Top 10 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Advanced and Beginners – The Renegade Health Show Episode #104

Friday Jul 25 | BY |
| Comments (34)

I love bodyweight exercises…

So this list was pretty easy to compile. I’ve been studying bodyweight exercises for years now and I always come back to these specific ones.

This list is actually a double top 10, since I do a beginner variation of each one for those of you who are working to build your strength. 🙂

Take a look now…

Your question of the day: What’s your favorite bodyweight exercise?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comment now!

If you do want an encyclopedia of dozens more, then check out Steve Cotter’s bodyweight exercise DVD set. It’s 3 DVD’s of bodyweight exercises from quite possibly the most amazing physical specimen on the planet. Steve is the real deal! (He’s worked with Mixed Martial artists to Pro Football players!)

Click here to check out Steve’s encyclopedia of bodyweight exercises!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. valereval says:

    Thanks Kevin for this excellent top ten.
    I only practice Yoga and walk one hour every day. My exercise routine feels incomplete … I’m gonna start to practice some of your exercises.

  2. sonja says:

    Hi Kevin, Love your show! Your enthusiasm is infective. I will try some of the excercises. I am recovering from knee surgery, so need excercises I can do without putting too much stress on my knees. Also I am very overweight, any ideas for this?
    Thanks Sonja

  3. Gwnn says:

    PUSHUPS!! (preferably with feet elevated higher than hands)


    two of the best ever.

  4. Linda says:

    How about “doorknobs” with outstretched arms? Love the burn….

  5. Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

    I love pushups and pull ups too! The hindu or military pushup works more though… more bang for the buck. Pull ups, I didn’t include because you need equipment, or at least a low tree branch.

    “doorknobs” what are those? 🙂

    Val and Sonja, I’ll address these questions in an upcoming show for everyone to benefit from!

    Live Awesome!

  6. Meri says:

    I actually tried to do the bridge a few days before this episode and realised that my hip flexors are not as flexible as they used to be! Will use the build up exercises to help get back that flexibility.

    Thanks Kevin 🙂

  7. Linda Hanson says:

    Personally, I like using Kettle Bells. I love how quickly they have transformed my body and my back and knees are much stronger. Thanks, Linda

  8. Hi Kevin – I’m going to show my husband this post, he’ll really appreciate it. I’d like you to know that your blog was awarded by me. You always offer great information. Thank you.

  9. Ana says:

    I like doing shoulder stands and i am building on head syands at the moment to.

  10. tima says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for all the great info. I loooove your show and have been telling everyone about it…
    Just a quick question on the bodyweight exercises… I am very new to exercise (my major form of exercise is walking and some beginning yoga and rebounding), am seriously out of shape and have about 100 lbs to drop… Do you think that the bodyweight exercises are the way to go and how would i come up with a routine… Do you think your top 10 would be sufficient as a full body regimen?
    thanks so much and keep up the good work!

  11. Rachel says:

    Hi Kevin I have an extremely slow internet connection at present and will have until at least December. Is there anyway of downloading the video clips? If I try and watch online it takes 1/2hr5 or more and I only get to listen to a few words at a time.


  12. Hi Kevin,
    thank you for this substantial health week and congratulation to your persistance to give us almost each day some minutes of your life!
    My favourite exercise for short time is stair climbing with some weights that are around (some bottles, a paket, stones).
    By the way I knew the #1 and #2 from a german health trainer, who also knows the eastern origin of these exercises. May I ask you, where have you learned about it?

  13. Jonathan Silva says:

    Good stuff!

    Funny how the Hindu exercises are at the top of the list. Do they know something we don’t? Haha.

  14. don says:

    what about muscle-ups and HSPUs?

  15. hi says:

    tyvm for this list, helped me a ton!

  16. Air Force GIJoe says:

    Hello and good day
    I am responsible for the Physical Training of 560 people. First there are three objectives that must be meet. Cost, Quality, and Convenience… Your top 10 is great
    Cost = Free
    Quality = Upper, Lower, and Core muscle groups
    Convenience = can be done anywhere anytime

    Thank you
    My planning is done, and with your double top 10 list beginner/advance I am set for years and years of Unlimited and Sustained Physical Fitness Improvement.

