How To Work Out With No Weights – 7 Weightlifting Girls Share Their Favorite Bodyweight Routines


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What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

We asked 7 girls who lift to share their favorite bodyweight routine and here is the result.


Nia Shanks

[frame align=”right”]Nia Shanks[/frame]Nia Shanks is a personal trainer and health writer who promotes sane and simple information that allows women to build the bodies they want by focusing on becoming the strongest, most awesome version of themselves. For more information about Nia and her Lift Like a Girl philosophy, check out her website
What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

One of my favorite go-to bodyweight workouts is a three exercise circuit:

  • Skater squat (or a rear foot elevated split squat if the skater squat is too challenging) x 8-15 reps
  • Close grip push-up (to make it more challenging, pause in the bottom position for 1-2 seconds) x 8-15 reps
  • Inverted row x 8-15 reps
Rest as needed but try to keep it to a minimum. Repeat that circuit a total of 3-5 times and you’ll have hit practically every muscle in your body.
Why do you like it?
I love bodyweight workouts, like the one I provided, because they’re fast, simple, and most certainly effective. Bodyweight workouts are wonderful for trainees who are short on time because they can be done anywhere.
What does it do for you?
I’m all about maximum results in minimum time, and this workout fits the bill perfectly.
Are you short of time too? Check out our article “30-Minute Workout Template That You Can Fit in No Matter How Busy You Are.”

Jennifer Hudy

[frame align=”right”]Jennifer Hudy[/frame]Jennifer started weight training in early 2012 as a way to improve upon her health and fitness. She has been highly involved in Crossfit over the past year and a half and blogs about her experiences, struggles, and other health and fitness topics at Wine to Weightlifting and tweets @winetoweights.
What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

While I am much prefer working out with some heavy weights, sometimes the luxury of a barbell is just not available! When pressed for time or lacking equipment, Tabata-style workouts are a great way to get the heart rate up and complete a workout in as little as 4 minutes. Combining multiple exercises can increase the total work time, but even just one set will leave you gasping for breath!

Why do you like it?

Tabata intervals are 20s of activity, followed by 10s of rest for 8 intervals. Some great ways to use this scheme is to do sprints, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, squats, jumping lunges, or mountain climbers. Count the number of reps that you did the first round and try to match or beat them each subsequent round (much easier than it sounds!).

What does it do for you?

This is a great way to increase your cardiovascular endurance and improve fat burning

Amanda Perry

[frame align=”right”]Amanda Perry[/frame]Amanda Perry is a busy working mom to a toddler boy. She owns Skill of Strength, a gym and training facility in Chelmsford, MA with her husband. In addition to running the business she also works with clients as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. She maintains a blog at

What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

When I do not have access to any weights, my favorite thing to do is to find a hill and do some hill sprints. Find a hill that’s 20-60 yards. Sprint up the hill at about 90%, walk back down for recovery and repeat! Simple, but not easy and done in no time.

Why do you like it?

You don’t have to spend a ton of time doing them to reap the benefits!

What does it do for you?

Hill sprints are incredibly effective for fat loss.

Joy Victoria

[frame align=”right”]Joy Victoria[/frame]Joy Victoria is a personal trainer at Bang Fitness in Toronto, online fitness coach and former SnC coach for the St Johnsbury Academy. She is a mother of two, and blogs at

What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

When using my bodyweight for workouts, I want to get the biggest bang for my buck. My favorite moves are ones that are often not familiar to the average fitness buff, but offer incredible benefits for better movement, strength and conditioning. When you are using your bodyweight, it’s important to make sure you can target your muscles effectively and load your body in ways that are both challenging and safe. Not like blowing out a knee from jump lunges.When training with body weight, choose a progression that is right for you. Build your strength, before you aim to go fast or explosive.

  • Forward Crawls – Get on all fours, just like a baby, pop your knees off the ground a bit and crawl forward. Incredibly challenging for your whole body, and is a very natural movement pattern.
  • Plank Saws – Get in your plank position on your forearms with a nice straight body. “Pull” your elbows toward your toes, rock your heels up, and reverse. Your abs will be on fire.
  • Split squats – Get in a lunge position on the floor, shift your weight to your front leg (you should feel this in the bum and leg, not the knee!), and drive through your heel until you are almost standing. Dip your back knee and do it again.
  • Glute Bridge March – Lie down, feet flat and knees up. Squeeze your bum to raise your hips off the floor. Lift one knee at a time while pushing hard with the other, and reverse. Your butt will thank you
  • Incline Push-ups – Find a bench, fence or couch to set up in your push-up position. Get nice and straight like you would in a plank and do a push-up. Go slow on the way down till your chest is in between your elbows and push back up strong.
  • Chin Up Negatives – Find a bar or tree branch. Jump into a chin up or pull up position and lower yourself slowly. Alternatively, try the monkey bars. Can you do a full lap?

Why do you like it?

These exercises can be done anywhere, anytime if you have some floor space or are at a park with some monkey bars.

What does it do for you?

Including bodyweight exercises in your routine is always a good idea, and it’s a workout you can take with you whereever you go. Our body is what we carry around everyday anyway.

Carly Rowena

[frame align=”right”]Carly Rowena[/frame]Carly is a Personal Trainer,  fitness blogger and YouTube vlogger from Norwich.


What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

Thats SUCH a hard one, I have to pick two as there are just so many amazing ones out there. My favorite ones are:

  • Pull-ups
  • Single Leg Squats

Why do you like it?

There’s nothing like hauling your own body weight up into the air to make you work up a swea. It’s amazing feeling all of the muscles in your back as they work it.I sometimes dribble a little when I see someone nailing it!

What does it do for you?

You feel the burn almost instantly and it really takes concentration and determination to make it work for your body. But when you do, well, just watch that butt lift.

Ella Anne Kociuba

[frame align=”right”]Ella Anne Kociuba[/frame]Ella Anne Kociuba – a young fitness enthusiast. She started training shortly after she graduated high school and became extremely serious about it. She participates in  Tough Mudder and the Spartan Races.


What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

My favorite body weight exercise are push-ups.

Why do you like it?

Push-ups are great exercise to superset with anything. Try changing the tempo of your push-ups to slower to fast. Also change up the placement of your hands to target different muscles.

What does it do for you?

The push-up engages your chest, your core, your legs, your entire body – even your will power.

Meg Brown

[frame align=”right”]fit-bitch[/frame]Meg Brown is a certified personal trainer, mom, business owner, motivational speaker, and fitness enthusiast. Since finally beating the battle of the bulge after having her son in 2010, Meg has developed a passion for fitness and has turned it into a full time career. Her website is at

What’s your favorite exercise when you have no access to weights?

When I need to crank out a quick workout with big impact, I always opt for leg exercises. Big muscle groups means big exertion, which means you can get more work done in a shorter amount of time. I also try to engage the glutes as much as possible. Who doesn’t love a sculpted booty?Here’s a little ass-tastic routine that you can get done in no time at all:

  • 20 jump squats
  • 20 (per leg) pulse reverse leg extensions
  • 20 (per leg) Bulgarian split squats
  • 20 frog jumps
  • 20 (per leg) stationary lunges
  • 20 glute bridges (contract glutes for 5 seconds at the top)

Do that little number for 4-5 rounds and feel the booty burn!