Bodyweight Workouts For All Goals

By: Erin McGill

It’s easy to see the benefits of bodyweight workouts. They’re convenient, especially in times where you want to work out at home for social distancing reasons. However, bodyweight exercises are often overlooked as part of a traditional strength training or overall fitness program. Most people don’t make best use of bodyweight exercises because they:

  • Only know a handful of bodyweight exercises
  • Don’t know how to target all muscle groups
  • Aren’t sure how to achieve other goals like building muscle mass

We’re here to tell you the truth on bodyweight workouts and why they matter in your exercise routine. The fact is creativity is key in making bodyweight exercises part of your everyday fitness routine. There is so much more than just pushups, squats, and lunges for you to choose from. Further, you can find ways to target most muscles of both the upper body and lower body. Finally, bodyweight workouts aren’t just for beginners. You can achieve outcomes like improved strength, decreased body fat, and increased lean body mass.

Fitness Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises

Most people coming to the gym want to lose bodyfat, put on muscle mass, or achieve general fitness goals. The good news is, a well put together bodyweight workout and larger program can get you what you need, saving you space and cost.

Bodyfat Loss

To achieve body fat loss, you need to create a calorie deficit. You can do this by reducing your caloric intake and increasing your caloric expenditure. Both cardio and resistance training will help increase caloric burn.

Cardio helps you burn the most calories in the least amount of time. In terms of bodyweight workouts, the most obvious is walking, running, and hiking. However, you can get cardio gains with other bodyweight exercises such as speed skaters, burpees, and hand touches. We’ll provide a full body weight cardio workout to try in this blog.

Another important part of bodyfat loss is strength training. Strength training burns calories during the workout. However, it also helps you burn more calories for the next 24 – 48 hours as muscle tissue repairs itself. Further, the more lean body mass you have, the higher your metabolism is. This means you can be burning more calories 24 hours a day. Outside of the obvious pushups and squats, bodyweight exercises for strength training can include single leg Romanian deadlifts, reverse rows, and plank pushups. A full bodyweight resistance training workout is included here.

Increased Muscle Mass

To achieve hypertrophy, or increased muscle size, strength training is critical. Increasing the intensity or the weight of an exercise will help grow muscle tissue. This can seem difficult with bodyweight training if you’re limited to no-equipment strength exercises. Do not overlook the option of weighted vests with body weight training. Although it is additional equipment, weighted vests don’t take up much space. Additionally, you can do the same bodyweight exercises you were doing before, with the simple addition of a weighted vest that often comes with removable weighted pouches. This allows you to modify the weight based on the exercise.

More importantly, remember that adding weight to an exercise is really just increasing the intensity of each repetition. Therefore, if you can find a different way to increase intensity, you will also get the size gains you’re looking for. This includes performing bodyweight exercises explosively or rapidly. Explosive movements, or power exercises, result in similar muscle cell size adaptations as increasing weight. Power exercises are also commonly termed plyometric exercises. These aren’t just exercises involving jumping, like those seen in squat jumps. In fact, any exercise performed with extreme speed or explosion is considered a power exercise. The intensity of your power exercises, to increase muscle mass, must be great enough that you could not do more than 8 to 12 repetitions- or sustain the activity for more than 30 seconds.

With bodyweight exercises, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind for developing hypertrophy. The first is giving yourself enough time to rest. If you’re hitting the 80 – 90% intensity level mark, then you need to give yourself a full one to three minutes of rest in between sets of the same exercise. If you’re doing circuit training style workouts, you can allow for less time in between each bodyweight exercise if working different muscle groups. Just be sure to give yourself three to five minutes of rest in between each full circuit. In addition to a workout designed for building lean body mass, it’s important for nutrition to also be tailored to this goal. Check out this article to learn more about how to gain weight the healthy way.

