Blog Fitness Workouts At Home Bodyweight Workout: Benefits and Exercise Ideas

At Home Bodyweight Workout: Benefits and Exercise Ideas

There will always be a reason to skip that gym commute. If you’re like the average person, you may be short on time and/or money. If you’ve been going a while, you may be bored with your workout routine. If you’re new to the gym, it can feel intimidating and overwhelming.

Whatever the reason may be, many people turn to bodyweight exercises as a convenient and affordable way to stay fit and active at home. And those people are on to something. Your body’s weight can provide a challenging and effective workout, without the need for any equipment or expensive gym memberships.

But, like any workout, there are pros and cons to consider before diving into a bodyweight routine. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of at-home bodyweight workouts, as well as some exercise ideas to get you started.

Can I Get In Shape With Just Bodyweight Workouts?

An at home bodyweight workout with no equipment is one way to get in shape. Sure, it may not be as fancy as a fully-equipped gym, but it can still provide great results. With the right exercises and proper form, you can build strength, improve your cardiovascular health, and even shed excess pounds.

Here are 7 reasons to consider a home-based bodyweight workout routine (7):

Convenience and Flexibility

One of the biggest perks of a home-based bodyweight workout routine is the sheer convenience and flexibility it offers. You can exercise whenever you want, without being bound by gym hours or class schedules. This is particularly beneficial for those with busy lifestyles or irregular work hours.

Imagine the freedom of working out at 6 AM before your day starts, or squeezing in a quick session during your lunch break.

Studies show that flexibility in workout timing can significantly increase adherence to a fitness regimen (4). When it’s easier to fit exercise into your schedule, you’re more likely to stay consistent and achieve your fitness goals.


Gym memberships and specialized fitness classes can quickly add up. On the other hand, a home-based bodyweight workout routine costs next to nothing. All you need is some open space and maybe a yoga mat. This approach eliminates the need for expensive equipment or recurring membership fees.

By opting for home workouts, you can save this money while still getting a great workout. It has been noted that financial savings can remove a common barrier to fitness, so that’s worth considering.

Effective for Building Strength and Endurance

Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and planks are excellent for building strength and endurance. These exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, enhancing overall muscle tone and functional fitness.

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Research indicates that bodyweight training can be just as effective as weight training for increasing muscle mass and strength. For example, a study published in Experimental Physiology found that bodyweight exercises significantly improved participants’ muscle strength and endurance over an eight-week period (1).

With consistency, you can achieve impressive results without the need for heavy weights or machines.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Since bodyweight exercises utilize natural movements and do not require a heavy external load, they typically pose a lower risk of injury, compared to weight training.

This makes them a great option for beginners and those recovering from injuries. Proper form is crucial, but without the additional factor of external weights, it’s easier to maintain safe techniques.

A recent study highlights that bodyweight exercises can improve joint health and reduce the likelihood of injuries associated with high-impact workouts (3). This can help you stay active and healthy in the long run.

Improved Mobility and Flexibility

Incorporating bodyweight exercises into your routine can greatly enhance your mobility and flexibility. Movements such as lunges, squats, and pushups not only build strength but also aid in improving flexibility and range of motion. Enhanced mobility can lead to better posture, reduced pain, and a decreased risk of injuries.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, mobility exercises are key to maintaining mobility as you age (5). By regularly engaging in bodyweight exercises, you can keep your body agile and functional, making everyday activities easier and more comfortable.

at home bodyweight workout  

Customizable to Any Fitness Level

Home-based bodyweight workouts can be easily tailored to suit any fitness level, from beginners to advanced athletes.

Beginners can start with basic exercises and gradually increase intensity as they become more comfortable and stronger. More experienced individuals can modify exercises to make them more challenging, such as incorporating variations or increasing repetitions.

The versatility of bodyweight exercises makes them suitable for everyone, regardless of fitness background. This adaptability ensures that you can continually progress and challenge yourself, preventing workout plateaus and keeping your routine engaging.

BetterMe App helps you achieve your body goals with ease and efficiency by helping to choose proper meal plans and effective workouts. Start using our app and you will see good results in a short time.

