Body Weight Exercises – A Complete List
Body weight exercises are one of the best ways to build muscle and develop strength quickly and effectively. Use this list below to learn some of the most advanced and difficult body weight exercises there are. To check out more Body Weight Resources click here.
-3 Benefits of Body Weight Exercises-
1. You Can Do Body Weight Exercises Anywhere
This is a huge benefit for people on the go. Sometimes people use the excuse that they can’t exercise because they aren’t able to take their weights with them. Really, they should realize that their own body can be one of the best “weights” that there is. When you know how to do them, you don’t need to rely on weights at all.
2. Body Weight Exercises Give You Functional Strength
Trust me, I’ve done my fair share of body building. Body weight exercises gives you a whole body strength that can’t be compared to any other type of strength. This functional strength gives you the ability to do things you couldn’t do before. I remember the days where I spent a ton of my time body building. I was pretty ripped but had very little functional strength. One time, I was working on my car and I had to ream on a nut that was rusted on. I tried my darnedest but couldn’t get it off. I had to use leverage to get it off. Though other times when working on my car, after doing body weight exercises for awhile, I could practically rip off nuts with my bear hands.
3. Body Weight Exercises Give You a Complete Ripped Look
When you only do traditional weight lifting, you have to focus on hitting every muscle group…otherwise you look uneven or undeveloped in some areas. When you do body weight exercises, you typically work the entire body all at once. This way you get a full ripped look and don’t even need to worry about scaling your exercises down to individual body parts. However, it is critically important to eat the right foods that help you shred the layer(s) of fat over your body. I recommend that you check out an article I wrote called the 3 Simple Truths To Getting A Rock-Hard Body. It is critically important for developing that chiseled look that everyone wants.
When To Not Do Body Weight Exercises
Body weight exercises can be done by men, women and children. In fact even elderly can do them. Though if you do have an injury please talk to a MD or PT before beginning an exercise regimen.
Myths About Body Weight Exercises
There are so many myths about body weight exercise such as you can’t use them to build muscle, only girls should do them, the workouts need to be longer, etc. This is totally B.S. Body weight exercises are one of the best types of exercise there is. For more information on lies about body weight exercises, click on this article.
How To Use This Body Weight Exercise Library To Create A Workout Routine For Yourself
To Create An Advanced Body Weight Exercise Routine:
Step 1: Scroll through the videos and choose 3-4 exercises from each of the four “advanced” categories: Upper, Lower, Ab & Whole.
Step 2: Write them out in order of Upper, Lower, Ab and Whole exercises. On Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri go through the routine performing 2-3 sets of each exercise with 30 seconds rest in between each one. Make sure to go to fatigue with each set! For muscle growth you want to make sure that you fatigue at the 4-8 rep mark. For toning you want to make sure that you can get to 8-12 reps with fatigue. If you don’t hit your mark, replace the exercise with an easier or harder exercise accordingly.
To Create An Intermediate or Beginner Body Weight Exercise Routine:
Follow the same steps as outlined above however choose from the intermediate and beginner categories.
Advanced Body Weight Exercise Videos
Advanced Body Weight Exercises For Upper Body
X Pushup - X Pushup is the tried and true pushup for all extreme exercise enthusiasts and body weight exercise lovers. This is our bread and butter movement. It is a great whole body exercise and works almost every inch of your body as well as is easily adaptable as you get stronger.
Upside Down Man Exercise - Upside Down Man Exercise is very similar to Letter I Press up but you are not moving up and down in this exercise. It is a static hold.
Stretch Walk Pushup - Stretch Walk Pushup is similar to Stretch Pushup yet it is not as difficult because you are transitioning in and out of the difficult point of the exercise.
Stretch Pushup - Stretch Pushup is on of Jack Lalanne’s patented moves. Only the most extreme exercise enthusiasts can do this exercise with their arms fully extended.
Stare at the Moon Exercise - Place a medicine ball a few feet away from a wall. Place your hands on the medicine ball with your feet high up on the wall behind you. Hold this pose.
Pushup Off The Moon - Pushup off the Moon is similar to Moon Pushup but isn’t quite as intense. You will need a stability ball.
Moon Pushup - This exercise is excruciatingly difficult. It incorporates every muscles of your body but especially focuses on your upper region. You’ll need a medicine ball, a chair and a bit of nerve to complete this exercise.
Missing Arm Pushup - Missing Arm Pushup is also known as One handed pushup. I don’t recommend using this exercise in your regular arsenal because it is awkward and places a lot of strain on your arm that is on the ground. Though it is a great way to test overall strength and body unity.
