The Best Bodyweight Exercises to Lose Weight

Bodyweight exercises are versatile, require no equipment, and can be performed anywhere. They improve balance and coordination, increase strength and stamina, and can be modified for all fitness levels. If you have a busy schedule or limited access to gym facilities, here are bodyweight exercises to help you burn calories and lose weight.


push up 1
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Push-ups effectively engage the chest, arms, and core muscles. To perform a push-up, assume a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart. Gradually lower your body until your chest gently grazes the ground, then exert force to raise yourself back up. Modifications for this exercise include performing it on your knees or elevating your feet on a bench.


Middle aged woman deep squatting
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Squats target the legs, glutes, and core muscles. Start by positioning yourself with your feet spaced apart at shoulder width, lower down as if sitting in a chair, and then return to the starting position. To increase difficulty, add weights or try jump squats.


curtsy lunge
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Lunges are great for targeting the legs, glutes, and core muscles. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, take a big step forward with one leg, lower down until both knees form 90-degree angles, and then push off the front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat on both sides.


woman doing burpees
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Burpees are a full-body exercise that can help you burn calories and increase strength. Begin in a standing position, squat down, place your hands on the ground, jump your feet back into a plank position, do one push-up, jump back to the squat position, and then jump up with arms overhead. Repeat for multiple reps.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climber
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Mountain Climber is a cardio exercise that targets the core, shoulders, and legs. Assume a plank position with arms extended, then alternate, bringing one knee towards your chest while maintaining a swift pace. This exercise mimics the sensation of running in place. To intensify the workout, increase your speed.

Jumping Jacks

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Jumping jacks are a straightforward yet highly effective cardiovascular exercise. Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides, then jump while spreading your legs out wide and bringing your hands up above your head. Return to the starting position by jumping again. Repeat for multiple reps.


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Planks are a popular exercise for core strength and stability. Begin on your elbows and toes, keeping your body straight. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute or longer as you build strength. To increase difficulty, alternate lifting one leg at a time while maintaining the plank position.

High Knees

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High knees target the core, legs, and glutes. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, lift one knee towards your chest as high as possible while keeping the opposite leg planted firmly on the ground. Switch legs quickly and continue for multiple reps.

Side Plank

side plank
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Side planks are great for strengthening the obliques, shoulders, and hips. Begin by lying on your side with one forearm on the ground and feet stacked on each other. Elevate your body until it aligns, creating a straight line from head to toe. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute or longer as you build strength. Repeat on both sides.

Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches
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The bicycle crunch is a modified version of the traditional crunch exercise that effectively engages the upper and lower abs, obliques, and hip muscles. Begin lying on your back with hands behind your head and legs extended. Bring one knee towards your chest while rotating your torso to touch the opposite elbow to the knee. Switch sides in a cycling motion while maintaining a steady pace.

Russian Twists

Russian twist
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Russian twists work on the obliques, abs, and lower back. Sit with your knees bent and feet on the ground, then lean back slightly while balancing on your tailbone. Interlock your fingers or hold a weight in front of you as you twist your torso side to side in a controlled manner.

Wall Sit

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Wall sits help the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Begin by leaning against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart, then slide down until your legs form 90-degree angles. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute or longer as you build strength. Hold weights or lift one leg at a time to increase difficulty.

Calf Raises

Calf raise
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Calf raises target the calves, which are often overlooked in bodyweight exercises. With your feet hip-width apart, slowly rise onto your toes, then lower back down. Hold weights or stand on a raised surface for a deeper stretch to increase difficulty.

Plank Jacks

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Plank jacks are a dynamic exercise that targets the core and legs. Begin in a plank position with arms extended, then jump your feet out wide, mimicking a jumping jack motion while maintaining your upper body still. Jump back to the starting position and repeat for multiple reps.

Glute Bridges

glute bridges
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Glute bridges effectively exercise the glutes, lower back, and hamstrings. Start by lying on your back, bending your knees, and planting your feet on the ground. From this position, raise your hips towards the ceiling while engaging your glutes.

Hold this position for a few seconds before lowering back down. For an advanced version, lift one leg off of the ground while maintaining stability with the other leg.

Plank Shoulder Taps

Plank Shoulder Taps
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Plank shoulder taps effectively engage and strengthen the core, arms, and shoulders. Begin in a plank position with your arms extended, then lift one hand off the ground to touch the opposite shoulder. Return to the starting plank position and alternate hands for multiple reps. To increase difficulty, add a push-up between each tap.

Leg Raises

straight leg raises
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Leg raises can help strengthen the lower abs and obliques. Lay on your back with extended legs, then slowly lift both legs towards the ceiling while pressing your lower back against the ground. Lower down and repeat for multiple reps. To add difficulty, hold onto a bench or use ankle weights.

Bird Dogs

Bird Dog 1
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Bird dogs target the core and back muscles. Begin on your hands and knees, then extend one arm forward while simultaneously extending the opposite leg behind you. Hold for a few seconds before returning to the starting position and switching sides. To increase difficulty, hold onto light weights or resistance bands.

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Yvonne Alieme

Yvonne Alieme is a passionate writer dedicated to reviving society's reading culture. She strives to inspire and educate others through her work, and her commitment to promoting literacy and knowledge-sharing makes her a valuable contributor to the community.

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