20 Body-Weight Exercises That Require Zero Equipment

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Young man doing body-weight push-up with leg lift

Here's some fantastic news: You don't need a gym — or even a single piece of fitness equipment — to get a great workout. These 20 exercises recommended by fitness expert and celebrity trainer Amy Dixon will hit every single muscle in your body and slash fat, using just your body weight as resistance. So, what are you waiting for? All you need are these exercises and you!

Credit: HEX/HEX/GettyImages

Here's some fantastic news: You don't need a gym — or even a single piece of fitness equipment — to get a great workout. These 20 exercises recommended by fitness expert and celebrity trainer Amy Dixon will hit every single muscle in your body and slash fat, using just your body weight as resistance. So, what are you waiting for? All you need are these exercises and you!

1. Squat

Man performing squat, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

2. Keeping your back flat, shoulders back and chest out, push your hips back and begin to sit down towards the ground.

3. Lower until your thighs are parallel with the ground, pausing for a moment.

4. Reverse the motion, pushing the hips forward and return to standing.

One of the best exercises is also one of the most natural (just watch a baby sit down). This movement works all of the muscles in the lower body including the quads, glutes and hamstrings. It also provides an extra kick for the core as you need your deep abdominal muscles and back to keep your torso upright and perform this exercise correctly.

Read more: 12 Essential Squat Variations to Try

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

2. Keeping your back flat, shoulders back and chest out, push your hips back and begin to sit down towards the ground.

3. Lower until your thighs are parallel with the ground, pausing for a moment.

4. Reverse the motion, pushing the hips forward and return to standing.

One of the best exercises is also one of the most natural (just watch a baby sit down). This movement works all of the muscles in the lower body including the quads, glutes and hamstrings. It also provides an extra kick for the core as you need your deep abdominal muscles and back to keep your torso upright and perform this exercise correctly.

Read more: 12 Essential Squat Variations to Try

2. Push-Up

Man performing push-ups, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin in a high plank, hands directly beneath your shoulders, body in one straight line from toes to hips to head.

2. Bending the elbows at a 45-degree angle from the ribs, lower your chest toward the ground.

3. Lower until your chest nearly touches the ground.

4. On an exhale, extend your arms and return to the high plank.

This is one of the best upper-body exercises because it works everything — your chest, your back, your arms and even your abs! Make sure your shoulders line up with your wrists and you tuck your elbows in toward your side (so don't flare your elbows out wide). Try to get your chest and hips as close to the floor as possible without touching.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin in a high plank, hands directly beneath your shoulders, body in one straight line from toes to hips to head.

2. Bending the elbows at a 45-degree angle from the ribs, lower your chest toward the ground.

3. Lower until your chest nearly touches the ground.

4. On an exhale, extend your arms and return to the high plank.

This is one of the best upper-body exercises because it works everything — your chest, your back, your arms and even your abs! Make sure your shoulders line up with your wrists and you tuck your elbows in toward your side (so don't flare your elbows out wide). Try to get your chest and hips as close to the floor as possible without touching.

3. Glute Bridge

Woman performing lying hip raises, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin lying on the ground with your feet flat, knees up in the air.

2. With your arms at your sides, stabilizing the body, raise your hips up toward the ceiling.

3. Pause for a moment at the top, squeezing the glutes.

4. Reverse the motion and bring the glutes back to the ground.

The glute bridge (also called a lying hip raise) will strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, while also working your abdominals, back and inner thighs. For a fun variation, lift your hips with your feet flat on the floor and slowly extend one leg up the sky.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin lying on the ground with your feet flat, knees up in the air.

2. With your arms at your sides, stabilizing the body, raise your hips up toward the ceiling.

3. Pause for a moment at the top, squeezing the glutes.

4. Reverse the motion and bring the glutes back to the ground.

The glute bridge (also called a lying hip raise) will strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, while also working your abdominals, back and inner thighs. For a fun variation, lift your hips with your feet flat on the floor and slowly extend one leg up the sky.

4. Lunge

Woman performing lunges, a body-weight exercise.

