"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Get a lift with body weight exercises.

Regular exercise doesn't all the time suit your schedule or mood. Sometimes you might be pressed for time. Sometimes your normal workout feels uninspired. Sometimes you simply need a fast jolt to start out your day.

When these moments arise, your body can assist.

Activating muscles

One of the primary advantages of body weight movements is that they activate small stabilizing muscles which can be sometimes missed while you use gym machines or dumbbells. As their name suggests, stabilizer muscles help stabilize large muscles in order that they can do their job more efficiently.

“It's useful for activities of daily living that require balance and stability, such as climbing stairs, sitting, twisting, and reaching,” Pedisney says.

All it takes is just a few body weight exercises for a well-rounded workout. The following is an easy three-movement routine that hits the massive muscles. It consists of push-ups (arms, shoulders, chest), lunges (hips, legs) and a plank pose (core).

To complete a circuit, do eight push-ups, eight lunges on both sides, and plank for 15 to 30 seconds. Rest for one minute after which repeat the circuit two more times, with a rest period in between. The entire routine takes about quarter-hour to finish.


Start in a full plank position along with your arms prolonged, palms flat and slightly below shoulder level, feet together or about 12 inches apart. Keep your back straight and distribute your weight evenly.

Motion: Lower your body until your elbows are at 90° (or go to the ground to rest, if needed), after which keep off up to finish one rep.


  • Keep your head in step with your spine.
  • Hold your core tight.
  • Do not bend on the hips.

Make it easy: Do a modified version from the hands and knees position. Another option is incline push-ups, during which you place your hands on a counter or wall at a forty five° angle, which puts less stress on the wrists and shoulders.

Make it hard: Slow down your pace and take two to a few seconds to go down and one second to go up.


Stand straight along with your right foot one to 2 feet in front of your left foot. Shift your weight forward and lift your left heel off the ground

Motion: Bend your knees and lower your torso until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Place your hands in your hips or in your knees for stability. Hold, then return to starting position. Finish all eight reps, then step forward along with your left foot. This completes a set.


  • Do not extend the knee past your ankle.
  • In the lunge position, keep your shoulders, hips and back knee aligned.
  • Do not lean forward or backward.

Make it easy: Lower your torso only halfway. Hold onto the back of the chair with one hand to assist balance yourself.

Make it hard: Hold for a count of 4 within the long position before returning to the starting position. Or hold a dumbbell in each hand as you squat.

The board

Kneel on all fours, keeping your hands and knees directly under your shoulders and hips.

Motion: Tighten your abdominal muscles and stretch your arms forward. Lower your upper body onto your arms. Grab your hands and align your shoulders directly over your elbows. Lift your knees off the ground in order that your body forms a straight line out of your head to your feet. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.


  • Keep your neck and spine aligned.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles so your stomach doesn't sag.
  • Look at the ground, not up, which might strain your neck.

Make it easy: If it's painful to rest in your arms, start the bar from a push-up position along with your arms prolonged. If you could have back pain or other back problems, place a plank in your knees, or lean against a counter along with your body at a forty five° angle.

Make it hard: As you hold the plank, try alternating leg lifts, lifting one leg for a second or two after which repeating with the opposite leg.

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