5 Bodyweight Moves that Burn Fat—Fast!

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5 Bodyweight Moves that Burn Fat—Fast!

Travel Strong LogoMost dieters today assume they need expensive gym memberships, fancy running shoes, or restrictive eating plans to get in shape. But before that stuff was invented, people had to exercise using only their bodyweight.

Throughout history, bodyweight exercises have been a consistent component in military training regimes. And largely due to its inexpensive and convenient nature, bodyweight training has stuck around because it works. Outside of an armed forces setting, bodyweight exercises are used to train athletes, and have once again becoming a staple of many of the best fat burning and muscle building workouts available, anywhere.

Here are 5 of the best bodyweight exercises to help you burn fat in as little time as possible:

1. Jumping Jacks I know what you’re probably thinking, “Aren’t jumping jacks a little basic?”Well, yes and no. They’re basic in so far as they’re a simple exercise, and you probably did them in pre-school, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective.

Jumping jacks can help you burn fat and get fitter, but the real reason I put them at the top of the list is because they’re a great way to warm up. Performing them before your workouts or other bodyweight exercises will help prepare your body for exercise, making your workout more effective and increasing your fat burn.

2. Push-Ups Push-ups are one of the best upper body exercises in existence, hands down (pun intended!). Even with access to a barbell and dumbbells, I often opt for the good, old-fashioned push-up instead. That’s because they’re convenient (no waiting around for a machine to free up), they develop a great deal of strength, and they are arguably safer for the shoulders than many weight-bearing exercises. Plus, there are a ton of variations to make them more difficult.

The problem is, people don’t always do them properly. Here’s how to do them right:

  • Keep your head, neck, torso, and hips in a straight line. (It helps to brace your abs.)
  • Keep your elbows close to your body—don’t let them flare out.
  • Lower yourself down, and then push back up in a controlled movement.
  • If a regular push-up is too difficult, do them against a wall to begin with. Using the same form as above, stand facing a wall, place your hands against the wall in front of you and push back and forth. Over time, do this on lower surfaces (such as a sturdy table or chair), until you are eventually ready to do a regular push-up from the floor.

3. Squats Squats are often hailed as the king of exercise moves.That’s because they involve a lot of muscles, which in turn means they burn a lot of calories. You learned to walk by squatting, but as natural this movement is, you might have forgotten how to do it. Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your heels planted, lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, and quickly stand back up again.

4. Burpees Burpees are an awesome, calorie-torching, strength-building, full-body exercise. They’re also hard work, so it’s important you master your form and ease yourself in. Just follow these simple steps:

  • First, get into a squat position (as above).
  • At the bottom of the squat, reach your hands out and onto the floor in front of you.
  • Kick your feet back into a push up position.
  • Return your feet to the squat position as fast as possible.
  • Immediately jump up into the air as high as you can.
  • Squat back down and repeat!

The great thing about burpees is that they are a high-intensity exercise. This means that not only will you burn calories at the time, but they will ramp up your metabolism so much that you’ll be burning additional calories throughout the rest of the day.

5. Jumping Rope Jumping rope is one of my all-time favorite exercises.It’s the only exercise on this list that requires some equipment, but a rope is so cheap I think I can get away with it. Similarly to jumping jacks, jumping rope is a great way to warm up, but the great thing about it is that it can easily be made more difficult. If you continually push yourself to get quicker, do it for longer, or learn new techniques, you can ensure that it never becomes too easy.

Keeping the intensity high is a sure-fire way to burn loads of calories and melt fat fast!

These are my go-to exercises when I’m traveling or can’t make it to the gym. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Related

  • Foster

    I would have picked the same although I would also include step-ups…most people can get to some sort of step. I would also suggest seeing how many you can do in a minute and keep a log so you can see if there is improvement over time

    • Tracy B

      the logging part… not to state the obvious, but I do believe that is what myfitnesspal is for

    • Step ups are an awesome exercise! Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Joshua Martelle

    I like it!

    • Thanks! 🙂

      • SY

        For best effectiveness these moves should be done well before 1st meal in AM. I’ve been doing these for years and can testify as to how well they serve. Also, reducing time in between reps adds significantly to the high intensity aspect of these moves.

        exercise
        exercise

      • SY

        For best effectiveness these moves should be done well before 1st meal in AM. I’ve been doing these for years and can testify as to how well they serve. Also, reducing time in between reps adds significantly to the high intensity aspect of these moves.

        exercise
        exercise

  • confused

    I think the pix shows elbows out ? for the push-up.

    • Apologies for the confusion! ‘Keep your elbows close to your body’ is just an easy helping people keep their shoulders healthy. That said, having at your arms at an angle of around 45 degrees to your body is fine as well – but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      • JE

        🙂 thanks

      • JE

        🙂 thanks

      • JE

        🙂 thanks

      • JE

        🙂 thanks

      • JE

        🙂 thanks

      • JE

        🙂 thanks

  • Jsuber

    Burpees. We called those Squat Thrust in the army and they do burn.

    • DagGummit

      My understanding has always been that burpees and squat thrusts, while very similar, do have minor differences. The rotation of motions for burpees as I know them include:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – pushup
      – kick back to bottom of squat
      – jump squat

      For squat thrusts:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – kick back to squat
      – stand up (iow: complete squat motion)

      What’s described here is in-between the two, as it excludes the push-up but includes the jump.

      That said, more than anything else, my takeaway is that there is always — ALWAYS — room for variation in any fitness motion.

    • DagGummit

      My understanding has always been that burpees and squat thrusts, while very similar, do have minor differences. The rotation of motions for burpees as I know them include:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – pushup
      – kick back to bottom of squat
      – jump squat

      For squat thrusts:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – kick back to squat
      – stand up (iow: complete squat motion)

      What’s described here is in-between the two, as it excludes the push-up but includes the jump.

      That said, more than anything else, my takeaway is that there is always — ALWAYS — room for variation in any fitness motion.

    • DagGummit

      My understanding has always been that burpees and squat thrusts, while very similar, do have minor differences. The rotation of motions for burpees as I know them include:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – pushup
      – kick back to bottom of squat
      – jump squat

      For squat thrusts:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – kick back to squat
      – stand up (iow: complete squat motion)

      What’s described here is in-between the two, as it excludes the push-up but includes the jump.

      That said, more than anything else, my takeaway is that there is always — ALWAYS — room for variation in any fitness motion.

    • DagGummit

      My understanding has always been that burpees and squat thrusts, while very similar, do have minor differences. The rotation of motions for burpees as I know them include:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – pushup
      – kick back to bottom of squat
      – jump squat

      For squat thrusts:
      – squat down
      – kick out to plank
      – kick back to squat
      – stand up (iow: complete squat motion)

      What’s described here is in-between the two, as it excludes the push-up but includes the jump.

      That said, more than anything else, my takeaway is that there is always — ALWAYS — room for variation in any fitness motion.

    • Sean

      In the Navy we did modified burpees called 8-count body builders. 1: squat, 2: legs out to plank, 3: down to bottom of push up, 4: up to plank, 5: spread feet out, 6: feet together, 7: feet forward to bottom of squat, 8: jump.