Missing Arm Hold Exercise - I put this exercise under “Upper” body exercises but it could have easily been placed under core. It works your abs tremendously especially when you keep your body from twisting up, as it will naturally want to do.
Letter I Press Up - Letter I Press up is also known as the Handstand Pushup. It is an extreme exercise for your shoulders you will definitely want to work up to it.
Inverted Pushup Off The Moon - This is a killer exercise for you upper chest and shoulder region. You’ll need a medicine ball and access to a wall. This exercise is definitely not a beginner movement so you’ll need to work up to it.
Grand Canyon Pushup - This exercise is called the grand canyon push-up because your arms will be spread out really far as this you had to push up across a canyon.
Falling Pushup - This exercise is also known as decline push-up because your body will be at a decline and your upper chest region will be working.
Drunk Pushup - The reason this is called a drunk push-up is because your body looks as if you were drunk, meaning you will be shaking and very unstable. Although don’t let the name of the exercise fool you this is a very difficult exercise.
Diamond Kiss Pushup - Diamond kiss push-up is a great exercise for developing strength and your triceps and chest region and also incorporates the shoulders. Use this exercise you want to get that horseshoe look in your triceps.
Deep Pushup - This exercise works your chest muscle in a unique way. Because you are getting a fuller range of motion you can target the muscle fibers in your chest more effectively. Think of it this way, although this is not a perfect analogy, the muscle fibers in your muscle is similar to rubber band. As he stretched the rubber band you put more strain the further you go out. When the muscle elongates more, and when the muscle is in a stressful position, like during exercise, the muscle fibers tear more quickly.
Cow Jumping over the Moon Exercise - This is a crazy exercise! Very few people even extreme exercise enthusiasts have ever heard of this exercise. It incorporates plyometric exercise, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. It may take you a few weeks before you can do this exercise. And also he even works your stabilizer muscles because your hands will be bouncing back and forth onto the stability ball.
Brock Drill Exercise - Brock Drill Exercise I coined after watching a workout done by UFC Fighter Brock Lesnar. Brock is an incredible athlete and I give him props for sharing this exercise with the world. It’s a crazy exercise for developing upper body strength.
Bouncy Spring Pushup - This is a great exercise for developing power in the chest muscle group. It’s a plyometric exercise. You want to work up to this exercise especially if you are a beginner. The cool thing about this exercise is that it specifically uses your fast twitch muscle fibers
Barbwire Pushup - Barbwire push up is also known as diver bombers. It incorporates a full range of motion for your shoulder joint and is one of the exercises of the Navy SEALs do to get ripped. It looks like you are sliding under niece barbwire.
Advanced Reclining on Sun exercise - Advanced reclining on Sun exercise is a killer for your triceps muscle. It actually engages the entire body but primarily focuses on the triceps and hip flexors of the leg that is in the air.
Three-Pronged Pushup - Three-pronged push up is the classic exercise to engage your glutes while doing a standard push-up.
Advanced Body Weight Exercises For Abs
*Quick note: These exercises will help you develop tremendous strength in your abdominal region. However, they reducing your body fat is MORE important when it comes to getting a rockin’ six pack. If you struggle with excess fat over your midsection I recommend you click here first: How To Get Rid Of Belly Fat.
V up Exercise - V up sit up is a classic exercise to strengthen your abs. Use this video to guide you on how to perform this popular exercise correctly.
Static V Pulses Exercise - Static V Pulses Exercise is a Pilates move that strengthens your upper and lower abs. Your body will look like a V when performing this exercise.
Side Plank with Leg Lift - This difficult exercise is by far one of the best ways to lose love handles. Since you are recruiting both the lower and upper part of the love handle, it works perfectly to lose it very quickly.
Rolling the Sun Exercise - Rolling the Sun Exercise is a little known but very advanced exercise to strengthen the core muscle groups. Because it is incorporating so much balance, all the stabilizer muscles in the ab region are firing on all 6 cylinders.
Frozen V Sit Exercise - The Frozen V Sit Exercise is an excruciatingly difficult exercise for your abs. This is an advanced and extreme movement so it may take you one or two months to work up to it.
Advanced Body Weight Exercises For Legs
Rolling on the Sun Exercise - This exercise burns out your glute muscles quickly and effectively.
One Legged Squat - One Legged Squat provides a total burnout for your legs. It incorporates tremendous balance as well as focuses on strengthening one leg directly.
One Legged Bird Squat - Use this exercise for an incredible leg burnout that also incorporates balance training.
Falling Tower Exercise - This body weight exercise for the legs is little known within any community. I learned it from my Kenpo Karate instructor and it is a killer for blasting the legs.
