Top 8 Bodyweight Exercises for Women (+BONUS Workout)
“I wish my hips were smaller. I want my butt to be more toned. I want to get rid of my lower belly pooch. Why can’t I get rid of these bat wings?” Sound familiar? How many of you ladies out there have ever complained about a specific area you want to improve on your body? I know I have.
The one mistake that women often make is trying to target a specific area of their body with certain machines at the gym that isolate a single muscle group. While this may strengthen the muscle, it does nothing to eliminate the layer of fat covering up the muscle you want to show off. Instead of focusing on that single area, think about increasing your workout intensity to increase overall fat loss and you will get the results you want. For this reason, bodyweight training is ideal.
8 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Women
1. Flat Out Burpee
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees and lower your body into a squat. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of you, inside your feet. Jump your feet back and softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Bend your elbows and lower your entire body down to the ground until you are completely flat. Then use your arms to push yourself back up to that plank position and jump your feet forward so they land just outside of your hands. Reach your arms up over your head and jump up into the air. When you land, immediately bend your knees and lower back down into that squatting position for the next repetition.
2. Single Leg Pike Push-Up (left and right side)
Start off in a downward facing dog position. Then extend one leg up towards the sky, keeping your hips square to the floor. Look towards your feet/knee at all times. Bend the elbows and lower down into the push-up position. Aim to get the crown of your head in between your hands as low as you can without tapping your head to the floor. If the single leg is too difficult, you can always keep both feet on the ground for a standard pike push-up.
3. Clap Jacks
Begin with your feet at least shoulder-width apart and your arms in the T position, palms facing forward. Your hands should stay at shoulder height at all times (not higher or lower). Jump your feet together and clap your hands together in front of you (arms remain straight) and then jump back to start and open both your arms and legs again. This is very similar to a jumping jack but with a slightly different arm variation. Stay on the balls of your feet in order to do this exercise as quickly and controlled as possible.
4. Jump Lunges
Start in a lunge position with your right foot in front of the left. Aim to create a 90 degree angle with both legs. Your hands can be on your hips or by your sides. Keep your core engaged, lower down a bit to load that lunge and then explosively jump into the air, switch the legs and land in a lunge with the left foot in front. Try to complete these as quickly & controlled as possible. But safety is always number one. This is an advanced move, so don’t be upset if it takes a while to increase your repetitions. If you feel any pain or need a regression exercise, you can always opt for regular lunges.
5. Overhead Squats
Stand with your feet between hip and shoulder-width apart. Toes are facing forward. Reach your arms up overhead, palms facing each other, biceps by your ears. Perform a squat while keeping your arms up overhead. Be sure to keep your core engaged and chest up to avoid leaning too far forward. Note: The degree to which you can reach your arms up overhead and keep your biceps by your ears depends on the flexibility of your shoulders. If this is uncomfortable for you, feel free to bend your elbows and create a goal post shape with your arms instead.
6. Push-Up Side Plank
Start in a push-up position and complete one push-up repetition (knee push-ups are also okay). Then open up to a high side plank on the right side and then on the left side. Be sure that the hand on the ground is directly underneath the shoulder. Additionally, note that the hand that is in the air has its palm facing forward and is reaching up towards the sky – not back. If you reach your hand back, you could lose your balance and fall backwards.This move is excellent for the upper body and core! Note: You can keep your feet slightly apart for this move so it makes it easier to pivot the feet into the side plank. If you are more advanced, you can keep the feet together and stack them on top of each other during the side plank. Let’s see how you do!
7. Wide Climber Jumps
Start out in a high plank (on your hands) position. Be sure that your hands are directly underneath your shoulders and your entire body is engaged. With some momentum, bring your right foot towards the outside of your right hand (everyone’s range of motion will be different). Then jump your right foot back to start while simultaneously jumping your left foot towards the outside of your left hand. Try to keep moving as quickly and controlled as possible. Make sure that your shoulder blades don’t squeeze together. Really push the middle part of your upper back towards the sky to keep a solid foundation for your upper body.
How can you incorporate all these exercises into a great workout? Well, I am glad you asked because I have created a Sexy & Sweaty Workout for you that should take between 15-30 minutes to complete. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds. Do them one after the other with little or no rest in between. After you have finished all the exercises, rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat for 3-5 rounds.
So, what do you say? Are you ready to give bodyweight training a try?
All of these exercises can be found in the Results app. And if you’re looking for a 12-week personalized training plan full of bodyweight training workouts like this, download the Results app now.