9 Bodyweight Exercise Tips from the Pro’s

prisoner lungeIn the next few months as I travel to Miami, Vegas, and New York City, I know that I’ll be doing a lot of bodyweight workouts in hotels, on the beach, and even in parks.

So I better be prepared with lots of exercises and a variety of ways to train to keep getting results.

That got me thinking about the best bodyweight workout tips I had, and also reminded me to ask Adam Steer – the Bodyweight Coach – as well.

Here’s what I came up with…

Tip #1

One of my favorite bodyweight exercise tips came from my buddy Jay jay121
Ferruggia, who recommended that whenever possible, we choose a
bodyweight exercise over a free weight exercise for assistance lifts.

For example, if you are training to increase your squat, Jay would suggest using single leg bodyweight movements, Glute-Ham Raises and Back Extensions as follow up exercises.

Tip #2

One of the best – yet simplest – bodyweight exercise tips I can give you, is to
give up the treadmill warm-up and replace it with a circuit of 5-8
different bodyweight exercises that simultaneously prep and stretch
your muscles for exercise.

You will be much more prepared for your workout this way.

Tip #3 bulgarian-split-squat

Another bodyweight tip of mine is to use the “1 & 1/2 reps” method to make bodyweight exercises harder. I got this idea from John Romaniello.

For example, in the Bulgarian Split Squat, you’d lower yourself into the bottom position (see photo at right), then come halfway up, and then go back down and THEN all the way back up.

That’s one (painful) rep. Do 12-15.


And since so many of you were loving Adam Steer’s video from Monday, I asked him for 6 more bodyweight exercise tips…

1. For maximum metabolic effect, do this “Top Down” bodyweight circuit:

– 30 secs Push Ups
– 30 secs V-ups
– 30 secs Jump Squats without rest.

Do 3-5 of these circuits with 30 seconds rest between each circuit.

2. Use isometric (static) holds to build muscle with bodyweight exercise.

Grab the top of a push up position and lower half way to the bottom.
Hold that for at least 30 secs and up to 70 secs. Do 2-3 sets with
60 seconds rest.

3. Ditch the treadmill and use bodyweight training instead.

String 5-7 of your favorite bodyweight exercises together–1 rep each–and do that “Flow” over and over for as long as you would have spent on that boring treadmill.

4. Use bodyweight “drop sets” for a brutal workout. Try this:

Do 30-60 secs of a wall sit, then go straight into 10-12 reps of alternating rear lunges. The wall sit toast your quads, but the lunges add some help from the glutes and hams so you can keep going a bit longer.

5. Super heroes don’t ignore their lats–the big muscles in your back–and neither should you.

But what can you do if you have absolutely NO equipment? images14

The Superman.

Start in either a standard push up position or from the knees. Then walk your hands out overhead as far as you can go and hold. The lats have to do some serious work to maintain that position.

6. Have some fun with your bodyweight training.

Pick your 5 favorite exercises.

You’ll do one rep of each–that’s one round of your “Flow”–and then return to the start without rest. But don’t just throw the exercises together.

Spend some time playing with the transitions and reordering the exercises until you’ve got the smoothest “Flow” you can create.bodyweight exercises

Thanks to Adam and Jay.

Feel the flow with bodyweight exercises,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS