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Beginner Bodyweight Workout: Begin a New Journey

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If you want to start training but have no idea where to start, try this beginner workout using only bodyweight! Leave all the cost of fancy equipment behind - this beginner bodyweight workout will help you work out every muscle. No gear is required.

Many weighted exercises are actually dangerous for beginners - which is why we recommend starting slow, with bodyweight, and then progressing to free or machine weights. If you fancy adding a bit more resistance to your beginner workout, consider incorporating a resistance band, such as a booty band.

But how do you do this? There are plenty of moves for easy at-home workouts that will increase your fitness. Put together these ideas to incorporate a 20-minute workout at home. If you want a little more challenge for the day, increase the number of reps.

Beginner full-body workout exercises - no weights required!

You might be wondering, 'what are the best bodyweight exercises?'

We've got you started with the following bodyweight training program.

You can put these exercises together to create a routine that you can rep out at home, in the gym, or anywhere else.

Jogging on the spot

Jogging on the spot is one of the best exercises you can do at home. Jogging in place in short bursts is a great way to add a bit of cardio into your bodyweight workout routine and burn a few extra calories.

If jogging in place is a little too bland for your taste, incorporate high knees. Start these slowly - just by marching on the spot at first - and you could build up the movement into rapid high knees. Aim for 30 seconds of knee highs, and then resting for 30 seconds before continuing with your beginner bodyweight workout.

Once this becomes easier, change up your jogging to resting ratio. Instead of 30:30, increase your jogging time to 40 seconds, and decrease your rest time to 20 seconds. As your fitness improves with bodyweight exercises for beginners, move up to a 50 second jogging time with 10 seconds of rest time!

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a fantastic cardio move for at-home bodyweight workouts. Get your blood pumping while also targeting your shoulder and abs! To do this exercise, follow these steps.

  1. Put your hands on the floor with your arms straight.
  2.  Place your feet on the floor, standing on your toes.
  3. Move your knees towards your chest (like you're actually climbing a mountain) and move back to the original position.
  4. 'Run' the feet out as quickly as possible for 30 seconds.

Like jogging, try 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off at first. Then increase your exercise time and decrease your rest time until you can do mountain climbers for 50 seconds and rest for just 10. This overload will significantly improve your cardio!

Banded push-up

Push-ups are one of the best beginner bodyweight workout moves for your back and chest. Add a resistance band to make them more challenging as needed. They're easy to adapt to different abilities, too - start with a box press up, then assume the standard push up position with knees on the floor, then try a press up with toes on the floor.

Here's how to do a push up:

  1. Put your hands on the floor. With arms outstretched, assume the plank position.
  2. Push down towards the floor and then press back up. This is one rep.
  3. Repeat for the desired amount of reps.

Aim to complete 10 push-ups at first, and after a short rest, do 10 more. Three to five sets of 10 is a sufficient amount for an at-home beginner workout. Gradually increase this to up to ten sets.

Plank

An excellent bodyweight training exercise to tone your core, planks are the kind of exercise that looks simple until you've tried it for yourself!

Follow these steps for a plank:

  1. Lay on your stomach.
  2. With your forearms on the floor, push your body weight up onto your toes.
  3. Hold the position, keeping your torso and core tense.

Try to increase the amount of time that you can hold the plank. Begin with 10 seconds, and build up to one minute or more.

If you feel like you need to modify this move, drop your knees to the floor and hold this position.

Fancy a bit more of a challenge? Try an up-down plank or a plank into a push-up. You could also raise one of your feet above the floor and hold a plank position like this.

Side Plank

If you are working out the front muscles of your core, a side plank will help tone your obliques.

Here is how to do a side plank:

  1. Lie on your side and stack your legs on top of each other.
  2. Stick out your forearm, so it is adjacent to your body.
  3. Push down on your forearm and lower foot to assume a triangle plank position.
  4. Hold this position for 15 seconds, increasing the time as you get better.

