The Free Home Gym: Bodyweight Exercises You Can Perform At Home

by OrthoVirginia Team

The Free Home Gym:  Bodyweight Exercises You Can Perform At Home

While some gyms may be reopened, it is still strongly suggested to get your gains and reps in at home. Yes, home gyms can be pricey, but you don’t need fancy equipment to complete a muscle toning workout or to increase your overall fitness. Actually, you don’t need any equipment at all.

Bodyweight exercises or circuit bodyweight training can be performed anywhere at any time and burn more calories than routine cardio workouts. Don’t have a ton of time to work out? No problem. These exercises also maximize your workout efficiency in less time.

Not everyone has enough time in their day to complete an hour or more of training, but an intense bodyweight workout completed in 30 minutes can help you achieve your fitness goals. And the best part: no equipment to put away or clean when you’re tired.

Below is a series of bodyweight exercises you can perform in your living room, bedroom, backyard, or anywhere there is space. Although it is not necessary, you may want to invest in a yoga mat or workout pad to help cushion you as you work out on harder surfaces. If you do not have a yoga mat, a carpet, towel, or blanket can be an excellent substitute.  

If you are just starting an exercise routine such as an at-home bodyweight workout, check in with your physician to make sure you are not at risk for any complications. Once you get the green light, let’s get moving!

Glute bridge

We spend a significant portion of our days sitting behind desks, in front of steering wheels, and on the couch, especially since we are staying home more. This prolonged sitting causes our glutes to be extremely tight, so it is important to have an exercise in your bodyweight circuit that focuses on loosening and strengthening that area.

How to perform a glute bridge

  • Lie face up on the floor.
  • Place feet on floor and bend knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Lift only your hips off the floor until your knees, hip, and shoulders form a straight line.
  • Squeeze your glutes hard and tighten your abdomen.
  • Hold for two seconds then lower your hips down without touching the ground.
  • Repeat for 10 reps.

Push-up

In order to reach your fitness goals, you must build a strong foundation. The push-up is a foundational exercise in strength training, and everyone should be performing them on a regular basis.

How to perform a push-up

  • Place your hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Place your legs directly behind you with your feet together and toes touching the ground.
  • Holding yourself up with your arms, ensure that your body is in a straight line. This is your starting position.
  • Using your arms, steadily lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Pause for a second, then push back up into the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10 reps.

Plank

Core. Neck. Biceps. Shoulders.

Yes, the plank really strengthens each of these areas in one single exercise and should be included in every bodyweight routine you complete.

How to perform a plank

  • Get into the push-up position but instead of being on your hands, place your forearms on the floor
  • Make sure your elbows are directly below each shoulder and that your arms are parallel to your body.
  • Straighten your body all the way out and really focus on tightening your core.
  • Hold position for 20 seconds if a beginner. Hold the position for as long as possible as you improve.

Burpee

Get ready to feel the burn…everywhere.

The burpee is a full body, push-up style exercise. You will receive the benefits of the push-up, but you will also challenge your cardiovascular system. For a short workout routine, it is crucial to intensify your exercise routine as much as possible, and the burpee is a great exercise to kick your workout into high gear.

How to perform a burpee

  • From a standing position, squat down.
  • Place your hands palm down on the ground.
  • “Jump” your legs back into a push-up position.
  • Complete a single push-up and then jump your feet back towards your hands.
  • From this squatted position, jump as high as you can with hands above your head.
  • Repeat for 10 reps.

Bicycle crunch

No, a bicycle is not required for this exercise as the name may imply. Focusing on your core strength, the bicycle crunch is an adaptation to the traditional crunch and is one of the most effective ways to tighten your abdomen.

How to perform a bicycle crunch

  • Lie on your back with hands behind your head.
  • Lift your shoulders slightly off the ground.
  • Raise your legs into the air and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
  • Keeping your neck relaxed, look forward at your hips.
  • Rotate your right elbow towards your left knee while simultaneously extending your right leg straight out.
  • Rotate back to starting position.
  • Rotate your left elbow towards your right knee while simultaneously extending your left leg straight out.
  • Rotate back to starting position.
  • Repeat for 10 reps on each side.

As you go through these exercises, adjust the repetitions as needed depending on your fitness level. If you feel the workout was too easy after completing each of these exercises, increase the repetitions for each by 5 and complete the workout again. To create a bodyweight circuit routine, perform these exercises all the way through three separate times.