I have two routines for you to help you get started. First comes from Reddit r/bodyweightfitness, the other is my own variation that I have been using for the past year.
Method 1: r/BodyWeightFitness, https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine
Instead of doing everything in one day, I break them up throughout the week. The reason is it lets me still focus down hard on a set of muscles that each exercise uses. There is cross over, for example with triceps doing push ups (day 3) -> dips (day 1). It wasn’t terrible for me.
- Day 1: Pull ups/dips, two sets, then third set until failure
- Day 2: L-sit/squats, two sets, then third set until failure
- Day 3: Push ups/rows, two sets, then third set until failure
This was my first bodyweight routine. Getting to technical failure is the most important, especially with so few exercises. I needed to make sure everything I did in the first two sets let me max myself out on the third set.
Pick the right progression set, then give it my all during the 15-20 minutes of working out. The goal isn’t about spending more time or getting more reps, but increasing strength by upping the intensity (and reducing rest time if you’re crazy like me).
Method 2: Instead of breaking the days based on exercise to be done, I switched to target body parts.
- Day 1: Back/biceps (pull ups, chin ups)
- Day 2: Chest/triceps (push ups, dips)
- Day 3: Shoulders/abs (planche/pike push ups, l-sits)
- Day 4: Legs (all kinds of squats)
I have been testing this method for a while. The difference between M1 and this M2 is the specific exercises I left out. Each day gets 4+ exercises targeting those muscle groups. We’re talking about exercises like hanging scapula shrugs, skull crushers, and pistol squats.
I tend to rotate between the two methods to make life a little more interesting since I get bored easily. The cool thing about this method is that it ensures I target those muscle groups with a few more interesting exercises. It also means there are more rest days in between, so in theory you can take things a little harder each day than method 1.
If I had to choose, I would recommend the first method because it gives you faster rotation and keeps things stupidly simple. Unless you are at some sort of physical disadvantage, two nights of rest before doing an exercise set should be more than enough.
You also get to focus on form for the very important basic exercises before expanding your repertoire of bodyweight exercises and taking things to the next level.