Best Bodyweight Exercises for Targeting Specific Muscle Groups

man with six pack

Want to know which bodyweight exercises are most effective for targeting specific body parts?

This list of the best bodyweight exercises includes:

  • All major muscle groups: abs, legs, glutes, chest, shoulders/arms, back
  • Recommendations for all fitness levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced
  • Exercise videos with detailed instructions

List of the best bodyweight exercises for each body part

These exercise recommendations are based on muscle activation, intensity, and complexity. To make your own workout, try this: choose 4 exercises, do each for 10-12 reps, repeat 4 sets. If you can do more than 12 reps with good form, consider choosing a more advanced variation.

Keep in mind:

The most advanced exercise is not the โ€œbestโ€ one! The best exercise is the one you can do while maintaining proper form.

Abs

The following exercises are recommended for abs:

Ab-focused workouts can get boringโ€ฆ why not try to do ab exercises with a partner instead?

Lower Body

The following exercises are recommended for legs and glutes:

Legs

Skipping leg training is a big mistake. Make sure to train your legs at least once every week! Check out more leg exercises you can do at home without equipment.

Glutes

Glutes are more than just your โ€œbootyโ€! They are the powerhouse for explosive movements and provide key stabilization in many activities, such as running. Here are 4 more bodyweight exercises to target your glutes.

Upper Body

The following exercises are recommended for chest, shoulders, arms, and back:

Chest

Want to focus on your chest? Check out the 8 best push-up variations for a bigger chest.

Shoulders/Arms

Get stronger shoulders with even more bodyweight shoulder exercises. Experiencing shoulder pain? Try these 5 pain-free shoulder exercises.

Want to tone your arms? These bodyweight exercises can help flabby arms!

Back

For a stronger back check out this 7-minute back workout (more exercise recommendations included!) If your back hurts from sitting, having a more active lifestyle is very important (running, strength training, swimming)! Including low back exercises in your routine can be helpful, too.

Want visible results?

Bodyweight exercises are only effective if you progressively increase the load. Thatโ€™s why planning is important if you want to see results. A full 12-week bodyweight workout plan creates personalized workouts you can do at home.

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Hana Medvesek With a background in physical therapy, Hana strongly believes that movement is medicine. She likes to run, lift weights, and try out simple, healthy recipes. View all posts by Hana Medvesek »