Body Weight Workout Plans The Complete List Rated and Reviewed
Body weight workout plans are gaining in popularity for several reasons. These fitness programs are inexpensive, convenient and extremely effective. It can help you lose weight, increase strength, and you can even find some that will give you a “ripped” physique. While there are several to choose from, not all are designed to produce the same results. To help you find the best body weight workout plan to meet your fitness goals we have the complete list of top rated ones rated and reviewed by experienced trainers and licensed fitness experts.
Body Weight Workout Plans for Beginners
Before you start any body weight workout plan, even one geared for beginners’ it is important to first speak with a licensed physician to ensure that it is safe for you.
Once you’ve been cleared by your primary health provider there are a few aspects that you’ll want to look for.
The exercise circuits can vary depending on the results you are trying to achieve, but it should start and end with cardio.
Some beginners also find that they benefit from one that comes with a meal guide, but this is entirely up to your discretion. You also want the workout to have scheduled recovery days, though you might still be encouraged to get in a little light cardio.
Some of the exercises that beginners will want to look for include,
- Body weight squats
- Walking lunges
- Jumping Jacks
- Dumbbell rows with gallon milk jugs instead of weights.
For the best results the workout plan should have you performing the routines 3 days, but never consecutively.
Top 10 Body Weight Workout Plans
Check out the rest of the Workouts that didn’t make it to our Top 10
Body Weight Workout Plans to Burn Fat
You can find several plans to burn fat and calories that are designed for almost any fitness level. Before you start one it is recommended that you get approval from your primary health care provider. This can be especially true if the body weight workout also comes with a low calorie meal plan.
Even if it doesn’t have a meal plan it is still important that you stick with a low fat and calorie diet if you want to see results.
The exercise routines will vary depending on your skill and fitness level. This means that even if it is your first time trying to get in shape, you should be able to find one that is right for you. Since one of your main goals is to burn excess fat you want it to come with plenty of cardio. Cardio not only warms muscles up, it also boosts metabolism and is a great way to burn fat and calories.
As your skill and endurance improves you might even find that you are performing HIIT training on a regular basis. This form of high intensity cardio can help you burn even more fat and calories in a shorter period of time.
The workout plan should also call for circuit training 3 days a week. The exercises should be a combination of compound and supplementary. This ensures that all of your muscles are being targeted so you can meet and even exceed your fitness goals.
When cardio and bodyweight training are combined studies have shown that these workouts can be extremely effective.Our editor’s choice for this Workout ProgramOur experts are constantly searching for the best Workouts out there. Here is our editor’s Workout of choice for the Body Weight Workout Plans
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Body Weight Workout Plans for Strength and Mass
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to want to increase your strength and mass, and one of the most effective and safest ways to achieve the results you want is with a body weight workout plan.
A workout plan for strength and mass can be performed at any skill level, though it is always recommended that you first speak with your primary health care provider.
While the exercises included can vary, you do want it to come with plenty of cardio. This will help prevent injury, and get your muscles ready to be put through a short and grueling daily workout. Some of the exercises that can be found often include,
- Standing poses
- Bodyweight squats
- Hanging knee tucks
- Basic plank holds
Some of the exercises do require equipment, but you can easily use many items that are common in most households. The number of reps will also vary depending on the intensity level of the body weight workout plan.
Body Weight Workout Plans to Get Ripped
When you are looking for a bodyweight workout routine to help you get ripped you want there to be supplemental exercises included in the daily circuits.
These exercises are designed to work individual muscles and this is how you achieve a ripped physique. It should also include compound exercises to increase strength so you have the power you need to make it through the supplemental exercises.
The body weight workout should also come with a meal guide or suggestions on how to ensure that you are getting enough carbohydrates and protein. If your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs you won’t have the energy you need to tone, strengthen and define your muscles.
Some of the exercise circuits that are often found in some of the best body weight plans to get ripped typically include,
- Wall squats
- Flutter kicks
- Body weight squats
- Mountain climbers
- Body weight lunges
The daily workouts should also start and end with cardio to prevent injury and help ensure maximum results. In general the number of sets performed in a circuit should be around 5, and the reps can vary based on your skill and fitness level.