Sample At-Home Full Body Bodyweight Workout (No Equipment)

You’re getting an idea of how beneficial bodyweight exercises can be, but you may also be wondering where to start.

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Here’s a pull/push/lower body split workout designed to target all major muscle groups using just your body weight. This split divides exercises into pulling (mainly back and biceps), pushing (mainly chest, shoulders, and triceps), and the lower body.

Day 1: Pull Workout

1. Pull-Up (if you have access to a bar) or Inverted Row


  1. Find a sturdy bar or surface to hang from.
  2. Grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hang with your arms fully extended and shoulders engaged.
  4. Pull your chest towards the bar by engaging your back muscles.
  5. Keep your elbows close to your body as you lift.
  6. Lower yourself back down slowly.


  • Builds upper body strength
  • Enhances grip strength
  • Engages postural muscles

2. Superman Exercise


  1. Lie face down on the floor with your arms extended overhead.
  2. Lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground simultaneously.
  3. Hold the position for a few seconds.
  4. Lower back down to the starting position.


  • Strengthens the lower back
  • Improves spinal stability
  • Engages glutes and hamstrings

3. Bodyweight Rows


  1. Use a sturdy table or bar that is about waist height.
  2. Lie underneath it and grab the edge with both hands.
  3. Keep your body straight from head to heels.
  4. Pull your chest up to the edge of the table/bar.
  5. Pause at the top, then slowly lower yourself back down.


  • Strengthens the upper back
  • Improves core stability
  • Enhances arm strength

4. Reverse Snow Angels


  1. Lie face down with your arms at your sides.
  2. Lift your chest slightly off the ground.
  3. Sweep your arms out to the side and overhead, like making a snow angel.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat.


  • Targets the upper back and rear deltoids
  • Improves shoulder mobility
  • Enhances back strength

Read more: Calisthenics Warm Up 101: Bodyweight Exercises To Get Your Blood Flowing Before Your Workout

5. Plank to Dolphin


  1. Start in a plank position on your forearms.
  2. Engage your core and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
  3. Hold briefly, then return to the plank position.
  4. Repeat the movement for the desired number of reps.


  • Strengthens the shoulders and upper back
  • Engages the core
  • Enhances flexibility

6. Face Pulls (using a towel)


  1. Hold a towel with both hands, arms extended.
  2. Mimic the motion of a face pull by pulling the towel towards your face.
  3. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Targets the rear deltoids and upper back
  • Enhances shoulder stability
  • Engages postural muscles
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at home bodyweight workout  

Day 2: Push Workout

1. Push-Ups


  1. Start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  3. Keep your body straight throughout the movement.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Strengthens chest, shoulders, and triceps
  • Engages the core
  • Enhances upper body strength and endurance

2. Pike Push-Ups


  1. Begin in a downward-facing dog position.
  2. Lower your upper body towards the floor by bending your elbows.
  3. Keep your hips high and head tucked.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Targets the shoulders
  • Enhances upper body strength
  • Improves balance and coordination

3. Dips (using a chair)


  1. Sit on the edge of a chair with your hands next to your hips.
  2. Slide your butt off the chair and support your weight with your arms.
  3. Lower your body by bending your elbows to a 90-degree angle.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Strengthens triceps, chest, and shoulders
  • Improves arm strength
  • Enhances upper body stability

4. Plank to Push-Up


  1. Start in a forearm plank position.
  2. Press up into a push-up position, one arm at a time.
  3. Keep your core engaged and body straight.
  4. Lower back down to the forearm plank.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps, alternating which arm your lead with.


  • Strengthens arms, chest, and core
  • Improves coordination
  • Enhances shoulder stability

5. Decline Push-Ups


  1. Place your feet on an elevated surface (like a chair).
  2. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor.
  3. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Targets the upper chest and shoulders
  • Increases difficulty compared to regular push-ups
  • Enhances upper body strength

6. Shoulder Taps


  1. Start in a high plank position.
  2. Lift one hand to touch the opposite shoulder while balancing on the other hand.
  3. Alternate sides with controlled movements.
  4. Keep your core tight to avoid swaying.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Builds shoulder and core strength
  • Enhances balance and stability
  • Improves coordination

