For a host of reasons, the dumbbells, kettlebells, treadmills, and weight machines that are the backbone of your routine won't always be available. Sometimes you'll be traveling, other times, you'll be stuck at home, and even when you have gym access, you might not always want to be there.

The one thing you will always have, though, is your bodyweight, and if you use it correctly, it's a potent tool that can help you break a serious sweat, or pack on plenty of muscle and strength. Bodyweight exercises have another benefit, too: They teach you to manage your bodyweight in various ways, and sometimes, that's more important (and useful) than moving the heaviest barbell in the gym. There are plenty of strength athletes out there who can bench heavy weight, for example, but can't do, say, an archer pushup.

Functional strength is about developing a balance between an ability to generate raw force (as you would when bench pressing) and an ability to manipulate your body through space (as you would when doing, say, a typewriter pushup).

You should build both facets of strength, and these bodyweight moves can help.

Upper Body

The Bodyweight Triceps Circuit

When you take on this workout, perform 5 pushups during the 30 second rest period between each exercise If you have to, sub out feet-to-hands for a reverse situp. Perform the full circuit 3 times.

  • Situp - 30 seconds
  • Pushup Plank - 30 seconds
  • V-Sit Kickout - 30 seconds
  • V-Sit Hold - 30 seconds
  • Leg Raise - 30 seconds
  • Leg Raise Hold - 30 seconds
  • Feet to Hands - 30 seconds
  • Pushup Position Hold - 30 seconds