The intensity level can also be increased by adding more weight. This can be done by using equipment or ordinary items commonly found in most homes.
Body Weight Workout Plans to Tone Muscles
There are several that are designed to tone muscles, regardless of your skill and fitness level. One of the advantages of these routines is that it is relatively easy to increase the intensity of the exercises as you skill and endurance improves.
This helps to prevent plateauing at any fitness level. Most of these workout plans concentrate on toning all of the major muscle groups, and this means that you will be performing a lot of compound exercises.
Along with starting and ending with cardio some of the circuits you might be performing often include,
- Jump squats
- Forward and backward sprints
- Crab walk
- Burpee to broad jump
- Dip to leg raise
- Pull-up to knee raise
Some of the best body weight workout programs for toning muscle combine exercises as your skill and endurance progress. This allows you to get maximum results without noticeably increasing the time of the daily workouts.
It should be noted that before you start combining exercises it is usually best to speak with a licensed physician or experienced trainer to ensure that it is safe for you.
Military Style Body Weight Workout Plans
You don’t have to join the military just to get in shape, you can get the same impressive physique working out at home. It should be noted that a military style body weight workout plan is tough, and it is recommended that you get approval from your primary health care provider before you start this type of exercise routine.
The exercises can vary a little depending on your skill level but you should expect to work all of your major muscle groups in your upper and lower body, along with your core. Some of the calisthenics or exercises that are often found in top rated military workouts include,
- Jumping jacks
- Heel raises
You will also be performing plenty of cardio which can include running and cycling.
Body weight routines can produce results as long as you follow the exercises, and stick with a healthy diet. Even if you are considered “skinny” it can still help you burn fat, build lean muscle and increase your overall strength. This is because studies have shown that you only need to move 30 percent of the weight you are able to lift in order for hypertrophy to occur.
There are a few advantages, these can also help ensure the effectiveness of the program.
Since a body weight workout can be easily performed at home you don’t have to pay money for a gym membership. The lack of equipment, unless you want to incorporate in your workout, also helps to ensure it is an affordable option for almost anyone.
Along with affordability, the simple fact that it is relatively easy to switch the exercises out as you go makes a body weight workout program an effective plan for people at all skill levels.
In most cases bodyweight workout plans are safe, as long as you choose one that is geared for your fitness level.
Since you are usually only lifting and moving your body weight your chances of incurring an injury during the workouts are reduced, and you can even switch out the exercises that might be too advanced for your skill level.
A body weight routine is typically structured to be performed without equipment, and this is one of the advantages of these exercise programs. Since you don’t have to use expensive exercise equipment to get results it is,
- Relatively safe for people at all fitness levels
- Can be performed almost anywhere
While these are great advantages there might be times when you want to increase the intensity of the workouts, and it is not always practical to simply add more reps. This can be especially true for body builders who are trying to get ready for an upcoming competition.
In this case you might want to incorporate dumbbells or barbells into your workout routine. You still don’t have to purchase expensive equipment, there are probably several items lying around your home that can be used to add weight and increase the intensity of your daily workouts.
The choice to follow a specific diet will depend on you, and the goals you are trying to reach. Regardless of the results you are trying to achieve you should already be following a healthy diet that is low in fat and calories. Your diet should include,
- Fresh fruit
- Lean protein
Carbohydrates and lean protein are especially important if your ultimate goal is to gain strength and muscle mass. Some body builders, even those not at competition level choose to follow the strictly regimented Paleo diet to ensure they have the energy and fuel needed to power their way through their workouts.
This diet is not recommended for everyone, and it certainly won’t suit all tastes and lifestyles.
If you’re not sure about your diet, a licensed nutritionist will be able to help you create a healthy meal plan that will work for you. Before making any sudden changes to your daily diet it is always recommended that you get approval from your primary health care provider.
Only you can decide if you need to take supplements, and in most cases they probably won’t be needed. Your daily diet should be enough to ensure that you are getting the nutrition you need, though there will always be exceptions.
If you think you could benefit from the addition of a supplement it is always best to first speak with a licensed nutritionist or your primary health care provider.
