When performed as a High Intensity Interval Circuit (HIICT), body weight exercises can be fantastic for losing weight and increasing fitness.

What makes body weight circuits work so well?

Every body weight exercise utilizes multiple muscle groups, gets your heart rate pumping, and burns tons of calories. Essentially, circuit bodyweight training burns more calories than interval training, and that in turn burns way more calories than steady cardio. If you’re trying to lose weight, spending hours doing cardio on a treadmill is a really crappy, boring, inefficient use of your time. If you’re a busy person (and I know you are), why spend hours doing something boring when you can be more efficient and build a better physique with less time? Enter the beginner’s body weight workout. I’m going to take you through a basic home workout today that can be completed – in your house, apartment, out at a park, in your basement, on the moon (in the future!) – just about wherever.

This is the Beginner’s Body Weight Workout (3 - 5 circuits): 

  • 15 Body weight squats.
  • 15 Push-ups.
  • 15 Lunges (Each leg).
  • 15 Jumping jacks.
  • 30 second Plank
  • 15 Jump Squats
  • 30 second Mountain Climbers
  • 15 Crunches

In a circuit routine, you’ll do each exercise in succession without a break in between (if you’re able). Once you’ve finished all exercises in the circuit, rest for 5 minutes and do it again. The number of circuits depends on your fitness. Try to hit a minimum of 3 full circuits. Because all of these exercises come one after another, you’re bound to get tired – and that’s okay! It’s better to stop and take a break than to do an exercise incorrectly.

Before you start, don’t forget to do a dynamic warm up. Make sure to get your heart rate pumping and get your muscles warmed or you’re just asking for injury. You can run in the same place, jump rope, do a few push-ups, pedal on a stationary bike, do some punches and kicks, jog up and down your stairs, and/or twist and swing your arms and legs to get them moving!

 Body weight squats

  • Stand with your hands on the back of your head or in front, and your feet shoulder-width apart and turned out slightly to open the hip joint.
  • Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Push-ups

  • Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Straighten your arms and legs.
  • Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  • Pause, then push yourself back up.
  • Repeat.

Lunges

  • Start in a standing position. Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the ground.
  • Take a big step forward with your right leg.
  • Lower your body until your right knee is at a 90-degree angle.
  • Push yourself upwards with your right foot.
  • Do the same with your left leg
  • Repeat.

Crunches

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor.
  • Hold for a moment at the top of the movement and then lower slowly back down
  • Repeat.

Jumping Jacks

  • Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides.
  • Bend your knees slightly, and jump into the air.
  • As you jump, spread your legs to be about shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out and over your head.
  • Jump back to starting position.
  • Repeat.

Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a traditional plank — shoulders over hands and weight on just your toes.
  • With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward.
  • Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
  • Continue "running" in your plank for 30 seconds.