Effective bodyweight workout routine: how to get fit without a gym

Bodyweight Workout Routine aka Calisthenics: how to keep yourself fit with no training equipment and no access to a regular gym.

I really like the idea of keeping myself fit even when I have got no access to any training equipment. A few years ago I came across the notorious British criminal Charles Bronson's book "Solitary Fitness", which only motivated me to search for better ways to remain fit and strong without access to a gym or any piece of regular training equipment.

A few years later another major inspiration for my pursuit was Tools of Titans" by Timothy Ferris. In his book, I have found lots of useful workout routines from some of the greatest personal trainers and coaches. So I started experimenting with different forms of exercising and adapting them to my bodyweight training routine.

I would like to share with you those that I have found the most effective for building up strength and flexibility.

A list of bodyweight exercises and calisthenics workouts

Bodyweight workout routine for strength:

  • Push-ups: This one is not a shocker, everyone knows that push-ups are one of the greatest bodyweight training exercises. But did you know that there are various types of pushups and some of them are more effective than others?

    A proper Muay Thai explosive push-ups routine helps to develop your chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. On top of that, support required from other muscles during this exercise results in a wider range of muscle work integrated into this workout" Read more about explosive push-ups
  • Dips are great for developing triceps and chest muscles. The more advanced athletes can add weights for extra resistance. Shoulder width dips are great triceps and muscles of your back. Wide arm dips are great for developing chest muscles.

Dips: bodyweight (calisthenics) workouts

  • Pull-ups: overhand pull-ups are very good for training the triceps, forearms, and back muscles. Underhand pull-ups, also known as chin-ups, are more effective for training the biceps. Behind-the-neck pull-ups can cause neck pain and they don't offer as many training benefits as other types of pull-ups.

Pull-ups: bodyweight (calisthenics) workouts

  • Burpees: burpees are one of those exercises that are good for strengthening most groups of your body muscles. It helps to develop and tone your abs, chest, hamstrings, and your arms. It is the ultimate exercise for strength and endurance.

Burpees: bodyweight workouts

Bodyweight workout routine for flexibility

  • J curl also known as a Jefferson curl is a simple yet effective exercise for overall body flexibility. Unless you have tried this exercise in the past and you are very flexible don't try to do this standing on a box.

    Start easy with standing on a floor and do a few dips a day. You will notice progress soon enough and at some point, you'll be ready to stand on a box.

    Don't try to "push through the pain", if your back starts to hurt that means you are not ready for the full stretch yet and you need to take it slow until you're flexible enough to complete it.

Jefferson curl: bodyweight workouts

  • Shoulder stretch: great for a warm-up and good as an after-workout routine. Stretching helps to avoid pulled muscles and contusions. It also helps to treat small contusions post-workout. This video also covers the elbow and wrist stretch.

Shoulder stretch: bodyweight workouts

  • Hamstring stretch: leg and lower back flexibility are very important for overall fitness. It will also make you less prone to get an injury while doing demanding exercises or throwing a kick. In this video a set of 3 different effective hamstring stretch exercises are presented:

Hamstring Stretch: bodyweight workouts

  • Backbend bridge: a simple yet effective exercise. The main benefits of the thoracic bridge are that you can stretch your back, your arms, and your hips at the same time. It also improves your posture

Backbend bridge: bodyweight workouts

For a fresh portion of bodyweight workouts like bicycle crunches, Russian twists, and planks, read: 5 effective at-home bodyweight workouts

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