In most cases a supplement is only beneficial when you are trying to safely “bulk up”, especially if you have a smaller frame. Some of the most common, effective and safe supplements on the market include,
- Protein supplements
- Whey protein
Creatine is often recommended when you are trying to increase strength without losing muscle mass. If you are trying to encourage strong muscle growth you might want to consider adding whey or another protein supplement. This will ensure that your body has the fuel and energy it needs to build lean, healthy muscle mass.
One of the advantages is that it can be performed almost anywhere. All you need is enough space to safely perform the daily exercise routine. This means that not only can you find body weight workouts for home, but these same routines can also be performed in a hotel room or even outdoors.
Being able to easily workout in different locations will also help prevent boredom and keep you engaged in your fitness plan.
It can help you get in shape after pregnancy, but you will first want to get approval from your OBGYN or primary health care provider.
Even though you were probably already encouraged to start moving around within 24 hours of giving birth, starting a bodyweight workout plan is a little different. The daily routines can be strenuous, and can cause injury if you start the workout plan before you are ready.
There are a few bodyweight routines that are designed to help improve strengthen and tone muscles, especially around your core. Some of the body weight workout plans that women often see the best results on include,
- Total body workout
- Ab workout
- Cardio workout
These routines employ exercises that require you to lift and move your body weight. When the cardio is added in you can also burn off the extra weight you’ve been carrying since your pregnancy.
You might also want to consider one that targets the muscles in your back. This will not only help give you a long, lean core, but improve your posture, reduce lower back pain, and make it easier for you to pick up your growing baby.
Calisthenics are a great way to increase overall strength and boost heart rate and metabolism. Since calisthenics can be performed at almost any skill and fitness level, this form of training is safe for almost anyone.
Calisthenics can be included in almost any body weight workout plan, regardless of the results you are trying to achieve, though they are most common in ones geared for or by the military.
Cardio is crucial for your health and safety, along with the success of a body weight workout plan. It should be performed at the start and end of your daily exercise routines, and some experienced trainers even recommend you get in a little light cardio on your days off.
There are several benefits associated with cardio, and this is also why it is an important part. Some of the benefits associated with cardio include,
- Improved overall and cardiovascular health
- Increase metabolism
- Promote healthy weight loss
- Burn fat
- Loosen muscles
- Increase strength
- Boost energy levels
- Improve overall mood
Some body weight workout plans call for HIIT or high intensity training, and this form of cardio might not be suited for everyone.
Before you start a workout plan that calls for high impact cardio it is best to speak with your primary health care provider to ensure that it is safe for you.
Many professional and amateur athletes have taken advantage of the benefits they get from a body weight workout.
It is a great way for athletes to get back in shape after the off season or to ensure that they are always ready to play.
Since these exercise routines are designed to increase strength, they can also help athletes improve their overall performance.
Staying hydrated is important for your overall health, and it is crucial if you want to see results. When you are dehydrated not only does this make it almost impossible for you to gain muscle mass or strength, it also puts your health in serious risk.
Most experienced trainers and licensed physicians recommend drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, and this often needs to be increased when you are working out on a regular basis.
If you aren’t sure how much water you should be consuming, a licensed physician or nutritionist will be able to answer any of your questions and concerns.
A good rule to follow to prevent dehydration during your daily workout routines is to drink 6 to 8 ounces of water when you take a break after completing each set. This is usually more than enough to prevent any serious complications that might be due to dehydration.
You can increase the intensity without using any equipment. This doesn’t mean that kettle weights and barbells aren’t beneficial, only that you don’t have to run out and purchase them.
Simply increasing the number of reps or changing the exercises can effectively boost the intensity level of a body weight workout plan.
One example of increasing the intensity from beginner to advanced calls for gradually raising the number of reps for,
Shorting the amount of time it takes you to run a 200M or 400M sprint is another great way to increase the intensity of a body weight workout plan.
It can help you get ripped, but it is important to start off with one that is geared for your skill and fitness level. You can always increase the intensity of the routines as needed, but if you start off with one that is too advanced you run the risk of injury.
