How to use your own body weight for a great workout

In an ongoing series on health, nutrition and becoming a better you, Modern Mississauga has teamed up with local fitness and health enthusiast Julie Cropper to provide tips, advice and inspiration to help you become the best you possible. Got a question for Julie? Send it to

One of the biggest misconceptions about exercising is that you need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership. No equipment, no worries! All you need is a little space and some motivation. Body weight exercises will help you lose weight, tone up, and increase your overall strength. Some of my favorite exercises include push ups, burpees and body squats. So why do I incorporate body weight training?  


One of the biggest advantages is convenience. We all want fast and simple. Body weight workouts eliminate many excuses that keep you from getting in shape:

  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t have a gym membership
  • I don’t like to work out in front of others

Body weight training destroys all those excuses.  You can easily do a body weight workout any time, anywhere!

Fat burning, muscle toning and cardio in one

You love cardio but you know you should do weights too. Body weight training offers the best of both worlds. Body weight cardio moves (like high knees or mountain climbers) in combination with strength exercises (like push ups, squats) will keep the heart pumping and encourage strength and muscle development. 

Maximum results in less time

No one has hours a day to spend at the gym. When you’re crunched for time, a short, intense body weight workout will deliver great results!

It can be fun!

Really…body weight training can be fun because it never gets boring. There are hundreds of exercises you can choose from and your creativity is the limit. You can combine many different moves in unlimited ways creating a different workout each time. Your options are limitless. 

Not sure where to start? Here’s an example of a workout you can easily do at home and will only take you 20 minutes to complete. Perform each exercise with a 30 second rest between each.  Perform the total circuit (#1-#6) four times:

  1. Body Weight Squats 8-10 reps
  2. Push ups 5-8 reps
  3. Plank – hold for 15 seconds
  4. Jumping Jacks – 15 reps
  5. Lunges – 6 reps per leg
  6. Lying hip raises – 10 reps

You can create your own workout by picking whatever exercises you like and being a little creative. Remember, no matter where you are currently starting on your fitness journey, just 15-20 minutes can make a big change! 

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