Monday, December 27, 2010

Chair Dips

The chair dips is an effective upper-body exercise. Place two chairs so that your feet touch one and your hands touch the other. Lower your upper-body in a controlled manner (do not use your core), then go back up. That's one rep. Do 3 sets of 6-10 reps.

  • Works your shoulders, triceps, chest.
  • You need two chairs.
Start with this position, make sure you got a good grip

Lower your upper body only, then go back up

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Phil's Bodyweight Gym

Phil's Bodyweight Gym wishes you all a Merry (and hopefully sporty) Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jumping Jack

The jumping jack is a whole-body jumping exercise. Jump to a position where your legs are spread wide and both hands touch your head. That's one rep. This exercise won't develop your musculature much but it's great for warming up or cardio sessions. Do 2-3 sets of 30 secs for a quick warm up or 10-12 sets of 30 secs for cardio.

  • Great warm-up/cardio exercise.
  • Can be done anywhere.
  • Works your entire body (especially calves, core, shoulders).
  • Can be noisy if you live in an apartment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pike Push-up

The Pike Push-up is a challenging upper-body exercise. Start in standard push-up position then bring your hands and  feet closer so your hips reach 90 degrees (your whole body will look like a triangle) . Lower your upper body, pause for 2 seconds then go back up. Do 3 series of 5/7 reps.

  • Will blast your upper back, shoulders, triceps, upper arms, rib cage.
  • Can be done anywhere.
  • Hard to maintain good form (you might be tempted to use your legs for assistance, especially when starting out).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Frog Jump

The Frog jump is very similar to the jump squat, except you move forwardly rather than just vertically. Squat down as low as you can, pause for 2-3 seconds. Then jump explosively moving forward (like a frog!). Do 4 sets of 7-10 reps.

  • Will blast your quads and ... work the entire leg.
  • Engages your core as well.
  • Requires a fairly large area (you may want to do this outdoors).
  • Can be noisy if you live in an apartment.
Squat down as low as you can.

Jump explosively moving forward.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a great exercise for the lower body and a nice change up to your routine. Step your foot backwards and bend your body in a controlled manner, Keep your back straight. Repeat on the other side. You'll quickly see that this variation is significantly more difficult than the regular "forward" lunge. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

  • Great lower body workout (quads, hamstrings, glutes).
  • Also a decent core workout (will greatly develop your balance).
  • Can be done anywhere.
  • None.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Steam Engine

The steam engine is a simple but effective exercise. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulder and your hands behind your head. Raise your left knee to waist level or higher if you can and touch the left knee with the right elbow (do the same on the other side). Do it for 1 minute (that's 1 set). Execute 2 or 3 sets.

  • Works the entire mid-section including your side abs.
  • Works your buttocks and tights.
  • Can be done anywhere.

  • None.

Start with your legs slightly wide

Raise your knee to waist level, repeat on the other side

Monday, November 15, 2010

Negative Push-up

Start in standard push-up position then go down as slowly as possible (aim for 6-10 seconds). Go back up in an explosive manner. The negative (down) phase will activate more muscle fibers than a regular push-up, reducing the elasticity of the move. Do 3 sets of 6-8 reps.

  • Awesome upper body builder (shoulders, triceps, pectorals).
  • Good core work-out.
  • Can be done anywhere.
  • none

Monday, November 8, 2010

Plyometric Push-up

This is one of my favorites. Start with the standard push-up position and go down in a controlled manner. Then press your upper body up in the air as high as you can (you can clap your hands to add more difficulty). Do 3 sets of 7-8 reps.


  • This is a great upper-body builder, will blast your pectorals, triceps and shoulders.
  • Also a great core workout.


  • Can be noisy.
  • Tough on wrists so make sure you adhere to strict form when performing those. You may also want to use a gym mat.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Everybody wants a tight mid-section, that's for sure. Crunches and sit ups are popular exercises but they really only target your upper abs. The plank is a forgotten compound exercise that targets pretty much the whole core and upper arms. Start in a push up position keeping your back straight, stay still for 30-40 seconds. Do 2 or 3 sets. To add variety you can use your elbows instead of your upper arms.


  • Targets the whole core, very effective.
  • You can do it anywhere.
  • Can be somewhat brutal if you're just starting out.

Plank with upper arms

Plank with elbows

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jump squat

This one is simple. Go down as low as possible then jump explosively. If that's too easy for you then try to land on one foot (this will put more emphasis on your core and calves). Do 3 series of 8-10 reps.

  • Works almost the entire leg.
  • Decent core workout. 
  • As with all plyometric exercises (jump based), can be noisy if you live in an apartment, so ... you may want to do this outdoors.

Welcome to Phil's Bodyweight Gym!

Welcome! "Phil's Bodyweight Gym" describes various bodyweight exercises you can do pretty much anywhere in very little time. Enjoy!