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Day 3: Lower Body Workout

1. Squats


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your body by bending your knees and hips, keeping your back straight.
  3. Go as low as possible without compromising form.
  4. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
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  • Strengthens quads, hamstrings, and glutes
  • Engages the core
  • Improves lower body strength and mobility

2. Lunges


  1. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Step forward with one leg and lower your hips until both knees are bent at 90 degrees.
  3. Push through the front heel to return to the starting position.
  4. Alternate legs and repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Strengthens quads, hamstrings, and glutes
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Enhances lower body strength

at home bodyweight workout

3. Bulgarian Split Squats


  1. Stand a couple of feet in front of a bench or chair.
  2. Place one foot behind you on the bench.
  3. Lower your hips towards the floor by bending your front knee.
  4. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps, then switch legs.


  • Targets quads and glutes
  • Improves balance and stability
  • Enhances unilateral strength

4. Glute Bridges


  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your arms at your sides, palms facing down.
  3. Lift your hips towards the ceiling by squeezing your glutes.
  4. Hold for a few seconds at the top, then lower back down.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Strengthens the glutes and hamstrings
  • Engages the lower back
  • Improves hip mobility

5. Calf Raises


  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart near a wall or sturdy surface for balance.
  2. Lift your heels off the floor as high as possible.
  3. Hold for a moment, then lower your heels back down.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Strengthens calf muscles
  • Improves ankle stability
  • Enhances lower leg endurance

6. Side Lunges


  1. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Step out to the side with one leg, bending your knee and lowering your hips.
  3. Keep your other leg straight while lowering your body towards the side.
  4. Push through your heel to return to the starting position.
  5. Alternate sides and repeat for the desired number of reps.


  • Targets inner and outer thighs
  • Improves lateral movement and hip mobility
  • Strengthens quads and glutes

7. Wall Sits


  1. Stand with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Keep your knees at a 90-degree angle and hold for 30 seconds.
  4. Push through your heels to stand back up.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
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  • Strengthens quads, glutes, and core muscles
  • Improves lower body endurance
  • Promotes proper squat form and technique

Read more: 30-Minute Bodyweight Beach Workout for Beginners

Is 30 Minutes of Bodyweight Exercise Enough?

The answer to whether or not 30 minutes of bodyweight exercise is enough is highly dependent on your goals, intensity level, and exercise programming. Thirty minutes is plenty of time to get an excellent workout assuming you have an exercise selection that contains enough volume and rest for the desired muscle groups or body regions to impose a training stimulus that triggers positive adaptations.  

For some individuals, 30 minutes of bodyweight exercise may not provide enough stimulus for significant muscle growth or strength gains. For instance, an advanced athlete would not likely have an adequate training stimulus over 30 minutes if performing the same program as a beginner. On the other hand, a beginner would not be able to connect with the high training stimulus of an advanced athlete’s program if they tried to jump directly into it. Neither scenario would provide a “good workout” for the respective individual.

Is It OK To Do Bodyweight Exercises Every Day?

Doing bodyweight exercises every day can be beneficial, but it’s important to listen to your body and not overdo it. It is important to allow for proper rest and recovery time between workouts to avoid muscle fatigue or injury (10).

A good rule of thumb is to have at least one day of rest in between bodyweight workout days. It’s also advised to vary the intensity and exercises in each workout, rather than doing the same routine every day. This allows time for muscle groups to recover and helps prevent overuse injuries.

Consulting with a fitness professional can also help create a personalized workout plan that considers individual goals, fitness levels, and proper rest periods. 

at home bodyweight workout  


  • Can You Gain Muscle Without Weights?

Certainly! Gaining muscle without weights is entirely possible through bodyweight exercises and other resistance training methods. Here’s a detailed explanation:

Understanding Muscle Growth

Muscle Hypertrophy: This is the process of increasing muscle size through exercise. It requires (9):

  1. Mechanical Tension: Stress on the muscle fibers during contraction.
  2. Metabolic Stress: Build-up of metabolic byproducts like lactic acid during exercise.
  3. Muscle Damage: Microscopic tears in muscle fibers that repair and grow stronger.

Bodyweight exercises can satisfy these requirements effectively, especially for beginners since their bodies are not used to external resistance yet. 