1. Start with your feet together and arms resting comfortably by your sides.

2. Step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your front knee is at 90 degrees and your back knee is nearly touching the floor.

3. Push off your right leg to return to standing.

4. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Start with your feet together and arms resting comfortably by your sides.

2. Step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your front knee is at 90 degrees and your back knee is nearly touching the floor.

3. Push off your right leg to return to standing.

4. Repeat on the opposite leg.

5. Plank

Man performing plank, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin on the ground with your legs extended, forearms on the ground, balancing the body.

2. Press through your heels to keep your body in a straight line from your heels to hips to head.

3. Avoid sinking or hiking the hips.

The plank has become one of the key go-to exercises to define your core. If you're struggling to maintain the arms straight position try this exercise on your forearms. Be sure to align your elbows and shoulders and keep your hips, heels and shoulders at the same height.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin on the ground with your legs extended, forearms on the ground, balancing the body.

2. Press through your heels to keep your body in a straight line from your heels to hips to head.

3. Avoid sinking or hiking the hips.

The plank has become one of the key go-to exercises to define your core. If you're struggling to maintain the arms straight position try this exercise on your forearms. Be sure to align your elbows and shoulders and keep your hips, heels and shoulders at the same height.

6. Crab Walk

Woman performing crab walk, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin sitting on the ground, feet flat on the ground, hands on the ground behind your body.

2. Pressing your feet and hands into the ground, raise your body a few inches off the ground.

3. Hips lifted, begin to step and move backward.

This exercise targets your triceps, core and glutes, as well as challenging your coordination. If you find that you have wrist discomfort, try turning your hands slightly to the side or take breaks to roll out your wrists. Make sure you keep your hips lifted off the floor for the duration of the exercise.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin sitting on the ground, feet flat on the ground, hands on the ground behind your body.

2. Pressing your feet and hands into the ground, raise your body a few inches off the ground.

3. Hips lifted, begin to step and move backward.

This exercise targets your triceps, core and glutes, as well as challenging your coordination. If you find that you have wrist discomfort, try turning your hands slightly to the side or take breaks to roll out your wrists. Make sure you keep your hips lifted off the floor for the duration of the exercise.

7. Single-Leg Squat

Man performing single-leg squats, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin standing with your feet at hip-width apart.

2. With your right foot planted into the ground, raise your left leg and sit your hips back.

3. Keeping your left leg off the ground, descend toward the ground, keeping your arms in front of you for balance.

4. Lower until your right leg forms a 90-degree angle.

5. Reverse the motion and use your glutes to raise back to standing.

This is one of the best exercises for you quads, hamstrings, glutes and core, and it's one of the most challenging balancing exercises.

Read more: How to Improve Your Balance — And Why It's So Important

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin standing with your feet at hip-width apart.

2. With your right foot planted into the ground, raise your left leg and sit your hips back.

3. Keeping your left leg off the ground, descend toward the ground, keeping your arms in front of you for balance.

4. Lower until your right leg forms a 90-degree angle.

5. Reverse the motion and use your glutes to raise back to standing.

This is one of the best exercises for you quads, hamstrings, glutes and core, and it's one of the most challenging balancing exercises.

Read more: How to Improve Your Balance — And Why It's So Important

8. Bird-Dog

Woman performing bird-dog body-weight exercise.

1. Begin on all fours on the ground, making sure that your head and neck are a natural extension of the spine.

2. Extend your right arm in front of you, simultaneously extending, raising your left leg to hip height.

3. Using your core for balance, pause for a moment before lowering the arm and leg.

4. Repeat the motion with your left arm and right leg.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin on all fours on the ground, making sure that your head and neck are a natural extension of the spine.

2. Extend your right arm in front of you, simultaneously extending, raising your left leg to hip height.

3. Using your core for balance, pause for a moment before lowering the arm and leg.

4. Repeat the motion with your left arm and right leg.

9. Bicycle Crunch

Man performing bicycle crunches, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin lying on the ground and place your hands behind your head.

