List of Body Weight Exercises (with Instructions)
This section focuses on a wide variety of body weight exercises. These body weight exercises help to build strength and physical fitness without adding lots of extra bulk. Body weight exercises (i.e. push-ups) are used extensively by most martial arts schools.
Many martial artists worry that excessive muscle mass will reduce their flexibility. Therefore, they focus on exercises that only use their own body weight and often involve multiple repetitions (i.e. 50 push-ups). In contrast, power lifting that relies on limited repetitions with heavy dumbbells, barbells, etc. Martial artists who use body weight exercises exclusively would prefer to be like ancient Kung Fu masters (lean and strong) versus bulky modern day body builders. Instructors also like with body weight training that there is less danger of someone dropping a weight on their toes or damaging the dojo.
All stretches and exercises should be supervised by a trained martial arts instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. If you have had an injury or are in pain, please see a doctor before starting any stretching or exercise program. For exercises using weights (i.e. dumbbells), please visit the main Strength Training section.
Demonstration of Various Body Weight Exercises
Examples of Body Weight Exercises – Instructions & Videos
- Back Extensions
- Bear Crawl
- Bicycle Crunch
- Chair Dips – Triceps exercise
- Crunch Exercises
- Flutter Kicks
- Isometric Bicep Curl
- Isometric Triceps Extension
- Jumping Jacks
- Kick Outs
- Knee Drops
- Lateral Jumps
- Leg Drops
- Lunges – Without weights
- Lunge Jumps
- Mountain Climbers
- Plank Exercises
- Prone Superman
- Pulse Ups
- Traditional Push-Up – This is the basic push-up used in most exercise routines.
- Clapping Push-Up – A clapping push-up helps to develop explosive upper body strength.
- Eagle Claw Push-Ups
- Elevated Push-Up
- Incline Push-Ups – Incline push-ups are easier push-ups as you are doing a push-up against a wall, etc.
- Knee Push-Ups – This is an easy modified push-up used by people recovering from an injury or beginners who lack sufficient upper body strength for regular push-ups.
- Knuckle Push-Ups
- One Arm Push-Ups
- Plyometric Push-Up
- Single Leg Push-Ups – This push-up exercise will also help your core strength.
- T Push-Up – This advanced push-up exercise can be done with or without dumbbells.
- Triangle Push-Up or Diamond Push-Up
- Wide Grip Push-Ups – This push-up variation places greater emphasis on your chest muscles.
- Seated Russian Twist
- Side Lunges
- Squats – Without weights
- Squat Thrusts – This body weight exercise builds strength and conditioning.
- Standing Opposite Knee To Elbow
- Tuck Jumps
- Walking Lunge
- Wall Sit