General Fitness Goals

There’s more to fitness than just decreasing body fat or increasing muscle size. In fact, optimal posture, core strength, good balance, and quick reaction times are all important. These components of fitness allow you to function better overall which is why they are often part of a functional fitness program. The best part about posture, core, balance, and reactive work is that most of these exercises are bodyweight by nature.

Goal Specific Bodyweight Exercises and Workouts

Now that you know bodyweight training can help you accomplish just about any goal, below is a breakdown of bodyweight exercises and how to incorporate them into your training program.

Bodyfat Loss Workouts

Your bodyweight workout for weight loss should include sets of 12 – 25 repetitions. The intensity level will be lower, 65 – 80%, and with shorter rest intervals. Keep in mind, strength training exercises intended to increase muscle mass will also help with bodyfat reduction.

Cardio Exercises

  • Burpees (power or step out)
  • Prisoner squats
  • Ali shuffle
  • High knees
  • Hand touches
  • Jack push climb

Sample Cardio Program

Perform each of the below exercises at a moderate intensity (about 65 – 75%) and for 60 seconds each. Complete the exercises in succession, resting for one minute in between the circuit. Complete the circuit four times.

  • Step out burpee
  • Hand touches
  • Jack push climb
  • Body weight squat
  • High knees
  • Cross punches
  • Plank hold

Resistance Training Exercises

  • Lower body
    • Squat
    • Single leg squat
    • Assisted (or non-assisted) pistol squat
    • Single leg Romanian deadlift
    • Lunges (front, side, turning, stationary, walking)
  • Upper body
    • Pushup (wall, knees, floor, with rotation)
    • Plank pushup
    • Triceps pushup (wall or floor)
    • Cobra
    • Scaption

Sample BW Resistance Training Program For Bodyfat Loss

Perform the following exercises in succession, circuit style with a one to three minute rest in between the entire circuit (if needed). Each set should include 12 – 25 repetitions performed at a moderately slow pace (think two seconds down and two seconds up).

  • Burpee with pushup
  • Right leg single leg squat
  • Left leg single leg squat
  • Pushup with rotation
  • Floor scaption
  • Plank push up
  • Right single leg Romanian deadlift
  • Left single leg Romanian dead lift

Notes on Bodyweight Exercises for Fat Loss

Some of the exercises listed in this section may seem foreign. Therefore we have provided a breakdown of how to perform some of the less common exercises.

  • Hand Touches
    • Begin by setting yourself up in a pushup position, or hand plank.
    • Hands should be about shoulder width apart and you can increase the intensity by spreading the hands farther apart.
    • Shift the weight to the right side of the body, allowing your left hand to come up off the floor and touch the right shoulder.
    • Switch sides, transitioning the weight to the left side and touching the right hand across to the left shoulder.
    • Repeat the exercise
  • Jack Push Climb
    • These exercises consist of three common exercises: jumping jacks, pushups, and mountain climbers.
    • Perform two jumping jacks, then drop into a pushup position for two repetitions, and finish with four mountain climbers.
    • Stand back up and repeat as many times as needed.
  • Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
    • Slow transfer the weight to the right foot so the left foot is floating just next to the right.
    • Keep a slight bend in the right knee the entire time, this ensures maximum glute contraction.
    • Hinge forward at the right hip (keeping the knee in the same flexed position) as far as possible and keep the left floating foot right next to the right foot.
    • Return to the standing position, continuing to keep the knee slightly bent. The only motion should come from the hip.
    • Perform the set number of repetitions before switching to the other leg.
  • Scaption
    • On either one or both legs, tip forward at the hips so the trunk is parallel to the ground,
    • Turn the palms in so the thumbs face the sky.
    • Lift both arms up and into a Y position, aiming to get the upper arms in line with the ears.
    • Make sure the arms stay straight the entire time.
    • Return the arms back to resting level and repeat.




Increased Muscle Mass

Remember, to increase muscle mass you need to increase intensity. You can do this by changing the angle of an exercise (think decline pushup) or by increasing the speed to create power.

