This beginner’s bodyweight workout is highly effective, unique, and NOT boring. 

Our intense 30-Minute HIIT Bodyweight Workout for Beginners requires no equipment and can be done at home.

If you’re looking for a free, highly effective bodyweight workout for strength and fat loss, you’re in the right place.

The next 30-minutes comprise of legs, back, chest, abs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and HIIT cardio exercises. 

You can jump right in with our 30-minute bodyweight workout video, or review the proper form for each bodyweight exercise for beginners below.

Bodyweight workout for beginners Ryan and Alex Duo Life

bodyweight workout for beginners

Since fitness spills into all areas of life, it’s the foundation of our healthy lifestyle. But if we’re being honest, Alex and I don’t love exercising.

We love the way it makes us feel, but we don’t wake up every day excited to start our workout. 

Therefore, we optimize every move and every minute for the best results. We’ve spent considerable time running experiments to find the most effective workouts for our bodies. 

After obsessing about the most effective exercise for almost 10 years, we created our Bodyweight Workout Plan in 2020.

The goal was to create workout routines for beginners who want to work out at home. Despite its name, this workout was challenging, even for us. It’s a plan for males, females, athletes, runners, and even overweight beginners. You’ll see why.

We curated a list of the 70 most effective total-body, no-equipment-needed exercises. 

Six months after sharing it with the world, we’ve already had over 1,500 people download the program. This 30-minute Bodyweight Workout for Beginners is Day 1 of that 8-week program.

Why Is This Workout for Beginners?

Don’t worry, just because it’s designed for beginners doesn’t mean it’s easy. Based on our heart rate data below, it’s a challenging routine!

Here’s why this is an excellent beginner’s bodyweight workout.

1. It’s safe

Should beginners start with bodyweight exercises?

As a general rule of thumb, it’s smart to begin exercising with bodyweight resistance before using heavier weights. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hurt yourself doing bodyweight exercises for beginners.

Therefore, all the exercises in this routine are safe for beginners.

However, as an added layer of safety (and efficiency), we provide detailed written instruction along with a video demonstration of each exercise.

What’s more, is we teach how to modify exercises when possible. In our 30-Minute Bodyweight Workout Video, Alex is demonstrating the modifications.

2. It’s hard, but you won’t die

Each move is multi-functional. You’re never just doing lunges. Instead, we do lunges with core strength, balance, or range of motion components.

Since the moves are unique, review them beforehand. While we rate this for people who have a beginner level of fitness, it’s reasonably tough.

If you sign up for our 8-Week Bodyweight Workout Plan, you’ll see in the PDF that it consists of Tabata-style workouts with the following structure:

Beginner – 25 seconds of WORK, 25 seconds of REST
Intermediate – 30 seconds of WORK, 20 seconds of REST
Advanced – 35 seconds of WORK, 15 seconds of REST

That 25 seconds of rest is another reason this is a beginner’s bodyweight workout.

According to our fitness test, Alex and I are at an intermediate fitness level and this routine was still a challenging bodyweight workout for strength

Our Beginner’s Bodyweight Workout Results

This routine has a solid structure, covering all major body groups. Based on the exercises and Tabata-style HIIT structure, we knew it was going to be a good sweat.

However, we wouldn’t push anything to the website without first testing it.

So, we did the full Bodyweight Workout for Beginners and gathered data to see how good it really was.

For both of us, our average heart rate and calories burned were impressive. The numbers didn’t surprise us because we were dragging by the end of the 30-minute bodyweight workout circuit.

We also tracked our average heart rate and calories burned for 60 minutes after completing the workout, to measure the ‘afterburn.’

It took Ryan about 30 minutes (Alex recovers faster) to feel recovered from the intense bodyweight workout. You know it’s a highly effective workout when you burn that many calories even after the workout ends.

For reference to our data, Ryan is 6’1″ (1.85 m) and weighs 175 pounds (79 kg). Alex is 5’4″ (1.62 m) and weighs 105 pounds (48 kg). Calorie burn is directly tied to weight.

The Bodyweight Workout Plan Exercises

Our promise to you is that none of these moves are the “same old, same old” bodyweight exercises for beginners.

In this beginner’s bodyweight workout routine there are 19 moves. Every one will challenge multiple muscle groups at the same time!

You don’t need any equipment. However, a mat (we use this one because it’s portable and high quality) would be helpful if you’re on a rough surface.