Amp up your side plank game by pulsing or elevating one leg throughout the movement.

Crunches

Crunches are one of the best core training moves for a full-body workout at home. They are incredibly adaptable, as well; alter them to target specific muscle groups and do pulses to isolate particular muscles. Here is how to do a crunch:

  1. While lying on your back, bend your knees at a 90° angle.
  2. Put your hands close to your head, and pull up into a crunch position using your abs. 
  3. Release the muscles and move back down.

There are plenty of ways you can vary this move. If you move your legs to one side, you'll be able to side crunch. This move will work your obliques. Another option is pulsing; isolating your ab muscles will help build them up.

Banded squats

Squats are an excellent move for leg toning. Combine them with resistance bands to add an extra dimension to the workout.

Here is how to do a squat:

  1. Stand straight with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Tense your muscles, and move your hips back and down towards the floor.
  3. Once in a seated position, push your hips up to standing. This is one rep.

For added difficulty, try pulsing at the bottom of the squat. Alternatively, you could move your legs wider apart - moving into a sumo squat. If you want to add a bit of cardio to your workout, do squat jumps.

Lunges

Lunges are also significant moves for legs and glutes using bodyweight fitness. Again, these can be supplemented with a resistance band to add to the intensity of the exercise.

Here's how to perform a lunge:

  1. Stand with feet facing forward, and extend one leg back behind you.
  2. Slowly move the back knee towards the floor.
  3. Push with the legs up from the floor.
  4. Once you have assumed the original position, this is one rep.

Increase the intensity of your languages with split lunge jumps. This involves springing up as you lunge on each leg. It adds to the leg workout intensity and has the added benefit of being a cardio exercise.

You could also isolate the leg muscles by pulsing when your back knee is just above the floor. This is a challenging exercise after a few reps - but you'll certainly be feeling it, and you won't feel like you're missing weights!

Should I start with bodyweight exercises?

Bodyweight exercises are a fantastic way to start working out.

No cost and no heavy equipment makes this is the perfect way to test the waters of fitness life without losing anything! Completing the suggested exercises with no extra weights will help your body develop muscle memory with the correct form.

Using bodyweight will also reduce the risk of injury in the future. Once you feel confident with your form, add free weights or resistance bands.

Can you get ripped with just bodyweight exercises?

Yes - even though many people have a pre misconception that it is impossible to get ripped with bodyweight exercises alone, the science points to the contrary. There are several principles that you should adhere to if you want to see stark changes.

These include:

  • Decreasing the necessary rest times between exercises
  • Performing multiple variations of the exercises
  • Increasing reps of each exercise
  • Increasing the tension time

You may wish to increase other weights or bands gradually. It's a good idea to incorporate items like a pull-up assist band, which can be used in movements such as push-ups and exercises such as tricep and bicep curls.

How can a beginner start working out at home?

It's simple to start working out at home using bodyweight! These bodyweight exercise moves can all be put together to create a no-equipment workout routine to help you quickly add exercise into your day. All you need for these moves is an adequate amount of space, potentially a mat (depending on your type of floor), and your body!

So, if you are looking to begin your new fitness journey, this beginner workout at home without equipment will give you an accessible introduction and ensure that you don't injure yourself while doing so. Put these exercises together to create ideal bodyweight workout routines tailored to fit your body's specific needs!

Keep practicing the exercises, and ensure that you are completing the moves before adding weights. Resistance bands, however, are an easy and relatively safe addition that you can add to include some extra tension while still being able to focus on the moves themselves.

Katherine Holden

Katherine Holden

Katherine is a CrossFit expert with humble origins. Starting out on a ranch, ever since she was nine, she spent most of her life roping and competing in team roping. After finding bodyweight exercises interesting she sought after a career in CrossFit and dedicated her life towards achieving the body of her dreams. Today Katherine is a personal trainer that loves to travel the world and change the lives of her clients.

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