There's no need for special equipment to get a good workout in. When it comes to fitness, your own bodyweight will suffice. And bodyweight workouts also save money because you don't need a gym membership -- they're easy to do from the comfort of your own home. Whether you're a beginner or advanced bodybuilder, a bodyweight exercise routine can be challenging and effective at building and toning muscle.
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Upper Body Exercises
When it comes to an upper body workout, there isn't a more complete exercise than the pushup. The pushup can be done in a variety of ways to target different muscle groups, but the traditional form alone is enough to target your entire body, from your shoulders and arms to your core. Other bodyweight upper body exercises include triceps dips, pull-ups and chin-ups.
Lower Body Exercises
When you are looking to work your lower body look no farther than the squat or lunge exercises. Both exercises target the entire lower body, engaging the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. You can add variation to these exercises by choosing to perform a wide squat or narrow squat and you can perform one-legged lunges to challenge your balance and work your core as well.
Cardio Body Weight Exercises
There are other exercises beside running that you can do with just your own bodyweight. Jumping jacks, jump rope and a variety of different plyometric exercises are all good cardio workouts. Plyometric training, also known as jump training, is an intense method of training that utilizes your bodyweight with jump exercises. Plyometric exercises include jump squats, jump lunges and burpees. These kind of exercises will have your heart rate skyrocketing by the last rep.
Bodyweight core exercises are well known. From the traditional crunch to the plank, your bodyweight is the only resistance you need to create a strong core. If the thought of doing crunches every day makes you cringe, choose abdominal exercises like the V-Up, leg lifts or different plank variations. These exercises target your entire core, strengthening your core from top to bottom as well as your oblique muscles.
Bodyweight Exercise Routine
The key to an effective bodyweight routine is to keep rest time short between sets -- so your heart rate stays elevated, increasing calories burned as well as improving cardiovascular health. A challenging bodyweight routine consists of three sets with 30 to 45 seconds rest between sets. For example, do 20 of the following: pushups, lunges and crunches. Followed by 30 seconds of jumping jacks. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat the set two more times. Set two consists of 20 triceps dips, 20 squats, a 30-second plank and 30 seconds of jump rope. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat the set two more times.