Build a Bodyweight Workout


I have a confession to make: I hate running. There, I said it.  If you do like running, then I’m totally jealous—keep at it! If you’re like me, then you probably avoid the treadmill and hate the idea of “cardio.” Instead of the treadmill or elliptical, I rely on building a bodyweight workout for my cardio or conditioning training sessions.

I love using my body weight for exercise because I never have an excuse. I don’t need a machine or gym. All I need is my body and a 4X6 space on the floor. In just 30 minutes, I can do an effective workout that’s actually fun. I will easily burn 300 calories and work much harder than if I was strolling on a treadmill or another piece of cardio equipment.

It’s also great to switch up my exercises, and working and resting intervals in every session so my body never gets used to my workouts. I also love to include lateral movements as much as possible because most of us don’t move side to side enough.

Want an easy way to build your own bodyweight routine? Here’s the framework:


Step 1: Choose 6 exercises

I like to do 2 upper-body, 2 lower-body, 2 core exercises. Here are some of my favorites:

Upper body:



Handstand or pike push-ups

Hindu push-ups


Lower body:

Lateral lunges

Curtsey lunges

Jump squat

Pistol squat

Cossack squat



Bicycle crunches

Plank knee drives

Hollow body holds

Mountain climbers

Step 2: Select your interval

Work between 20-60 seconds, rest between 15-30 seconds. For example, you can work for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Commit to performing 5-8 rounds

Perform one exercise for the desired work period, take a short rest, and then more right to the next exercise for the desired work period. Keep moving through all the exercises. Once you’ve completed all 6, rest for 1 minute. Do this 5-8 times.

Step 4: Push yourself

Bodyweight training is for everyone, but these workouts will only be as hard as you make them. Listen to your body and push yourself to improve with every workout you complete.

I hope you use this template to create workouts that challenge you, and increase your body awareness, confidence, and functional movement!

FitnessKandace Hudspeth