Not sure what the bodyweight exercise and core conditioning trend is all about?

Well, if you’ve ever had a sore back or just didn’t feel like you were putting all your power into the pedals – then that’s what it’s about! Building up your core muscles (abs, lower back, hip flexors, etc.) is key to strong cycling.

While cycling doesn’t work your arms, abs, or back very much, you sure have to use those muscle groups when you ride. But it’s possible to get a good workout at home that hits all those muscles!

On top of that, these are all bodyweight exercises you can do at home with little to no equipment. They’ll make you tough without building huge, bulky muscles that will just weigh you down. Just follow the guides provided below.

Here are links to all my body weight exercise demonstrations, which include photo and video.

The exercises are grouped by the main target muscle, but some are certainly applicable to more areas.

But first, read this: Determining Reps and Sets for Body Weight Exercises

Back Exercises:

Ball Back Extension – Work your back muscles at home with this back extension done on an exercise ball. (No other equipment required.)

Ball Hip Extension – This is kind of a “reverse back extension” where you extend your hips and legs, working your lower back.

Superman – A simple but effective back exercise done while lying on the floor.

Alternating Superman – Taking the superman one step further, this version works your back as well as your balance.

Shoulder Bridge – Work your back and glutes with this bridge position.

One-leg Shoulder Bridge – Really work your glutes by taking one leg off the ground during the bridge position!

Bird Dog – A fun back exercise that is fun to do and works your balance.


Ab/Core Exercises:

Crunch – The basic abdominal crunch is a time-tested ab exercise good for beginners.

Reverse Crunch – The reverse crunch changes the crunch position to work your abs and hip flexors from a different angle.

Suitcase Crunch – If you’re ‘crunched’ for time, use the effective and efficient suitcase crunch.

Reaching Crunch – Reach your hands out and put some more power behind the traditional ab crunch.

Ab Wheel Roll-out – Add this $8 device to your workout and your entire core will be sore from just a few reps.

Ab Roll-out on Stability Ball – An ab roll out done on a stability ball.

Negative Leg Raises – By incorporating negative resistance (a slow lowering phase,) you really feel the burn with this exercise.

Ball Crunch – Take the standard crunch and do it on an exercise ball for an even more effective workout.

Twisting Ball Crunch – Add a twist to the ball crunch and work more core muscles.

Boxer Ball Crunch – This is a dynamic crunch where you rotate around like a boxer dodging punches.

Bicycle Kicks – Get your abs, hip flexors, and entire core moving in this pedaling-style exercise.

Scissor Kick – Lie back on the floor and scissor your legs together.

Six Inches – Hold the position to work your abs in this isometric exercise.

Ab Vacuum – A simple exercise that is great for your core and can be done virtually anywhere.

Plank – Another isometric hold, this is one of the greatest core exercises in existence.

Decline Plank – Make the plank more difficult by elevated your feet.

One-leg Plank – Take the plank up a notch by holding one leg off the ground!

Side Plank – Work those obliques by getting into a plank position while rotated to the side.

Lying Spinal Twists – Really work your abs but get a good stretch in your back at the same time.


Leg Exercises:

Walking Lunge – Walk forward but instead of stepping you lunge. Killer workout for your quads!

Reverse Lunge – A more interesting version of the lunge where you move your leg out behind you.

Lateral Lunge – Get your hips working like crazy by lunging laterally.

One-leg Stand Up – This is an easy one-leg exercise to get you ready for the pistol squat.

Pistol Squat – A very advanced type of one-leg squat. It’s hard!

Hindu Squat – A fun squat that works your legs as well as your heart and lungs.

The Chair – Have a seat in this nice chair. The catch is, your quads are the chair!


Arm and Shoulder Exercises:

Close-grip Push Up – The standard push up is a tried-and-true exercise great for your arms, chest, and shoulders.

Wide-grip Push Up – Switch to a wide grip for a simple variation on the close-grip push up.

One-leg Push Up – Make things a little harder on your arms and core by lifting one leg off the ground while doing your push ups.

Decline Push Up – With your feet above your head, push ups really take a toll on your arms.

One-leg Decline Push Up – Combine two hard push up variations and you get this very difficult push up.

Zoomers – “Zoom” through the push up motion in this fun exercise.

Hindu Push Up – Take a push up and add yoga, plus a dash of difficulty, and you get this amazing exercise.

Dive Bomber Push Up – A very, very difficult push up variation that will work your arms like never before.

Explosive Push Up – A push up where you explode upwards, with your hands coming off the floor.

Hand Clap Push Up – A push up where you come off the floor and clap your hands before landing and doing more push ups.

Scapular Push Up – A push up that is designed to work your shoulder blades to improve shoulder stability and prevent injury.

Mountain Climbers – Stride your legs up and down like you’re powering up a steep mountain trail.


Full-Body Animal Exercises

Alligator Crawl

Crocodile Walk

Bear Run


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