang).
5. Wall Sit
Who needs a chair when there’s a wall? Slowly slide your back down a wall until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the knees are directly above the ankles and keep the back straight. Go for 60 seconds per set (or however long it takes to turn those legs to jelly). Need more fire? Add some bicep curls.
6. Lunge Jump
Ready to impress some friends? Stand with the feet together and lunge forward with the right foot. Jump straight up, propelling the arms forward while keeping the elbows bent. While in the air, switch legs and land in a lunge with the opposite leg forward. Repeat and continue switching legs. Try to do 10!
7. Curtsy Lunge
Let’s show a little respect. When lunging, step the left leg back behind the right, bending the knees and lowering the hips until the right thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Remember to keep the torso upright and the hips square.
8. Quadruped Leg Lift
Starting on the hands and knees, keep a flat back and engage the core. Raise the left leg straight back, stopping when the foot is hip-level and the thigh parallel to the floor. Balance for as long as possible, then raise the bottom right toe off the floor, tightening the butt, back, and abs (try to be graceful here!). Hold for up to 10 seconds, then switch legs.
9. Basic Push-Up
There’s a reason this one’s a classic. With hands shoulder-width apart, keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body). That’s one!
10. Donkey Kick
It’s time to embrace that wild side. Start in a push-up position, with the legs together. Tighten the core and kick both legs into the air with knees bent, reaching the feet back toward the glutes. Just try to land gently when reversing back to the starting position.
11. Handstand Push-Up
Fair warning: This move is for the pros. Get set in a headstand position against a wall and bend the elbows at a 90-degree angle, doing an upside down push-up (so the head moves toward the floor and the legs remain against the wall). First timer? Grab a friend to spot you—safety first!
Want some superpowers? Lie face down with arms and legs extended. Keeping the torso as still as possible, simultaneously raise the arms and legs to form a small curve in the body. Cape optional.
13. Triceps Dip
Get seated near a step or bench. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. For some extra fire, reach the right arm out while lifting the left leg.
14. Diamond Push-Up
These push-ups get pimped out with a diamond-shaped hand position (situate them so that the thumbs and index fingers touch). This hand readjustment will give those triceps some extra (burning) love.
15. Side Plank
Roll to the side and come up on one foot and elbow. Make sure the hips are lifted and the core is engaged, and hang tight for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can stomach!).
16. Russian Twist
Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet together, lifted a few inches off the floor. With the back at a 45-degree angle from the ground, move the arms from one side to another in a twisting motion. Here, slow and steady wins the race: The slower the twist, the deeper the burn. Feel like a fitness czar yet?
Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides (like you’re pedaling!). Just keep the helmet in the closet.
18. Shoulder Bridge
Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place arms at your side and lift up the spine and hips. Only the head, feet, arms, and shoulders should be on the ground. Then lift one leg upwards, keeping the core tight. Slowly bring the leg back down, then lift back up. Try to do 10 reps per leg, then bring the knee in place and spine back on the floor.