How To Get A Toned Body At Home – 21 Best Bodyweight Exercises Without Equipment

by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

You don’t always need equipment or a gym subscription to workout. You can use your own body weight as an excellent “equipment” for a full-body workout – anytime, anywhere.

Bodyweight exercises are no equipment workouts capable of strengthening different muscle groups by using your own weight. They can also improve muscle mass in the elderly (1).

Studies show that lower limb bodyweight exercises help strengthen lower limb muscle force (2). Hence, practicing these moves at home can help strengthen the entire body.

Practicing full body bodyweight workouts at home can help you achieve a well-toned and fit body. In this article, we have listed 21 best bodyweight exercises you can do at home. Scroll down to get started.

Warm-Up

You must warm-up for at least 10 minutes before you start with the exercises.

Warming up is important to elevate body temperature, metabolic rate, and oxygen uptake (3).

You can check the following warm-up routine:

  • Neck tilt – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Neck rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Shoulder rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Arm rotations – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Waist circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Side bends – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Side lunges – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Spot jogging – 3 minutes
  • Ankle rotation – 1 set of 10 reps

Legs/Lower Body Exercises

1. Calf Raises

Target – Calves

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, chest out, shoulders rolled out, and abs engaged.
  2. Raise your heels and hold for 1 second. Feel the stretch at the back on your lower legs.
  3. Slowly lower your heels and raise them again.
  4. For the next set, do the exercise faster with your feet wider apart.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 20 reps

2. Squats

Shutterstock

Target – Quads, hamstrings, outer thighs, and glutes

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Draw your arms forward, perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Keep your entire body tight and flex your stomach.
  4. Breathe deeply and lower your butt as if you are sitting on a chair. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground.
  5. Ensure your bent knees are not overshooting your toes. Keep your body straight and firm.
  6. Come back to your original position and repeat from the beginning.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 20 reps

3. Jump Squats

Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, chest out, shoulders relaxed, and abs engaged.
  2. Push your hips out, flex your knees, and get into a sitting posture. Your knees should not overshoot your toes.
  3. Get back up and jump. Throw your hands to the side to propel your body up.
  4. Land softly on the floor and squat down again.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 15 reps

4. Jump Lunges

Shutterstock

Target – Quads, hamstrings, and glutes

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, chest out, shoulders rolled back, and abs engaged.
  2. Take a step forward with your right leg.
  3. Flex both your knees and lower your body. Stop when your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. Push your body up into a jump. Simultaneously, bring your left leg forward and right leg backward.
  5. Land softly on the floor.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

5. Side Lunges

Shutterstock

Target – Inner and outer thigh muscles, hip flexors, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders relaxed, and palms together.
  2. Lift your right leg off the floor and place it wide apart, as shown in the image. Make sure your toes are facing forward, shoulders relaxed, chest out, and core engaged.
  3. Flex your right knee, keep your spine straight, and lower your body to the right.
  4. Make sure your left leg is fully extended, and your left foot is flat on the floor. Keep your palms together for support. Hold this pose for a second and feel the stretch in your left inner thigh.
  5. Get back to the starting position.
  6. Do the same with the other leg also.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 15 reps

6. Donkey Kicks

Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors

How To Do

  1. Get on all fours.
  2. Lift your right leg off the floor.
  3. Keeping the knee flexed, kick your leg back.
  4. Do this 10 times and then switch legs.
  5. This completes one set.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps with each leg

7. Single-Leg Deadlifts

Target – Quads, hamstrings, and calves

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet together. Roll your shoulders back, pop your chest up, and engage your core.
  2. Take a small step ahead with your right leg. This is the starting position.
  3. Keeping your left knee soft, bend forward, and lift your left foot off the floor.
  4. Extend your hands and try touching the floor.
  5. Hold this pose for a second and then come back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat with the other leg.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps

8. Frog Jumps

Target – Quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest up, shoulders rolled back, and core engaged.
  2. Flex your knees and do a full squat. Touch the floor with your fingertips.
  3. Get back up and take a small jump.
  4. Land softly on the floor and get into the full squat position.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 12 reps

9. Wall Sits

Wall Sits

Shutterstock

Target – Quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes

How To Do

  1. Stand with your back to the wall and your feet 2 feet away from it.
  2. Sink your bottom down as if you are squatting.
  3. Hold this position for 10 -15 seconds.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

Upper Body (Chest, Shoulders, Upper Back And Arms)

10. Push-Ups

Shutterstock

Target – Deltoids, traps, lats, and biceps

How To Do

  1. Get into a plank position. Your elbows should be right below your shoulders, and hands slightly turned out. This is the starting position.
  2. Flex your elbows and lower your chest to the floor.
  3. Push your chest back up to the starting position.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps

11. Decline Push-Ups

Shutterstock

Target – Deltoids, traps, lats, and biceps

How To Do

  1. Place your feet on an elevation (stairs, box, etc.).
  2. Get into a plank position. Your elbows should be right below your shoulders, and hands slightly turned out. This is the starting position.
  3. Flex your elbows and lower your chest to the floor.
  4. Push your chest back up to the starting position.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps

12. Plank Up And Down

Target – Deltoids, traps, lats, and biceps

How To Do

  1. Get into the arm plank position.
  2. Flex your right elbow, make a fist, and get down.
  3. Flex your left elbow, make a fist, and get down. Right now, you are in an elbow plank position.
  4. Extend your left hand and get up.
  5. Next, extend your right hand and get back into the arm plank position.
  6. This completes one rep.
  7. Start with your left arm again.

Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps

13. Tricep Dips

Shutterstock

Target – Triceps, lats, and deltoids

How To Do

  1. Sit in front of a sofa or a bench.
  2. Place your back against it and your palms on the sofa or the bench.
  3. Keep your legs straight and lift your buttocks slightly off the floor. This is the starting position.
  4. Push the bench and lift your body.
  5. Get back down to the starting position.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps

Abs

14. Russian Twist

Target – Obliques and abs

How To Do

  1. Sit on a mat with your knees slightly flexed, heels on the mat, and palms together.
  2. Lean back slightly and lift both your legs off the floor.
  3. Twist to your right and then to your left.
  4. Do this 20 times before taking a break of 10 seconds.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 20 reps

15. Plank Toe Touch

Target – Deltoids, lats, traps, biceps, abs, glutes, and hamstrings

How To Do

  1. Get into a plank position.
  2. Lift your left palm off the floor and touch your right foot. Push your hips up toward the ceiling while doing so.
  3. Get back to the starting position.
  4. Lift the right palm off the floor and touch your left toe.
  5. This completes one rep.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 12 reps

16. Double Leg Raises

Shutterstock

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, and hip flexors

How To Do

  1. Lie down on a mat. Place your thumbs underneath your buttocks. Keep your abs engaged. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift both your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Slowly lower your legs.
  4. Right before your legs are about to touch the floor, lift them again.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 20 reps

17. Alternating Leg Drops

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, and hamstrings

How To Do

  1. Lie down on a mat, place your hands close to your hips, and palms flat on the floor. Keep your knees soft.
  2. Lift both your legs straight up. This is the starting position.
  3. Drop your right leg.
  4. Bring it up again. Simultaneously, drop your left leg.
  5. This completes one rep.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

Entire Body

18. Burpees

Shutterstock

Target – Full Body

How To Do

  1. Keep your feet together and assume a squat down position. Place your arms on the ground in front of your feet.
  2. Keep your feet together and get ready to jump back so that you can land in a push-up position. Bend your forearms and perform a single push-up in this position.
  3. Jump back to the previous position and bring your feet beneath your body. Leap into the air.
  4. Land smoothly and bend your legs.
  5. Repeat these steps again and practice as long as you can.

