top of page

5 body weight strength training exercises to build your in-home training program around

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

Rear foot elevated (RFE) split squat

When it comes to training in your home many people think of the limitations they may have due to not having much, if any, exercise equipment. Body weight exercises are a great solution to a lack of exercise equipment. Body weight exercises are not just great exercises to perform due to a lack of equipment but they are some of the best strength training exercises overall that you can do for your body. Body weight exercises tend to be very functional and cover many of the basic movement patterns the body moves in in everyday life. They also work a lot of muscles, expend a lot of energy (calorie burning) and offer a lot of value and bang for your buck when exercising.

Here are 5 great body weight exercises that you can use to build your in-home training program around.

1) Split squats and lunges

Split squats and lunges are great exercises that can be done anywhere. They work all the major muscles of the lower body including the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. They also have a number of variations that can be done as exercise progressions as well as exercises to provide variety to your training program. Examples include front foot elevated and rear foot elevated split squats and forward, alternating, walking, step back and kursty lunges. You can also progress split squats and lunges by adding an external weight or load by holding a gallon of milk or water, a suitcase or any type of object around your house that is heavy enough to provide enough resistance.

2) Push-ups

Push-ups are one of the best overall exercises you can do. They work the chest, shoulders and triceps, which are the major muscles worked during the pushing motion of the push-up. They also work and require a lot of involvement from the core of the body including the glutes, abdominals and quadriceps. If you do what are called push-ups with a plus where you drive your shoulder blades forward (protraction) at the end of the push-up you also work some often neglected but important muscles such as the serratus anterior and pec minor. One of the best things about push-ups is you can progress or regress them to make them easier or harder to perform and progress your training program along. If you need to make them easier you can do them up against a wall or up against a couch or a chair (make sure it is stable though). If you need to make them harder you can do them with your feet elevated.

3) Step-ups

Step-ups are a great exercise that work all the major muscles of the lower body. There are also many types and variations of step-ups that can be done to provide variety to your training program, work different muscles and train the body in different movement patterns. Front step-ups, diagonal step-ups, lateral step-ups and kurtsy step-ups are some of the best and most commonly performed types of step-ups. Even if you live in a single story home you can find some type of stable object such as a box to perform step-ups. Similar to split squats and lunges, step-ups can be progressed by adding an external load or weight by holding it in your hands.

4) Hip lifts

Hip lifts are a basic and simple to perform movement that works the glutes and hamstrings as well as the abdominals. There are many variations and types of hip lifts and they can be performed with both legs (bilateral) as well as with one leg (unilateral). The most basic type of hip lift and simplest regression of this exercise is performed laying on your back on the ground. Hip lifts can be progressed by using a bench or a couch and doing them elevated with your upper back positioned up on it. You can also progress them further by holding an external load or weight on your waist.

5) Crawls

When people think of exercises to perform in their training program crawls are exercises people usually don't think of but most people have done some type of them before. If you played sports when you were younger or had a P.E. class you probably did some type of crawling movement at some point. There are many types of crawls that can be performed. Bear crawls are probably the most common type of crawling exercise and they can be done forward, backward and laterally. There are many other types of crawls including crab crawls, crustacian crawls and spider crawls. Using all the different types of crawls will allow you to continue to progress your training program and add variety to it. The best thing about crawls is that they are a full body exercise that works a lot of muscles in the body, especially the core. They are also very challenging and expend a lot of energy. You can progress crawls by increasing the distance you are performing them over or by putting a very light implement on your lower back like a tennis ball and try to perform your crawls by not letting the tennis ball drop off your lower back.

Before performing any exercise or exercise program it is important to consult your doctor before starting.

Thank you for reading my blog article. I hope you found it helpful and informative. If anyone is interested in personal fitness training or sports performance training reach out to me via my email or you can contact me directly at 702-521-6012.


bottom of page