The Best Body Weight Workout Routines at Home for 2020
With more people working remotely, bodyweight workouts are becoming more popular each day. Because of this, I’m going to give you the best body weight workout routines at home using the best possible exercises. I’ll demonstrate how bodyweight exercises work.
Whether it’s home Crossfit workouts, workouts for cardio, or workouts for muscle gain, these exercises can be performed without equipment. Contrary to popular belief, bodyweight workouts for home won’t necessarily restrict you from maintaining your current physical achievements.
What Is a Bodyweight Workout?
Bodyweight exercises or bodyweight workouts “are strength training exercises where the individual’s own weight is used to provide resistance against gravity”.
Impressive muscle gains can be achieved if a proper routine and form are followed. In order for your muscles to grow, its important to continually upgrade the stress levels. When working out at the gym that constant stress upgrade comes from racking up more weights for each exercise.
With bodyweight exercises, the increased stress comes from increased rep count, better form, harder exercises, and decreasing rest time between sets. Moreover, in order for you to achieve balanced and optimized muscle growth, you need an adequate full body bodyweight workout routine. To keep it simple, our schedule will be for the best 3-day workout routine.
Best Body Weight Workout Routines for Beginners
Depending on your size and strength you would need to adjust the exercises you perform during your routine. Beginners usually need bigger recovery times between training the same muscle group.
Usually, a general rule of thumb is that you need to have at least 48 hours of rest before repeating a certain bodyweight exercise for the muscle to be recovered from previous workouts.
The bodyweight workout routine suggested in the table below is a 3-day split routine that trains the muscles in your body. You can change the days however you see fit. The most important thing not to change in the allocation of your workouts is the two rest days before your Legs and Delts workout. Your
Monday workout is the hardest and you will need your shoulders to rest from Friday’s chest and triceps workout, in order to be able to perform on Monday.
In order for this workout routine to work, you would need to test your maximum amount of reps for each exercise. And afterward, perform the given percentage of the number. Increase the percentage by 3% each week of exercise. Perform for 5 weeks. Record your progress on the first set of 100% until failure. See examples below.
Rest between sets: 60 seconds
Workout days: 3
Rest days: 4
Results to expect: Lean muscle mass & Fat Loss (Depending on calorie intake)
|Legs and Delts||Rest day||Back, Biceps, and ABS||Rest day||Chest, Triceps, and ABS||Rest day||Rest day|
|Squats 1 set x 100 %||–||Superman 3 sets x 80 %||–||Push-ups 1 set x 100 %||–||–|
|Squats 3 sets x 70 %||–||Good-morning 3 sets x 80 %||–||Push-ups 3 sets x 70 %||–||–|
|Wall sit 2 sets x 100 %||–||Plank Row 3 sets x 100%||–||Bench Dips 4 sets x 70 %||–||–|
|Alternating Plank to Pike 3 sets x 100 %||–||Abs Crunches 3 sets x 80 %||–||Leg Raises 3 sets x 80 %||–||–|
|–||–||Towel Curls 3 sets x 80%||–||–||–||–|
Monday (Legs and Delts)
We start the week with a workout most people tend to skip – legs. Being the largest muscle group of your body, this workout requires the most calories and willpower to perform. For this, we will go over the best leg workout exercises. If until now you have previously performed bodyweight training workouts that state a certain range rep, ignore them. Everyone is different with different capabilities.
In order to have a properly tailored workout to your needs, you need to know your limits and push them. Performing 3 sets of 10 squats each day won’t lead you to any progress. Let’s talk percentages instead.
- Start the day by warming up your joints and muscles. Your warm-up should last at least 10 minutes.
- Make as many squats as you can. Write that down. Use proper form only. Do not cheat with improper form. Time 60 seconds of rest between sets.
- If you have done 50 squats on set 1 and that was your maximum, do 70% of 50, which is 35 squats. Follow this methodology for all other exercises in this workout routine.
