Bodyweight Workout | 5 Exercises To Increase Overall Strength

Performing workouts without weights allows you to keep track of improvements easily; for example, once you move from knee push-ups to full push-ups you know you’ve become stronger, and then you can see the difference by the amount you can do.

You can also move your hands into different places to use different muscle groups. This is similar for most bodyweight workouts – there are alterations to make exercises harder or easier, and to work different muscles!

Bodyweight Exercises

Bodyweight exercises include movements such as bodyweight squats, press-ups, burpees, box-dips, ring-dips, toes-to-bar, pull ups, running, sit-ups, handstand press ups, box jumps, walking lunges, rope climbs… the list goes on!


Our chosen bodyweight workout for you will be a descending ladder workout, so you will complete 10 of each movement, then 9 of each, then 8, then 7, then 6, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

The buy in to the workout is one rope climb, so this must be completed at the beginning of the workout, and the same for the buy out. You are aiming to get the best time possible!

Exercises, Sets and Reps

Buy in: 1 rope climb

10,9,8,7…3,2,1 reps of each exercises

1) Rope climb
2) Push ups
3) Box jumps
4) Box-dips or ring-dips
5) Toe-to-bar

Buy out: 1 rope climb

Exercise #1: Rope climb

Rope climbs are a full body workout, great for improving upper body strength and coordination skills!

 rope climb

 To begin your rope climb, jump up and hold the rope as high as you can, use your primary leg to get the rope on the inside of your knee and lower leg, over the top of your foot and ending on the outside. Then use your other foot to hook the rope inside and around the primary foot and step on this to lift you up higher.

✓ The rope climb foot technique is one to get used to, but the better you get, the easier the rope climb will be on your upper body. If you want to make the rope climb even more challenging you can just use arms, or even climb in an L-sit position.

✓ The rope climb is mainly using your shoulders, forearms, back and abdominals.

Exercise #2: Push-ups

The push up is working your chest, shoulders and triceps!


✓ If you can’t do full push-ups, just work on your knees but concentrate on putting your weight forward, straight back, hold core, don’t let your back dip.

✓ It is also important to make sure your chest is above your hands and you don’t have your arms too wide.

Exercise #3: Box Jumps

box jumps

For your box jumps you want to make sure you are jumping with both feet together, and landing as softly as you can in the centre of the box.

✓ Make sure you stand up straight once landed on the box to complete the rep. Then you can either jump or step back off the box and move straight into your next jump.

Box jumps work your quadriceps as well as your calves and hamstrings, and are a great exercise to improve your explosive power!

Exercise #4: Box or ring dips

Choose to do either box dips or ring dips for the workout!

>>> Choice 1: Box dipsbox dips

Turn around after your box jumps as if sitting on the box.

Hands either side of you, bring your body forward, legs straight, and lower yourself down close to the box.

You want to go quite low before coming up again, try to make a right angle at the elbow.

>>> Choice 2: Ring-dips

Dips are mainly working your triceps, but also your shoulders and chest.

 ring dips

Crucial tip to remember on your ring dips is to keep your wrists straight and strong, hold you arms into your side and bend forward as you dip down creating the same right angle as on the box dip, but hands are faced in.

If you find it too difficult to do ring dips because of the balance and movement of the rings but do want to do this exercise you can use a rubber band to put your knees on, but this will now not be a bodyweight movement as the band will support your body.

The band helps hold the rings together as well as balance and will support your dips too meaning they become slightly easier.

Simply put the band on the rings and hold under your hands as your take hold of the rings.

Exercise #5: Toe-to-bar

Toe to bar is mainly using your abdominal muscles, but also your arms and shoulders.


Toe to bar can be completed as either a kipping toe-to-bar or strict.

If you are doing lots of reps kipping will make it easier. Hang from the bar and get into your kip, creating a banana shape forwards and backwards, don’t let yourself swing.

After a back kip bring your legs through and up to touch the bar in front of you. If you haven’t yet got your kipping you can do them strict or just simply bring your knees to elbow instead.

Take Home Message

Enjoy the workout –

Remember to pace yourself and break reps down if needed, good luck!

Photos by Emma Godden

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