Put time spent at home to good use and take your no-equipment workouts to another level with these advanced bodyweight exercises.
1. Peterson Step-Up with Heel Lift
- Start upright, standing on a box (or solid surface) on one leg.
- Place the other leg off the side of the box, with your foot running along the edge.
- Hold your hands together in front for stability and slowly pull down on the standing leg, flexing at the knee, hips and ankle. The opposite leg should stay straight, tracking the side of the box.
- At the bottom position, allow the heel to lift off the standing leg to put emphasis on the quad.
- Press your heel back to the box and return to the start position, maintaining an upright torso.
- Repeat for 10-12 reps each leg.
“This exercise focuses primarily on building the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), an inside quad muscle just above the knee, to improve knee stability,” says PT and co-founder of Starks Fitness gyms James Stark. “The depth of the exercise is completely individual. Perform under control to maximise quad recruitment.”
2. Archer Press-Up
- Start in a press-up position with hands wider than shoulders and feet the same width apart.
- Slowly ‘pull’ down, keeping your elbow tight to your torso on the loaded side.
- Press back up to the start position.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Aim for 10-12 reps each side.
“Engage your hips by tucking your pelvis in and squeezing your glutes – doing so will help with core stability,” advises Stark. “You may find during the reps it’s more comfortable to roll onto the heel of your hands. Add a pause at the bottom position to increase intensity.
3. Bridge Rotation
- Start in a seated position with hands and feet at the same width and distance from your body.
- Press one hand into the floor as you raise your hips up by pressing down with the heels of both feet.
- Reach with the opposite arm to the top position and pause.
- Lower back to the start and repeat on the other side.
- Aim for 10-12 reps each side.
“Make sure you press into the floor with the planted hand to maximise stability in the shoulder joint,” says Stark. “By focusing on pressing through the heel of the feet, you’ll get a better engagement of your glutes.”
4. Pike Handstand Press-Up
- Start with your feet on a box and hands on the floor, both at shoulder-width.
- Push hips upwards into a pike position, pulling into your lower abs and extending your lower back.
- Pull towards the floor, keeping on your tiptoes.
- Press back to the start position by fully locking at the elbows and extending your shoulders. Maintain a neutral spine.
- Repeat for 12-15 reps.
“Grip the floor with your hands at all times, with a wide finger span,” says Stark. “In the top position, imagine you are pressing the floor away from your body to maximise the contraction and movement through your shoulders.
5. Gorilla Walk
- Start by standing with your feet together and placing both hands on the floor with straight legs (bend slightly at the knee where required).
- Push up on to your tiptoes, loading the weight onto your hands.
- Shift your weight forwards over your hands, loading your shoulders until your toes lift off the floor.
- Pull your feet towards your hands using your abs to compress – pressing up through your shoulders throughout.
- Reset, walk hands forward a small step and repeat for 15-20 reps.
“Your forward fold will be dictated by your flexibility – the distance between your hand placement and feet,” says Stark. “Turn your hands slightly outwards so your index fingers are pointing forward to help relieve pressure on your wrists.”