This 10-minute bodyweight workout builds strength without equipment

Man performing a wide push-up in the gym during bodyweight workout
(Image credit: Getty images)

A bodyweight workout could help you build muscle and strength across your entire body while improving flexibility and cardio fitness, with no weights necessary. If you travel often, or just need a convenient bodyweight workout you can attack from home, hit save on this workout.

The 10-minute home workout comes from Fraser Wilson, who clocks millions of views and subscribers to his YouTube workouts. This particular beasting might look simple with 30 seconds of work per exercise, but the rest only comes in snippets, and exercises are performed back to back — although you have full permission from Fraser to pause as often as you need.  

“Functional” bodyweight workouts are brilliant for building functional muscle and strengthening your body. In fact, we swear by this calisthenics workout here if you don't have weights handy. But what do we mean by “functional?” Well, nearly every move in this workout is a compound exercise — meaning it recruits multiple major muscle groups and joints — which could help you build up your everyday strength and mobility (think push-ups and mountain climbers). When used several times a week, it’s the most efficient way to hit muscles multiple times.  

Leg workout woman performing bodyweight squat

(Image credit: Getty)

As a trainer, I firmly believe that you should train multiple muscle groups several times a week where possible, especially if your goal is to improve your strength or build muscle mass. While isolation exercises like bicep curls undoubtedly have a time and place by strengthening one area of the body, compound exercises get the job done quickly and efficiently and target more muscles in just a few exercises, also increasing your overall calorie burn.

For beginners, you can follow along with Wilson’s video below and pause when you need a breather. Otherwise, move quickly to the next exercise with little to no rest until Wilson grants a 30-second break. It’s worth watching this over at least once before giving it a go so that you know what to expect. You could even grab the best adjustable dumbbells to increase load and intensity. But trust me — you won’t need it.  

Watch Fraser Wilson's 10-minute bodyweight workout  

While there aren't any sets or reps to follow, try to stay consistent with your reps and aim for at least 8-12 per exercise. During the wide push-ups, you’ll target more of your chest and shoulders — compared with narrow push-ups that torch the triceps, so focus on controlling the movement and giving your chest a good squeeze at the top.

A few exercises require you to maintain a plank position for back-to-back work. If you struggle with wrist mobility, I recommend dropping onto your knees where possible and giving your wrists a quick stretch in the allotted rests.

During core exercises like toe crossovers, Russian twists, or oblique crunches, try to keep your core tight and breathe into your diaphragm rather than your chest, working for the full 30 seconds if possible. The workout routine is pretty core-heavy, but if you’re craving crunches over burpees, check out this Pilates ab workout for abs and glutes for a more direct approach.

Regardless of how you prefer to exercise, throwing a few bodyweight workouts into the mix could challenge your muscles and keep you motivated, especially if you’re recovering from injury and need to work back up to weights. The research strongly agrees, and according to this study, bodyweight training helps you develop lean muscle mass and improves your body’s control, coordination, and muscle endurance.

And before you ask, there are burpees. But we can manage 30 seconds of anything, right?

Next: Get in shape with this bodyweight home workout, and I just tried Chris Hemsworth's 200 rep bodyweight workout.

Sam Hopes
Senior Staff Writer - Fitness

Sam Hopes is a level III qualified fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. She is also about to undertake her Yoga For Athletes training course. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods.  When she's not writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech and workouts, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and wellness.