October 2023

10 Must-Try Bodyweight Sculpting Exercises for Beginners

Go Back

10 Must-Try Bodyweight Sculpting Exercises for Beginners

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a perfectly curated home workout station, or even workout equipment to sneak in an effective workout. Whether you’re traveling, in a busy season of life, moving, or simply in between workout classes, bodyweight strength training exercises can be done anywhere, anytime, and without any equipment. 

Bodyweight strength training, a type of body sculpting using only body weight for resistance, is one of our go-tos when life gets busy. It’s also a great addition to dance cardio workouts! You won’t need hand weights, resistance bands, weight machines, or any other special equipment to get started.

The Advantages of Bodyweight Strength Training

Body sculpting exercises are a fantastic way to boost your overall fitness! Here’s why:

You can’t beat the convenience: Since bodyweight can be used to work out anytime, anywhere, it’s easy to fit in bodyweight sculpting exercises, even while traveling.

Builds muscle: You’re gonna love the look (and feel) of lean, toned muscles from bodyweight strength training. Plus, the more muscle you build, the more calories you’ll burn — even while sitting still!

Boosts bone health: Our bodyweight sculpting exercises build bone and increase bone density, leading to better posture, fewer injuries, and a lowered risk of osteoporosis.

Provides cardio benefits: Our body sculpting exercises for beginners will get your heart, lungs, and entire circulatory system pumping — TRUST US!

Improves mental health: Bodyweight sculpting can build self-confidence, improve mood, and help you think more clearly. Win-win!

You may live longer: Studies have even shown that regular strength training can help you live longer and better.

The following 10 must-try body sculpting exercises for beginners offer many health benefits, including building stronger muscles, boosting bone health, and improving mood. To discover the total-body health perks of body sculpting exercises, add these movements to your routine at least twice a week!

Lower Body Workouts

1. Basic Squats
This must-try lower-body sculpting exercise will absolutely crush your legs and glutes.

To get started:

  • • Stand with your legs shoulder distance apart, feet firmly on the floor. 
  • • Bend your knees as if you’re going to sit back onto a chair.
  • • Return to your starting position.
  • • Aim for three sets of 10, widening your stance 3-4 inches with each set. 

Fit-Pro tip: As you squat, raise your arms in front of you for better balance. 

2. Stepping Lunges
Ready to feel that oh-so-good burn in your legs? Lunges are a sure-fire way to go! 

To conquer this bodyweight strength training move:

  • •Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. 
  • •Step back with one foot.
  • •Lower that same knee towards the floor. 
  • •Return to your starting position.
  • •Repeat on the other side.
  • •Perform 10 (or more!) repetitions per side. 

Fitpro tip: For added resistance, use small hand weights. If you don’t have any, hold tins of canned food! 

3. Bridges
It’s time to work those glutes! 

Here’s what to do:

  • • Lie face up on the floor, with knees bent and arms placed along your sides.
  • • Position your feet hip-distance apart.
  • • Squeeze your glutes while pushing your hips and lower back upward.
  • • Lower back to the floor.
  • • Repeat for 1-2 minutes.

Fitpro Tip: Do some reps with one leg in the air! 

4. Step-ups
Find an elevated object to step onto for this simple body sculpting workout. Some options: a sturdy box, bench, stair, or high curb. 

  • • Rest your right foot on the elevated object.
  • • Step up with your left foot. 
  • • Step down with your left foot. 
  • • Repeat for one minute, then alternate sides.

FitPro tip: Shake things up by alternating sides with every step!

Core/Full-Body Exercises

5. Planks
Planks are a full-body body sculpting exercise, working muscles in your upper body (arms and shoulders), torso (abs and back), and lower body (legs and glutes). 

To perform:

  • • Lie facedown with elbows bent and hands flat on the floor near your shoulders.
  • • Push up onto your hands and toes, straightening your arms and legs.
  • • Keep your neck, spine, and legs in a straight line.
  • • Hold this position for 20 seconds, increasing your goal by 10-15 seconds each time to work your way up to a full minute — or longer! 

