What are bodyweight exercises?
Bodyweight exercises are the exercises you perform using only your own body weight. These exercises are great for when you don’t have much time or space or any equipment.
With bodyweight exercises you can still get a great workout with just a few metres of space and nothing but your own body weight to lift.
These exercises can be split up into the different body areas. Some of these lifts work out the upper body, some focus on the lower body and others target the core central areas: the stomach and back.
The list of bodyweight exercises below gives the name of the exercise and then the muscles used in brackets. Hopefully this list can help you plan the exercises that are best for you and the muscles you want to train.
The upper body
Press Ups (chest, shoulders, arms, – pectoralis major, deltoids, biceps, triceps)
Chin Ups and Pull Ups (arms, back – biceps, trapezius, latissimus dorsi)
Dips (shoulders, arms, back, chest – deltoids, triceps, trapezius, pectoralis major)
The lower body
Squat (quads, hamstrings, glutes)
Lunge (quads, hamstrings, glutes)
Standing Calf Raise (gastrocnemius, soleus)
Sit Ups (stomach – abdominals)
Plank (stomach, back – abdominals, erector spinae)
Dorsal Raise (back – erector spinae)
Can bodyweight exercises replace gym machines?
Most gym exercises can be replicated with simple movements using your own body weight.
Although many people enjoy going to the gym to work out, others might be looking at a way to exercise using weight without paying for a gym membership. Others many want an alternative to weight machines for convenience.
All you need to perform these exercises is a bit of space and ideally an exercise mat or yoga mat to make exercising on the floor a bit more comfortable.
You can replace gym machines with these bodyweight exercises for a cost-effective, flexible and efficient way to train in your own home:
Which are your favourite bodyweight exercises for each body part?
Can you recommend any other bodyweight exercises?
What is your record for holding the plank position?
Let us know in the comments!