Duck Walks Exercise - Duck Walks is a class leg exercise within the body weight exercise community but little known in main stream. It is a killer for your legs. If you are really extreme, try to set a goal of doing duck walks all the way around a track. You can take breaks, but the 400 yards of duck walks will be an absolute killer for your legs.
Crazy Lunge - Crazy Lunge is called “crazy” because of how intense it is for your legs. It utilizes plyometrics to build great strength throughout your lower body.
Advanced Body Weight Exercises For The Whole Body
Wall Walks Exercise - Wall walks is one the most difficult body weight exercises that you can do for your entire body. It incorporates almost every muscle in your body and puts tremendous strain on your muscles. This is by far one of my favorite exercises!
Suspension Bridge Exercise - Suspension bridge exercise is a unique and difficult exercise to strengthen the entire body but especially the abs, arms, and back muscles. You will look like a bridge while doing this exercise.
Spider Push-up on Sun Exercise - Spider push-up on Sun exercise is an extremely advanced whole body exercise. It incorporates almost every muscle in your body as well as your stabilizer muscles.
Spider Push-up on Chair Exercise - Spider push-up on chair exercise is an advanced move to strengthen your entire body especially your upper chest muscles. This exercise places your body in a weird and difficult position and by lifting your legs it incorporates muscles throughout your entire body.
Spider Crawl Exercise - Spider crawl exercise is one of the best body weight exercises around. Spider crawl works the entire body in a way like none other exercise. This is absolutely one of my favorites to shred the entire body and to get that lean tight look.
Pyramid Exercise - Pyramid exercise is another great exercise to do if you are a wrestler or a mixed martial artist. The reason is because it strengthens your neck muscles tremendously and mixed martial artists and wrestlers need to have strong muscles in their neck to prevent chokes.
One Legged Bridge on Sun Exercise - One legged bridge on Sun exercise is a great move to focus on strengthening your butt muscle groups. The reason it works so effectively is because you have to recruit extra muscle fibers in your butt to maintain your position on the stability ball.
Kicking Donkey on Sun Exercise - Kicking Donkey on Sun Exercise is by far one of the most difficult exercises in existence. It places your body in a very abnormal position that incorporates your stabilizer muscles and at the same time positions your body in a way that requires a great amount of strength in order to maintain the pose.
Full Bridge Exercise - Full bridge exercise is an essential exercise for all wrestlers. The movement is a cornerstone for neck strength. So if you are a wrestler or a mixed martial artist pay close attention to this exercise in perform it regularly.
Donkey Ups off Sun Exercise - Donkey Ups off Sun Exercise is one of the most difficult exercises you will find on this website. It actually is when the most difficult exercises to do that is a whole body exercise. You will need a stability ball and some guts.
Bridge Pushup - Bridge Pushup is an excruciatingly difficult body weight exercise that places a tremendous amount of load on your shoulders. If you are a wrestler or mixed martial artistic this is an essential exercise for your workout routines because it develops the ability to extend up (knocking your opponent off of you).
Intermediate Body Weight Exercise Videos
Intermediate Body Weight Exercises For Upper Body
Spider Pushup - Spider Pushup is a great exercise for your upper body when you are feeling like the normal pushup just ain’t cuttin it. It’s a great way to incorporate your abs into your upper body routine.
Rolling Pushup - Rolling Pushup is such a fun exercise because you are are incorporating more action into the normal pushup.
Reclining on the Sun Exercise - This is a great move to develop strength in your triceps muscles. You’ll need a Pilates ball and a chair that you can grip the edges with.
No Arm Pushup - No Arm Pushup is not to be confused with Missing Arm Pushup or One Handed Pushup. This exercise is really meant to strengthen your upper back, especially your middle trapezius and rhomboid muscle groups.
Leaping Frog Exercise - This move will help you learn how to do a handstand and help you develop enough strength in your shoulder region.
Leaning Tower Pushup - This pushup is unique and works a slightly different part of the pec muscle compared to the ordinary pushup. By placing one arm on the ground, you shift the focus to the pec. It’s a great move when you want to increase the difficulty for one pec muscle.
Hindu Pushup - I first learned this exercise from Matt Furey. He is a great inspiration to everyone that loves body weight exercises. He created the “Core 3,” which consists of this exercise (the Hindu Pushup), the Full Bridge, and the Hindu Squat. You can get totally ripped on using just these three exercises if you really wanted to .
Helicopter Exercise - Helicopter exercise is one of the greatest exercises to do to strengthen your shoulders and your obliques. I strongly urge you to try this and see how ripped your shoulders get.
