This Quick Full-Body Workout Strengthens From Head to Toe With No Equipment

illustrated gif of exercises in full-body body-weight strength workout
Push-ups are often considered an upper-body move, but they build core and even glute strength, too.
Image Credit: Morit Summers/LIVESTRONG.com Creative

This 31-day body-weight workout challenge will inspire you to move more, no matter your starting point. Get all the details on the challenge here.

What do the alphabet and body-weight exercises have in common? They're both foundational for learning and perfecting what comes next. Just like memorizing the ABCs helps you learn to read, practicing body-weight movements helps you learn proper weight-lifting form.

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Morit Summers, CPT, creator of Brooklyn-based training studio Form Fitness and host of our "New Year, Do You" Challenge, has designed this workout with some of those foundational no-equipment strength moves that benefit exercisers of all fitness levels.

If you're doing the challenge, follow the weekly rep scheme below. If you're doing this workout on your own, increase or decrease the reps and sets based on your fitness level. You should be able to do all the reps with good form, but the last two should feel challenging.

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In between sets and exercises, rest for 20 to 40 seconds. You won't feel fully rested (like you were before your workout) but you should feel ready to tackle the next set.

Reps and Sets Per Exercise

Sets

Squat

Push-Up

Sit-Up

Superman

Week 1

2

10

5

15

10

Week 2

3

12

8

15

10

Week 3

3

15

10

15

12

Week 4

4

15

10

15

10

Week 5

4

15

12

15

12

4 Body-Weight Moves for a Full-Body Workout

The "New Year, Do You" Challenge is accessible to all fitness levels. That's why we're providing a main move and at least one modification or variation.

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In the videos below, you'll see one trainer — either Summers or her Form Fitness co-founder Francine Delgado-Lugo — demonstrating the base exercise along with a modification or variation from the other trainer. Choose the version of the exercise that works best for you.

Move 1: Squat (shown on right)

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Region Lower Body
  1. As Summers demonstrates on the right, start standing, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms out in front of you and slowly bend your knees as you push your hips back to squat down. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or as low as you can go comfortably while maintaining good form. Your knees should be over your toes and your gaze should be straight ahead.
  4. Pause for a moment at the bottom of your squat.
  5. On an exhale, reverse the motion by pressing through your heels to return to standing. As you stand, lower your arms back to your sides.

Modifications and Variations

To modify, stand in front of a chair or bench (shown on the left). Briefly touch your glutes to the chair at the bottom of your squat before standing back up.

To advance, try a squat jump. From the bottom of your squat, press through your feet and explode into the air, making sure to land with your knees slightly bent

Move 2: Push-Up (shown on right)

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Activity Body-Weight Workout
Region Full Body
  1. Begin in a high plank (see Summers on the right) on your hands and toes with your core and glutes engaged. Your shoulders should be stacked over your wrists and your hips should be in line with your head and heels.
  2. Bend at the elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your torso and lower your body toward the ground.
  3. On the way down, squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  4. When your chest hovers just above the ground (or however far down you can go), press into the ground and push your shoulder blades apart to return to the starting position.

Modifications and Variations

To modify, place your hands on a bench, countertop or wall to do incline push-ups (shown on the left).

For variety, place your hands or feet wider or closer together, change the incline or decline of your push-up or try another push-up variation.

Move 3: Sit-Up (shown in back)

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part Abs
  1. Like Summers (in back), start lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring both hands together in front of your chest or tuck them behind your head, elbows wide.
  3. Exhale as you lift your entire torso off the ground and toward your knees. You should rise from lying down to sitting up in one fluid motion.
  4. Lower back down with control.

Modifications and Variations

To advance this move, extend your legs out straight along the ground as you perform this exercise, keeping your heels on the floor the entire time (shown in the front).

Move 4: Superman (shown on left)

JW Player placeholder image
Activity Body-Weight Workout
Body Part Back
  1. As Delgado-Lugo demonstrates, lie on your stomach with your legs and arms extended. Your feet should be about hip-width apart and your biceps should be alongside your ears.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and engage your back to raise your legs and torso off the floor.
  3. Keep your legs straight and reach your fingertips away from you.
  4. Hold at the top of the exercise for a count.
  5. Lower back down with control.

Modifications and Variations

For more of a challenge, perform a Wonder Woman (shown on the right). Pull your hands down to your shoulders, then press them back overhead before lowering your body to the ground.

Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

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