There are a couple of factors that you will also want to remember to ensure you get maximum results.
- To ensure your workouts are creating enough metabolic stress you will want to slowly increase the amount of time you spend on the reps.
- You will want to concentrate on compound and supplemental exercises that work individual muscles, along with the entire group.
When you slowly increase the time of the daily workouts it encourages muscle growth. Combining compound and supplemental exercises will not only strengthen muscles, it will also help you get a ripped physique.
It is important to schedule periods of rest and recovery for one reason, to prevent injuries. Your muscles need time to recover, along with your body.
Most experienced trainers recommend resting for one to two minutes after each set to give your body time to refuel itself. This is also a good time for you to rehydrate.
Scheduling days of recovery during the week is also important if you want to prevent injuries, and see maximum results. Even though you aren’t performing any of the regular exercise routines, you can still get in a little cardio on your off days.
This will keep your metabolism and heart rate up, along with preventing your muscles from atrophy.
The answer to this question is “yes”, you should expect to do circuit training on a body weight workout plan.
The reason circuit training is an important part is simply because it is so effective. It works several muscle groups simultaneously so you get maximum results. It increases heart rate and metabolism so you can burn fat and calories faster, especially when it is combined with cardio.
Since you are working muscle groups circuit training is also a great way to increase strength, without raising your risk for injury. Since circuit training is considered to be more intensive it is important to speak with a licensed physician to make sure that it is safe for you at your current fitness level.
You also want to make sure that you are sticking with a nutritious diet to ensure you have the energy your body needs to make it through the circuits.
They can be an effective way to lose weight and burn fat. Best of all these workout programs will also help you tone and build muscle.
The combination of cardio and circuit training will boost heart rate and metabolism so you can effectively burn fat and calories during the daily workout routines. Since your metabolism is increased, you can often continue to burn calories even after the routine is finished for the day.
It is important to get approval from your primary health care provider before you start working on burning fat and calories. Most of these plans call for HIIT training and while this is extremely effective, the high intensity cardio is not recommended for beginners.
In this case it is generally best to start with one designed for beginners and slowly build up your strength and endurance before moving on to HIIT training.
A common misconception is that body weight workout plans are only for body builders or people looking to put on a lot of muscle.
While there are some designed to produce these results, these are not the only programs that are available. Body weight workout plans can produce a variety of results that include,
- Weight loss
- Improve overall health and fitness
- Build muscle
- Increase strength
- Improve athletic performance
Whatever the results you are hoping to achieve, chances are you will be able to find one that will help you meet and exceed your fitness goals.
It is advisable that you speak with your primary health care provider before you start any type of body weight workout, even one that is geared for beginners.
The amount of time it takes before you start seeing results will depend on several factors. These often include,
- The amount of time and effort you put into the daily workouts
- Current fitness level
- Results you are trying to achieve
- Type of body weight workout plan
If you are trying to lose weight and burn fat you should notice the pounds starting to fall off after the first couple of weeks. The same is also true if you are trying to increase strength and endurance. If you are trying to “bulk up” or get “ripped” it might take up to two weeks before you start to notice a difference.
Sometimes keeping up with the workout schedule can be difficult. Beginners often find that they are having difficulty performing all of the exercises, especially when they are just starting out.
Heavier people might also experience a little difficulty when it comes to lifting and moving their body weight, but this doesn’t mean that the workout plan can’t still be effective.
If you are having trouble keeping up with the grueling workout schedule, you don’t have to give up. Simply switch out the regular exercises for some that are a little easier for you to perform.
This can include performing regular sit-ups instead of the more challenging kneeling or wall push-ups. As your strength and endurance increases you will find it easier to keep up with the regular workout schedule.
You can find body weight workout plans at your local gym, and your primary health care provider can also recommend an exercise program that will be safe and effective for you.
Friends and family with similar health goals can also be an invaluable source of information, and they can even provide information on body weight workout plans that weren’t effective for them.
You can also find body weight exercise plans online, and at Top Workout Programs. Here you will find the best body weight workout plans rated and reviewed by experienced trainers and fitness pros so you can confidently choose the right fitness program for you.