Tips to Support Local Business

By Molly Cerreta Smith

For those that are still working on their New Year’s resolutions list, the Village Health Clubs & Spas has a suggestion — shop local! Especially after the windfall of 2020, and the economic challenges that are still very real as 2021 unfolds, supporting local business and our economy is perhaps more essential than ever before.


Local First Arizona reports that when shoppers spend $100 dollars in a local establishment, $43 stays within the local economy, versus only $13 when that same $100 is spent at a non-local company. So when you shop small business, more money stays here. Win, win! If you don’t know where to start on your new quest to shop local the Village Health Clubs & Spas offers the following ideas:


Shop our Preferred Partners — The Village partners with many local vendors to support one another — and our members benefit with some pretty great deals! Each of our clubs has its own list of preferred partners offering Village Club members discount with services ranging from dining, hotels and resorts, golf, boutiques and shops, cryotherapy, services like dental and wellness, transportation, and more. So why not support local business and save? For a complete list of our locations’ Neighborhood Network Partners, click here.


Skip the Supermarket — Instead of shopping the mega-grocery stores and big box discount warehouses, consider getting groceries from local farmers. Many farmers’ markets around the Valley feature not only produce, but dairy, locally raised meats, and more. You don’t even have to abandon the convenience of your nearby grocery store as many carry local products — so check for items like Hayden Flour Mills, Shamrock Farms, Hickman’s Eggs, and others that are raised, harvested, or made locally.


Support a Friend — In 2020, many people fell victim to job loss or cut backs — and out of that rose the side hustle! Many people started making anything from soaps and sourdough bread (So. Much. Sourdough…) to jewelry and more. So check in with your friends that spent their quarantine time creating a new side gig and support them when you can!


Ditch Third Party Delivery Services — Oh how we love the convenience of dinner brought right to our doorstep! But many third party services take a pretty big cut from the restaurants’ sales. When possible, order directly from a local business. Another good thing that came from the challenges of 2020 is that many local restaurants now offer their own online systems featuring easy ordering and options like take-out, curbside pick-up, and even delivery. Same thing goes for seeing a Groupon for a local service, many businesses will offer that price if you just call and ask.


Stay at Home Support — Those that are staying in can still make their contribution to the local economy by purchasing online, buying gift cards to local establishments to use at a later time, or taking advantage of virtual programs and services offered by local companies. Many local businesses have gotten very creative — and savvy! — when it comes to how they continue to provide services to those that prefer to stay home as much as possible.


Every local business, from restaurants to retail, can benefit highly from the consistent support of shoppers so keep that in mind this year when spending in any way. The beauty of supporting local business is a one-of-a-kind experience — whether that means trying a unique service for the body or mind, dining at a place with a specialty menu, finding the perfect gift for a loved one, or unique treasure for the home that has a character that simply can’t be massed produced.

Kitchen Gadget Gift Ideas for a Healthy Kitchen

By Jamie Miller


Still have a little more holiday shopping to do? Whether you’re shopping for friends, family, or want a little something for yourself, our Village Clubs registered dietitian, Jamie Miller, has some fun gift ideas to help build a healthy kitchen. Check out these gifts that keep food choices healthy, but also delicious, fun, and convenient!





Crate and Barrel Glass Pitcher and Infuser Set

Staying hydrated is vital for total health, and drinking enough water can be so much easier when it’s deliciously infused. With this pitcher, you simply add fruit, citrus, sliced cucumber, mint, etc. to the center insert for easy infusing. This is a great idea for anyone with a health goal to drink more water or decrease their intake of sweetened beverages.


EVO Oil Sprayer

This oil sprayer is helpful to control how much cooking oil you use. Each trigger provides ¼ tsp of oil in a fan pattern to evenly coat food. It’s non-aerosol, meaning it is free of harmful propellants or chemicals, and its nozzle design does not clog like many other spray products which often do.


The Original Zoodle Spiralizer

This handheld spiralizer makes it easy to incorporate more vegetables into mealtimes. Try it out with zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and more. It’s dishwasher safe, quick to use, and even gives two options of shapes – either julienne spirals or fettuccine-shaped pieces.