- You may rest up to 120 seconds after your last set of squats before proceeding with doing wall sits.
- Last as long as you can and rest for 60 seconds.
- Repeat. This will be the end of your leg workout.
Alternating Plank to Pike
- Put your hands on the ground in a high plank position. Lift your right hand and touch your right foot. Put your hand back in the starting position. Repeat with the other arm. That’s one rep.
- Keep your core tight at all times.
- Keep your neck relaxed and do not look at the ceiling or wall. Look at the ground.
Wednesday (Back, Biceps, and ABS)
Start your back routine with a good warm-up. Intermediate and advanced athletes do pull-ups to stress their backs. If you are able to do more than 5 pull-ups, skip to the advanced section of this article. Otherwise, perform the listed exercises in this section.
This is one of the simplest do-at-home back exercises. Lie down, with your face facing the ground, stretch your arms forward and lift your arms and legs at the same time toward the ceiling as high as you can, without stretching your neck backward.
- Hold flexed during each rep for at least 3 seconds and repeat. Perform as many as you can on the first set. Start with 80% the second and third, and increase this by 3% each week. Perform 3 sets.
- Avoid looking toward the ceiling, this might stretch your neck.
- Lie on something soft but not too soft. A yoga mat, or a carpet.
The good-morning exercise is a key lower-back building movement. Put your legs shoulder-width apart and your hands behind your neck. Stay upright, slightly bend your knees and lower your body forward while keeping a straight back and a flexed core. This will also stress your hamstrings, which we neglected on the first training day for a reason. Lower your body until parallel to the floor and get back up. Repeat.
- If the exercise becomes too hard, place your hands on your waist instead of your neck.
- Keep proper form throughout the whole movement.
- Usually, this exercise is performed with a set of dumbbells but in the case of beginners, dumbbells aren’t needed to properly stress the inner portion of your back.
- Start by placing your hands on the ground and allowing yourself to remain in a standard plank position.
- Pull one of your arms upward as you would while performing a row, while your elbow remains as close to your core as possible.
- Keep your back flexed at all times. Alternate arms and keep your core flexed.
- This is your biceps exercise. No dumbbells? No problem. Sit on a stable chair, grab a towel, and place it under one of your feet. You may want to put some shoes or slippers on before performing this exercise
- Start pulling the towel upwards toward your chest with your arms without moving your elbows.
- Moderate the resistance with your foot. Switch feet in the middle of the exercise.
- Lie on the ground or on a yoga mat. This exercise isolates your abs and does not target other muscles.
- Plant your feet on the floor, around hip-width apart with and bend your knees. You may place your arms on your chest or neck. Flex your core and lift yourself while not lifting your waist from the ground. Lift only your shoulders and flex.
Friday (Chest, Triceps, and ABS)
Begin the day with a good warm-up and proceed with one of the most iconic exercises – push-ups. These types of body weight training workouts will further warm you up pretty quickly and pump some blood into your chests, delts, and triceps. After you have performed the first 100 % set it is time to calculate your 70 % for the remaining sets.
- Place your hands on the ground slightly more apart than shoulder width.
- Keep your shoulders back, straighten your back, and flex your core muscles. Lower yourself slowly and push yourself at a higher pace.
- Do not lock your shoulders in the upper part of the motion. If you feel uncomfortable shoulder pain, return to warming up.
This is one of the most efficient home exercises for beginners in order to build strong triceps. Not only does it stretch your triceps well, but it also stresses the parts of your delts that we missed on day 1 of the routine.
- If you do not have a bench you can use a chair or a sofa. Face the chair with your back and place your arms on it.
- Extend your legs and form a 90-degree angle between your legs and torso.
- Lower yourself almost until you hit the ground with your glutes and push yourself up without locking your shoulders at the end. This is one rep.
- Repeat for 4 sets.
Unlike Abs crunches that we did on the previous training day, leg raises focus more on building your lower core and abs.
