5 of the best bodyweight exercises

Looking for a fitness boost? Bodyweight exercises build strength, improve stamina and sit perfectly alongside your running training. Take your pick from our top five bodyweight moves and transform your fitness.

5 of the best bodyweight exercises

Include these exercises in a circuit with a 60-second rest between each move, as well as at the end of the set. When you get the hang of it, repeat your routine two more times.

Still not sure? Our 5 benefits of bodyweight exercises should convince you.

The jumping squat

Jazz up your standard squat with a jump and say hello to results that span from your abs to your hamstrings.

  • Start by sitting in a regular squat with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • From here, explode up into a straight vertical jump before sitting back down into squat position.
  • Continue this for 5-10 repetitions, rest for 60 seconds.
  • If you want to give yourself an added boost, touch the floor on your way down, and lift your arms up straight into the air on the way up.

Plank taps

The key to this variation of your regular plank is balance. Work your muscles even more by stopping your body from rocking as you move from side to side.

  • Begin in plank position, with your body in one straight line and your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Take your hand to the opposite shoulder with a tap, so that your forearm comes across your body.
  • Place your arm back down into the starting position and repeat this on alternate sides every few seconds. See if you can continue alternating your taps for one minute and up your time by 15 seconds every time you do it. 

Jumping lunge

In working your quads, glutes and hamstrings, this movement is a golden nugget for runners.

  • Start by standing in a regular lunge, with your upper body straight, head up and shoulders back and down. Step forward with your left leg and lower your hips so that your knees are bent to a 90-degree angle, with your right leg bent backwards.
  • From here push into the air in an explosive movement and switch the position of your legs as you do so. Your right leg should now be forwards, and your left leg back.
  • Repeat this alternation for 60 seconds before resting for one minute.  

Bridge lifts

Here we have the perfect exercise to strengthen your gluteus maximus - one of the keys to injury prevention.

  • To start off, lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands by your side and place your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your back straight and lift your hips and bum off the floor. Your body will be in a diagonal position from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold this position for a second, engaging your core and glutes with a squeeze, before lowering your hips back down again, with your glutes touching the floor.
  • Repeat this 10 times before resting for 60 seconds.

Spiderman push-up

A push-up variation that packs a punch. The Spiderman is one of the tougher exercises on the scale, so feel free to split this into 30 second stints and build up.

  • Get into a standard press up position with your body aligned from your ankles to your head.
  • Lower your body to the floor and as you do so, hook your right knee to your right elbow, or as close as possible, and then back into position.
  • Alternate with your left side, left knee to left elbow, repeating five times on each side before a second rest.

Don't forget to stretch afterwards!

Inspired by our top 5 bodyweight exercises? Try this simple bodyweight workout for runners

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