10 Body-Weight Training Exercises You Can Do Anywhere


By: , – - with Jen Mueller, Certified Personal Trainer
  :  68 comments   :  561,154 Views

A few weeks ago I was reading through the message boards when I came across a post from Chris 'SparkGuy' Downie to a member who was asking about what type of strength training activities he could do without access to a gym or weight training equipment.  Chris did not let that deter him from offering some great recommendations of performing body-weight exercises--exercises such as push-ups and squats which can be done at home or when traveling when access to resistant training equipment is not at your disposal.

This gave me the idea to link examples of body-weight exercises for you to refer to as the busy holiday travel season rolls around. Hopefully you will can take this with you when traveling and access to weights or machines is not an option. 

A Good Warmup to Start Your Workout

Basic Step-Touch (Forward and Back)

Quadriceps, Hips, Shoulders, Triceps

High Knee March with Reach and Pull

Quadriceps, Glutes, Hips, Outer Thigh

Skater Squats

Obliques, Hips, Abs


Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads


Lower Back


Upper Back and Shoulders


Chest, Triceps and Shoulders

Modified Pushups


Triceps Dips with Bent Knees



Do you incorporate body-weight exercises into your usual workout routine? Would you be willing to do this workout when traveling or when you do not have access to resistance training equipment? 

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  • 68
    To answer your question, yes, I WOULD be willing to do body weight exercises. I appreciate the list and wrote them on a refreshing green index card to slip into my purse or hang on my cork board. Thank you! - 1/13/2018   8:38:52 PM
  • 67
    Very excited to see the Exercise Library! I didn't know there was such a thing on SP! I will be using this on my off days from the gym! - 1/10/2018   7:37:28 AM
  • 66
    Great exercise. - 1/7/2018   2:17:20 AM
  • 65
    Great exercises - 10/5/2017   12:51:41 AM
    Good information!!! Thank you! - 9/15/2017   10:13:55 AM
  • 63
    Did body weight training yesterdsy and reslly liked it. - 6/1/2017   8:09:32 AM
    Some were a wee bit difficult due to being an overweight beginner. They are good ones to follow at home. Great routine. - 5/23/2017   8:33:16 AM
  • 61
    Thank you for the information. - 5/21/2017   12:32:28 PM
  • 60
    Good suggestions - 5/7/2017   1:02:24 PM
    I ended my gym membership because (for me) it made working out feel like a chore or another thing I had to do. I started going for walks in the park and doing Yoga at home. I also use Youtube, it's a great resource with every kind of workout. Many of these suggestions are part of my workout and I have lost 25lbs since October! - 5/7/2017   7:40:10 AM
  • 58
    Thanks for the practical exercises we can do at home or while traveling. - 5/5/2017   1:56:25 PM
  • 57
    I do - I find it far easier to fit it in than machine or free weight workout - 4/22/2017   1:12:33 PM
  • 56
    Several of these are in my PT plan for back pain. Need to get diligent when it comes to the daily PT. - 4/22/2017   12:43:11 PM
  • 55
    Thanks so much. I can do a few on breaks between classes today - 4/22/2017   12:42:02 PM
  • 54
    I try to work some if these into my day. I do step taps etc while waiting for the elevator, heel raises in the thing, and wall push ups against any sink, but it can be any day, and on workout day too. You can pick and choose a variety of stretches and isometric moves that are fairly discreet, but I prefer to be alone. - 4/22/2017   10:58:34 AM
  • 53
    Body weight workouts are challenging and fun. Love to do them at least once a week. - 4/22/2017   10:33:37 AM
    Yes, definitely, as I have avoided gyms all my life and have no intention of going in one now!!!! - 4/22/2017   6:45:36 AM
  • 51
    Yes! Thank you for the list. - 8/15/2016   9:36:19 AM
  • 50
    Great addition to add to my running days! Thanks! - 4/23/2016   6:37:30 AM
  • 49
    No gym for me! Love body weight workouts! I'm an outdoor enthusiast. I combine outdoor cardio with body weight exercises. I use what I find in nature - like a fallen log for tricep dips. I've even been known to combine dog training with body weight exercises - asking my dog to lie/stay while I hop side to side over her. - 4/22/2016   4:48:44 PM
  • 48
    Now there is no excuse for me not to work out! :) - 11/5/2015   11:32:03 AM
    I've only recently been able to do planks. I have back problems and would love to see some of these moves in a modified position. - 11/5/2015   8:24:13 AM
  • 46
    I have a tv show that I want to watch that is premiering tonight....thinking about doing these exercises during the commercial breaks :)

