This quick but challenging bodyweight home workout routine is ideal for those times when you need to work out but can’t get to the gym. This calisthenics workout hits the entire body and will give you new respect for bodyweight exercises!

The gym is a fantastic place for any fitness addict but at times it can be loud, crowded, and you may have to wait for ages to get the equipment you want. Sometimes it’s great to be able to avoid all the mess and work out effectively with no equipment at all! The best thing is you can use these challenging bodyweight movements in the gym whilst you are waiting for someone to finish with the equipment you need!

Working out at home with bodyweight exercises or calisthenics can be very effective, and it’s possible to work the entire body with just a few pieces of standard household furniture! There are times when it’s just not possible to get to a gym, whether that’s because you don’t have a membership, or simply because you’re on holiday!

This workout should take you 30-40 minutes to complete, and is guaranteed to leave your muscles sore the next day. Take short rest periods and perform every movement with slow and controlled form to get the most out of every exercise. When working out with your bodyweight, you can go to failure on most movements because there’s no danger of dropping the weight on yourself!

The full workout is as follows and each exercise is explained in the following sections:

  • 1 – Plyo bulgarian split squat – 3 x 15-20
  • 2 – Table inverted row – 3 x failure
  • 3 – Plyo pushup – 3 x failure (or standard pushup)
  • 4 – Handstand pushup – 3 x failure (or high incline pushup)
  • 5 – Bodyweight skull crusher – 3 x failure
  • 6 – Inverted reverse grip curl – 3 x failure
  • 7 – Chair dips – 3 x failure (or assisted dips)
  • 8 – Glute/hamstring raise – 3 x failure
  • 9a – Knee tuck – 3 x failure
  • 9b – Russian twist – 3 x failure
  • 9c – Flutter kick – 3 x failure

1. Legs – Plyo bulgarian split squat – 3 x 15-20

Put one leg up on a chair or couch and the other on the floor. Squat down and then explode upwards and jump off the ground with your front leg. Try to land softly and keep your core tight and your body upright. Repeat the movement until you complete 15-20 reps on each leg or until failure.

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2. Back – Table inverted row – 3 x failure

Lie underneath a sturdy table and grab hold of each side. Pull your chest up towards the table then lower yourself down slowly. Try to keep your body straight throughout the movement. Repeat the movement until you reach failure. Alternatively, you can swap the table for two chairs propping up a broomstick.

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3. Chest – Plyo pushup – 3 x failure (or standard pushup)

Position two chairs just wider than the width of your shoulders and set yourself up in a pushup position with your chest in line with the chairs. Explode upwards and jump your hands up onto the two chairs. Drop back down into the pushup position and try to land softly. Repeat the movement until you reach failure. If you cannot manage plyo pushups, you can do standard pushups instead.

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4. Shoulders – Handstand pushup – 3 x failure (or high incline pushup)

Do a handstand up against a wall and balance yourself with your feet. Perform pushups whilst in the handstand position. Do as many as you can then push off the wall and land back on the ground. Alternatively, you can do high incline pushups with both knees up on a chair. Bend at the hips to try and get your body as upright as possible to target the shoulders. Repeat the movement until you reach failure.

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5. Triceps – Bodyweight skull crusher – 3 x failure

Lean against the edge of a table (push the table against the wall to stop it from moving). Lower your body down keeping your elbows low and tuck your head underneath the table. Push back upwards using your triceps and keep the position of your shoulders constant. Lower yourself down slowly and repeat until you reach failure.

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6. Biceps – Inverted reverse grip curl – 3 x failure

Lie underneath a sturdy table and grab the edge with your hands about shoulder width apart. Perform a curling movement by bringing your head towards the edge of the table. This places the emphasis on the biceps rather than the back muscles. Lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat until failure.

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7. Triceps/Chest – Chair dips – 3 x failure (or assisted dips)

Set up two chairs just wider than shoulder width apart with the backs facing one another. Grab onto the top of each chair and lower yourself down slowly, bending at the elbows. Push back up using your triceps to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement until failure.

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8. Legs – Glute/hamstring raise – 3 x failure

Lie over a table with your legs hanging off one edge. Raise your legs upwards by squeezing your glutes and hamstrings. Try not to use your lower back and really concentrate on contracting the glutes. Hold the top position for a couple of seconds then lower your legs back to the starting position. Repeat until you reach failure

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9a. Abs – Knee tuck – 3 x failure

Start by sitting on a chair, stool or even the floor with your hands behind you and legs stretched out in front of you with feet of the ground. Pull your legs inwards and crunch your body forwards using your abs. Return to the starting position and repeat until failure. Then go straight onto the next exercise.

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9b. Abs – Russian twist – 3 x failure

Balance yourself on your butt with your hands together and feet raised off the floor. Twist from one side to the other whilst keeping your feet and body raised off the ground. Repeat the movement until failure then go straight onto the next exercise.

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9c. Abs – Flutter kick – 3 x failure

Sit with your hands behind you and feet raised off the ground. Try to use a chair or stool if possible as it allows more range of motion. Kick your legs up and down alternately whilst keeping them straight. Repeat the movement until failure.

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