Body weight challenge workout

Try these effective moves to strengthen your whole body. No equipment needed, so you can do them anywhere, anytime.
Published 13 November 2015

Body weight challenge workout

Build your strength with this total body workout. It will have you working all your major muscles using only your body weight. The exercises are extra convenient as they require no equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime. If you’re ready for a challenge, the harder versions have been shown. Not quite there yet? The easier versions are explained.

Warm up

It’s important to warm-up before you start exercising. For example, get your blood pumping with a brisk walk before you start.

The plan

Start out easy with reps for one minute at a time. Create a circuit of all five exercises by doing them one after another in single sets of 10 to 30 reps. As you gain strength and your fitness improves, increase the reps or try the harder versions if you're currently doing the easier version. Repeat the circuit up to three times and do it two to four times a week for best results.

1. Single arm dip

Works: Arms

Easier version: Both hands on the floor.

Harder version: One hand off the floor (as shown).

How-to: Sit on the floor, one hand behind you. Lift your body up off the ground until your arm supports your weight. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your bottom down until it's hovering just above the floor. Then straighten elbows to push back up and repeat.

Single arm dip

2. Darts

Works: Back

Easier version: Only raise arms.

Harder version: Raise back, too (as shown).

How-to: Lie face down with palms flat on the floor. Squeeze shoulder blades together, lift hands off the floor, then raise your back. Keep feet in contact with the floor. Lower and repeat.


3. Single leg bridge

Works: Bottom

Easier version: Both feet flat on the ground.

Harder version: One leg raised (as shown).

How-to: Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, left knee bent, right leg straight as you can up above you. Squeeze your bottom and push your hips upward, forming a straight line from shoulders to bent knee. Pause, then lower. Complete all reps on one leg then switch legs.

Single leg bridge

4. Single leg squat

Works: Legs

Easier version: Both feet on the floor.

Harder version: One leg raised (as shown).

How-to: Stand with feet parallel. Raise your left leg straight out in front. Keeping your core engaged, bend your right leg and lower your bottom as if you were about to sit in a chair. Straighten your right leg. Do as many reps as you can before changing legs.

Single leg squat

5. Shoulder tap plank

Works: Abdominals

Easier version: On knees.

Harder version: On toes (as shown).

How-to: Lie face down, hands flat on the floor under your shoulders. Push up to a plank position, your body a strong straight line, bottom tucked under slightly. Exhale and pull your belly button to your spine to engage your core. Breathing smoothly, hold this position as you raise one hand at a time and tap alternate shoulders.

Shoulder tap plank