- Lie down in a comfortable position with your legs stretched in front of you.
- Place your hands palms down on the ground, next to your hips
- Slightly bend your knees and lift your legs above you until you reach 90 degrees with your torso. Lower your legs slowly.
Best Home Bodyweight Workouts for Intermediate and Advanced Athletes
Bodyweight exercises might be hard but our bodies recover much quicker from them than from heavyweight exercises than some of the more advanced athletes are used to performing in the gym.
This workout routine is divided into three Push/Pull/Legs workout days that you might perform up to 2 times per week depending on your motivation and goals. You may choose to do each workout twice per week or to repeat only one or two of them.
All values are in percentages. In order to start the best home bodyweight workout routine, you must measure your maximum amount of reps you can do in each exercise before failure. Record that number and base your percentages on that.
For proper progress, allow yourself to start with 3 workout days and proceed to add a workout day each week until you reach 6 workouts per week. Increase rep-range percentages by 2% each week.
Rest between sets: 60 seconds
Workout days: 3-6 (Depending on the athlete’s choice)
Rest days: 1-4
Results to expect: Lean muscle mass & Fat Loss (Depending on calorie intake)
|Legs||Rest day / Pull||Push Day||Rest day||Legs/ Rest day||Pull Day||Rest day / Push|
|Bulgarian Split Squats 5 sets x 80 %||–||Incline Push-ups 5 sets x 80 %||–||–||Door / Bar Pull-Ups 5 sets x 80 %||–|
|Lunges 3 sets x 70 %||–||Push-ups 4 sets x 80 %||–||–||Towel Back Rows 3 sets x 80 %||–|
|Squat Jumps 4 sets x 90 %||–||Diamond Push-ups 4 sets x 80 %||–||–||Good Morning 3 sets x 80 %||–|
|Abs Crunches 3 sets x 100 %||–||Power Triceps Extensions 3 sets x 80 %||–||–||Biceps Towel Curls 5 sets x 80 %||–|
Regardless of how you have placed your workout days and how many rests you’ve chosen to have in your week, make sure to have at least 2 days of non-leg days between leg-day workouts. A good example of a balanced routine is Legs – Pull – Push – Rest – Legs – Pull – Push – Legs, etc. This way all muscles get to rest at least 2 days before being stressed again.
After having warmed up, follow up with one of the best bodyweight exercises that both stretch your hamstrings and isolate the muscles of each leg separately.
Bulgarian Split Squats
In order to perform the Bulgarian Split Squat, you would need to place one of your feet on a chair or sofa. This is a version of a single leg squat, where you elevate your back leg in order to stress the front one more.
- Find proper foot placement with trial and error. Place your front foot in a stable location. Use your back leg as support and maintain your weight with the quadriceps of your front leg.
- Put your front foot a few steps in front of a chair.
- Place your back foot on the chair. Your feet need to be hip-distance apart or a bit wider. The back foot is there just for support, do not try to lift yourself up with it. Engage your front foot’s quads. And balance entirely on your front foot.
- Do not place your back foot directly behind your front foot. Let them be slightly apart in a natural position.
Since you are doing this at home it is preferred to use the corridor or to make them in one place with alternating legs. Although lunges might seem very similar to Bulgarian Split Squats they aren’t. These put more pressure on your glutes and hamstring, while also stressing your quads, whereas Bulgarian Split Squats stress your quads much more.
- Start by standing up straight and facing the position you want to go to.
- Step forward with your weaker foot. Bend your knee toward a 90-degree angle or almost touch the ground with the knee of your back foot.
- You may do this exercise in one position, repeating reps on one leg then switching legs, or alternating legs while moving.
The main idea behind placing such an explosive exercise at the end of your workout is to pump as much blood as possible in your quads so that your post-workout amino acids or proteins can be rightfully delivered to your enriched with blood glutes and spike growth with an anabolic effect.