We also (as you’ll see) wear these funky toe shoes during all of our workouts. They’re simply the best shoe for stability and control during bodyweight workouts.

They strengthen muscles in your feet and ankles that you didn’t even know you had. For runners, these shoes are a great choice for this bodyweight workout. 

The below list is a glimpse into the bodyweight workout structure.


High Knee Jump Ropes (30 reps)
Forward Lunge Twists (15 reps)
Chest Opener Squats (15 reps)

Bodyweight Workout (25 Seconds Work, 25 Seconds Rest, 2 Cycles)

The 30-minute bodyweight HIIT workout for beginners consists of 2 rounds for the following exercises. Do each exercise for 25 seconds, with 25 seconds of rest in between.

You can use this exercise list to do the beginner’s bodyweight workout on your own. Or, feel free to follow our below workout video. 

Upper Body:
Tip Toe Dips
Alternating Wide Push-Ups
Bird Dog Push-Ups
Push-Up Side Arm Balance

Lower Body:
Alternating Reverse Lunge Knee Drivers
In-and-Out Squat Butterfly Arms
Sumo Squat Side Kicks
Low Side Plank Hip Circles R
Low Side Plank Hip Circles L

Rope Climbers
Ski Slopes
Low Plank Hip Dips

HIIT Cardio:
Low Low High High Jabs
Floor Sprints
Uppercut Jacks
Low Knee Drivers R
Low Knee Drivers L

Recommended Tabata Timers

If you plan to DIY rather than follow our workout video, you’ll need a Tabata timer.

Our go-to is Here is a screenshot of the settings you should use to complete this beginner’s bodyweight workout routine.

Bodyweight workout for beginners tabata timer desktop

However, if you’re completing this simple 30-minute workout off wifi, you’ll need to download an app on your phone. We recommend the free version of the Tabata HIIT Interval Timer.

Here are the settings in that app.

bodyweight workout for beginners best tabata timer mobile

The First of Many Bodyweight Workouts

Remember, this bodyweight workout for beginners is just Day 1 of our 8-Week Bodyweight Workout Plan. If you enjoy this, help yourself to the full program!

Bodyweight Workout Plan Form V2 Ryan and Alex Duo Life

8-Week Bodyweight Workout Plan

Download and instantly access the 8-week bodyweight exercise program including the following.

  • Videos of the 70 best upper body, lower body, core, and total-body cardio exercises with professional instruction to ensure proper form.
  • An 8-week workout calendar and rep tracker sheet with built-in variety and periodization.
  • A program guide built for your current fitness level: beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
  • Access to all future revisions to the program.

Plus, we're always here for support.

Or, download and get started for free.

Bodyweight Workout for Beginners – Warm-Up Exercises

1. High Knee Jump Ropes (30 reps)

This cardio exercise will put your heart and lungs to work, heating your whole body.

Stay on the balls of your feet, drive your knees to your waist, engage your core, maintain an upright posture, and jump rope at a fast pace. 

Bodyweight Workout Plan High Knee Jump Ropes

2. Forward Lunge Twists (15 Reps)

Start at the back of your mat with your feet hip-distance apart, arms stretched in front of you, and palms clasped together.

Then, lunge forward with your right leg, twist your upper body over your right hip while getting your left knee close to the floor at a 90° angle. Your front knee must stay behind your toes.

Keep your eyes forward, torso vertical, and weight in your heels as you push back to starting position. Then, switch sides to complete one rep.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Forward Lunge Twists

3. Chest Opener Squats (15 reps)

Start with your feet shoulder-distance apart and arms out to your side and thumbs facing back.

Next, sink into a squat, keeping the weight in your heels, while moving your arms in front of you with your thumbs up.

While squatting, never arch your lower back. If you have to, that means you’re sinking too low. This can result in lower back pain or serious injury. Keep your eyes forward and your chest up.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Chest Opener Squats

30-Minute Bodyweight Workout for Beginners 

Now that you are warm, start your Tabata timer and let’s HIIT it!

Upper Body

This portion of the bodyweight workout is primarily for the chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. However, you’ll feel the burn in your glutes, calves, and hips as well. 

4. Tip Toe Dips

Start on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart. Place your palms on the floor a few inches behind you, fingers facing your heels.

