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Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do in Small Spaces

November 18th, 2021 | Share via:

It is challenging to have a toned body and to regularly exercise as an adult because of work, responsibilities, and difficulties in time management. Many people are also reluctant in going to the gym or buying major training equipment because they don’t know how to operate the machine or they don’t have enough space at home.

If you want to exercise at home without gym equipment, the best way to do it is by using your body weight through calisthenics exercises. By definition, calisthenics is bodyweight exercises that solely rely on gravity and your body weight for resistance. Some calisthenics workouts require equipment but most can be done even in a small space.

Here are some calisthenics workouts that you can start with.

Upper Body Calisthenics Training



Push-ups might be the most well-known of all calisthenics exercises. The exercise routine can target your chest, shoulders, and triceps and improve upper body strength if done correctly. There are also a lot of variations when it comes to push-ups if the ordinary one gets too easy for you in the long run. The best push-up routine is three sets of 10 reps.

To do a regular push up, you should:

  1. Place your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart on the ground as a starting position. 
  2. Then, get your legs straight about hip-width apart. This should get your body straight as if you’re doing a plank. 
  3. Make sure to keep your core tight then begin lowering your body to the floor. 
  4. Inhale every time your upper body goes down and exhale every time it goes up.



Pull-ups is calisthenics training that requires a pull-up bar as equipment. You can get a detachable pull-up bar that you can attach to your door or you can practice pull-ups on a monkey bar if your community has a playground. Pull-ups can improve your body composition because it hits several muscles.

To do a pull-up, you should:

  1. Hold the pull-up bar in an overhand grip with your hands slightly away from your shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Then, get your knees bent so your feet will lift from the floor. 
  3. Once your body is lifted and your arms straight, raise your body by bending your elbows until your chin is over the bar.

Some pull-up variations are one-arm pull-ups, chin-ups, and muscle-ups.



Doing planks is one of the easiest calisthenics exercises. Getting on the plank position is simple, and you don’t need a personal trainer to know what the proper calisthenics form is to know such placement. Planks are highly beneficial for the body because it targets the core, shoulders, arms, and glutes. Some doctors even provide medical advice saying that you can do planks every day.

The hard part in doing planks is maintaining to be in that position for 30 to 60 seconds because you get all the weight from your entire body. It might feel like a burning sensation, but this is one of the bodyweight exercises that is an effective training solution to improve posture and prevent back pain.

Lower Body Calisthenic Exercises



Squats target the butt and the thighs. People who do squats religiously have one of these fitness goals, having a better-looking bottom or strengthening their thighs. 

To do a squat, you should:

  1. First, do a standing position and tighten your core. 
  2. Then, put your feet shoulder-width apart for a better form. 
  3. Look straight, open your chest, and relax your shoulders.
  4. Then, put your hands in front of you. 
  5. Afterward, you should “sit back” and move your butt backward as you lower your body.  
  6. As you descend, your knees should be slightly outward and directly above your feet.
  7. Ascend your body and repeat steps 1-6. 

No one makes the perfect squat form on their first try so don’t be too pressured by your form at first. Instead, do more squats and watch videos on how to properly execute it.

Calf raises


Calf raises are easy to do and it focuses on the legs. Doing this exercise can decrease your risk of having ankle injuries and it increases your chance of being a better jumper. This exercise is low impact so you should use dumbells if you want to increase the intensity. As an alternative dumbells, you can use two 6-liter water bottles. 

To do calf raises, you should stand straight, raise your heels until you are standing on your toes, and then slowly descend your feet until your toes touch the ground. To add progression, you can stand on a step so your foot can rest on a lower surface aside from adding weights.

Benefits of calisthenics exercises

If you are planning to lose weight and define muscles, calisthenics is excellent for calorie burn because it involves a lot of compound movement. Calisthenics exercises are also good for any fitness level. All you have to do is have the proper form. Another benefit of this method of strength training is the fact that you don’t need any equipment to start.

Yes, you can have ankle weights and weighted vests if you prefer, but there are ways to progress without using those tools through advanced movements and vigorous calisthenics. You can also do this exercise anywhere, even in a small home. The last thing you should worry about is the lack of space.

Calisthenics training is also time-efficient because you can do it at different quicker than weight training. Unlike in weight training, you don’t need to use various equipments when doing this exercise. Some of these workouts target several muscle groups at once as well. There are also several ways you can progress in calisthenics.

For instance, you can increase your reps or decrease your resting time. For exercises like push-ups and squats, different variations are harder to do than the other. Another way of progressing is adding weights to your workouts. 

If you want to burn fat despite your hectic schedule, you can start your first workout after reading this article. Yes, work and responsibilities matter. But at the end of the day, you should take care of yourself too and one way of taking care of yourself is by being healthy through exercise.

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