Daily Harvest Gift Card

Help your loved ones have healthy food at their fingertips with a gift card to Daily Harvest. This subscription service delivers nourishing, pre-portioned smoothie cups, bowls, flatbreads, and more to your doorstep. There’s an option to purchase either a Custom Gift Box of nine food choices or a Gift Card for recipients to choose their favorites.


Prep Natural Meal Prep Container

Meal prep can help you save time and money, while also supporting healthy choices on the go. These glass food storage containers are durable and also are safe to heat in the microwave or oven. This could be a wonderful gift for loved ones who take their lunch to work.


Food Hugger Avocado Hugger

Avocados are full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, potassium, and more. But ¼ to ½ of an avocado is a perfect portion. So keep the rest of these nutritional powerhouses fresh with an Avocado Hugger cover. They are dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and BPA and phthalate free.


Oxo Good Grip Little Salad Dressing Shaker

Keep salads healthy by making your own tasty dressings, and this dressing shaker will make it easy to do. Its markers allow for quick measuring, and leak proof design means worry free shaking, with flip top opening providing easy one-handed pouring.


Butcher Box Subscription

A perfect gift for meat and seafood lovers, Butcher Box provides high quality and responsibly sourced proteins for nourished bodies and a cared for planet. Their products include 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood.


Tailbox Bear Claws BBQ Meat Handler

These bear claws aren’t only for shredding barbequed meat. They also can be used to lift hot and heavy foods like a pork tenderloin or roast, hold meats in place while you slice, or toss a salad! They are a “do all” in the kitchen while keeping hands protected and clean.


Oxo Good Grips Salad Chopper and Bowl

Chopped salads seem to taste so much better than a bowl of big lettuce leaves, but all that dicing can be quite time consuming. Enter this salad chopper! Simply place a variety of veggies, fruit, cheese, nuts, olives, meats, etc., in the specially designed bowl and use the handheld chopper blade to cut all your delicious ingredients. Salads will be a mealtime favorite with this fun kitchen tool.


Cuisinart Immersion Blender

Make blending quick and easy with a handheld immersion blender. You can puree soups right in a pot, blend up smoothie ingredients in a cup, or quickly whisk whipped cream in a bowl. Compact and efficient, an immersion blender may be a new favorite kitchen gadget.


Taylor Digital Cooking Probe Thermometer and Timer

Tired of over-cooked, dry chicken? Or worried about undercooking your fish? Take the guesswork out of cooking with a digital cooking thermometer and timer. This could be a wonderful idea for a less experienced cook to help them feel more comfortable in the kitchen.


SizzleFish Seafood Gift Card

Quality seafood is such an awesome source of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and more. But fresh seafood can be difficult to find in many parts of the country. SizzleFish delivers the very best seafood right to you or your loved ones doorstep. From fresh seafood portions, to smoked fish, crab cakes, and more, there’s so much to try. GIft options include either a gift card, sample packs, or individual orders.


Enjoy this holiday season and gift giving time with these great ideas. Share your faves with us on social.

Self Care at a Health Club

With the holidays in full swing and another year coming to a close, stress levels are a tad higher. That’s why it’s more essential than ever to make time for self-care. When people are busy and stressed, they tend to let the things that are good for them, and the things that actually relieve stress, fall by the wayside. Instead of letting self-care slide as we roll into the last month of the year, the Village Health Clubs and Spas has some tips to get your self-care on track at a health club.


Exercise — Exercise and fitness are some of the best gifts you can give yourself. Combined with proper nutrition, exercising provides the gift of great health! Regular exercise can also help you relax and “zone out” some of the hustle-bustle of every day, and relieve stress. Some people may find yoga to be a relaxing way to self-care, while others might enjoy a hardcore sweat session to destress. Find the workout you enjoy and make time for it on a regular basis. It’s also a great way to connect with your workout buddies on a social level.