Lift your body 6-8 inches off the ground by pushing into your hands and feet. Lastly, get up on your toes to engage your calf muscles, and begin dipping as low as you can and as quickly as possible.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Tip Toe Dips

5. Alternating Wide Push-Ups

Start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-distance apart and your fingers facing forward. Then move your right hand outward placing it on the ground wider than shoulder-distance.

Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest toward the ground as you inhale. Press back up to push-up position while exhaling. Continue alternating sides going forward.

Maintain a slight bend in your elbows and keep them over your wrists to prevent elbow injuries. As a beginner, it’s best to do this on your knees, as demonstrated by Alex.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Alternating Wide Push-Ups

6. Bird Dog Push-Ups

Begin by doing a basic push-up, however, when you return to the top of the push-up, raise your right arm and left leg so they are parallel to the floor (or higher if it’s comfortable).

This completes one rep. Begin your next rep by lifting your left arm and right leg. As a beginner, it’s best to modify the exercise as shown by Alex.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Bird Dog Push-Ups

7. Push-Up Side Arm Balance

Start by doing a basic push-up. At the top of the push-up, lift your right arm up to the sky and rotate your body.

Engage your core and glutes to maintain a straight body, and make sure your left hand is under your shoulder. Your arm should be straight but DO NOT lock your elbow.

Then, lower your right arm, and rotate your body back into push-up position to complete the first rep. Going forward, alternate sides for each rep. To modify, do the push-ups on both knees and side arm balance on one knee.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Push-Up Side Arm Balance

Lower Body

This part of the beginner’s bodyweight workout is for legs. Everyone’s favorite, right?

While we’re mainly working our hamstrings, quads, hips, and glutes, we also target the obliques and shoulders while challenging balance and range of motion. 

8. Alternating Reverse Lunge Knee Drivers

Start in a reverse lunge on the right side. Reach your left leg back and keep your front knee (right) behind your toes and weight in your heels. 

Then, while returning to the top of the lunge, drive your left knee up to the sky in front of you, maintaining your balance on your right leg.

Keep your arms out in a “T” position during the entire exercise.

Repeat the reverse lunge knee driver on the left side to complete one rep.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Reverse Lunge Knee Drivers

9. In-and-Out Squat Butterfly Arms

Start with your feet squared, shoulder-distance apart, and your fingers on your temples and elbows extended out (engaging your upper back and shoulders).

Shift your weight into your heels, keeping your knees behind your toes as you squat. 

Once you’re at the bottom of your squat, launch back up while bringing your elbow together in front of you. Use your momentum to hop your legs in, so that your knees are touching.

Without stopping, sink into a squat, squeezing your knees together (engaging adductors) and your elbows together (engaging pectorals). 

Lastly, explode back up, hopping your legs back out and pulling your elbows apart. If you need to modify this exercise, step (like Alex) instead of hopping (like Ryan).

Bodyweight Workout Plan In-and-Out Squat Butterfly Arms

10. Sumo Squat Side Kicks

Sumo squats are similar to squats but with your feet angled outward at a 45° angle and broader than shoulder-distance apart.

As you sumo squat, imagine your tail bone and shoulder blades are sliding up and down a wall to keep your chest up. As always, keep the weight in your heels.

Start at the top of a sumo squat with your fists up, on guard. From the bottom of your squat, push up and kick your right leg diagonally toward your opponent’s chin. As you shift your weight to your left leg, engage your core, and lean away slightly.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Sumo Squat Kicks

11. Low Side Plank Hip Circles (Right & Left)

Start in low side plank, balancing on your forearm (elbow under your shoulder) and stacked feet.

Keep your core and glutes engaged so that your body is straight. Lift your top leg and start drawing circles in the air with your toes. Change directions halfway.

After finishing the set, flip over and work the other side. You should target matching reps on both sides and make note of any imbalances.

If you get tired or need to modify, drop down to your lower knee (as shown by Alex below).

Bodyweight Workout Plan Low Side Plank Hip Circles


The next four bodyweight exercises for beginners will challenge your core. We’ll target the abs, obliques, and, most importantly, lower back muscles.

12. Rope Climbers

On your back, begin by lifting your legs towards the ceiling, striving to keep them as straight as possible.

Reach with each hand towards your feet, as if climbing up a rope. Perform as many reps as possible, with one rep constituting a reach by both hands.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Rope Climbers

13. Ski Slopes

Start in downward dog position. Bend your knees and hop at a 45° angle (like Ryan) to your right, bending your knees again as you land. Then, hop back to center and continue alternating sides.

