Anyone else using bodyweight exercises to build and sculpt? Share your routines!

Hey! Just started trying to gain after seeing some sad numbers on the scale a few months back. I have really modest goals, but would love to share food diaries and routines with others who are into stuff like calisthenics!

My current routine
Day One
  • Brief jog (~8min)
  • 3x10 box jumps
  • 3x3 assisted push ups
  • General plié routine
  • Active flexibility stretches

Day Two
  • Brief jog
  • 3x10 box jumps
  • 3x5 assisted push ups
  • 3x12 calf raises
  • Active flexibility stretches

I also try and take ballet and pole classes whenever feasible. What's your routine? I wanna steal ideas hehe.


  • Mcwi3681
    Mcwi3681 Posts: 67 Member
    I started out following Mark Lauren's program "Body By You" back in June. I finished that program last month and now I'm doing "Convict Conditioning" by Paul Wade. I had great results with Body By You and so far I'm loving Convict Conditioning as well!
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,071 Member
    I'm re-running GymnasticBodies Foundation1 and Handstand 1 program. It works towards 6 skills - straddle planche, front lever, manna, rope climb, hollow back press, side lever (human flag). Well, also pistol squats, but I can already do those so I skip that.

    Example workout might look like:

    Hollow Body Hold 5x60s - 30s shoulder bridge between sets
    Planche lean 3x30s - 10s prone half straddle planche hold between sets
    Pseudo Planche Pushup 5x10r - 5r Xiaopend Backwards between sets
    Arch Body Hold (superman) 5x60s - 10r Hurdler stretch between sets
    Negative Hanging leg lift 5x5x10s - 5r vertical pike pull between sets
    Bent Arm Chin Hang 5x60s - 5r overgrip bent pull between sets
  • jeagogo
    jeagogo Posts: 179 Member
    I do pole dancing too, and a fair bit of my time in the gym lately has been to build strength for the pole and trapeze. I love stealing moves from aerial and pole conditioning classes.

    I do some weight lifting to get stronger for those activities, but there are some aerial conditioning exercises I try to incorporate that are purely bodyweight based.

    For hanging exercises, I do:
    • Assisted pull-ups, because I can only do 1 legit pull-up (I prefer using a resistance band for assistance vs the pull-up assist machine. I find I keep my core better engaged that way, which actually makes the pull-ups easier). 3 sets of 5 reps.
    • Shoulder shrugs - just hang from a bar and slowly draw your shoulders down away from your ears, engaging your lats. Super important muscle engagement for pole. 3 sets of 10.
    • Single arm hold. Having your feet on the ground or a box is a good way to adapt this exercise if you can't hang from one arm yet. If your feet are on a box or the ground, try to have your body in a sitting position. If you are fully in the air just tuck your knees to your chest or have them out straight for an extra challenge. The free arm is extended to the side. Hold for 10 seconds per side. 3 sets.
    • Single arm shoulder shrugs. A combination of the previous two exercises. Just 10-15 each. Could be broken into sets, though.
    • Hanging knee/leg raises. Hanging from the bar, tuck your knees to your chest. Increase difficulty by straightening your legs - you can keep them straight the whole time, or tuck with bent knees and straighten at the top keep them straight while you lower. 3 sets of 5-10
    • Skin the cats. I'm not very good at these yet, so I tend to just try to do 5-10 total. You can check out videos on this one, and you can do it on a bar if there's enough room to flip over or from gymnastics rings.
    • Straddle inversions. This one I don't do at the gym, only the pole studio or circus school, but it's a vital move for aerial pole work. On trapeze I'll do 10 total. On pole I'll do 5 on each side of the pole.

    For floor work:
    • Inchworms with push-ups. I just go back and forth across whatever floor space I have available.
    • Walking lunges
    • Banana roll with crunches and stretches. So from the hollow body position (back on the ground), do 3 crunches. I usually do 1 bent leg crunch, 1 V-up, and 1 straddle-up. From the Superman position you can get some arm work by swimming your arms, or take a moment to stretch by grabbing your feet and pulling into a bow pose.
    • Dragon flag. This is one I've only recently been strong enough to do, and I still do it with spread legs to make it a bit easier. I try for 3 sets of 5.
    • Pike and straddle leg lifts from seated on the floor. For when I feel like having my body hate me. These are so important for being able to hold a good straddle position in the air.

    I'm sure I'm forgetting something, and there are some things that I do occasionally that I don't actually know what they are called.

    I would also recommend incorporating resistance bands into your workout if you are conditioning for pole and dance. They are great for stretching feet and ankles, and there are some great rotator cuff shoulder stability exercises you can do with them that will help with pole work. If you have access to a suspension strap system (like TRX) or gymnastics rings at your gym those can also be great for bodyweight based strengthening. Normal ab exercises like planks or mountain climbers become so much more intense when you have your feet suspended off the ground. Slider discs can also be a way to make floor ab work more challenging.

  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,071 Member
    @jeagogo - I actually do straddle inversions in the gym. I’m sure people think I’m nuts. Straight arm ball ups too.

    Oh, and I’m convinced pike and straddle leg lifts from the ground are the devils exercise. You won’t believe the F bombs that drop when my quads cramp.
  • StargazerB
    StargazerB Posts: 427 Member
    I have tried the recommended routine on the bodyweightfitness subreddit, I think it's a great well rounded program. I'm probably going to give it a go again soon because I really enjoy calisthenics more than weight training.
  • acatlady85
    acatlady85 Posts: 2 Member
    edited January 2020
    jeagogo wrote: »
    I do pole dancing too, and a fair bit of my time in the gym lately has been to build strength for the pole and trapeze. I love stealing moves from aerial and pole conditioning classes...

    You and mom23mangos basically gave me everything I've been looking for in a routine. Thanks!

    I do find things like pikes and shoulder mounts really difficult and I think it's primarily because my core is really weak right now. I don't have space for my pole in my current place so hopefully incorporating these exercises will keep me pole-ready since I don't wanna drop $$$ on a studio membership.
  • nighthawk584
    nighthawk584 Posts: 1,979 Member
    Push ups and pull ups on my cardio days (at least 100 or more push ups in sets to failure)... My other days, I do full body weight training.
  • richiechowns
    richiechowns Posts: 155 Member
    StargazerB wrote: »
    I have tried the recommended routine on the bodyweightfitness subreddit, I think it's a great well rounded program. I'm probably going to give it a go again soon because I really enjoy calisthenics more than weight training.

    I've stumbled across this and it looks good, just need to either build a pull up bar and dip station or buy a Gravity type one.
  • kristingjertsen
    kristingjertsen Posts: 238 Member
    I do body weight exercises. Much safer after back surgery. I also do a lot of pilates and yoga. Both build strength and flexibility with much less wear and tear on my aging body.
  • sheena_shewell
    sheena_shewell Posts: 48 Member
    During quarantine I did mainly body weight exercises which involved push ups chin ups lunges and hip thrusts and HIIT once or twice a week. I'm currently the leanest I have ever been. All done from home!
  • staticsplit
    staticsplit Posts: 538 Member
    I downloaded the Nike fitness app and set it to give me two bodyweight classes a week--and they are definitely difficult! They're free and well-explained. It's a lot of push ups, squats, burpees, so more like HIIT than straight up bodyweight strength, but I'm enjoying them and seeing my fitness improve quite a lot.

    Then I do buddy PT with a friend once a week (with resistance bands/a kettlebell) and usually run once or twice a week (or go for a long run if I can't be bothered running). This all together has kept me pretty fit during quarantine, though I have also been eating a lot of brownies.