Heart Pushup - Heart pushup is a great exercise for strengthening the triceps and is the precursor for doing the diamond pushup. Start with this exercise, then when it gets too easy, graduate to the diamond pushup.
Frog Pushup - Frog push-up is a unique body weight exercise that strengthens the upper body. Most people have not heard of this exercise but it works just as well as the normal push-up.
Earthquake Pushup - The reason this exercise is called earthquake push-up is because it kind of looks like the ground is shaking while you’re doing it.
Claw Pushup - This exercise is great especially for developing strength in the hand. Have you ever shaken someone’s hand and it felt that you had your hand in a vice grip? Well after doing this exercise for a few months, you will now be that guy.
Condensed pushup - The condensed pushup is a great exercise to strengthen the chest and the triceps. Make sure that your elbows are close to your sides when doing it.
Intermediate Body Weight Exercises For Abs
Side Plank Exercise - Side Plank Exercise is one of the best exercises for love handles. Love handles are hard to get rid off and take a focused effort in order to reduce them.
Scissors Exercise - Scissors Exercise is a great lower ab strengthener. Again Angular Training plays into effect here in order to fatigue your lower abs most effectively.
Mummy Sit up - The Mummy Sit up is a great way to add variety to your normal ab routine. The idea behind the name is because your legs are straight out in front of you and kind of looks like a mummy.
Lunge Sit up - The Lunge Sit up is just a like a normal crunch move however your lower legs are going to be in a unique position. This little known exercise strengthens your core muscles and gives you a lean stomach like no other exercise.
Kissing under the Arch Exercise - This is a unique exercise that strengthens your whole body as well as your abs. The exercise recruits more of your muscles in your abs because it requires you to hold yourself up in the air while also moving your lower and upper limbs in a particular way.
Jackknife Exercise - The Jackknife Exercise is one of the best exercises for blasting love handles. Now, you can’t spot reduce one particular area (such as your love handles) but you can strengthen this area effectively and within time, your love handles will decrease.
Flutter Kicks - Flutter kicks are well documented to strengthen the lower abs very effectively. Since you are creating a dynamic movement in your lower ab region more of the muscle fibers are recruited to complete the movement.
Horse Sit up - I got this exercise after watching a workout of one of the greatest fighters of all time, Rickson Gracie. He was doing this exercise on a beach. This sit up is simply fun to do and adds some uniqueness to working out the abs.
Horse Pushup - Horse Pushup is a different style of elevated pushup. Unlike the normal pushup where you are pushing your upper body up, with this pushup, you raise your core in the air.
Hip Dip Exercise - This oblique workout is one of the most effective ways of strengthen your upper and lower obliques. I particularly love this workout because it targets your love handles and blasts them in a way unlike any other exercise.
Handcuffed Running Exercise - Handcuffed Running Exercise is one of the best stomach workouts you can do because of the dynamic nature of the movement. Your stomach gets a workout from multiple angles.
Grand Father Clock Exercise - This is a great side ab exercise. By keeping your knees straight and lowering them from side to side, you exercise and strengthen your obliques as well as your abs.
Fallen Cross Exercise - Fallen Cross is one of the perfect oblique exercises. Since your body is parallel to the ground it focuses attention directly onto your obliques.
Dolphin Pushup - Dolphin Pushup is a little known exercise to increase core strength. By bucking your body up in the air, while also resting on your elbows, you engage the core muscles in a very unique way.
Balancing Jackknife Exercise - Jackknife Exercise (also known as Jackknife Sit up) is a unique way to develop core muscle strength. It engages both the lower abs and upper abs as your body does a jackknife like movement.
Alternating Moon Crunch Exercise - Alternating Moon Crunch is like a normal ab sit up but it is a way to strengthen the abs using dynamic movements that go beyond the normal sit up or crunch.
Intermediate Body Weight Exercises For Legs
Sunken Squat - Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Lift your arms up and squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Squat up while focusing on trying to use your glutes to do it.
Squat Thrusts Exercise - Squat Thrusts is a very popular exercise for strengthening your legs but also incorporating a whole body cardio workout.
Karate Squat - Karate Squat is a great exercise to perform in your karate workout. It incorporates whole body exercise with sport specific training.
Hindu Squat - The history behind the Hindu Squat originates from ancient India and was an exercise that Indian wrestlers used to build incredible leg strength. Ghulum Mohammed, one of the most famous wrestlers routinely performed 500 Hindu Squats each day to maintain his peak condition.
