A 30-Minute Bodyweight Workout for Getting Lean & Fit and Working Full Body

30-Minute-Bodyweight-Workout

Are you looking for a simple, 30-minute bodyweight workout you can do almost anywhere––at home, outside, or in a hotel room while traveling?

If so, read on because I’ve broken down three options below. These can work for any fitness level, and you can make minor tweaks or large changes to fit your needs, preferences, and potential limitations.

Table of Contents

Main Takeaways

  • Bodyweight exercises can be done without going to the gym and without equipment (or limited equipment such as a pull-up bar).

  • The workout can be done in 30 minutes or less, and we have different levels of difficulty depending your fit level.

  • Bodyweight exercises are a great way to gain lean muscle and increase strength, and also burn extra calories.

  • Always do a quick warm-up and some dynamic stretching before doing these exercises to avoid injuries.

Muscles Worked

Primary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Major muscle groups (Chest, Back, Legs, Arms)

Secondary Muscles Worked 💪

  • Core

Beginner 30-Minute Bodyweight Workout

The following is a simple workout that’s ideal for beginners who have 30 minutes and want to train their entire body without equipment:

ExerciseSets
Knee Push Up3
Bodyweight Squat3
Glute Bridge3
Inverted Row (more upright position)*3

First, you’ll notice that there are no rep targets. This is because every beginner has a unique strength level––one might be able to do 10 push-ups, another might do twice that.

So, a better approach is to do close to as many reps as you can and stop each set when you feel like you can only do two or three more reps. Also, for rest periods, take around 90 seconds to catch your breath between sets.

*Training the back with no equipment is tricky. We typically recommend chin-ups and pull-ups as a minimalistic approach, but even those require a pull-up bar.

Inverted rows are a good alternative because they don’t require any equipment, and you can typically do them at home, so long as you have a sturdy table or desk you can get underneath.

That said, an alternative is to get a suspension kit like TRX, which is affordable and compact, ideal to take outside or put in your bag while traveling.

Intermediate 30-Minute Bodyweight Session

This workout is a bit more fast-paced and more suited for trainees who already have at least a few months of experience with resistance training.

ExerciseSetsRest Period
Pull-ups*31.5-2 mins
Pike push-ups31.5-2 mins
Bulgarian split squats31.5 mins
Bench dips & Single-leg glute bridge3 2 mins**

As you can see, this workout is a bit more advanced, as it features more challenging exercises like the pull-up and pike push-up. Pull-ups are the only movement requiring some equipment; you can do the rest without any.

Pike push-ups are a more challenging exercise that primarily works the shoulders but also works the chest, triceps, and midsection.

We also have Bulgarian split squats, which are more challenging and train one leg at a time, providing an excellent stimulus for the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. (1)

Finally, the last two movements are put together because that’s a superset. The goal is to do the movements back-to-back with no rest in between and then take a two-minute break. That way, you can get extra training volume without spending too much time on your workout.

Advanced High-Intensity 30-Minute Bodyweight Blaster

Finally, we have an advanced 30-minute workout designed to train your whole body with little to no equipment. 

ExerciseSetsRest Period
Pull up & Decline push up32 mins
Bench dips & Bicep push ups32 mins
Single leg squat & Single leg glute bridge32 mins
Inverted row & Pike push up32 mins

As you can see, this workout has significantly more training volume, which is condensed a lot through super sets. The goal is to perform these movements in pairs (with no rest in between) to save time.

For example:

Pull-ups ⇒ Decline push-ups ⇒ 2 mins of rest

Do your sets close to failure (but always leave at least a rep in the tank) and breathe steadily (especially on the second movement of each superset) to avoid gassing out.

If you do this at a high enough intensity, you should be able to train your whole body quite well and finish in 30 minutes or less.

The Power & Effectiveness of Bodyweight Workouts

Bodyweight exercises are a highly underrated workout discipline. You can do a great deal with bodyweight exercises, and get nearly the same workout as in the gym. And if your goal is to simply get lean and fit, then these exercises provide nearly all of what you need.

You may lose some impact in the way of variation, but these exercises will work all of the major muscle groups. And one body exercise that is best performed with equipment is the pull up. With a pull-up bar, it vastly increases the range of exercises that you can do for your back and lats. And it is hard to get a good back workout without a pull-up bar unless you are using dumbbells at home, but then it’s not body weight.

Safety Tips & Final Words

As with all workouts, a good warm-up is a must. Even if you’re strapped for time, take at least 5-6 minutes to prepare your body through some light cardio (e.g., jumping jacks or jogging in place), dynamic stretches (e.g., arm and leg swings), and some movement-specific sets, but at a lower intensity.

Doing so will prepare your body for the workout, improve your performance, and reduce the injury risk.

Additionally, even when your time to train is limited, perform each repetition with an even tempo and keep constant tension on the right muscles.

Rushing through reps could allow you to complete your sets quicker and do more volume in less time, but it could also lead to a technique breakdown, resulting in less effective training and a higher injury risk.

Can’t get past the beginner level? Check our bodyweight chest and back exercises for a more detailed approach to your workouts. Looking to increase your strength through bodyweight exercises? Try our bodyweight strength training to learn more.

Check out some of our bodyweight exercises:

Check our video library to learn more about bodyweight exercises.

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Philip Stefanov

Philip is a fitness writer, blogger, certified personal trainer, and the founder of ThinkingLifter.com. He trained at BioFit College, and has spent the last nine years writing fitness content and training men and women in the gym, as well as online. His passion is fitness and exercise, and helping others improve their fitness and wellness.

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References

1) Davis, N. (2019, November 21). How to do a Bulgarian split squat the right way. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/bulgarian-split-squat#benefits

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