T Nation

Best Bodyweight Exercises


Often overlooked, I think bodyweight exercises are under-rated in today's training, maybe not so much for powerlifting, but from a bodybuilding perspective. When time or location does not permit weight training, body weight exercises provide a simple and effective means to grow. This is my experience from being in the military. I'm asking everyone to submit their favortite/ most-challenging bodyweight exercises in hopes that I, along with others, will learn some useful stuff.

My favorite: Handstand press. Do a handstand and lower yourself til your head touches the ground, and then push back to the start. Use a wall for support, and work up to doing them in the middle of a room. Then go bang the horde of chicks watching you.


i think the following exercises are pretty good as well for bodyweight workouts:

1.) Push-Ups @ different gradients and hand positions
2.) Pull-Ups / Chins @different hand distances
3.) Hindu Push-Ups
4.) Hindu Squats

well, these exercises are great :smiley:


my favorite body weight exercises in no particular order are
hindu Squats
hindu push ups
chin ups/pull ups

ab wheel from a stsnding position
hand stand push ups

And for when I am pressed for time the burpee as its a good over workout it main disadvantage is it doesn't develope pulling strength.


In this picture I had been training exclusively with bodyweight type exercises for a couple years.

Personally, I experienced my best gains combining explosive movements with technically more difficult movements and slower tempo exercises in a series.

For example: Jump squats x 10

         continue no rest to-

         One leg squats x 6-8 each

         drop no rest to-

         Reverse lunges 4-0-1 tempo

I train most bodyparts in this fashion. Back, upper body. I'll combine static holds, isometrics, negatives. Whatever I can imagine to raise intensity and challenge the body from different angles of movement.

Check out my post where I describe a leg routine:


Favorite exercises: Handstand push ups, pull ups, triceps extensions (similar to a push up or press out), one leg squats, pelvic tilts, and one arm push ups.




body weight tricep extensions


Thick bar dips and chins as well as shoulder pullups done on the dip bars, gotta be thick bars.


i like the plyometric pullup:

on those power racks w/ the pullup bar way up there @ 9ft. do a jump into pullup into depth jump into pullup into depth jump etc....try it w/ x-vest jackass.

i also like what i call hang-ups which is just an inverted hang pull:

get into a hanging-hang position, that's bar just above the knee and upside down, gotta keep yourself totally vertical, (helps to keep your head up(down) so you can look straight ahead and not up at your feet.)and pullup. try it w/x-vest and snatch grip. just holding that position vertical is some nice static work btw.

personally, i like doing that those in the squat rack.


has no one mentioned muscle ups?


what are they?


done on a straight bar or rings, you pullup then transition to a dip and press up. much harder than it sounds, the transition is killer.

Coach Sommer, upon being asked this same question on crossfit, stated his top 5:

handstand pushups, press handstands, L-sit rope climbing, ring progressions, and front/back limbers


The squat-thrust is at once my favourite and most despised body weight exercise.


That is awesome!

I like False Grip Chin Ups and Dips.