Perform as many reps as possible, with one rep constituting a hop on both sides. To modify this exercise, continue to hop, but in a straight line (like Alex).

Bodyweight Workout Plan Ski Slopes

14. Swimmers

A strong back is imperative to a strong core. Lift both arms and legs from the floor while laying on your stomach. Start flutter kicking, never touching the ground.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Swimmers

15. Low Plank Hip Dips

Get into a forearm plank and rotate your body to drop your right and then left hips to the floor. This is one rep. Keep your back flat and squeeze your core to avoid lifting your butt.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Low Plank Hip Dips

HIIT Total Body Cardio

To round out this bodyweight workout for beginners, cardio is essential. Do as many reps as possible and keep your core engaged throughout. 

16. Low Low High High Jabs

To get the most benefit from this bodyweight cardio exercise you need to move as fast as humanly possible.

Start in your natural fighting stance, with your dominant foot forward. Then, drop low, as if dodging a punch, and jab. Next, stand up and jab.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Low Low High High Jabs

17. Floor Sprints

Begin in the high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders.

Pump your knees toward your elbows as fast as you can. Perform as many reps as possible, with one rep containing both legs.

Remember to keep your back flat and butt down. During all plank variations, spread your weight into your fingertips to decrease the load in your wrists.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Floor Sprints

18. Uppercut Jacks

Start by doing jumping jacks but with your legs only. Then, as you’re jumping into a wide stance, add uppercuts with alternating arms.

Keep your biceps flexed as you uppercut. 

Bodyweight Workout Plan Uppercut Jacks

19. Low Knee Drivers (Right & Left)

Begin in a low lunge position with your right foot forward and your arms straight overhead (fingers interlocked). As fast as you can, drive your left knee forward and pull your hands down to touch your knee.

To increase intensity, your stationary leg is doing shallow squats to add explosiveness.

Bodyweight Workout Plan Low Knee Drivers

Beginner’s Bodyweight Workout Video

Want More Bodyweight Workouts?

This bodyweight workout for beginners is Day 1 of our 8-week program. 

If you enjoyed these bodyweight exercises for beginners, there are dozens more (70 total) included in the full program. 

Plus, the program calendar introduces you to new, more challenging exercises every week to ensure progress. 

Bodyweight Workout Plan Form V2 Ryan and Alex Duo Life

8-Week Bodyweight Workout Plan

Download and instantly access the 8-week bodyweight exercise program including the following.

  • Videos of the 70 best upper body, lower body, core, and total-body cardio exercises with professional instruction to ensure proper form.
  • An 8-week workout calendar and rep tracker sheet with built-in variety and periodization.
  • A program guide built for your current fitness level: beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
  • Access to all future revisions to the program.

Plus, we're always here for support.

Or, download and get started for free.

Beginner’s Bodyweight workout FAQs

Do bodyweight workouts work?

It’s counterintuitive, but bodyweight workouts can be more effective than exercises with weights. Why?

Because your body moves functionally, challenging balance, and range of motion, and strength on multiple planes. With weights, often you’re only challenging muscles within the vertical plane.

Yes, bodyweight workouts work, as long as they are challenging you. Your heart rate should be elevated and your muscles should reach failure.

Can you get ripped with bodyweight exercises?

Yes, you can. But, it’s going to require a more structured training plan than this single bodyweight workout for beginners. That’s why we recommend you continue on with the 8-week program after today’s workout.

What is the best home workout program?

We have a strong opinion on that, and we’ll talk about it more in the next section.

Closing Thoughts

Congratulations on focusing on building a stronger, healthier body.

This bodyweight workout for beginners was designed for you, so make sure to listen to your body and modify as needed. By working on your overall fitness and nutrition, you will see the results you’re looking for!

I need a fitness plan. What do I do?

This was only one workout, which is not a plan.

We follow the programs on Beachbody On Demand. P90X3, LIIFT4, T25, and 21 Day Fix are a few of the best Beachbody workouts, all requiring minimal equipment.

Sign up for a free trial and request to join our BODgroup through the app so we can provide support and hold you accountable.

I have questions. What do I do?

If you have questions about our beginner’s bodyweight workout, ask away in the comments below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

For more useful resources, head over to our Work Out At Home page.


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Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

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