  17. James Flint says:

    Thanks, Kevin. Is your routine down loadable or posted on YouTube?

  18. Santosh says:

    The Hindu pushup is just a part of the entire routine of the Hindu pushup. Google/youtube ‘Surya namaskar’ to see the complete routine. The Surya Namaskar(sun salutation) is the #1 bodyweight exercise since ancient times. Try it!

  19. drew says:

    The hindu pushups were fun and do seem to work a wider range of muscles than traditional pushups. Thanks!

  20. Jeff says:

    I am interested in getting one of those “I may be blue, but I’m going green” T-shirts. How do I go about getting one?


  21. Jeremy says:

    Hey nice video. I’ll check this site out more often. These are great for daily morning exercises. Thanks!

  22. Bere says:

    Thanks for this.
    I’m definitely going to try all of these. Cheers!

  23. Maja says:

    This was awesome! A great combination of calisthenics and pilates movements. I know that you wanted to keep the video short, but a lot of these exercises were quite rushed … unless, of course, you are going for cardio. My advice: keep these movements slow and deliberate … it’s harder to do and you’ll develop more strength.

    One exercise that was not shown that is great for stretching/strength:

    1) Stand tall with feet at shoulder length apart.
    2) Breathe in and contract abs.
    3) Bend your head forward and slowly roll your upper body down so that your hands touch your feet (or as close as possible).
    4) With your hands, walk your body into a push-up position and perform one push up (slowly!).
    5) Now, perform steps 1-4 backwards so that you end up in a standing position.

    (substitution of easier push-ups can be done at step 4.)



  24. Richard says:

    You may know the 90-90 wall squat — back to the wall, thighs parallel to the ground, 90 seconds. I call this the Egyptian God. Now … when that gets easy, try it again, but ONE leg at a time. This will not be easy. I call it the Egyptian Flamingo.

  25. paulr says:

    Hiya…excellent top ten. Several appear to be a variant of yoga (no diss just observation) After decades of martial arts, lifting and gymrat stuff I happened upon a yoga class lead by a “sleight & slender instructor”. My toughts were “yoga pshaw too easy for me” but I took a class
    It was one of the best & toughest classes i ever had. I was hooked. I literally wring the sweat outta my t-shirt after an 90 minutes of yoga. The intensity is great and the exercises can be adjusted to each individual’s level of ability. I’ve since brought my “tuff guy” friends to her class and challenged them to keep up. They’re hooked now too.

    It’s basically bodyweight training as expressed thru postures.

    suggestion: discuss how proper breathing is important and leads to greater improvement. For me its ujjayi breathing that pulls it all together

    Gyms are okay if they help you get/stay in shape but bodyweight training is ideal for everyman & woman

    oh BTW the link to steve’s site appears broken.

    keep breathing

  26. Emerson says:

    Yup yup yup partner – those are the probably some of if not the best bodyweight calisthenics out there. On the hindu squat, however, breathing rythmm is very important – namely, out on the way down and in coming up. Awesome.

  27. Hi Steve, I greatly appreciated you top 10 video and now use them regularly. They are a great addition to my biking, running and weight lifting.

    I write about positive psychology, mental health, progressive thinking, and consciousness at

    Keep up the great inspirational videos.


  28. OOPs. I mean Kevin.

  29. MichaellaS says:

    tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

  30. Richard says:

    A fine list of exercises and a very good start for beginners -though more advanced athletes may still be surprised to find one that challenges them too!-.

    I’m very fond of the “Dish” position, the L-sit and the Muscle-Up (Though the latter uses equipment like the pull-up such as a bar or rings).

    I write about training for intermediate -> advanced bodyweight feats and general all round fitness at: if you’re interested.

    Thanks Kevin:D

  31. Imerson says:

    The good old push-ups would have to be my all-time favorite.

  32. Dian says:

    Great exercises! I really believe that body weight training is the top form of training. Being able to use your own body the way it was supposed to be used is the best feeling in the world!

    There is this android app that makes my training sessions a lot easier and every exercise is only with your own body weight.

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  34. Tyler says:

    do you use these exercises on your boyfriend?

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