2. Raise your legs at a 45-degree angle, fully extended.

3. Raise your torso and bring your right knee toward your chest, twisting your left elbow toward the knee.

4. Keeping the shoulder blades off the ground, extend the right leg and bring the right knee toward the face, twisting the left elbow toward the knee.

5. Continue alternating, keeping your upper body off the ground.

Bicycles create fire in the core because they require deep abdominal stabilization and rotation. They have also have been proven to activate more muscle fibers in the rectus abdominus and obliques than a standard crunch.

1. Begin lying on the ground and place your hands behind your head.

2. Raise your legs at a 45-degree angle, fully extended.

3. Raise your torso and bring your right knee toward your chest, twisting your left elbow toward the knee.

4. Keeping the shoulder blades off the ground, extend the right leg and bring the right knee toward the face, twisting the left elbow toward the knee.

5. Continue alternating, keeping your upper body off the ground.

Bicycles create fire in the core because they require deep abdominal stabilization and rotation. They have also have been proven to activate more muscle fibers in the rectus abdominus and obliques than a standard crunch.

10. Double Leg Lift

Woman performing double leg lifts, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin lying on the ground, placing your hands under your glutes for support.

2. Raise your legs up to the sky, perpendicular to the ground, keeping your upper body on the floor.

3. Lower your legs toward the ground, keeping your back rooted in the ground.

4. Lower only as far as possible while maintaining the back on the ground.

5. Raise the legs back to the starting position.

This lower abdominal exercise can help you build a stronger back and make you less prone to injury. Keep your low back pressing into the ground the entire time and lower your legs as close to the floor as possible without allowing them to touch. To make this exercise easier, bend your knees. Or for more of challenge, keep your legs straight.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin lying on the ground, placing your hands under your glutes for support.

2. Raise your legs up to the sky, perpendicular to the ground, keeping your upper body on the floor.

3. Lower your legs toward the ground, keeping your back rooted in the ground.

4. Lower only as far as possible while maintaining the back on the ground.

5. Raise the legs back to the starting position.

This lower abdominal exercise can help you build a stronger back and make you less prone to injury. Keep your low back pressing into the ground the entire time and lower your legs as close to the floor as possible without allowing them to touch. To make this exercise easier, bend your knees. Or for more of challenge, keep your legs straight.

11. Side Lunge

Woman performing side lunges, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin standing with your legs side by side.

2. Keeping your left foot planted on the ground, take a big step to the right with your right leg.

3. As you land, bend your right knee into a 90-degree angle and pause for a moment.

4. Use your right leg and glute to push off the ground and bring your legs back together.

5. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Most people only exercise in two planes: up and down or forward and back. That's what makes side lunges so effective — they train you laterally. This lunge variation is a great addition to any conditioning plan because it will challenge your muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments in a different movement pattern. To make this exercise more challenging, add a side leg lift to the equation and feel your core kick in, too.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin standing with your legs side by side.

2. Keeping your left foot planted on the ground, take a big step to the right with your right leg.

3. As you land, bend your right knee into a 90-degree angle and pause for a moment.

4. Use your right leg and glute to push off the ground and bring your legs back together.

5. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Most people only exercise in two planes: up and down or forward and back. That's what makes side lunges so effective — they train you laterally. This lunge variation is a great addition to any conditioning plan because it will challenge your muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments in a different movement pattern. To make this exercise more challenging, add a side leg lift to the equation and feel your core kick in, too.

12. Burpee

Man performing burpees, a body-weight exercise.

1. Start standing, then squat down and place your hand on the ground in front of you.

2. Jump or step your feet back into a high plank.

3. Keeping the elbows at a 45-degree angle from the ribs, perform a push-up, lowering your chest to just above ground level.

4. Raise back into a high plank and jump or step your feet to your hands.

5. Using this momentum, jump into the air, bringing your hands above your head.

6. As you land, sqaut back dow and return to high plank to perform the move again.

The great thing about burpees is that they combine cardio and strength into one exercise. A burpee is a complex, total-body exercise that will work your upper and lower body at the same time with a strong focus on the core. For an added cardio punch, add a tuck jump into the mix before the squat.

