5 Best Body Weight Exercises for Women

Not everyone is familiar with the concept of body weight exercises. A lot of women new to exercise are often afraid to lift weights. For some, exercise means picking up a weight or using one sort of resistance.

Body weight exercises are actually more effective in building strength in men and women than most of us think them to be. Being able to push your body weight against gravity is a true measure of strength. Often known as calisthenics, body weight exercises are a great way to build muscle and strength.

Best body weight exercises for women:

Here are the five best body weight exercises for women:

1) Squats

Squats are everyone’s favourite lower body exercise. This is a popular exercise among exercisers of all ages. Squats are great for strengthening the legs and hips; namely the quads, glutes, hamstrings, adductors and calves.

They’re done as follows:

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart and toes pointing forward. Keep your back upright by bracing your core.
  • Push your hips bac,k and drive your knees forward to lower your hips to the ground. Squat till your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Push yourself up by straightening your legs to return to a standing position, and squeeze your glutes.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps.


2) Push-ups

Push-ups are popular among all athletes for developing upper body strength and stability. They primarily work the muscles of the chest, shoulders and triceps. Here’s how they’re done:

  • Get into a high plank position on the floor. Align your shoulders directly above your hands and your hips in line with your shoulders and feet by bracing your core.
  • Bend your elbows back and lower your body towards the floor till your elbows are bent at a less than 90-degree angle.
  • Push yourself back up by straightening your arms and returning to the high plank position.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps.


3) Tricep dips

Another exercise great for developing push strength is tricep dips. They also work largely on the shoulders and chest. Although you would need a bench or chair, this exercise requires only your body weight. It’s done as follows:

  • Sit on the edge of the chair, and grip the edge with your fingers pointing forward.
  • Take a step forward so your hips are off the seat. You may bend your legs, or straighten them out in front of you.
  • Bend at your elbows and lower your body towards the ground till they are bent at less than a 90-degree angle.
  • Push yourself back up by straightening your arms.
  • Perform 12 to 15 reps.


4) Body rows

Also known as inverted rows or Australian pull-ups, this exercise is effective in helping develop pull strength, namely, the muscles of the back and biceps. You would need a pull-up bar for this exercise, which is done as follows:

  • Adjust the bar to chest height. Grip the bar with both hands spaced slightly wider than your shoulders. Take a step below the bar, and suspend your body with straightened arms.
  • Align your hips with your feet and shoulders by bracing your core.
  • Pull yourself up by squeezing your shoulder blades together and bending at your elbows. Bring your chest to the bar.
  • Lower yourself back down by straightening your arms out again.
  • Repeat this move for 12 to 15 reps.


5) Elbow planks

Planks are great for developing core strength, a vital factor to improving posture and eliminating back pain. A strong core means better movement of the body. Here’s how elbow planks are done:

  • Get onto all fours on the floor. Drop down to your elbows, and straighten your legs out behind you.
  • Squeeze your glutes, and contract your abdominal muscles to align your hips with your shoulders and feet.
  • Hold the pose for 20 seconds to start with. You may increase the duration as you progress.


Now that you know the best body weight exercises out there, add them to your next routine, and try them out. The best part is that these exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home. All you need is your body weight


Q. Do you do body weight exercises?

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Edited by Bhargav