  • Moncheri

    I feel disgusting!!! I lost so much weight and this past year after getting mentally health again and entering into a wonderful relationship..the weight has started to come back on. I went from 190 pounds or there abouts and a size 16-18 to 103 pounds and a size 00…not I’m too embarrassed to step on the scale so I don’t know what I weight but I’m in a size 9-10 now and I look and feel like crap.

    • Tracy B

      ok Moncheri, so what are you going to do about it?

    • Wendybabendy

      I hear you on this!! I am going through the same thing (though I only went up 1 size). I did some analysis and noticed that I am just eating way too much ( my new husband and I are foodies ) and am “snacking” too much. I am working on limiting my intake, not eating late in the evening, and continuing to do the exercises that I started a few months ago. I don’t really want to get too skinny, but I do want my clothes to fit better. It’s all about focusing on what you are doing now that you weren’t before. Let your S.O. Know what you want to accomplish and ask for their support. YOU CAN DO THIS!! 🙂

      • mmm

        Just a note, time of eating does not matter!! Your body works on a 24,48,72,weekly schedule and not waking times, it’s about calories in v calories out and if you have stubborn fat just adjust your macros (carb/fat/protein) to your needs, slimming down means less carbs, more protein, cardio etc.

        I would highly reccomend dedicating a small amount of time to keeping track via myfitness pal

  • Why does myfitnesspal post a list of exercises that aren’t on their list? Planks, burpee a, jump squat, not on the list. This is a bit misleading…

    • Sondra Jervis

      I think they are under strength training. .. not cardiovascular

    • Name

      If you have an HRM, you can find out about how many calories you burn for a given period of each exercise, the record a custom cardio entry for it. While I don’t eat back my calories, I do like to keep track of everything.

  • Barb Vault

    I also noted that the picture depicts a “flared” elbow doing a pushup. I don’t think it’s such a “bad” thing. Doing a proper pushup is difficult!

  • Pete Biernis

    so true many populations across the western world have been hoodwinked there is no need for fancy diets or gyms. I used to be a gym monkey and never really lost weight. I made a lifestye change walk and cycle alot more do stretches, and eat and sensable diet

    • It’s all about finding what works for you. But you’re right; most people believe that it’s impossible to get the body they want without forking out for a gym and weird supplements.

  • Great list, I need to remember this for the next time I don’t have access to my regular dumbbell routine. Jumping rope is fantastic, and push-ups are beastly if you do them right! I like to do a tri-set routine- one triangle, one mid-grip, one wide-grip, back to triangle, etc, either for a set time or until failure. It’ll make you tear up a bit!

    • That’s a great idea man! I did something similar recently, but included feet-elevated push-ups as well.

      • now THAT’s an interesting idea…I workout at home right now, but I have a gym-style bench that I could set up behind me to try that out. I’d do burpee’s too but the only problem is I live upstairs in an apt with wood floors…*cough*. Probably not the most endearing act towards my neighbors lol. I’d go outside to workout but I live in FL where it’s been obnoxiously hot lately.

        • Nicole

          For push ups, have you tried adding in shoulder taps between each one? I love doing that!

          • Shoulder taps? I don’t know if I’ve heard of that one before lol. I just tried the jump rope today btw, even despite the FL sun. What a beastly exercise! I swear, I felt it in my abs for the next 30 mins!

          • iolani64

            Is that when you clap your hands at the top of the pushup?

          • A shoulder tap push up you do a push up, tap right hand to left shoulder – push up, tap left hand to right shoulder. And on and on.

          • jule

            Just started doing commando pushups.Pushup than bring right knee up to right shoulder,than do pushup left knee to left shoulder.Found it hard at first but the results fantastic.Now l combined with burpies and squats,starting with Two sets of each in 8minutes and increasing to 4sets in the same time.Just pushing to increase to more sets in the same time frame. Brilliant workout warm up.Followed by a 1km run,than a 1km brisk walk.

        • Haha yeah I’m not sure your neighbours would appreciate that. Have a go at the feet-elevated push-ups and let me know what you think!

        • Jason

          I also live in a second floor apartment. But for working out I go to the gym. Although there isn’t much room for burpees as well as other routine exercises that take up a lot of room. So, I asked my landlord if I could use there yard, and they allow me access when I need it. Maybe you can try also. I mean, it’s not like we will be doing the burpees all day, right? Worth a shot. 10-15 minutes here and there.Hope this helps. 🙂

          • Brian

            Their yard, not there yard.

          • Tammy

            Good advice no matter how it’s spelled

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          • MermaidMuscle

            Definitely… in my opinion ut boosts ur metablolism n circulation so during work hours u get more productive5l with a 2 to 3 mins excessive jumping jacks or burpees workout..

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          • JC Harris

            THEIR

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            Sorry about that. I normally edit my posts before sending. I may have been in a bit of a rush. Thank you for correcting me.

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          • Nan

            Love your response I missed it because I took interest in the point you were making rather than your spelling. Your advice was very helpful.

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        • Mike

          For the upstairs, I bought a soft pad to put on the floor. It helped cushion the blow each time I jump, but with the extra give, it has a benefit of protecting the joints. That way you still get to workout inside, but the neighbors don’t get bothered. It’s like turning down the music. Doen’t eliminate it, but makes it tolerable.

  • GK85

    Where are the lunges in this list? I think they are a great and easy to do workout as well, and also can me made more difficult, by for example holding dumbels in your hand, or if you can’t afford dumbells use a bag with water bottle in each hand to start with. It’s a warmup i use in my own training a lot

    • If it had been 6 of the best exercises I definitely would have included them! Thanks for the great suggestion 🙂

  • UpasanaD

    All those above mentioned workouts are my favorite too. Some more effective workouts are – Lunges Walking , Different kind of Planks and Mountain Climbing. You make make a circuit workout routine by combining all these workouts.

  • Julia Nicholson

    Great in theory Will, but being a little overweight at 74kg (down 4 so far!) but I need to be around 60; and 45 years old I have problems with my knees and stiff wrist – so any jumping or ‘high impact’ hurts my knees, and press ups kill my wrist before I even start! I do Ballet as this type of exercise uses muscles differently (although, again jumping can be an issue). Surely someone who is 10 stone overweight will have much worse joint problems to start launching themselves in the air?

    • Nicole

      You can make most of these low impact.
      For the jumping jacks do the arms and do one leg at a time out and in alternating back and forth. You get the same effect but at a lower impact.
      For the push ups you can either put your knees down (keeping the hips, core, spine and neck in line is the most important); or your knees down, bring them up, do the push up, and then put them down again. It all depends on how low of an impact you want. As for wrists, try doing it on a softer surface such as an exercise mat, the cushioning should help. Trying then standing against a wall as the author recommends will also relieve the pressure on the wrists.
      For squats about the only thing that can be done (because they aren’t really a high impact thing, more of a body control thing) is to bring the feet a little bit closer together. Many people have theor feet way to far apart instead of lined up directly under the shoulders for the best balance. Also don’t pause too long as this can put undue stress on your joints.
      Burpees are also easy to alter for lower impact. Start standing up, then bend your knees slightly with your hands touching your knees, put one foot straight back and your hands in the air, then bring your foot in and hands to your knees, and then stand up. Repeat this while alternating which foot goes back.
      Jumping rope is another that is easy to alter if you do not want to actually use the rope. Depending on the level of intensity (but not impact) depends on what you do. For a lower intensity you can plant your feet and then move your arms and bend your knees to simulate jumping rope. If you want a higher intensity, instead of planting your feet lift your feet a couple inches off the ground. And for even higher intensity step forward and back as you do the jump rope arms.