Some advanced bodyweight exercises like one-arm push-ups or pistol squats can even be more challenging than many traditional strength training exercises, leading to a training stimulus that is intense enough for many seasoned athletes to experience muscle growth.

Here are some tips for maximizing muscle growth with bodyweight exercises:

  • High Repetitions: Since bodyweight exercises may be easier at lower reps, increasing the number of repetitions can cause significant metabolic stress. It is a common misconception that hypertrophy can only be achieved with rep ranges between 8 and 12 repetitions. Research has shown rep ranges between 6 and 35 reps can be effective when sets are performed close to failure. Some research has shown even higher rep ranges to be effective for hypertrophy, assuming the sets are performed at an intensity that brings the trainee close to muscular failure by the end of the set.
  • Short Rest Intervals: Reduce rest periods between sets to keep muscles under continuous stress. With this being said, realize there is a sacrifice between strength and endurance. If your rest times are too short or nonexistent, you will likely be limited by your cardiovascular endurance rather than muscular strength, which may limit your hypertrophic results.
  • Supersets/Circuits: Perform exercises back-to-back to maintain high metabolic stress levels.
  • Slow Eccentric Movements: Slowing down the lowering (eccentric) phase of an exercise, like the descent in a push-up or squat, increases muscle damage.
  • Explosive Movements: Plyometrics (e.g., jump squats, burpees) create rapid, powerful movements that can lead to muscular microdamage and subsequent growth.

To continue gaining muscle, you need to progressively increase the volume and intensity of your workouts:

  • Increase Exercise Intensity: Gradually increase exercise difficulty, sets, reps, or any combination of these variables to ensure progressive overload.
  • Change Exercise Angles: Modify the difficulty by changing the angle of the exercise (e.g., elevate feet during push-ups).
  • Add Pauses and Holds: Introducing pauses at the hardest part of the movement maximizes muscle engagement and time under tension.
  • Is Bodyweight Better Than Weights?

In some ways, bodyweight exercises can be just as effective, or even better than using weights. When you consider a beginner who cannot lift heavy weights yet, bodyweight exercises are safer (less risk of injury) and more accessible (no equipment needed).

Moreover, bodyweight exercises can be more functional in nature. This means they mimic real-life movements and train multiple muscle groups simultaneously, leading to overall strength gains (8). On the other hand, many weightlifting exercises often require more equipment and space.

That said, using weights is still a great way to build strength and muscle mass (6). It’s the simplest way to progressively overload muscles as you get stronger, i.e., keep adding more weight (2). Additionally, using weights can help break through plateaus and stimulate muscle growth in different ways compared to bodyweight exercises.

  • Can Home Workouts Build Muscle?

Home workouts, with or without weights, can build muscle. Provided you’re progressively overloading muscles and applying the principles of muscle hypertrophy explained earlier (mechanical tension + metabolic stress + muscle damage), you can see significant muscle growth with home workouts (2) (9).

The Bottom Line

An at-home bodyweight workout could be the difference between staying active and becoming sedentary. Bodyweight exercises are accessible, versatile and can be just as effective as traditional weightlifting for building strength and muscle mass. However, it’s always important to listen to your body, vary the intensity of your workouts, and allow for proper rest and recovery time in order to reap the full benefits of bodyweight training.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Effects of free weight and body mass‐based resistance training on thigh muscle size, strength and intramuscular fat in healthy young and middle‐aged individuals (2023,
  2. Effects of Resistance Training Overload Progression Protocols on Strength and Muscle Mass (2024,
  3. Injury incidence and specific injury patterns in app-based bodyweight training (Freeletics): results of an international survey with 3668 participants (2022,
  4. Key Factors Associated with Adherence to Physical Exercise in Patients with Chronic Diseases and Older Adults: An Umbrella Review (2021,
  5. Mobility – Harvard Health (n.d.,
  6. Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier (2023,
  7. The advantages of body-weight exercise (2022,
  8. The Impact Of Ten Weeks Of Bodyweight Training On The Level Of Physical Fitness And Selected Parameters Of Body Composition In Women Aged 21-23 Years (2015,
  9. The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training (2010,
  10. Why Rest Days Are Important for Muscle Building (n.d.,
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