A man doing a one-handed plank

Bodyweight exercises or calisthenics involve using only the weight of your body for resistance — no tools, . According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average person needs 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of strenuous exercise every week. Mixing moderate and intense aerobic activity with strength training at least twice a week helps engage all muscle groups. 

Harvard Health states that men start to lose 3-5% of their muscle mass per decade after the age of 30. Weight training is the best way to keep muscle mass for more stamina, balance, and mobility, and avoid injuries. Using your bodyweight to exercise is a practical way to incorporate strength training into your workout, and it can be just as effective, too.

The International Sports Sciences Association lists push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, dips, crunches, and squats as examples of calisthenics that target large muscle groups. But if you’ve been doing these and want to make things more interesting, try these unique bodyweight exercises for variety.

The Squat Walk

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and get into the squat position. Keeping your torso upright by engaging your core, stay as low as you can while walking forward. Try to make your thighs parallel to the floor, but if you can’t, you can hold the pose at a higher angle. This move conditions the joints and strengthens the knees, as well as engages the hamstrings and buttocks. 

The Leopard Crawl

The leopard crawl is a crawling exercise. It starts in the push-up position and transitions into contralateral movement or moving the opposite arm and leg at the same time. You guessed it — like a leopard. This moving push-up involves slow, small, and steady steps, teaching core stability and control.

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The Seal Walk

Don’t let this fun exercise fool you — the seal walk is tougher than it looks. Start in the push-up position, place both palms outwards and away from your body while your feet rest on slides or a scooter. The feet don't move at all in this bodyweight exercise. As you walk with your arms and hands, the lower body stays in a plank position. The upper body does all the work, teaching core engagement and hip stability.

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The Superman

The Superman is an awesome equipment-free way to boost core strength. Lie face down on the mat with your arms and legs extended. Slowly raise your arms and legs so that your body forms a small curve. Try to keep your torso as still as possible as you do this to work your obliques, lower back, and all the muscles around your spine.

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No equipment? No problem. Try these bodyweight exercises for effective strength training without having to buy weights or going to the gym.