FitPro tip: Beginners may prefer a low plank position. Instead of pushing up from your hands, use your forearms.

6. Mountain Climbers
We especially love body sculpting exercises for beginners that get the heart pumping — and this one’s a favorite! 

To “climb” that mountain: 

  • • Position yourself into a standard plank. 
  • • Pull one knee towards your chest, then return to your plank position.
  • • Repeat on the other side.
  • • Work your way up to a 2-minute sweat sesh! 

FitPro tip: Start slowly and speed up, but don’t bounce! Stable, controlled movements lead to better results.

7. Burpees
Burpees are not only an effective body sculpting exercise — they’re also good for your heart!

To get started:

  • • Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart.
  • • Squat down, placing your hands on the floor.
  • • Kick your legs out behind you into a standard plank position.
  • • Perform a push-up.
  • • Jump your legs back into a squat position with your hands still on the floor.
  • • Jump into the air, reaching your hands above you.
  • • Return to a standing position and repeat 10 times.

FitPro tip: Aim for explosive movements!

8. V-ups
For a total core workout, v-ups really get the job DONE!

Here’s how:

  • • Lie face up on the floor with legs together and arms stretched out above you. 
  • • Tighten your core while lifting arms and legs to form a v-shape.
  • • Return to your starting position. 
  • • Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Upper Body Workouts

9. Dips
Now, grab a chair and get ready to sculpt your triceps!

For this body sculpting exercise:

  • • Sit at the edge of your chair. Your legs can be bent or straight.
  • • Supporting your weight with both hands, move your hips off the chair. 
  • • Lower your body several inches by bending your arms, then push back up until arms are straight.
  • • Go for a set of 20! (You’ve got this!)

FitPro tip: To prevent your chair from moving, push it against a wall. 

10. Push-ups
It’s true, push-ups strengthen multiple muscle groups. But we’ll call it an upper body workout in this case! 

To nail this classic bodyweight strength training exercise:

  • • Lie facedown on the floor and push yourself into a standard plank position. 
  • • Bend your arms to lower your body towards the floor. 
  • • Before touching down, push back up to a standard plank position.
  • • Start with a single set of 10, working your way up to multiple sets. 

Fitpro tip: If your form suffers, lower your knees to the floor. 

How to Get Started With Body Sculpting Workouts

There are many ways to get started with body sculpting workouts! Some people are comfortable diving in on their own, while others prefer the support of group fitness classes.

We think that working out with your sweat squad is the best way to conquer those reps! It’s also more FUN! At Jazzercise, we offer Sculpt classes for every age and stage, along with body sculpting exercises in our signature dance cardio classes. If you can’t make it to the studio, we’ve got you covered with Jazzercise On Demand!

To learn more about body sculpting exercises for beginners, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Dance Fitness Classes blog.


Julie M.Collins Andersen
I love all workouts by Jazzercise ! Really love the variety of challenges they offer. Love this format, easy to do outside of a class setting, you need to get self motivated in order to achieve your goals in which may be a variety of things you want to accomplish, it’s not always one thing , it’s all things, you will always get from Jazzercise! Embrace them all, do what you can, your whole being will love you for it, that’s the faith and beauty of Jazzercise! They changed my life!
10/27/2023 9:13:38 PM

Terri Murrell
When are the classes in Oceanside
10/24/2023 3:35:59 PM

Elaine Williams
After my first bodyweight class, I’m not a fan. It just wasn’t fun. I like the dance moves that Jazzercise provides and at this stage in my life I’m looking for the biggest bang for my buck and there’s a lot of things I have to modify because of knee, shoulder, back and wrist issues. The five minute cooldown stretch before everyone went down to the floor was a bummer. I don’t want my heart rate to drop. And I can’t go down on the floor. So I’ll probably be skipping these classes in the future.
10/23/2023 9:26:31 PM

Leave Comment