Read more: 7 Moves to Help You Build Up to Burpees

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Start standing, then squat down and place your hand on the ground in front of you.

2. Jump or step your feet back into a high plank.

3. Keeping the elbows at a 45-degree angle from the ribs, perform a push-up, lowering your chest to just above ground level.

4. Raise back into a high plank and jump or step your feet to your hands.

5. Using this momentum, jump into the air, bringing your hands above your head.

6. As you land, sqaut back dow and return to high plank to perform the move again.

The great thing about burpees is that they combine cardio and strength into one exercise. A burpee is a complex, total-body exercise that will work your upper and lower body at the same time with a strong focus on the core. For an added cardio punch, add a tuck jump into the mix before the squat.

Read more: 7 Moves to Help You Build Up to Burpees

13. Squat Jump

Woman performing squat jumps, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

2. Push your hips back and lower your toward the ground, keeping your shoulders back and chest out.

3. Lower until your legs form a 90-degree angle.

4. From the bottom of the squat, plant your heels and explosively jump up into the air, raising your arms above the head.

This is a simple but challenging way to tone and strengthen your entire lower body — quads, hamstrings and glutes. Bonus: It also works the core and will help you jump higher and improve your power.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.

2. Push your hips back and lower your toward the ground, keeping your shoulders back and chest out.

3. Lower until your legs form a 90-degree angle.

4. From the bottom of the squat, plant your heels and explosively jump up into the air, raising your arms above the head.

This is a simple but challenging way to tone and strengthen your entire lower body — quads, hamstrings and glutes. Bonus: It also works the core and will help you jump higher and improve your power.

14. Sit-Up

Woman performing sit-ups, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin lying on the ground, feet planted on the ground, knees in the air.

2. With your hands behind your head, keep your feet and glutes planted as you raise your torso.

3. Raise up until your elbows reach your knees and descend back to the ground.

Performing a sit-up correctly is challenging, as it requires lots of abdominal strength to get all the way up without the help of your arms and legs and without compressing your neck. If you can't do a standard sit-up, try a crunch variation.

Read more: 21 Sit-Up Variations You Won't Totally Hate

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin lying on the ground, feet planted on the ground, knees in the air.

2. With your hands behind your head, keep your feet and glutes planted as you raise your torso.

3. Raise up until your elbows reach your knees and descend back to the ground.

Performing a sit-up correctly is challenging, as it requires lots of abdominal strength to get all the way up without the help of your arms and legs and without compressing your neck. If you can't do a standard sit-up, try a crunch variation.

Read more: 21 Sit-Up Variations You Won't Totally Hate

15. Jumping Jacks

Man performing jumping jacks, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin standing with your feet side-by-side, arms at your sides.

2. Simultaneously jump your legs a few feet apart while sweeping your arms overhead.

3. As you land, rebound quickly and jump your feet back side-by-side, sweeping your arms back down.

4. Continue jumping your feet together and apart, sweeping your arms at the same time.

Sometimes jumping gets a bad rap, but when it comes to increasing bone density it can be a good thing. A jumping jack is one of the best plyometric (plyo) exercises out there, and it's a fantastic cardiovascular drill. If you're looking for a way to improve your quickness, this is the exercise.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin standing with your feet side-by-side, arms at your sides.

2. Simultaneously jump your legs a few feet apart while sweeping your arms overhead.

3. As you land, rebound quickly and jump your feet back side-by-side, sweeping your arms back down.

4. Continue jumping your feet together and apart, sweeping your arms at the same time.

Sometimes jumping gets a bad rap, but when it comes to increasing bone density it can be a good thing. A jumping jack is one of the best plyometric (plyo) exercises out there, and it's a fantastic cardiovascular drill. If you're looking for a way to improve your quickness, this is the exercise.

16. Mountain Climber

Woman performing mountain climbers, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin in a high plank with your hands beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from your head to heels.