- Place feet shoulder-width apart and with straight back without lifting your heels, squat until your quads reach a parallel position to the floor. Then swing your arms back and lift yourself up by jumping upwards. Jump as high as possible and try to land gently.
- Although squat jumps focus on the thigh and glutes, every single muscle in your body is engaged by this movement.
- Jump as high as you can. Squat jumps build dense muscular legs and greatly increase strength.
Depending on your goals and body structure you might want to swap the first exercise each week between incline push-ups and handstand pushups. Either way, start with one of these. Push day targets your chest, delts, and triceps.
This variation of a standard push-up stresses the shoulders and the upper part of your chest more than the flat push-up that you are used to doing. It is a harder to perform power exercise, thus placed first in the workout.
- Place your legs on a chair or sofa and put your body in an inclined position toward your shoulders.
- Place your hands on the ground slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your face toward the ground and do a push-up.
After having performed the 5 sets of incline push-ups continue with 4 more sets of standard push-ups. Continue with a proper form even if you feel your muscles becoming sore.
After stressing your chest and delts, it is time to put some emphasis on your triceps. This is one of the classic body weight training exercises. Diamond push-ups are also a great way to target some inner parts of the chests that are neglected during the other variations.
- Put your hands under your chest and form a diamond with your hands. Index fingers and thumbs of both hands should be touching.
- You may place your feet wide or next to each other depending on your preference.
- Lower yourself until your chest touches the upper part of your hands.
Power Triceps Extensions
If you have never done this exercise before, prepare to be sore the next couple of days. The bodyweight triceps extension is one of the best single joint power movements for triceps muscle growth.
- Place your hands either on the ground or on the edge of a chair. With a straight back and a flexed core engage in bending your arms from the elbows until they reach a 90-degree angle with your forearms.
- Press only with your triceps without your elbows moving.
- If you find the movement too difficult do it on the ground
- If you find the movement too easy, do it on the edge of a chair and extend your arms above your delts, further stretching your triceps.
During pull day, our goal is to maximize the muscle and strength growth of your biceps, upper, and lower back. We start the day with the most iconic back exercise – pull-ups. If you do not have a bar at home, do not worry, there is always a solution.
Door / Bar Pull-ups
If you do not have a pull up bar at home, choose a solid door (no glass in its mainframe), and place a towel or cloth around the lower hinge of the door. That will alleviate the pressure from you hanging on it and will prevent it from breaking.
- Place your hands on the bar / upper end of the door in a shoulder-width position.
- Keep your back straight and flexed. Keep your shoulders back and legs bent backward.
- Pull yourself up, until your chin reaches the level of the bar.
Towel Back Rows
With Pull-Ups you’ve mostly targeted the outer portion of your back muscles. In order to stress the inner ones, you would need to row. Put a towel over your open door and close it. Another option is for you to have a partner holding the towel or a column to tie it to.
- Throw a towel over an open door. Make a knot on the other side of the door. Close the door and grab the towel with one hand.
- Place your legs propped up on the lower part of the doorframe.
- If you are finding it too difficult to pull yourself up with one arm, while hanging on the towel, add another towel and do it with two hands.
- This exercise can also be performed between two chairs with your legs on the ground and your hands holding onto the two backrests of the chairs.
Continue your workout with 3 sets of the already mentioned good morning exercise and with 5 sets of biceps towel curls to stress your biceps.
Last words on the Best Body Weight Workout Routines at Home
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete you can always adjust your workout according to what you have at home. The most important factor in bodyweight training exercises in order to achieve progress is constant improvement and increasing difficulty in your full-body workout routine at home.
With your weekly exercise plans, increase the difficulty each week and you will achieve great results. Pair these workout routines with a proper diet – an increased calorie intake if you want to build muscle, or a decreased one if you want to slim down your waist and see the results for yourself after a couple of months.
If you have any questions about the best body weight workout routines for home, please leave a message below and I will respond.