Sets And Reps

Try to do 50 burpees as fast as possible.

19. Mountain Climbers

Shutterstock

Target – Abs, lower back, glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, deltoids

How To Do

  1. Get into a plank position. Keep your core engaged.
  2. Flex your right knee and bring it close to your chest.
  3. Place your right leg back, hop, flex your left knee and bring it close to your chest.
  4. This completes one rep.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 25 reps

20. Bear Crawl

Target – Core and whole body, especially the shoulders, arms, and glutes

How To Do

  1. Get down on all fours, with the hands and shoulders in one line, and knees at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Keep your head high and stretch your spine completely. Your back must be parallel to ground.
  3. Raise both the knees so that your entire body weight is on your hands and shoulders.
  4. Crawl forward by putting one hand and the opposite foot forward.
  5. Repeat with the other hand and foot.
  6. Ensure your knees do not touch the ground. Keep your hips down.
  7. Crawl a longer distance.

Sets And Reps

Try to crawl for 2 minutes, forward and backward.

21. Inch Worm

Target – Whole Body

How To Do

  1. Stand straight with feet hip-width apart, keeping your spine straight. Stretch and roll back your shoulders.
  2. Bend forward and touch the floor with both hands.
  3. Walk your hands forward, keeping your legs straight. Keep walking until your entire body is in a plank position.
  4. Walk your hands backward. This way, you will come to the starting position.

Sets And Reps

Practice this for 2 minutes.

These exercises can keep you fit and healthy for a long time if done regularly. But if you are a beginner, you must keep certain things in mind.

Things To Remember

  • Do not try complex moves. Start with stretching and full-body workouts like jumping jacks, box jump, and basic squats. This will help your body slowly adjust to the new regimen.
  • Involve your entire body. This includes your lower body, the sides, the upper body, and the core. This way, you will engage all the muscle groups.
  • Do not strain too much. If you are feeling any discomfort, stop. Allow your body to completely cool down.
  • Lastly, do not forget to give your body a nice full stretch.

Conclusion

Full body bodyweight exercises are basic and need no equipment. They are simple to do, can be performed anywhere, and are effective in toning your entire body. They also help improve balance and increase flexibility.

You can try these exercises. Start slow. Eat right and follow a healthy lifestyle, and you will soon see yourself healthier and happier.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

1. Can you build muscle mass with bodyweight exercises?

Bodyweight exercises are meant to tone your entire body and shed extra fat. If you want to build muscle mass, you may practice these exercises with dumbbells.

2. Is it OK to do bodyweight exercises every day?

Yes, it is absolutely OK to do bodyweight exercises every day. But focus on different body parts each day instead of doing everything in one day. Try to include cardio and breathing exercises as well for better results.

3. How long should a bodyweight workout last?

It depends on what type of exercise you are doing. But any bodyweight exercise should not last for more than 3 minutes.

4. Do bodyweight exercises burn fat?

Yes, bodyweight exercises help burn extra fat and tone your body. As you are using your own body weight against gravity, they also help burn more calories.

5. Can you get a six-pack from bodyweight exercises?

No, you cannot get six-pack abs with bodyweight exercises. But the exercises will help to strengthen your core. For six-pack abs, you can combine these exercises with weight training.

6. How many days a week should I do bodyweight training?

3-4 days in a week should do.

7. Which bodyweight exercises burn the most calories?

The full-body bodyweight exercises can help burn the most calories.

8. Is bodyweight training cardio?

No, bodyweight training is not cardio. Bodyweight training utilizes your own weight to strengthen different muscle groups.

3 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.
  • Slow Movement Resistance Training Using Body Weight Improves Muscle Mass in the Elderly: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29247985
  • Effects of bodyweight-based exercise training on muscle functions of leg multi-joint movement in elderly individuals, Geriatrics & Gerontology International, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19702936
  • Warm-Up Strategies for Sport and Exercise: Mechanisms and Applications, Sports Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26400696

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.
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