2. Drive your right knee toward your chest, tapping the foot to the ground for a moment.

3. Rebound quickly and extend your right leg back out while driving your left knee forward, tapping the foot down briefly.

4. Alternate the legs as quickly as possible.

The mountain climber exercise combines the difficulty of a plank, deep core stabilization and alternating knee drives toward your chest. The knee drives also increase your heart rate, which is the perfect way to target your abs and burn calories. It's crucial that you maintain proper alignment throughout the exercise and keep your shoulders and wrists stacked.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin in a high plank with your hands beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from your head to heels.

2. Drive your right knee toward your chest, tapping the foot to the ground for a moment.

3. Rebound quickly and extend your right leg back out while driving your left knee forward, tapping the foot down briefly.

4. Alternate the legs as quickly as possible.

The mountain climber exercise combines the difficulty of a plank, deep core stabilization and alternating knee drives toward your chest. The knee drives also increase your heart rate, which is the perfect way to target your abs and burn calories. It's crucial that you maintain proper alignment throughout the exercise and keep your shoulders and wrists stacked.

17. Tuck Jump

Man performing tuck jumps, a body-weight exercise.

1. Begin with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart.

2. With a slight bend in your knees, jump up as high as possible, tucking the knees into the chest while in the air.

3. Land lightly on your feet and rebound quickly, repeating the motion.

The tuck jump is an extremely powerful and fun exercise that will help you strengthen your entire body including your heart. It's also a wonderful way to improve your agility, power and increase your ability to jump higher.

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Begin with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart.

2. With a slight bend in your knees, jump up as high as possible, tucking the knees into the chest while in the air.

3. Land lightly on your feet and rebound quickly, repeating the motion.

The tuck jump is an extremely powerful and fun exercise that will help you strengthen your entire body including your heart. It's also a wonderful way to improve your agility, power and increase your ability to jump higher.

18. Butt Kicks

Man performing butt kicks, a body-weight exercise.

1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, arms by your side.

2. Drive your right heel towards your glute, bringing your left arm in front of you, as if you were running.

3. Alternate quickly, bringing your left heel towards your left glute, bringing the right arm forward.

4. Alternate legs and arms as quickly as possible.

This drill stretches your quadriceps as well as giving you a quick cardio boost.

1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, arms by your side.

2. Drive your right heel towards your glute, bringing your left arm in front of you, as if you were running.

3. Alternate quickly, bringing your left heel towards your left glute, bringing the right arm forward.

4. Alternate legs and arms as quickly as possible.

This drill stretches your quadriceps as well as giving you a quick cardio boost.

19. Frog Jump

Woman performing frog jumps, a body-weight exercise.

1. Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.

2. Pushing the hips back, lower down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

3. Tap the ground with your hands.

4. Press through the heels, explode into a jump.

5. Land back in the squat position and repeat.

This exercise adds an element of power in the lower body that will get your heart rate up for a cardiovascular benefit and define the muscles in your lower body.

Read more: 17 Exercises to Shape and Tone Your Booty

Credit: Demand Media Studios

1. Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.

2. Pushing the hips back, lower down into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

3. Tap the ground with your hands.

4. Press through the heels, explode into a jump.

5. Land back in the squat position and repeat.

This exercise adds an element of power in the lower body that will get your heart rate up for a cardiovascular benefit and define the muscles in your lower body.

Read more: 17 Exercises to Shape and Tone Your Booty

20. Plie Squat

Woman performing plie squats, a body-weight exercise.

1. Stand with your feet much wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed out.

2. Pushing your knees out and hips back, lower into a squat until your legs form a 90-degree angle.

3. Pushing through your heels, use your hamstrings and inner thighs to rise back up to standing.

1. Stand with your feet much wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed out.

2. Pushing your knees out and hips back, lower into a squat until your legs form a 90-degree angle.

3. Pushing through your heels, use your hamstrings and inner thighs to rise back up to standing.

The Best Cardio Workouts for Abs

Credit: HEX/HEX/GettyImages
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