You can do so many different types of workouts at home. One day you might be in the mood for Pilates, and the next you’ll take part in a dance cardio session, all without leaving your living room. But the next time you want to get the most out of your workout in the shortest amount of time, compound bodyweight exercises is where it’s at.
According to Luke Zocchi, a trainer on Chris Hemsworth’s health and fitness app Centr, bodyweight exercises are perfect for getting an effective workout at home sans equipment. Especially when you go with a workout that consists of multitasking movements.
“You’ll get more benefit for the time and effort that you put in. It also helps build your foundation strength quicker, as you’re hitting multiple muscle groups at a time.” —Luke Zocchi, trainer
“When it comes to making the most of your workout time at home, compound bodyweight exercises are the way to go. You’ll get more benefit for the time and effort that you put in. It also helps build your foundation strength quicker, as you’re hitting multiple muscle groups at a time,” he says. “If you have specific strength or physique goals, it can be a good idea to include isolated strength moves that target those areas. But for functional fitness, including compound movements in your routine is key.”
To make sure no muscle gets left behind during your at-home workouts, grab your water bottle and get to sweating with Zocchi’s top five compound bodyweight exercises.
These compound bodyweight exercises leave no muscle left behind
“Sit-throughs not only help build strength in your shoulders and core—they also help with hip mobility, which is awesome for anyone that works at a desk,” says Zocchi.
- Squat down with your hands planted on the ground in front of you, rotate 90 degrees to the left, and kick out your right leg.
- Then, rotate 180 degrees to the right, kicking your left leg out, before turning 180 degrees back to your original position.
“Squats hit your glutes, quads, and hammies, so they’re a serious power move. If you feel like an extra challenge, try turning them into jump squats, landing in a deep squat,” says Zocchi.
- Stand with your feet wide in a strong stance.
- As you squat, ignite your glutes and shift your weight into your heels, keeping your chest lifted.
- Squeeze as you return to your starting position.
“Lunges are a great move for building a powerful base and targeting your hamstring, quads, and glutes,” says Zocchi.
- Lunge forward with your front knee directly above your ankle and your shoulders above your hips.
- Drive back up by pushing down through your heel. This makes sure you’re engaging all three muscle groups and helps with stability.
“Burpees are the perfect all-round movement,” says Zocchi. “They work multiple muscle groups throughout your body, from your hamstrings, quads, and calves to your abs and obliques. You even hit your triceps, pecs, and deltoids.”
- Place your hands on the floor in front of you and jump your feet back into a plank position.
- Lower yourself into a push-up, then jump your feet forward and jump straight up off the floor.
Note: If you’re new to burpees, skip the push-up. The move will still be effective as you work your way up to a full burpee.
5. Bear crawls
“Bear crawls are an awesome full-body move,” says Zocchi. “You can use them as part of a warm-up or within your workout itself to target your core, shoulders, arms, and glutes.”
- Get into a push-up position with your knees at a 90-degree angle under your hips.
- Crawl forward with your core engaged, alternating your hands and feet.
- To increase the difficulty, speed up the movement—but don’t lose control.
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