Body weight workouts can give you the physique you desire without expensive equipment or time spent travelling to the gym. In fact, resistance training with your own body weight can be just as effective as weightlifting for muscle building. Knowing the best body weight workouts for men will steer you in the right direction, so you can achieve fat-burning results fast from the comfort of home!
Circuit Training Basics
When choosing muscle-building, body weight workouts for men over 40, use them as part of a circuit training program to achieve optimal fat-burning results. Complete each exercise for about 45-60 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Take very short or no rest periods between sets, and complete at least three sets of each exercise. A sample circuit training, body weight workout plan for men might include:
Warm-up: 5 minutes
Exercise #1: 45-60 seconds
Exercise #2: 45-60 seconds
Exercise #3: 45-60 seconds
*Repeat this series two more times
Exercise #4: 45-60 seconds
Exercise #5: 45-60 seconds
Exercise #6: 45-60 seconds
*Repeat this series two more times
Exercise #7: 45-60 seconds
Exercise #8: 45-60 seconds
Exercise #9: 45-60 seconds
*Repeat this series two more times
Stretching (optional): 5 minutes
Sample Body Weight Exercises for Men Over 40
Mix and match the following body weight exercises for men over 40 when you want to burn fat, increase muscle mass, and give your metabolism a boost. Many of the exercises below work primarily the lower body, upper body, or your entire body to get the blood pumping and enhance calorie burning. You can add weight to just about any of the exercises if you’d like!
Lower Body Exercises
Try the following lower body weight exercises to strengthen your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calf muscles.
#1 Walking Lungs
Walking lunges build muscle, burn fat, and get your blood pumping. Slowly take a large step forward with your right leg until your left knee almost touches the ground. Then take a large step forward with your left leg until your right knee almost touches and continue walking lunges in a straight line.
#2 Alternating Forward Lunges
If you’d like to do lunges in your home but you don’t have a lot of space, you can still complete them while standing in place! Simply stand up and lunge forward with your right leg until your left knee almost touches the floor and slowly stand back up. Lunge forward with your left leg, stand back up, and repeat alternating forward lunges continuously.
#3 Alternating Reverse Lunges
Instead of lunging forward while standing in place, try lunging backwards behind your body instead! Begin in a standing position and lunge back with your right leg until you left knee almost touches the floor. Stand back up and lunge backwards with your left leg. Repeat alternating reverse lunges continuously.
#4 Alternating Jumping Lunges
To really get your heart pumping, try alternating jumping lunges as part of your next circuit training routine. Get into a lung position by stepping forward with your right leg behind you. Quickly jump into the air and land in a lunge position with your left leg forward and your right leg behind you. Repeat alternating jumping lunges continuously.
# 5 Static Lunge Jumps
Try static lunge jumps as an alternative to alternating jumping lunges. Get into a lung position by taking a large step forward with your right leg (your left knee will almost touch the floor). Stay in a lung position and jump up in the air back and back down continuously for about 30 seconds. Then lunge forward with your left leg and repeat the lunge jumps continuously for another 30 seconds.
#6 Wide Stance Squats
Try squats using your own body weight to strengthen your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Even your calves will get in a workout. Stand up with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor. Stand back up and repeat the exercise continuously.
#7 Narrow Stance Squats
Narrow stance squats are just like wide-stance squats, but you’ll stand with your feet close together (almost touching) when you squat down. When your thighs are about parallel with the floor, stand back up and repeat continuously.
#8 Squat Jumps
To complete squat jumps, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Jump up in the air and land in a squat position with your thighs about parallel with the floor. Immediately jump back up and repeat the exercise continuously.
#9 Squat Kicks
To complete squat kicks, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor. When you stand back up, simultaneously kick your right leg out in front of your body as high as you can, then squat back down. When you stand up the next time, kick your left leg out in front of the body and repeat alternating squat kicks.
#10 Squats with Kickbacks
Try squats with kickbacks to really work your glutes using just your body weight. Squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor and when you stand back up, simultaneously kick your leg up behind your body (keep it straight) while squeezing your glutes. Squat back down and complete the same motion with your opposite leg. Repeat continuously.
#11 Squats with Lateral Leg Raises
Instead of kicking your leg back behind you after squatting, try squats with lateral leg raises instead. Simply squat down and when you stand back up, kick your right leg to the right side away from your body (keep it straight) and squat back down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor. Stand back up and repeat the same kicking motion with your left leg. Repeat squats with alternating lateral leg raises continuously.
#12 One-Legged Squats
Instead of doing traditional squats with both legs at the same time, try one-legged squats to increase the difficulty level. Squat down with your right leg, keeping your left leg bent and out of the way, continuously for about 30 seconds. Repeat one-legged squats with your left leg for 30 seconds as well.
