How to Use Your Body's Weight to Work Out


Using your body’s weight to work out is a good way to add strength and definition to your physique. Simple activities like going for a walk, climbing stairs or even a light jog stimulate your muscles, helping to enhance their strength and endurance. However, to really challenge your muscles and encourage growth without using weights, you’ll have to perform more intense exercises. Body-weight exercises allow you to use your body as resistance and are an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass.

  • Perform pushups to work out your arm, chest, back and shoulder muscles. Lie prone on the ground, with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your legs straight. Raise your body off the floor by extending your arms and coming onto your toes. Keep your body in one straight line from your head to your feet. Bend your arms, lowering yourself to the floor, while keeping your back and legs straight. Raise your body up again, and repeat 10 to 15 times for one set. Perform three sets. You can also perform pushups with your knees on the floor if traditional pushups are too challenging.

  • Strengthen your abs and lower back by performing planks. Lie prone on the floor or on a mat, with your forearms on the mat and your elbows aligned under your shoulders. Position your legs together and your forefeet on the floor. Raise your body of the floor, straightening your back, hips and legs. Hold this position for as long as you’re able to, breathing normally throughout the exercise.

  • Target your buttocks, legs, calves and shins with body weight squats. Stand straight with your hands by your sides and your feet slightly wider than the width of your hips. Contract your abdominal muscles as you squat down, bending your knees, shifting your weight back into your heels and pushing your hips toward the wall behind you. Keep your back straight and point your knees in the same direction as your feet as you continue to lower yourself until your thighs are a little past parallel to the floor. Pause for three seconds before returning to the starting position by straightening your knees and hips. Perform three sets of 15 reps.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult with a health professional before beginning a new exercise program or fitness regimen.

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