      I learned these low impact alterations because I have knee problems hut didn’t want them to limit my ability to be in shape. They all came from the Shawn T videos; he has a person making those low impact alterations.

      I hope that these help some people on here.

      • I couldn’t have put it any better myself! That’s great advice Nicole 🙂

      • I couldn’t have put it any better myself! That’s great advice Nicole 🙂

      • John

        You can also use push-up bars or handles to do push-ups. A dumb bell will suffice as well. Both tend to take a lot of pressure off of the wrists.

      • John

        You can also use push-up bars or handles to do push-ups. A dumb bell will suffice as well. Both tend to take a lot of pressure off of the wrists.

      • John

        You can also use push-up bars or handles to do push-ups. A dumb bell will suffice as well. Both tend to take a lot of pressure off of the wrists.

      • John

        You can also use push-up bars or handles to do push-ups. A dumb bell will suffice as well. Both tend to take a lot of pressure off of the wrists.

        • Fitnesspalace

          Please remember some of us speak correctly i.e. English so skipping Is preferable to “jumping rope” which sounds like a poorly educated five year old would say.

          • L.A.K

            in American English it is Jumping Rope and you use a jump rope to do it. You can certainly skip if you prefer but Jumping is correct.

      • John

        You can also use push-up bars or handles to do push-ups. A dumb bell will suffice as well. Both tend to take a lot of pressure off of the wrists.

      • John

        You can also use push-up bars or handles to do push-ups. A dumb bell will suffice as well. Both tend to take a lot of pressure off of the wrists.

      • Cmsphd

        I lost about 50 pounds 15 years ago (after a rough pregnancy) and have kept it, mostly, off (+/- 8-10 over the years). I do so by three primary methods: 1. As soon as a treat becomes a routine, I nip it in the bud. I don’t go overboard, I just eliminate the culprit (pizza, usually). 2. I do very low impact exercises that focus on balance-building strength. Eg, Stand on left foot while holding right knee up, hold; raise knee higher, count and hold; bend right leg back and hold; extend leg behind you; switch feet. Have a chair next to you in the beginning. You will feel it in your abs, thighs, butt, and if you’re doing small wind mills with arms, in your shoulders and triceps. I sometimes work in my semi-push ups, but not always. 3. I have a pair if men’s Levi’s 501. Their dimensions never change so I know if I’m up when they feel snug and I know I’m good if they fit. I don’t necessarily wear them in public (used to 20 years ago!), but they are excellent for gauging size. I’ve worn the same size Levi’s for close to 20 years, except for the post-baby period. I hope you find at least one of these helpful.

        • Jay3622

          Thanks Nicole, that legs excercise I can do ans that is my problem area.

          I have spine damage and a right knee fracture so I cannot do squats or sit ups.

          Instead to work on my core I do standing leg press full stack plus 15kg, 1x sets of 10.

          Machine abs press 45kg 1 aet of 100
          Back pull downs and Abs pull downs 45Kg 2 sets of 15.

          I will buy a sports skipping rope (jump rope) next.

        • Linda OTR/L

          Excellent advice on jeans that have no spandex to make them comfortable! My favorite saying is that “Jeans never lie!” You can even go up or down in weight and they will still fit right if you stay in shape because muscle “in shape” weighs more than fat “out of shape”.

      • Jay

        I also have bad wrists and my Dr. said to do push ups on my fists, because it is the weight placed on the bent wrist that causes the problems. On the squats just don’t go so low that it causes pain.

      • Jay

        I also have bad wrists and my Dr. said to do push ups on my fists, because it is the weight placed on the bent wrist that causes the problems. On the squats just don’t go so low that it causes pain.

      • Lisa

        Thank you so much Nicole!! I will most certainly try the modified burpees!

      • Lisa

        P. S. – which Shawn T videos?

      • ejrdew88

        Nicole, thanks for the tip on the alternative to the burpees. I am extremely overweight and high impact is very hard on my knees. Also, it is extremely difficult to get up and down off the floor quickly. I just tried the burpee alternative and could really feel it. Thanks for the advice!

      • Tami

        OMG I’m so glad I read this! I’ve been wanting to do burpees for so long and just can’t due to bad knees. This modified version sure does raise the heart rate. Thanks so much for posting!

        • Beth Hardesty Waite

          I have had surgery on both knees and adapt every exercise at my CrossFit box for no impact. For the burpee I do a “zombie” crawl back one leg at a time with my hands on the floor. I started doing this with a box, then dropped down to several plates piled on the floor, and gradually worked to the point where I can do it on the floor. I also have severe arthritis in my right thumb that prevents that hand from going flat, so when doing burpees and push ups I have have found a comfortable position with my hand pointing slightly out with my elbow still close to my body. This works quite well. Work with a qualified trainer to find modifications that work for your particular physical limitations.

      • Bunny

        I wasn’t familiar with a low impact juming jack until now. Thx sooo much for the suggestion/description. Will get started asap.

      • Darlene Renville Lear

        Thank you so much! I also have knee problems. Pretty much all of my joints have pain. I have been struggling to find exercises that I can do. I am going to try these.

        • Sharon

          Hi I have fibromyalgia causing severe pain in all my joints and terrible fatigue can anyone suggest on exercise I might be able to try thanks

      • Sue

        These are great ideas! I believe I can do these low impact modifications with some physical limitations I have.

    • Anna Crisostomo

      Julia, I have horrible knees, wrists etc too, I know your pain!Nicoles suggestions do me well. I taught senior fitness too, here’s my cue for them on squats: stand as if you are about to sit ona toilet, as you hit the seat stand up again. if you pretend it’s a shorter toilet, you sit lower, so more intensity. Better too, pretend as you hit seat u realize it’s wet, so you stand faster. My seniors laughed every time!!! Just hang in there, you will get stronger & better.

      • Beth Hardesty Waite

        Great suggestion Anna! I used a medicine ball for the same purpose and celebrated being “off the ball” this past January and am now able to squat “ass to grass” as my trainer calls it even though I’ve had knee problems and surgery in the past. My knees are better supported by the stronger muscles in my legs and hurt much less than they did before.

      • Bunny

        Sounds great!

    • Anna Crisostomo

      Julia, I have horrible knees, wrists etc too, I know your pain!Nicoles suggestions do me well. I taught senior fitness too, here’s my cue for them on squats: stand as if you are about to sit ona toilet, as you hit the seat stand up again. if you pretend it’s a shorter toilet, you sit lower, so more intensity. Better too, pretend as you hit seat u realize it’s wet, so you stand faster. My seniors laughed every time!!! Just hang in there, you will get stronger & better.

    • Anna Crisostomo

      Julia, I have horrible knees, wrists etc too, I know your pain!Nicoles suggestions do me well. I taught senior fitness too, here’s my cue for them on squats: stand as if you are about to sit ona toilet, as you hit the seat stand up again. if you pretend it’s a shorter toilet, you sit lower, so more intensity. Better too, pretend as you hit seat u realize it’s wet, so you stand faster. My seniors laughed every time!!! Just hang in there, you will get stronger & better.

    • Jenya

      I have been doing 3 of these exercises during my 5 factor fitness program almost daily. I used to have bad knees and after exercising for 2 months I don’t have that problem anymore. Feel better than 2 years ago and my legs are looking more toned, even developed more muscles. Looks good, feels good. Great exercises and I totally agree you don’t need a gym to feel good. The main obstacle is my own laziness, which disappears after a minute of doing jumping jacks! Also feels good running up and down stairs without any pain or worry. Good luck!

    • Jenya

      I have been doing 3 of these exercises during my 5 factor fitness program almost daily. I used to have bad knees and after exercising for 2 months I don’t have that problem anymore. Feel better than 2 years ago and my legs are looking more toned, even developed more muscles. Looks good, feels good. Great exercises and I totally agree you don’t need a gym to feel good. The main obstacle is my own laziness, which disappears after a minute of doing jumping jacks! Also feels good running up and down stairs without any pain or worry. Good luck!

    • Brian

      I have had knee issues for years and I and my clients have found usuing a stairmaster(the kind where feet stay placed on pedal/step) and skipping to be helpful! It depends if have poping or pain in knee or not while doing stairmaster? Skipping if done correctly, the knee should never straighten and the leading foot should lightly touch the ground. Could try for short durations of 30 seconds and see how it feels on your knee? Will definitely work muscles differently than most movements and can take a little getting used to, even if do ballet.

    • Cara Stone

      As Nicole stated below, all of these exercises can be modified to either lessen the impact or remove the impact all together. You don’t have to ‘launch yourself into the air.’ Jump rope, for instance, can be done relatively slowly and by just barely leaving the ground.
      As far as push-ups go, if you do them against a wall first, as the author suggested, it makes them much less challenging and you can adjust hand position so that it won’t bother your wrist.
      At 45, you’re still young! You never know how strong you truly are – until you try. I have a feeling that, like most people, you can do a lot more than you give yourself credit for!

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  • Annie Young

    Absolutely love this, I tried the insanity workout once, after two weeks my ankles went blue and swollen! this takes out the best bits of Insanity and you can do it at your own pace. I would combine Burpees with push ups, and jogging on the spot to warm up/cool down. plus as aforementioned in comments, step ups.

  • Annie Young

    Absolutely love this, I tried the insanity workout once, after two weeks my ankles went blue and swollen! this takes out the best bits of Insanity and you can do it at your own pace. I would combine Burpees with push ups, and jogging on the spot to warm up/cool down. plus as aforementioned in comments, step ups.

  • Annie Young

    Absolutely love this, I tried the insanity workout once, after two weeks my ankles went blue and swollen! this takes out the best bits of Insanity and you can do it at your own pace. I would combine Burpees with push ups, and jogging on the spot to warm up/cool down. plus as aforementioned in comments, step ups.

    • I’m glad you like it Annie! That’s a great idea for warming up/cooling down. You could add some stretching too 🙂

  • Annie Young

    Absolutely love this, I tried the insanity workout once, after two weeks my ankles went blue and swollen! this takes out the best bits of Insanity and you can do it at your own pace. I would combine Burpees with push ups, and jogging on the spot to warm up/cool down. plus as aforementioned in comments, step ups.

  • Sam

    How many sets/repetitions you recommend for each?

  • Sam

    How many sets/repetitions you recommend for each?

    • Hey Sam,

      That really depends on how difficult you find the exercises, and your goals. A good starting point would be 10 reps of each exercise (maybe a few minutes jumping rope), performed one after another and then repeated.

      If that’s too easy, add a few more reps next time.

  • Sam

    How many sets/repetitions you recommend for each?

  • Ellen Hotchkiss

    Great blog post. Glad it was featured in my inbox email from MFP. I am trying to learn how to balance strength training with some running so this is a great list.

    • Glad you like it Ellen! You could do these exercises one day and running the next. That would be a great routine.

  • Lydia

    I currently do strength training but no cardio, I think today I’ll add some jumping jacks!

    • WpgMom3

      That’s funny Lydia, I am the opposite. I do nothing but cardio. It’s all that motivates me. Running, swimming, Zumba I could go all day, but when I get weights in my hands I always find a way to stop before my 3 sets are done (if I’m lucky I can get to about 2 1/4). What keeps you motivated when you are about to push those weights over your head ANOTHER 15 times?

      • Lydia

        I guess it’s because that’s the only exercise I can fit into my day, so I make sure at least that gets done. Also, my results have been noticeable so that makes me want to keep it up. I love having toned arms and shapely legs. By the time I could go do cardio I’m too tired. I really really need to because even with diet and weights, I do have jiggle. I like to catch up on TV while I do my reps, maybe that would help “distract” you?

        • ggeorge

          I am binge watching old TV series while I walk on the tread mill. Up to two hours and ten miles every other night and i sleep well when I get done.

          • Lydia

            I would not mind having a treadmill in my house!! 🙂

          • MzScarlet

            Cal me crazy, but I love to read, and I “while the time away” reading my book for our monthly book club while I am walking on the treadmill at the gym. “Killing 2 birds with 1 stone”, I am exercising my body and my mind at the same time!

          • MzScarlet

            Cal me crazy, but I love to read, and I “while the time away” reading my book for our monthly book club while I am walking on the treadmill at the gym. “Killing 2 birds with 1 stone”, I am exercising my body and my mind at the same time!

        • ggeorge

          I am binge watching old TV series while I walk on the tread mill. Up to two hours and ten miles every other night and i sleep well when I get done.

        • ggeorge

          I am binge watching old TV series while I walk on the tread mill. Up to two hours and ten miles every other night and i sleep well when I get done.

      • JorahLavin

        WPG Mom, I dislike weights, too, but never get bored with the quick 20-35 minute bodyweight workouts* I have been doing. Lots of variations. Now… I want to DIE sometimes, because some of them are really hard, but I’m not bored! 🙂

        *If you’re curious, I’m working through Mark Lauren’s YAYOG program)

        • WpgMom3

          That’s kind of where I am. My big weight pumping husband put together a set that I do once and it seems to be working. I am doing it on my short run days. 3 days a week 5 km plus weights then 2- 3 days 10 km. I can throw in a couple of Zumbas and lap swims for fun when I have time. I will look at YAYOG. Thanks

  • yayforsummervacation

    I’m 62, have arthritis in my back and not so great knees. I can jump, but an hour or so later I’m in pain. Got any low impact fat burners?

    • Avoid any exercises that cause you pain. If you can do them pain free, squats and lunges are good alternatives.

  • AnnGepp

    I totally agree that these are the best exercises if you don’t have time to do anything else. And the article is very well written. Good job, Will!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words 🙂

  • Brandi

    Great article!

  • Brandi

    Great article!

  • Brandi

    Great article!

  • Brandi

    Great article!

  • Ravenlea

    How many reps of each should be done?

    • That depends on how difficult you find the exercises, and your goals. A good starting point would be 10 reps of each exercise (maybe a few minutes jumping rope), performed one after another and then repeated.

      If that’s too easy, add a few more reps next time.

  • Simonetta L. Jean

    My husband keeps in terrific shape doing these types of exercise. I want to get stronger especially with my core. I have struggled with my weight since my twenties. I was very active in my teens, swam, played tennis, and basketball. I do go to the gym and do cardio with the treadmill and elliptical but have trouble with these types of exercises especially since my spinal surgery. I have 3 metal rods and a plastic disc in my back. I have lost 90 lbs but still linger around 200 lbs even though most don’t believe I’m that heavy. I do leg press and squats with a ball because I think I need the support but would love to do more to improve my core strength. Any suggestions?

  • Simonetta L. Jean

    My husband keeps in terrific shape doing these types of exercise. I want to get stronger especially with my core. I have struggled with my weight since my twenties. I was very active in my teens, swam, played tennis, and basketball. I do go to the gym and do cardio with the treadmill and elliptical but have trouble with these types of exercises especially since my spinal surgery. I have 3 metal rods and a plastic disc in my back. I have lost 90 lbs but still linger around 200 lbs even though most don’t believe I’m that heavy. I do leg press and squats with a ball because I think I need the support but would love to do more to improve my core strength. Any suggestions?

    • When you say ‘core strength’ do you really mean you want a flat stomach, or do you hope that added core strength will help support your back? If it’s the former you need to focus on diet more than anything. This means eating real, nutritious food. If it’s the latter I would speak to a physio or doctor. But reverse crunches are an exercise that might work for you 🙂

      • Cynthia Jacobson

        I totally understand. Being active is a super important part of being healthy but learning how to eat right (low glycemic, right balance of protein and carbs) is key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Then exercise is much less stressful on the body and helps our muscle tone, posture, heart, and stress. All parts of living a healthy life. I am a COPE certified health coach and have the privilege of helping people aged 18-85 create the optimal health they desire. It is never too early or too late. Keep working on all the major areas of your health. One habit one day at a time.

      • ejrdew88

        Will, I’ve seen this before, what are reverse crunches?

        • Tiberius

          I’d say leg/knee raise… google it

  • Simonetta L. Jean

    My husband keeps in terrific shape doing these types of exercise. I want to get stronger especially with my core. I have struggled with my weight since my twenties. I was very active in my teens, swam, played tennis, and basketball. I do go to the gym and do cardio with the treadmill and elliptical but have trouble with these types of exercises especially since my spinal surgery. I have 3 metal rods and a plastic disc in my back. I have lost 90 lbs but still linger around 200 lbs even though most don’t believe I’m that heavy. I do leg press and squats with a ball because I think I need the support but would love to do more to improve my core strength. Any suggestions?

  • Simonetta L. Jean

    My husband keeps in terrific shape doing these types of exercise. I want to get stronger especially with my core. I have struggled with my weight since my twenties. I was very active in my teens, swam, played tennis, and basketball. I do go to the gym and do cardio with the treadmill and elliptical but have trouble with these types of exercises especially since my spinal surgery. I have 3 metal rods and a plastic disc in my back. I have lost 90 lbs but still linger around 200 lbs even though most don’t believe I’m that heavy. I do leg press and squats with a ball because I think I need the support but would love to do more to improve my core strength. Any suggestions?

  • Michael JR

    I like this article! I love putting my clients through body weight circuits because they are easily adjustable for almost everyone.
    Though I have many…here are my fav 5 body weight exercises…
    •1• BURPEES
    •2• I call them “Touchdowns” Like a Jumping Jack, but when planting feet to ground and apart, one crosses their arm over (right hand to left foot & vice versa after jumping), touching their toes. Sounds more difficult than what it is, but a full body blast just like the BURPEE! 🙂
    •3• Jack Knife
    •4• Jumping Rope
    •5• Squat Jumps

    • They’re all awesome exercises. And I love bodyweight circuits for the same reason!

  • Michael JR

    I like this article! I love putting my clients through body weight circuits because they are easily adjustable for almost everyone.
    Though I have many…here are my fav 5 body weight exercises…
    •1• BURPEES
    •2• I call them “Touchdowns” Like a Jumping Jack, but when planting feet to ground and apart, one crosses their arm over (right hand to left foot & vice versa after jumping), touching their toes. Sounds more difficult than what it is, but a full body blast just like the BURPEE! 🙂
    •3• Jack Knife
    •4• Jumping Rope
    •5• Squat Jumps

  • Michael JR

    I like this article! I love putting my clients through body weight circuits because they are easily adjustable for almost everyone.
    Though I have many…here are my fav 5 body weight exercises…
    •1• BURPEES
    •2• I call them “Touchdowns” Like a Jumping Jack, but when planting feet to ground and apart, one crosses their arm over (right hand to left foot & vice versa after jumping), touching their toes. Sounds more difficult than what it is, but a full body blast just like the BURPEE! 🙂
    •3• Jack Knife
    •4• Jumping Rope
    •5• Squat Jumps

  • Cindy

    How about an alternative to rope jumping… I am forbidden by MDs to jump rope and they even want me to give up running (I haven’t done that yet)… I’m going nuts here… I started rowing and doing Jacobs Ladder but I need a gym to do those things… any ideas on alternates for rope and running that are not impacting the spine for when I’m travelling and out of town?

    • Swimming is a great alternative. It’s low impact and you can make it as difficult as you like.

  • Cindy

    How about an alternative to rope jumping… I am forbidden by MDs to jump rope and they even want me to give up running (I haven’t done that yet)… I’m going nuts here… I started rowing and doing Jacobs Ladder but I need a gym to do those things… any ideas on alternates for rope and running that are not impacting the spine for when I’m travelling and out of town?

  • chattymona

    Okay…say you are 63 and have arthritis in your knee and want to get the exercise and the benefits Tell what to do…I play tennis and I wear a knee brace and jumping jacks and my bladder do not agree! Tell me what to do!!!!

    • Avoid exercises that cause you any pain and look for some suitable alternatives. I’d suggest you speak to a physio to get some ideas.

  • chattymona

    Okay…say you are 63 and have arthritis in your knee and want to get the exercise and the benefits Tell what to do…I play tennis and I wear a knee brace and jumping jacks and my bladder do not agree! Tell me what to do!!!!

  • TheDonVito

    You went in on this list! You really targeted the most effective exercises! I am following the leader from now on.

  • oldgirl

    What other muscle building exercises are good for 75+ yr. old woman to start doing at home?

    • I would look into doing some yoga 🙂

  • Sisuanna

    I love lists like this, and regularly do the jumping jacks, squats, and rope jumping, as well as hoola hooping. However, I have lymphedema from breast cancer and bilateral carpal tunnel surgeries. Why does no exercise writer, give usesful modifications for those of us who are no longer 20?

    • Sisuanna

      Yoga folk are the worst. Love yoga, but regularly get stared down for trying to modify poses so I am not injured. I am not looking for excuses to avoide exercise, but there comes a time when one must make peace with the body that has developed.

    • Hey Sisuanna,

      The reason for that is that it would be dangerous. I have no experience working with people suffering from injuries or diseases, and I absolutely believe that people like yourself should be speaking to qualified professionals about exercise programmes instead.

      Will

  • justamessenger

    Do you have any recommendations for someone with degenerative disc disease, a banged up SI joint, and knee problems?

    • I’d speak to a qualified professional who can help design a program to meet your needs.

  • Zenarn

    What if you have had 2 knee replacements? Is there another set of exercises that can help?

    • Hi Zenarn,

      I think this is something you should speak to your doctor or a physio about.

      Will

  • Sharen

    Hi there. I am 62 and haven’t exercised for a long time and find it difficult. I would like to become fitter, healthier and lose some weight at the same time but mainly I just want to feel better. What would be the best way to begin and what excersises would help me.

    • Hey Sharen,

      I would start with walking. Just get used to taking nice long walks and focus on eating real, wholesome foods. This means veggies, fruit, meat, eggs, fish, nuts, avocados etc.

      Once you’ve built up a base level of fitness and health, head over to my website and sign up to the newsletter to get a free bodyweight workout designed for beginners. Hope that helps 🙂

    • Joanne

      I am also 62 and I do Hatha yoga with 2 lb weights and have gotten into really good shape after not working out for years. I also do plank for 2-3 minutes to tighten the core .

  • IzzyBashir

    Any suggestions for people who have problems doing burpees? I can do about seven before I get dizzy. Something about going from the floor to jumping up into the air just makes the room spin. I can do them slow but they aren’t as satisfying that way.

    • urbanguerrilla

      One method I’ve found to be effective is if you can do 7, try doing 5-7ish with a lot of intensity, as many times as you can throughout the day – burpees and pushups are super accessible for that! I’ve been slacking lately (but still gaining muscle and strength, losing fat); the most I’ve done is 5 sets in a day, usually 1-3. I first heard of it as Pavel’s “Grease the Groove” method, seems to be well esteemed and effective. I often prefer to “level-up” by increasing the intensity of my movements instead of the number of reps – there’re tonnes of things you can do to make each burpee more challenging (google knows, even the Wikipedia page for burpees has a lot of ideas). Apparently explosive movements like burpees will help endurance endeavours like running more than endurance helps explosive/strength, which I’ve confirmed is true for me. Prior to trying this I was far too concerned about overtraining with weight (which is not a good thing, but less of a concern with bodyweight – listen to your body).

    • Tiberius

      You can try not to jump up but jump into jumping jack position which makes that phase not to be in the air but stable on the floor.
      Some places it’s called “4 phase (beat) push up/plank” (in my poor translation).

  • Cindy Sipes Thompson

    Hey Will: I’m 55 and have been diagnosed with basal thumb arthritis in both hands. I’m having the worst (L) hand surgically repaired in late July. I have recently lost 20+ lbs on my way to a goal of 50. Any suggestions for body weight exercises that put no weight on my thumbs?

    • I’m sorry to hear that! I’d definitely avoid any exercises that cause you pain, and instead do things like planks, hip raises, and more squats!

  • Angela

    Is there a schedule to following these moves, or where to put them in a work out?

    • You could put together a circuit and do it every other day.

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  • E Marie

    How many reps/circuits do I do and for how long?

    • Shoot for 10 reps across 3 circuit. Or you can get a full bodyweight circuit routine for free on my website 🙂

  • Caroleena

    What kind of sets should I be doing? Ie how many or how long for so it’s effective?

    • Try doing 3 sets of 10. Or you can get a full bodyweight circuit for free on my website.

  • justme71

    Will, is there anything I could substitute for Jumping Jacks and Jumping rope? I have osteoporosis in my lower spine and I don’t think I need to be doing jarring movements such as these.

    • Neither do I! Do more reps of squats and lunges. Add in some hip raises for good measure too 🙂

  • Vincent C.

    The PLANK just AWESOME!

  • Gymqueenc

    How many reps and sets of each exercise do you do? And, do you make these exercises like a circuit routine?

    • Making a circuit out of these exercises is a great idea. You can get a full bodyweight circuit for free over on my website 🙂

  • Dalena

    These are all great and I do utilize each and everyone!
    I also add 1 minute planks, one legged planks, side planks, depending on my mood.
    Love me some planks!

  • Linda Love

    The push-ups instruction says your elbows should be close to the body, but your exercise model’s arms are flailing out to the side. Which is it? Next time, use a model with the correct execution of the move.

    • Hey Linda. ‘Keep your elbows close to your body’ is a simple cue used to prevent people from doing the exercise with their elbows at 90 degrees to their body. 45 degrees or less is perfectly fine. Apologies for any confusion.

  • Sesha

    Great post Will. Thank you. Could you suggest how many or how long to do each day for a woman? Will theses exercises tone the midsection? What parts of body benefit? Again, thanks so much.

    • Head over to my website and download your free copy of the Beginner Bodyweight Workout, it’s a full exercise program including exercises for the abs 🙂

  • Bruce Bieber

    What about mountain climbers. I assume the more I hate an exercise, the better it is for me.

    • Haha while that’s not always the case, there’s no doubt that mountain climbers are great.

  • Over 100 comments! Just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone for the kind words and support 🙂

  • Noah

    Hi Owen. I have some shoulder problems and push tend to aggravate them. I however like doing squats, lunges, repeaters. I have never figures out how to use jumping ropes, any ideas how to learn that skill. Instead I carry tubing around. You can do a lot with that simple equipment; shoulder press, rows, front or lateral raises, led abdusctions etc.

  • sylvia

    I have just read the article on walking and body weight exercises. I am 61 years old, wt 177, ht 5 ft. I had surgery on my left knee for ac ligament repair and arthritis in both knees and feet. Still I want to walk and do so 2 to three times a week. I noticed after walking on the treadmill 2 miles for a couple of days my knees swell, but when i stop walking the aching increases. Any suggestions? Any suggestions on body weight exercises with the bad knees. I am trying to loses weight, but that is easier said than done.

  • Mordi dome

    Ok I will try that

  • Judy

    Sorry, but what is a Jumping Jack? Never heard of it.

    • They’re called star jumps in the UK if that helps?

  • Sue K

    I am always on the lookout for great ideas. But…I have a torn meniscus and can’t jump rope, do jumping jacks or squats without my knee blowing up like a balloon. Any suggestions for exercises that will torch calories without a negative impact on my knee would be welcome. Thanks!

  • tdp

    I grew up in NY State and we had to do burpees (without the jump at the top) for the state fitness test in school; they called them “squat thrusts” (but burpees is a cuter name).

  • why bother

    The advice “keep your elbows close to your body” – 1) I never did pushups that way and I get great benefits anyway and 2) the girl in the picture at the top of this page has her elbows way out the way I do them! But I just read a reply of yours to someone else and you were concerned about keeping shoulders injury-free. I have a wide upper body and I think for my body type I need my elbows out.

  • Vincent C.

    REMEMBER…. Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE The word it self says IMPOSSIBLE!

  • Scorpio

    Hi , I just started with Tops last Thursday, I would like to do some excersizes that wont put me in the hospital. I am pretty limber 68 year old woman. Any one with good ideas I am open for them.

  • Jenny

    How does one do squats with bad knees?

  • jp440

    Great choice of exercises – but why, when you described the proper form for push ups, why did you use a photo of a woman doing push ups with terrible form?

    • jp440

      …I am a woman, by the way.

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  • Karen B.

    I have trouble with my knees due to loss of cartiledge. Will jumping jacks cause me problems?

  • Cami Bird

    I used to love all of these and then a year ago in the middle of a burpee set my hand slipped a little and i sprained my wrist (which pain I still feel a bit to this day). So now I stay away from burpees and pushups usually end up making that old injured wrist ache-suggestions for alternatives?

  • Noren Rodriguez

    I love jumping jacks. I hate squats and burpees but I’m getting better at them and I know they can burn a lot of calories so I push myself everyday more and more

  • Babb

    What kind of exercise can you do when your not very mobile

  • Becky Renshaw

    Great info but how many of each exercise should one do? Should I do several sets of each exercise? Not sure where to start.

  • Lia

    Hello, I’m new at this exercise at home thing so can anyone tell me how many times I’m meant to repeat the above 5 to get any benefit? Thanks

  • Kristine

    i am beginning my fitness journeyband would love some friends to help motivate and educate me i need help!!!!

  • There are plenty of crazy moves out there that are fun to watch, but
    not many can perform slow-motion-one-handed-pull-ups, or behind-the-back
    clap, plyo push-ups. Your is a list of practical and functional
    movements, which build strength in all muscle groups. Great artcle.

  • Cara Stone

    Who says you need a real rope to ‘jump rope?’ You can do it without a rope!

  • Ginny

    I’ve been on fitness for 9 weeks. I’ve lost 14lbs which is halfway to my goal. I’ve come to an impasse and I didn’t lose anything for over a week. I was averaging 2lbs a week I need a jump start and I’m not sure what to do. I’m 70 and don’t do strenuously exercise but I walk

  • Tim

    Nice tips

  • kari

    what else can be down when you are disabled in your arms? I have them but cant use them correctly..i cant lift more than 5 pounds, i definitiely cant not put any weight barring exercises on them and I cant lift them all the way above my head. All i do is treadmill and walk my dogs ut i am not losing at all. I am so frustrated. I hate that a surgery ruined my life of loving exercise.

  • Mai

    I am a person with thick arms and legs. When I work out, my stomach tend to shrink before my arms and legs. I want to know if there is any excerise that can tone down my arms.

  • Amanda L

    How many of these do I do?

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  • Naj

    I’ve always heard that jumping jacks and push ups burn fat wll im new to this weight loss journey so lets do this!

  • Mel

    Love them! Straight to the point and easy to do! Thanks a bunch! Will use them TODAY!

  • Natalie

    I have really bad knees. I can’t do burpees or sqauts what exercises can I do? I can do planks.

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  • Oh these are all great workouts. They truly burn. But among these, no. 4 is my least favorite. 🙂

  • rosie

    Thanks for the great input on exercise. My aim for this upcoming New Year is to develop an healthier lifestyle which will definitely include exercise.
    The past 2 years have been a struggle n ihave had to overcome unexpected life change…which was attributed to major depression..
    I’ve always exercisd at a gym n I am not a stranger to dedicated, hard work, however, I do have bad knee & limited range of motion on my shoulder due to an injury.
    I would like any advice..
    Thank u!

  • Hello, and nice article! We love this, in our office in Portugal!
    Congratulations and a happy new year.

  • frosty213

    Happy New Year. What exercises can I do with chronic fatigue syndrome. Started the year with pharyngitis but need to lose 3 st as my tablets and I have piled on the pounds, suggestions for improvements please.

  • Crazynurse

    I want to lose 8 stone. I want to exercise but my knees are very painful. Can you help

  • cheese

    I’m wondering if you have a good workout that is safe for people with back injuries and degenerationI want to exercise so bad and it kills me

  • alma

    i started going to the gym a week ago and also started eating alot healthier. i lost 5pounds the first week but i’m not losing weight as fast as i did the first week. i’m working out 15 more minutes every other day and my eating habits haven’t changed. is there something i’m not doing rite???

  • Jessica

    Dont we know that exercises do not ‘burn’ fat? Sure these exercises are great for building up large muscle groups, but the name of the article is misleading.

  • Jessica

    Dont we know that exercises do not ‘burn’ fat? Sure these exercises are great for building up large muscle groups, but the name of the article is misleading.

    • Tiberius

      I have done most of these exercises for 15 years several times a week – they don’t really build up muscles if you referred to growing them.
      They make you stronger and improve your endurance a great deal, though.

  • Jen S

    I love all his ideas.

  • Polly Johnson

    i have had a right hip replace and i am not allowed to run. do squat, twist or bend so what exercise can i do apart from walking. i walk most days. drs told me to lose weight as it will help with the hips. i weigh 92kg and
    160cm tall

  • I’m sharing this to my friends who are trying to lose weight this year. 🙂
    Thanks!

  • I haven’t tried the Burpees yet, but all the others are really effective. 🙂

  • john

    I have worked and played physically hard all my life. My body was worn out out by 65 years of age. Osteo arthritis in the spine and worn out cartilage limit my weight loss tactics to food control without exercise. My successful method is to eliminate empty calories. This means eliminating sugar and starch (stored sugar) from grains pulses and tubers. It took 5 months to get used to this. Progress is managed by looking at the overall slope of the weight graph. 16 pounds down 40 to go.

  • GSL

    I’m 53 years old and have worked out with weights off and on since HS. Last year I was in a circumstance where I did not have equipment or a gym and I was 40 lb overweight. I started the only thing I knew to do, push-ups and crunches. I only nine months I dropped the 40 lb and went from a 38″ to a 32″ waist. I get loads of compliments from both genders about my body and how strong and fit I look. I have become a firm believer in the basic no frills body weight workouts. You will get better than the gym results!

  • Joseph Snyder

    Have to agree about the burpees. Isometrics are also a superb weight-free and super-convenient way to build strength and endurance.

  • Alison

    Just FYI, the model in the picture is doing pushups exactly how the article (and trainers) says NOT to do them.

    • Ronald Havard

      But the model picture is the correct form. Keeping the elbows close to the body only works your triceps. Also remember to position your hands in different widths — go from wide arm (hands outside your shoulder region) to normal (hands aligned with your shoulders) to close hand (or diamond pushups) this will work all angles of your muscle groups. Same thing with squats – wide, normal, and close (foot positions)

  • Mel

    I wish there were more exercises that were more breast-friendly. I’m not a fan of jumping around.

  • Martha Ackroyd

    Great ideas, thanks. My favourite by far: Jumping Jacks!!, best with fast moving music tracks in the background to keep you going,

  • Nice

    Couldn’t help but notice the girls push up position is super flared on the elbows lol.

  • BikeNut

    “Keep your elbows close to your body—don’t let them flare out” – the lady in the picture above needs to read your article 🙂

  • Back to the basics. Seems like the most effective workouts are the most inexpensive. Who needs a gym pass huh 🙂

  • Liz

    Hi would love to know what excercise I can do with a annular bulge & tear… Dr told me no squating or bending over 🙁 don’t know what to do….

  • Sheronie

    Hey Lori,
    I am trying to change my lifestyle a more
    healthier alternative and at the same time I am trying to lose weight
    and fat. Will you be able to share your workout and diet plan in
    motivating me to reach my goals? It would help me a lot. Thank you
    My email is coolsheroni@gmail.com

  • Wade Adolphs

    Wall handstand pushups.