#13 Box Jumps
Box jumps to increase your strength and power and are some of the best fat-burning body weight workouts for men. You’ll need a plyometrics box, stairs, a weight bench, or two chairs if you don’t have a plyo box. Simply jump up onto the box with both feet at the same time, step down or jump down by landing softly, and jump back up and down repeatedly.
#14 Box Step-Ups
Use the same box (or stairs, a weight bench, or chairs) to complete box step-ups using your own body weight as resistance. Step up onto the box with your right leg, step down to the ground, step back up using your left leg, step back down, and repeat continuously.
#15 Alternating Box Toe Touches
Use a plyometrics box or weight bench to complete alternating box toe touches to strengthen and tone your entire lower body. Begin with one foot on the ground and your opposite foot on top of the box. Switch your legs quickly and continuously using a scissors-like motion and your arms for added momentum.
Skaters, also known as skater jumps, strengthen your legs and glutes and get your blood pumping to maximize fat-burning. In a side-to-side motion, hop to the right side with your right leg and cross your left leg behind it. Then hop to the left side with your left leg and cross your right leg behind it in a continuous, speed skating-like motion.
#17 Forward Hops
Using your own body weight as resistance, try simple forward hops as part of a fat-burning workout routine. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, squat down, and jump as far as you can forward in front on you. Keep hoping forward or turn around and hop back the other way continuously for about a minute.
#18 Side-to-Side Jump Squats
Choose side-to-side jump squats instead of traditional jumps squats to change things up a bit. Simply squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor and when you jump up, jump over to your right side. Squat back down and jump up and over to your left side. Complete side-to-side jumps continuously.
#19 Side Lunges
To complete side lunges, begin in a standing position and lunge with your right leg to the right side of your body while keeping your left leg straight. When you lift your body back up, bring your right leg back toward your left leg. Repeat the exercise continuously on the right side for about 30 seconds, then complete side lunges with your left leg for the same amount of time.
#20 Glute Bridge Marches
Glute bridge marches strengthen your glutes and hamstrings while burning unwanted body fat. To complete the exercise, lie on your back with your knees bend and feet flat on the floor. Lift your butt off the ground so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Once in this bridge position, slowly lift your right leg up in the air (keep your knees bent) and back down to a bridge position. Do the same motion with your left leg and alternate glute bridge marches continuously.
Froggers are like burpees, but you don’t jump up in the air or do push-ups. Simply get into a squat position, place your hands on the floor near your feet, and kick your legs out away from your body into a plank position. Quickly move your feet back toward your hands to get into a squat position, and repeat the motion continuously.
#22 Squat Jacks
Squat jacks are like jump squats. You’ll complete a squat with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, jump up in the air, and land with your feet close together. In other words, you’ll alternate wide with narrow stance jump squats continuously.
#23 Donkey Kicks
To complete donkey kicks, begin on your hands and knees on the floor with your back straight and knees bent. Lift your right leg up toward the ceiling as high as you can and lower it back down to your starting position. Repeat the motion continuously for about 30 seconds. Then do the same thing with your left leg for the same amount of time.
Upper Body Exercises
Use your own body weight to complete the upper body exercises below but try an at-home pull-up bar for some of the body weight workouts to maximize your results.
#1 Traditional Pushups
To complete traditional push-ups, get into a plank position with your hands about shoulder width apart and your arms straight. Slowly lower your body down, keeping your legs and back straight, until your face and chest almost touch the ground. Push your body back up into a plank position and repeat continuously using your arm, chest, and abdominal muscles.
#2 Triceps Pushups
Triceps pushups are like traditional push-ups as you’ll begin in a plank position. Place your hands closer together while you slowly lower your body until your chest and face almost touch the floor. Use your triceps muscles when pushing your body back up.
#3 Plyometrics Push-ups
Plyometrics, or plyo, push-ups are like traditional push-ups because you’ll begin in a plank position with your hands about shoulder width apart. Lower your body down to the ground until your chest and face almost touch. When you lift your body back up, do so explosively with power so your hands are airborne for a moment. When you’ve mastered the exercise, try clapping your hands together during each plyo push-up to increase its difficulty level.
#4 Wide Grip Pullups
You’ll need a pull-up bar to complete wide grip pull-ups. Place your hands wider than shoulder width apart on the pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you. Slowly lift your body up until your chin reaches the pull-up bar. Do as many wide-grip pull-ups as you can in a minute, even if you must rest for part of the time. If you can’t do a pull-up, place a chair or box under your feet so you can attempt pull-ups without using all your body weight.
