Don’t Forget Bodyweight Exercises

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of bodyweight exercises.

It feels like the second we get a gym membership we forget about the humble pushup. I started off my whole fitness journey with home workout and doing pushups until I crashed nose first into the floor with failure. As soon as I joined a gym it goodbye to the exercise that got me there.

I switched it for the bench press and added a chest press machine, flys, pec dec and more to my chest building arsenal.

This was a mistake.

I’m now convinced the pushup, especially when we go weighted is a great accessory for the bench press. There’s a few reasons for this including natural movement of the scapula, being shoulder friendly and mimicking the same muscles used in the bench press because of the same flat angle.

Well, what about for those not interested in improving their bench press?

  • The pushup can be done absolutely anywhere, just get down!
  • It’s a great core exercise too, everything from top to toe needs to be tight and braced in order to maintain a straight position.
  • It’s a fantastic chest, shoulder and tricep builder (let’s not forget these are the T-shirt muscles).
  • It has amazing scalability for complete beginners who are overweight to elite bodyweight strength athletes.
  • There are so many pushup variations you’ll never get bored in a lifetime!

Pushups ranked in order of difficulty (starting with easier and getting harder)

Wall pushups

Incline pushups

Knee pushups


Decline pushups

Clap pushups

One arm pushups

Weighted pushups

Can’t manage normal pushups just yet? Scale back to knee pushups, still can’t do them? Scale back as necessary. If you can do knee pushups work on them until you’re comfortable and can do normal pushups.

Likewise, if normal pushups are so easy you’re not getting a training effect on them scale up to find a challenging variation.

There’s not a single person on this planet that can’t be challenged by some variation of the pushup.

Although this post has been heavily focused on the pushups, the ideas also extend out to other bodyweight exercises. For example the air squat (which everyone should be able to do), the pullup (which should never leave your back routine), the plank (another brilliant scalable exercise). 

Bodyweight exercises can be a part of anyone’s routine regardless of how advanced one gets. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity.

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