Use Your Support Team — Whether you need some help working your way through the workout equipment throughout the Club, or you want a personal trainer to coach you through a workout session, there’s lots of help to be had at the Village Clubs and Spas. Make an appointment with a personal trainer who can help you figure out the most effective way to exercise to see results for your body. Or work with a nutritionist to work out a meal plan that can help you achieve your optimal health results in the kitchen.


Say Ahhhhh… — A day of total relaxation is the ultimate way to self-care at the Village! With a variety of spa services, you can personalize your me-day to include a professional massage to rejuvenate body and mind; a body wrap, scrub or mask; facial; waxing; a mani-pedi; hair salon services including professional cut and coloring; and even non-invasive cosmetic treatments for healthy and smooth skin — so you can be your best you yet inside and out! Acupuncture is even offered at The Spa at DC Ranch. This ancient practice can help release tight muscles, align chakras and calm the mind — talk about self-care! Booking a spa day with a variety of services is a relaxing and pampering way to give yourself time to build your holistic health.


Grab a Bite — Self-care is about indulging a little too. And the best part about indulging in a meal at the Village Health Clubs Café is that it’s sure to be as healthy as it is delicious. So why not call a friend for a workout session and then end the day with a glass of wine on the patio paired with a healthy sandwich, salad, wrap, or anything that sounds good to you! Cheers to self-care!


Self-care is an important part of everyday life. As this year comes to a close and you start to get overwhelmed with the holiday hustle, take a step back to slow down and schedule in some self-care time to help you rejuvenate and actually enjoy the holidays. And when you make your resolutions as we head into a bright new year, consider the goal of taking extra special care of yourself with new health aspirations for 2021. Treating your body right with proper nutrition and fitness is truly wonderful self-care.

workout routine

Restart Your Workout Routine

We all know that having a commitment to fitness is a healthy way to live. I became connected to fitness at a very young age – on the playground, when I would race my classmates. Being fast and strong just made me feel good. Today, I’ve made health and wellness my career and it’s still my passion. Like many others when the pandemic hit and everything shut down, I felt lost. I’m sure you did too. I rely on exercise as not only my way to stay fit but also for emotional grounding. I’m sure many of us figured out a way to workout from home, but we missed our health clubs, classes, and the communities which connect us. When a crisis hits, we can all get a little off track. I know what it’s like to have a great workout routine and then something unexpected happens. We start to miss workouts and then we seem to be in a rut. 

Achieve Your Fitness New Year’s Resolutions in 2019 with the Help of a Trainer

Do you ever wonder why you don’t follow through with your New Year’s resolution from January 1st   all the way through Christmas? Things come up… you get busy or sometimes a little lazy and next thing you know, you’re so far off track that it feels too overwhelming to get back on track. If you’re like most people, you make a New Year’s resolution to   focus on your health.   Losing . weight, getting   fit, or training for a marathon, hiring a personal trainer can help keep you on track and achieve those goals.

On Your Way to Wimbledon?

kids tennis at DC Ranch Village

Stop by the DC Ranch Tennis Center for Junior Development

Kids ages 4–and up are encouraged to sign up for after-school Junior Development Programs at the DC Ranch Tennis Center. The programs are focused on preparing children for competitive play in league and school environments.

Ho, Ho, Snow!

Breakfast with Santa at Camelback Village

Grab your sled for a snow-filled breakfast with Santa Claus.

Join in all the holiday fun as the Camelback Village trucks in seven tons of snow direct from the North Pole (aka Ice Now) and creates a magical winter wonderland in the back field.

Tennis boot camp increases speed and agility

Tennis Tips

Improve your conditioning for tennis — and just about any other activity — at the DC Ranch Tennis Center’s hour-long boot camps designed to improve your footwork and cardiovascular conditioning.

Tennis players of all levels — and even non-players — are invited to try this high-energy, nonstop workout that includes ladder drills, sprints, direction changes and tennis-specific exercises.