Beginner Bodyweight Interval Workout

Beginner Bodyweight Interval WorkoutI’m up early this morning to sneak in a workout (on the blog and in real life) before hitting the road and heading down to New Jersey for Thanksgiving with my boyfriend and his family. I have been crazy busy lately, so these next couple days of relaxing and eating amazing food are so incredibly needed!

To follow up Monday’s blog post, which was packed with general rules and tips for modifying exercises, I wanted to share a workout that was suitable for beginners (without much modification needed). As you’ll see, this is a workout you can grow with—I give an exercise and then show you how to advance it once you’ve mastered the move. I also show you how to modify it further if it’s still a little too tough for your current fitness level.

While I created this for beginners using basic, functional exercises, I don’t want you to brush it off as easy. If you’re more advanced, just do the harder variations given for each exercise.

Beginner Bodyweight Interval Workout

Set an interval timer for 30 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest (I just realized that in the pictorial below, it says 10 seconds rest–ignore that! It’s 15). You’ll go through the following sequence of exercises 6 times. If you’re a true beginner, do the easiest modification given for each exercise (pictures on the left). After you’ve been working out for several weeks/a couple months, go through it again, trying the unmodified exercise (featured, top picture). More advanced? Do the harder versions of each exercise (pictures on the right).Beginner Bodyweight Interval Workout

Squats | With feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, toes pointing forward and weight in your heels, squat down, sending your butt and hips back (not knees forward!). Press through heels to stand back upright.

  • Modification = Squats with a Chair | Use a chair to help you get into your squattin’ grove! Start by sitting down completely in the chair each time. As you gain confidence, try to squat down and just lightly touch your bum to the chair before coming back upright. Once you’ve got it down, take away the safety net (chair) altogether.
  • Advancement = Squat Jumps | Instead of just standing up from your squatting position, explosively press up and jump, landing softly and sinking right back down into a deep squat.

Push Ups from Knees | Good ol’ fashioned push ups with your knees on the ground. Be careful not to stick your butt up into the air when you do these—from your knees to the top of your head should be one straight, diagonal line.

  • Modification = Push Ups against a Wall | Changing your body angle can make push ups easier. Start by doing them against a wall.
  • Advancement = Push Ups from Feet | Make these harder by doing your pushups from a plank position, toes on the ground.

Side-to-Side Lunges | Start standing up with feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right foot out wide to the side (toes still facing forward), and bend that knee, lunging to the right and bringing your left hand to the ground by that opposite foot. Your left leg stays straight as you do this; it’s like you’re sitting in a chair on just that right side. Press off the right foot and come back upright to starting standing position. Repeat to the left.

  • Modification = Don’t Touch the Ground | To make these easier, just don’t bend down as far. Instead of bending the knee to 90 degrees so that your hand can touch the floor by your foot, start with just a small bend with every lunge.
  • Advancement = Add in a Hop | Pick up the pace, switching feet in air between lunges as you add in a little hop side to side.

Thread the Needle in Side Kneeling Forearm Plank (RIGHT) | Start in a forearm side plank position with your knees stacked on the ground. Squeeze the oblique to keep your hips lifted. From here, you’re going to wrap the top arm around your torso, weaving it through the space between the floor and your rib cage. Twist from the waist when you do this so that you face the ground. Return to starting position and repeat.

  • Modification = Hip on Ground | If it’s too hard to hold that hip off the ground, plant the side of your hip on the ground along with that forearm. In this version, really emphasize the twist while you thread the needle so that your obliques are still working.
  • Advancement = Full Side Plank from Feet | To make it harder, thread the needle from a full side plank position: feet stacked on floor, hips and legs lifted so that body is in a straight diagonal line.

Thread the Needle in Side Kneeling Forearm Plank (LEFT)

Beginner Bodyweight Interval WorkoutWEARING | leggings: c/o Cory Vines // tank: Lululemon

Big thanks to my friends at Cory Vines for the leggings I’m wearing in today’s post—aren’t they cute?? I love the colored pattern on the back of the legs and they’re SO comfortable.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow! This workout is a great one to bring with you if you’re traveling for the holiday—no equipment required!


(Visited 6,411 time, 1 visit today)


  1. Ahh these are perfect exercises! I definitely need to get in better shape. Thank you!

  2. What! This is awesome. I love the modifications. Thanks so much!!

  3. Really nice that you put this workout together with some many modifications. Thank you for the suggestions!

  4. Great ideas to get in some easy at home workouts with the busy weeks ahead! Love the modifications, too.

    xoxo, colleen
    Pleather & Sparkles

  5. great post! I have scoliosis and working out is always a struggle for me, thank you for showing the modified versions of all the moves!

  6. I just LOVE that you add modifications for everything!!
    My goal is to be able to do pushups on the floor/ on my feet feet by the end of the year – right now I’m still on the wall.
    Are there any other exercise(s) you recommend that will compliment and work the same muscles so that I can build the strength to do floor/feet push-ups sooner?
    I go to the gym roughly four mornings a week, so I have access to a wide variety of equipment/machines.
    Your advice would be really appreciated!

    • Check out the chest press machines at your gym–some have you seated and others on your back. Also, you can always grab a bench and set of dumbbells to do chest presses and chest flys on your own. Great push-up muscle builders 🙂

  7. Brilliant, you gave me quite a few ideas on how to modify my workouts. Thanks!!

  8. love that white lulu tank. hope you had a relaxing thanksgiving!

  9. Sunny Anderson says:

    Girl! I just discovered your site, now I’m going back through all your old posts and bookmarking the workouts I want to try. I’m up to 8……never stop!!! Good job!

Share Your Thoughts: