4-Week Progressive Bodyweight Workout Guide

Shana Verstegen
by Shana Verstegen
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There are only so many creative bodyweight exercises we can do before boredom sets in. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With this progressive workout guide, the exercises stay the same but your timing, focus and the overall workout are entirely different every week.

The important take-home is you still complete each repetition with perfect movement patterns, not sacrificing form to rush to the next rest break. If form begins to suffer, take a rest, then jump back in.

WEEKLY BREAKDOWNS

Week 1: Straight Sets
The focus this week is to learn the movements, understand your appropriate level of progression, and do every rep perfectly.
To do: Complete the prescribed number of reps at your own pace. Take a 30-second rest, then begin your next set of that same exercise.

Week 2: EMOM
EMOMs, or “Every Minute on the Minute,” are fun and challenging. With this format, you are in control of how much rest you get (if any) between exercises. If you want to move slowly, that’s fine, but you’ll have less rest between sets.
To do: Set a repeating 1-minute timer. You will have 60 seconds to complete the prescribed number of reps for each exercise. If you finish early, you rest; if you don’t, you’ll still begin the next set at the top of the minute.

Week 3: AMRAP
AMRAP, or “As Many Rounds as Possible,” takes your cardiovascular system to a new level. The goal with these is to complete as many rounds as possible of the prescribed exercises. The goal is to move quickly but with proper movement patterns.
To do: Complete the given number of reps of each exercise and see how many times you can get through the exercise list in the time allotted.

Week 4: To Failure
You’ve spent three weeks with these exercises, and now it’s time to put them to the test.
To do: Complete each exercise in as many simultaneous reps as possible until you cannot do any more with good form. Take at least a 1-minute rest break, and then repeat with the next exercise. See if you can improve your numbers as the week progresses.

DAILY BREAKDOWNS

Days 1 + 4 Upper Body
T-Pushups: 12 Alternating
Floor Y raise: 20 total
Triceps dips (bench dips): 20 total
Plank walkdown: 10 total
Burpee: 10 total

Day 2 + 5 Lower Body
Single-Leg Deadlift to Knee Drive, right leg: 15 total
Single-Leg Deadlift to Knee Drive, left leg: 15 total
Alternating Lateral Lunges: 20 alternating
Forward Lunge With Rotation, right leg lead: 12 total
Forward Lunge With Rotation, left leg lead: 12 total
Lateral Skater Leaps: 20 alternating
Squat Jumps: 15 total

Day 3 + 6 Core
Front Plank With Arm Reaches: 20 alternating
Side Plank With Leg Raises, right side: 20
Side Plank With Leg Raises, left side: 20
Superman: 20 total
Bicycles: 20 alternating
Mountain Climbers: 20 alternating
Day 7: Rest

THE EXERCISES

Bodyweight

T-Pushups

The move: Holding a strong plank position, lower your chest to 3–5 inches off the floor and return to a plank position. Rotate one hand toward the sky and hold a brief side plank. Repeat and rotate onto the other hand during the next rep. To modify, do the pushup on your knees, followed by a high plank and rotation.

Floor Y Raise

Bodyweight

The move: Begin by lying prone with your toes pointed and relaxed on the floor, and arms extended overhead, palms facing one another. Exhale, pull your shoulders down and back, and elevate your arms in a “Y” position. Gently lower down and repeat.

Triceps Dips

The move: Find an elevated bench or step. Sit on it with your hands aligned just to the outside your hips. Gently slide your hips forward, bend both elbows to 90 degrees, and return to the starting position. The further your feet are away from the bench/step, the harder the exercise is.

Plank Walkdown

The move: Begin in a hand plank position. With a minimal wiggle, lower your right forearm to the ground, followed by your left. Return to the top by pressing back up to the right hand then the left. On the next rep, lead with the left side. To modify, you can do this move from your knees.

Burpee

The move: Begin in a tight, active plank position on the ground. Keeping your body in a straight line, lower down, and press through the floor to complete a pushup. Immediately snap your feet under your body to land in a perfect squat position. While driving your arms up to the ceiling, press your feet through the floor and engage through the glutes as you leave the ground for your jump. Hinge the hips back, place your hands on the floor and hop back into an active plank. To reduce the intensity, step back to a plank and step up to the squat rather than jumping from plank to squat. Also, you can remove the jump portion of the burpee.

Bodyweight

Single-Leg Deadlift to Knee Drive

The move: Balance on one foot. Hinge at the hips and extend your arms out in front, maintaining a neutral spine and balance between reps (Don’t sit down unless you have to!). As you return, drive your extended knee up and in toward your chest while simultaneously standing upright. Add weights to up the intensity.

Alternating Lateral Lunges

The move: Begin with your feet together and standing upright. Step wider than hip-width apart with your right leg, keeping the toes of your right foot pointed forward as you land. Immediately upon coming in contact with the floor, bend at the knee and sink your right hip down and back. Press back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Forward Lunge With Rotation

Bodyweight

The move: Step forward with your right leg and lower both knees to 90 degrees. In this position, your back knee should be about 2 inches off of the floor. Brace your core and hips, extend your arms in front and rotate toward the right. Return and step back to the starting position. Repeat on the left side.

Lateral Skater Leaps

The move: Standing on the left leg, leap laterally to the right, immediately bending at the knee and hip to absorb the landing. Simultaneously reach the left leg behind and tap it to the floor for stability. Repeat by pressing off the right leg and landing on the left. You can also remove the jump and simply step and curtsy to each side.

Squat Jumps

The move: Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Drive your arms back, and sink your hips down and back. Simultaneously press through the floor, drive your arms up and jump off of the ground. Immediately absorb the landing by bending at the knees, hips, and ankles upon impact, ending in the squat position. Remember, the jump can be optional.

Bodyweight

Front Plank With Arm Reaches

The move: With your forearms on the ground and elbows directly under your shoulders, brace every muscle of your body (especially those glutes!) and hold a perfectly straight line. Slide your right hand out in front of your body, return, then repeat with the left hand. Ensure there is no rotation or other movement with the plank.

Side Plank With Leg Raises

The move: Line your elbow up with your shoulder and your shoulder with your hip and heel. With a very tight and braced core, push the ground away from you, staying active in the shoulder joint. Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips forward. While holding a strong, straight active plank, lift your top leg up about 6 inches and slightly back to engage the glutes. Lower and return.

Superman

Bodyweight

The move: Begin by lying on your stomach with your body long, arms overhead and toes pointed. Squeeze the glutes and lift your arms and legs off of the floor. Lower back down to almost touching, and repeat, arching back up into position. To make it easier, lift your opposite arm and leg together, rather than everything at once.

Bicycles

The move: With your head resting in your hands, begin by bringing the right elbow and left knee toward one another while extending the right leg long. Repeat on the other side all while keeping your shoulders off of the ground as high as possible.

Mountain Climbers

Bodyweight

The move: Begin in a hand-plank position with a flat back and everything actively squeezed. Hop your right knee toward your chest, followed by your left, maintaining the straight and tight plank with minimal rotation.

For more inspiration, check out “Workout Routines” in the app to discover and log a wide variety of routines by UA Performance Specialists. Or build your own routine with exercises that fit your goals.

About the Author

Shana Verstegen
Shana Verstegen

Shana, a member of the Under Armour Training Team, is a TRX and American Council on exercise master instructor and a six-time world champion lumberjack athlete. She holds a degree in Kinesiology
- Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and is a certified personal trainer through ACE, NASM and NFPT. An energetic and personable speaker, she is also the National spokesperson for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

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