#5 Close Grip Pull-ups
Try close grip pull-ups by placing your hands closer together on a pull-up bar with your palms facing toward you. Slowly lift your body up until your chin reaches the bar, then lower your body down back down. Repeat continuously for about a minute but take breaks as needed.
#6 Burpees (my personal favourite!!!)
Burpees get your blood pumping fast and work your upper and lower body using body weight as resistance. Begin the exercise by jumping up into the air. When you land, touch the ground next to your feet with your hands and immediately do a pushup. Jump back up into the air and repeat the exercise continuously.
#7 Chair or Bench Dips
To work your triceps muscles using body weight as resistance, you’ll need a chair or weight bench. Place your legs out in front of your body and your hands on the chair (or bench). Slowly lower your body down in front of the chair or bench. Using your triceps, lift your body back up and repeat chair dips continuously.
#8 TRX Rows
Attach TRX ropes to a TRX machine or at-home pullup bar to complete body weight TRX rows. Keep your body straight but lean back while holding the TRX ropes. Slowly pull your body up using your arms and upper back muscles. Lower your body back down to the starting position and repeat continuously for about 45-60 seconds.
#9 Back Extensions
If you have back extension machine, do back extensions on it in a reverse sit-up motion to work your lower back and hamstring muscles. If you don’t have a back extension machine, complete back extensions on the floor by lying on your stomach with your legs straight. Lift your upper back, head, neck, and shoulders off the floor as high as you can and back down. Repeat continuously.
Don’t forget about abdominal body weight workouts to achieve the six-pack abs you desire! Aim to work your abs most days of the week using the waist-slimming body weight workouts below.
#1 Hanging Knee-Ups
You’ll need a pull-up bar to complete hanging knee-ups. Simply hang on the bar with your arms straight and your legs dangling. Slowly pull your knees up toward your chest and back down. Repeat this motion continuously.
#2 Leg Raises
To complete leg raises, lie on the floor on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. Lift your legs up until they form about a 90-degree angle with the floor. Lower them back down until your legs almost touch the ground and repeat the motions continuously.
#3 Russian Twists
To complete Russian twists, sit down and form a V with your upper and lower body by bending at the waist. Place your hands at your right hip over to your left hip using a rotating motion with or without weights.
#4 Traditional Sit-Ups
Complete traditional sit-ups using your body weight as resistance to thoroughly work your abs. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your upper body up as far as it will go, lower it back down, and repeat continuously for about a minute.
Crunches are like traditional sit-ups, but you’ll lift just your head, neck, shoulders, and upper back up off the floor vs. your entire upper body.
#6 Traditional Plank Holds
Get into an extended push-ups position with your arms, back, and legs straight. You can rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands if you’d like. Hold that position for at least 45 seconds if you can!
#7 Side-to-Side Plank Dips
To complete side-to-side plank dips, get into a plank position once again. Slowly almost touch your right hip to the floor, then rotate until your left hip almost touches the floor. Repeat this side-to-side dipping motion continuously.
#8 Mountain Climbers
Get into a plank position by placing your weight on your hands and feet to complete mountain climbers. Quickly bring your knees to your chest, one at a time, in a rapid climbing-like motion.
#9 Jack Knife Sit-Ups or V-Ups
To complete jack knife sit-ups, lie on the ground with your arms straight and your knees bent. Do a sit-up by slowly bringing your arms (keep them straight) toward your knees and your knees to your arms simultaneously. V-ups are the same exercise, but you’ll keep your legs and arms straight instead of bending your knees.
#10 Bicycle Crunches
To complete bicycle crunches, place your hands behind your head and slowly bring your right elbow toward your left knee. Then bring your left knee toward your right elbow in a continuous motion.
#11 Plank Sliders
You’ll need gliding discs (paper plates or rags will work too) for these body weight workouts for your abs. Get into a plank position by resting your weight on your forearms with a disc under each foot. Keep your forearms in place but slide your lower body back and forth continuously in a saw-like motion.
#12 Lateral Plank Walks
Get into a plank position and rest your weight on your hands or forearms. Plank walk laterally using your arms and feet to move your body to the right. Then reverse your direction to the left and repeat the exercise.
#13 Plank Jacks
To complete plank jacks, get into a plank position once again. Stay in the position but quickly spread your legs apart and together continuously (keep them straight) while maintaining the plank hold.
Plank-ups are body weight workouts that involve getting into a plank hold by supporting your weight with your hands and feet. Lower your upper body so your forearms are now supporting your weight, immediately get back into an extended pushups position, and repeat continuously.
#15 Plank Shoulder Taps
While in a plank position with your hands and feet supporting your weight, tap your left shoulder with your right hand. Then tap your right shoulder with your left hand and repeat continuously.
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