Catcher’s Squat - Catcher’s Squat is an exercise for baseball and other sport’s enthusiasts. It was taken from the sport of baseball and can be utilized by anyone to build maximum strength in their legs as the perform a whole body exercise.
Bear Squat - Bear Squat is an incredible body weight exercise you can do at home or at the gym. The reason it’s called Bear Squat is because you will be in the traditional bear exercise position and will be squatting backward.
Intermediate Body Weight Exercises For The Whole Body
Straight Arm Board Exercise - Straight arm board exercise is also known as the standard plank pose. It’s a classic exercise that is used to strengthen your entire body including your chest, shoulders, abs and low back.
Steeple Exercise - Steeple exercise is a yoga move that helps to strengthen your whole body in particular your low back.
Squat Thrust with Push-up - Squat thrust with push-up is a classic whole body, body weight strengthening exercise. This move is intense. And if done as a plyometric, you will see your heart rate increasing very quickly.
Spiderman walk exercise - Spiderman walk exercise is a very weird movement but strengthens the body tremendously. Do this exercise to impress your friends and unique ways to strengthen your body. Few people have heard of this exercise.
Plank Runs Exercise - Plank Runs are also called lumberjacks in some circles. The exercise strengthens your entire body but primarily focuses on your upper body.
Grass Hoppers Exercise - Grass hoppers exercise is a little known movement that strengthens the entire body. Not only does it strengthen the body but it’s really fun to do! Most people miss the point that exercise should be fun. Use this exercise in your routine when you need to spice it up!
Gracie Drill Exercise - Gracie Drill Exercise is a perfect exercise to use as a warm-up if you are going to do it for a short amount of time or a great exercise for building whole body strength if you do it for a longer amount of time.
Crab Walk Exercise - Crab Walk Exercise is a little known exercise that uses body weight strength to improve coordination and whole body strength. The reason it is called Crab Walk is because you look sort of like a crab while performing it.
Boat Exercise - Boat Exercise is a movement I learned from P90X Workout Series. The exercise strengthens your entire body and is incredible because it uses dynamic tension.
Bear Walk Exercise - Bear Walk Exercise is a one of the prime exercises that wrestlers use to develop whole body strength. By walking like a bear you place emphasis on your back muscles to keep you upright.
Beginner Body Weight Exercise Videos
Beginner Body Weight Exercises For Upper Body
Triangle Sit Exercise - Triangle Sit Exercise is very similar to Downward Dog Pose in Yoga. It works the shoulders tremendously and helps you get a good stretch in your hamstrings.
Rolling Walkouts - Rolling Walkouts is a beginner movement but will help build strength in your chest and shoulder region.
Beginner Body Weight Exercises For Abs
Tai Chi Twist Exercise - Tai Chi Twist Exercise is a basic Tai Chi warm up exercise used to build strength and mobility in the spine and core region of the body. It is a classic and builds tremendous flexibility within the spinal muscles as well as build core strength for people that aren’t used to exercise.
Invisible Ball Twist - Strengthening your body as a unit is an important component to building a healthy body. Invisible Ball Twist Exercise incorporates this principle into the movement. It is a combination of agility training and tai chi movements.
Beginner Body Weight Exercises For Legs
Downward Scissors on Ball Exercise - This exercise is just like scissor kicks but you are utilizing a stability ball and facing downward.
Downward Flutters on Ball Exercise - This exercise is like flutter kicks but you are face down on a stability ball.
Dead Superman’s Exercise - The reason this exercise is called Dead Superman’s is because you are laying face down with your arms at your side. When you raise your legs up it looks like you are flying but since you are on the ground, it gives the impression that you are dead.
Beginner Body Weight Exercises For The Whole Body
Table Stretcher - The table stretcher exercise is similar to the table push-up but does not incorporate the glute muscles as much. It’s a great exercise for strengthening the low back.
Table Push up - Table push up as a great bodyweight exercise that strengthens your upper body and your core muscle groups. The reason it’s called table push-up is because you look like a table in the top part of the exercise.
Sinking Boat Exercise - Sinking boat exercise is a move used to strengthen your whole body as well as isolate one of your quad muscles. Use this exercise in your routines when you need to mix it up and strengthen your leg muscles.
Shrimping Exercise - Shrimping exercise is a move used by many judo martial artists. The move is also used by jujitsu fighters. It’s a great exercise to focus on strengthening muscles used when an opponent is pinning you down to the mat.
Inch Worms Exercise - Very few people know about inch worms as an exercise is a great way to build strength in the upper body and also stretch the low back and hamstrings at the same time. Perform this exercise when you need to mix it up during your body weight exercise routines.
Rock On With Your Bad Body Weight Exercise Self!
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