  • christina

    We do our workout at home and jog when its spri or summe

  • MermaidMuscle

    I loved the article ‘5 body weights excercises that burn fat fast’ … I just wish I had taken out some time to do all this in January when I was on vacation… I love these moves already… can someone please tell me how many recommended squats have to be done at a stretch, 25 50 or 100 or more?? can we do a set of 10 to 20 push ups every few hours in a day making a score of 100 reps for the day? I want to know what happes tobthe muscles n bones if we do this frequently??

  • Debra

    I work from home and sit at a desk most of the day. To break up the sitting, I do several of these, as well as tricep dips and planks. Keeps the blood flowing to my brain!

  • Sp8zman Spiff

    The first video on Burpees on youtube includes a pushup after you kick your feet back and before you return your feet to the squat position?
    Let me check Wikipedia…
    Okay, so Wikipedia agrees with you! 🙂 There are over 10 variations… one of which is the Burpee Pushup or “Bastardo”.
    So now we know.
    Thanks!

  • Mel

    On the push ups you mention how people don’t do them right and mention do not let your elbows flare out. Yet the photo of this article, her elbows are extremely flared out.

    • Tiberius

      The problem on the picture on the top is that the hand distance is about middle between wide enough and the mentioned close to the body (I’d suggest tight to sides of body). Maybe (by me definitely) it’s an example for the wrong way.
      In my experience close elbow push ups can be harmful for elbows…

  • Tanya J.

    Good post. Great reminder that the seemingly “simple” exercises actually go a long way. No need for expensive gym memberships when your body weight is all you need. I’ll be implementing these into my regimen.

  • sarahxxx

    I love jumping jacks

  • vitofromthevalley

    jumping rope…….jumping rope…….and more jumping rope. I think it is a great workout. I mix it up by jumping rope for three minutes followed by 30 pushups, 2 minutes followed by 20 pushups, 1 minute followed by 10 pushups. 3 sets of this routine is a pretty good little workout.

  • Dollydaydream

    Are there any exercises for the older woman who is not fit and has asthma on exertion,sorry it’s a long wish list but I really want to get fitter. I love your exercises but find some make me breathless. Keep up the good work. Will these exercises be ok with severe osteoporosis,I am treating it with vitamins not drugs? Thank You

  • mick

    What about people with disabilities?

  • estj55

    My app doesn’t always count the iron in meat I eat. When I have chicken breast it says zero iron

  • Denise Rosenzweig

    I just started working out again and, more recently, developed Tendonitis in one of my ankles. In reading about these exercises I keep feeling that all of them would only aggravate and cause pain to the Tendonitis. Do you have any ideas of other super burn-up aerobic exercises which would be safe for me to do?

  • karinagw

    It’s always amused me that I can do wall push-ups and floor push-ups but can *not* do table push-ups no matter how hard I try. My mother told me that when I was little I fell and hit my head on a table, so maybe there’s a fear factor involved.

  • xntrik_one

    How do I lose weight if I am unable to do any form of impact exercise and I have arthritis in every joint making it impossible to do squats, thrusts, etc. I also have 2 new total hips.

  • József Valkai

    Dear Will,

    Great little article, but would have been even better if it had been illustrated with figures for each task must be completed to the incompetent (like me) can imagine.

  • Tracey Wisdom

    Great variety of simple exercises. Not sure if I’ve done burpees though but I’ll definitely try them. I do many reps of sit ups and leg lifts too. Recently I’ve stolen my daughter’s whoola hoop just for fun. Do you think it can help tone my abs?

  • Molly Carpenter

    if only icould

  • smwyzard

    I am no longer allowed to do squats as per my Orthopedic Sugeon. In my earlier days I was a competative bodybuilder and now my knees are paying the price as arthritis has set in both knees. I love the above workout, but would like to do something that doesn’t involve squats. Suggestions?? Thanks so much!!!

  • Pamela McLean

    I just started the my fitness app and blog. I really enjoy it. I love the articles, they are informative and helpful. The only thing I seem to be having problems with is logging my cardio and weight training. It doesn’t pull up no cardio machines or weight training exercise. If anyone can help me with this, I would greatly appreciate it.

  • Will,

    Body-weight exercises are fantastic. Excellent article. There are so many variations of these, you can switch them up to stave off boredom, and to keep your body from getting used to your workout routine. Keeping your muscles guessing is important to keep making progress. It does make it harder to track, though, and tracking progress is proven in peer reviewed studies to increase effectiveness.

    I like to do pushups on my fists. That increases your range of motion and works your muscles more effectively. Be careful, as it can also be harder on shoulders for those with shoulder problems. Dips are another highly effective body weight exercise that can be done with minimal equipment. Again, dipping can stress the shoulder joints, due to the funky angles it subjects them to.

    Thanks again,

    Steve

  • Kiarylane Cuevas

    Imma try it!

  • I’m making my husband do a variation of this for a HIIT workout 2 times a week. Poor guy huffs and puffs through it, but he is getting a lot stronger!

  • Ronald Havard

    I am new to the app – does anyone know why my strength training exercises are not adjusting my calories ? the cardio exercises automatically adjusts – hmmmm — thanks

  • Hitler

    article terribly fascinating and helpful.
    This very helped ME once it needs to exercise within the yard.

  • joereality

    whats next

  • Kaiser

    Totally forgot about burpees. Thanks

  • Diane Dubuc Costa

    These are all great, and I have done most for quite some time. Sadly now, at age 54, I have found I have osteoarthritis in my left knee and the burpees, jumping rope, and jumping jacks are out. My question is: I’ve tried to continue doing squats and lunges but my knee aches when I do. Are those two exercises bad for my arthritic knee? Even when done slowly and controlled? Thank you ~ Diane

  • While there are many types of pushups, the proper way to do a standard pushup is to flare the arms outward, just as if you were performing a bench press. Holding the elbows close at your sides is an alternative way, often called “yoga pushups”, which stresses the triceps much more than the chest. Many women I train have very low upper body strength and can’t do a proper pushup. Most group classes I’ve seen, especially for women, default to this alternative pushup and in the process shortchange their clients.

    If you want to build chest strength, flare the elbows out to the side and keep the hands wide enough so that the angle of the elbow is roughly 90 degrees at the bottom of the motion.

  • Felisha

    Suggestions on how many/how long?

  • mo

    Nice read. I find jumping jacks painful cos of my knees, doc says early stage arthritis and while he wants me to loose weight, I am not allowed to do strenuous workout. Thus I doma lot of Leslie Sansone fast workout and smx interval training I find on Youtube. What exercises can I do to burn calories and at the same time protect knees and bones? I still skip but had an ankle injury once so I stopped. Thanks

  • Cathy

    Thank you Will. I have started the 28 day squat challenge and loving it. It is hard on my legs and I do get out of breath. I have introduced push-ups lady type with bent knees and sit ups. But will have to try burpies and jumping jacks. I has decided to jog some intervals in my walk of 30 minutes most days and I can feel the difference. Love this article as really helpful and explains exercises well. Power to you Will. Cathy

  • Jumping rope is my all time favourite. It’s the only thing I used to do when I have lees time and also very effective to loose weight.

  • Awesome, my favorite is burpee, I find that some good fat burning exercises are also mountain climbing and skiing