    - 9/23/2015   7:04:11 PM
  • 45
    These are great for when the hotel you are staying at doesn't have a gym except for the jumping one. I to am too heavy to be doing it there - 8/3/2014   6:44:27 PM
  • 44
    I need more bodyweight exercises. Thanks. - 5/24/2014   11:55:20 PM
  • 43
    LOL, anywhere, really? I can just imagine someone of my weight doing some jump and reach in my hotel room first thing in the AM. People would run screaming in panic thinking the building was collapsing. Good article and workout however, but I think I will stick to doing them when I am home, alone. - 4/26/2014   10:17:59 AM
    Some of the most effective exercises mentioned here for all body parts.I ordered my Home exercise equipments from www.lodhisport.com and I would advice the same to others. - 4/14/2014   7:39:23 AM
  • 41
    just what i was looking for ! - 9/20/2013   6:02:04 PM
    Thanks, I finally found something that can help me get motivated. I'm a big supporter of working out at home. My advice for all at-home workouters (like myself): http://homegym-exercises.com/bwe_bo
    - 8/23/2013   9:02:28 AM
  • 39
    thank you for posting this!
    - 5/29/2013   9:06:56 AM
  • 38
    I do a lot of these exercises, but not usually in the a.m. - 5/21/2013   4:47:44 PM
  • 37
    this is a great example of having no excuse to not exercise.. you don't need anything but your body to exercise. great routine. thanks for sharing! - 5/9/2013   9:56:46 AM
  • 36
    I do a lot of these exercises. Convenient and doable anywhere - 5/6/2013   6:36:46 PM
  • 35
    Thanks for sharing. - 4/29/2013   7:33:37 AM
    Thanks so much for this: I am a traveling project manager who spent 44 weeks last year in hotels, and I NEED this info lol. - 4/28/2013   6:11:31 PM
  • 33
    And we do hope that isn't Chris, altho cute, showing us how to do the exercises.... - 4/27/2013   11:02:37 PM
  • 32
    Glad to have this. Had not seen it before and needed the info! - 4/27/2013   6:43:49 AM
  • 31
    Recycled blog from 12/6/2011. SparkPeople must be running out of ideas so we can't get points. - 4/26/2013   12:57:55 PM
    Thanks so much for this.. it's wonder! If we started each day with just three of these, what a difference it would make! And so much for time/equipment/gym excuses! - 4/26/2013   12:42:12 PM
    Thanks so much for this.. it's wonder! If we started each day with just three of these, what a difference it would make! And so much for time/equipment/gym excuses! - 4/26/2013   12:41:53 PM
  • 28
    Why do you keep reposting articles and not letting us get the points for them? - 4/26/2013   12:36:48 PM
  • 27
    I am always looking for travel workout ideas--the Morning Riser looks like a serious challenge! - 4/26/2013   12:03:16 PM
    These exercises will be good for business travel and can be done in hotels. - 4/26/2013   10:48:08 AM
  • 25
    Yes, Nancy, I would be more than willing to incorporate a body-weight routine like this as my usual workout routine!! My ST has been non-existent for quite a long time - ever since a SPteam I was on, that kept me in check, pretty much fizzled. But this looks easy and doable and I love that it doesn't require any equipment other than my own body weight!! Thanks for sharing!! I've bookmarked all the links you've given except for the SPlink which I already had bookmarked and used to use!! - 4/26/2013   9:17:22 AM
  • 24
    This is a great collection to try out to use for travel. Learn them at home first and pick out a list of the exercises most beneficial to your needs. - 4/26/2013   7:20:08 AM
  • 23
    I do several of those plus wall push ups, wall squats, lunges, half jacks, leg lifts, etc.
    The fitness trainer at the gym will occasionally throw in an old fashioned calisthenics class which I really like....except for anything jumping. - 3/2/2013   10:14:25 PM
  • 22
    This couldn't have come at a better time, as I'll be visiting relatives this weekend again and exercise equipment isn't readily available. This is PERFECT. - 2/28/2013   5:14:58 AM
  • 21
    Gee, many of these look suspiciously like the calisthenics we did for Basic Training back pre-Vietnam.

    Before Breakfast each day we would do an hour of calisthenics and then run a mile. We were encouraged to do the mile run as quickly as possible because that determined your spot in the Breakfast line.

    We burned close to 4,000 calories a day - running everywhere and dropping for push-ups when any active duty person out of training hadn't started the day right.

    Hungover Sargents were to be avoided at all costs - even if you had to go an extra half mile out of your way.

    How did we know the hungover ones from those who hadn't partaken of adult beverages the night before?

    It's 5 AM, if they were wearing sun glasses to protect their eyes from the moon, that was a really Big Hint. - 12/7/2011   9:05:11 PM
  • 20
    This speaks directly to my needs at the moment. I know that I'm better at fitting aerobic exercise into my schedule than strength training. I'm reluctant to cut back on cycling to fit in more gym time, so I've been looking for ways to fit in bits of strength training here and there, using resistance bands and body weight. I've turned up a lot of fun exercises using the terms: "desk exercises resistance bands" in my searches, and I recently bought a book on bodyweight exercises called: "You are your own gym," by Mark Lauren. He shows a lot of different exercises you can do mostly without equipment (except for a chair, a table, a door, and a few other things), along with variations for making them easier or harder. I think it's a pretty good book *for strength training*, although the author downplays the importance of aerobic training.

    I want to look at the exercises you have posted as well. I'm trying to put together a regular strength training routine, especially now that the weather is starting to cut into my cycling.

    Thanks! - 12/7/2011   1:02:39 PM
  • 19
    YEAH. this will help a lot. - 12/7/2011   11:56:38 AM

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