A Full Workout Using Only Bodyweight Exercises

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A Full Workout Using Only Bodyweight Exercises

How to get a full body workout using only bodyweight exercises

Supersets are the latest ‘in-thing’ amongst exercise enthusiasts everywhere and I count myself as one of the staunch followers of this regimen. So, what exactly is a superset workout? Supersets involve workouts wherein you do two or more exercises in succession without any rest in between the sets. So, can you really get a full body workout using only bodyweight exercises?  But, of course…

While this has been proven to be super-effective, the problem is I, like so many other people, began to get bored with doing the same thing every day. Looking around for a new exercise stimulant, I stumbled upon the CST or Circular Strength Training.

Brainchild of Coach Scott Sonnon, the core of the CST workout involves bodyweight exercises, which brings together a mix of gymnastics, dance and yoga together to form a full body bodyweight workout.

Take a look at these 5 excellent bodyweight exercises that you can include in your workout; incorporating them into your training in the form of supersets will help give your strength and stamina a huge boost.

1-Quad Squat

– Begin with your hands and feet on the floor, positioning yourself such that your back lies parallel to the ground. You should look as if you are doing push-ups, with your elbows angled outward slightly. Then, lower your whole body towards the ground by bending your knees and elbows simultaneously.

– A common mistake that many people make is only bending their elbows and not their knees. If you bend only your elbows, this bodyweight exercise loses its effectiveness and becomes too easy to do. Lower your body as far as you can before returning to your original position, keeping your hands and feet on the floor throughout this bodyweight exercise.

– As you become more familiar with this bodyweight exercise, you can increase the intensity of your workout by pushing yourself up more explosively. Try to push yourself into the air and clap your hands together before coming back down to your original position.

– Doing this bodyweight exercise in combination with any pull-up exercises in supersets will ensure that you have an excellent workout that targets your entire body.


– While the ellipse seems difficult to understand at first, it is not really a complex bodyweight exercise to learn. Perhaps the best description of an ellipse is that it is essentially a reverse Hindu push-up. While you or may not be familiar with the regular Hindu push-up, it is always best to start with the basics, so begin by bending your knees and placing your shins on the ground.

– Now bring your hands in front of you and place your palms flat on the ground a little ahead of your knees. Then straighten your arms as you push your body backward as far as you can, before reversing that motion and pushing your body forward as far as it will go, bending your arms and straightening your legs as you do so.

– Move your body forward until your chest is in front of your hands, then return to your starting position by moving your body backwards and back down, so it is once again close to the ground.

– As you continue doing this bodyweight exercise and getting stronger, start bringing yourself up onto your toes when you push your body forward. You can also combine this bodyweight exercise in supersets with other bodyweight exercises such as Hindu squats.

3- Crow

– This particular bodyweight exercise has its origins in yoga and it essentially an isometric movement that targets the muscles in the upper torso and arms and also improves balance. Start by getting down on your hands and knees, with your elbows angled slightly outwards from your body. Bring your knees up so that they touch the undersides of your arms.

– Bring your weight forward and shift it so you are leaning on your hands instead of your toes. Choose a single spot on the ground to use as a focus point as you support your entire bodyweight on your hands. As you get stronger, you can also take a leg away from the underside of your arm and extend it backwards as far as possible.

– When you first start doing this bodyweight exercise, begin with small backwards motions of your legs. Build up gradually to fully extending your leg backwards so that you do not strain yourself. While this bodyweight exercise may not look as intense as doing a great many push-ups or chin-ups, it is an even better way to build strength in your upper body.

– The movement of extending your leg behind you causes you to use your core muscles to stabilize yourself, so if you are thinking of doing supersets with this bodyweight exercise, you should combine it with a bodyweight exercise that targets your lower body such as squats.

4- Superman

– The bodyweight exercise named the ‘superman’ is somewhat similar to the plank, only much more intense. Begin this exercise by placing your hands and knees (or toes) on the ground, much like you would if you were getting ready to do push-ups. Start moving your hands forward in small motions, and you should immediately feel your abdominal muscles start working to stabilize your body and maintain your balance.

– Move your hands as far forward as you can and hold it for as long as you are able, then let yourself fall to the floor. If you find this bodyweight exercise too difficult to perform at first, you should start by doing the plank to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Doing the plank simply means holding your body in a push-up position without lowering yourself. When you are able to hold yourself in the plank position for thirty seconds at a time, you are ready to start doing the superman.

– If you are still having trouble with this particular bodyweight exercise, you can make it easier to perform by bending your arms at the elbows. A good progression to follow would be to do the plank first, then move on to the superman with your elbows bent and your knees on the ground, then the superman with your elbows still bent but only your toes on the floor, and finally the superman with both your arms and legs straight.

– You can incorporate this bodyweight into supersets with any other bodyweight exercise that targets your lower body. Any isometric bodyweight exercise such as the superman should be incorporated into supersets with a less strenuous bodyweight exercise.

5- Screwing Press

– The screwing press starts with hands and feet on the ground. Bend your knees slightly while keeping your back straight and parallel to the floor. Then roll your body to the right side, towards the ground, simultaneously straightening your right leg and pushing it out behind yourself.

– Bend you arms at the elbows and tuck them in tight to your body while attempting to lower your right shoulder down to the ground. If you feel off balance, you can use your left arm to keep yourself from falling over. Now your left arm to keep your balance, as you push your body back up to your original position. Repeat this set of movements on your left side.

– This bodyweight exercise specifically targets your shoulder muscles, triceps, and obliques. This bodyweight exercise was previously regarded as simply being an much easier version of the one-armed push-up. It has since been discovered that the two bodyweight exercises work your muscles in completely different ways, so don’t think of this as being a substitute for the one-armed push-up.

– As your muscles gain strength, start reducing your reliance on your other arm to support yourself. When you become proficient with this version of this bodyweight exercise, you can start doing it from a regular push-up position. Finally, this bodyweight exercise can be done in supersets with any bodyweight exercises involving regular chin-ups or chin-up variations.

The five bodyweight exercises described above will be a great addition to your existing workout and can be easily incorporated into whatever supersets you are already doing in your full body workout.

2 Responses to “A Full Workout Using Only Bodyweight Exercises”

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    I liked this post as well. I was actually wondering the same thing about Yoga vs Pilates since both are very popular. Have two sisters and one practices Yoga and the other practices Pilates. They both swear by them. Since in am not an expert in each of them I figured I would look it up on Google. I found a great article on About.com which explains the difference between the two. You might find this pretty informative. http://healing.about.com/od/pilates/a/yogavspilates.htm

    Thanks Janos for a great post.


  2. Venus Tameron says:

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    Interesting post, I’ve just started yoga myself and am wondering whats the difference betwwen yoga & pillates, just asking?

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