Staying in Shape for The Winter? Try Bodyweight Calisthenics


The holiday and winter season gives you a dozen plus reasons to gain weight and get out of shape. Your fight this year should be to focus on staying shape so you don’t have to start all over in the new year.

When your friends and family are struggling to lose the extra baggage they’ve gained eating holiday treats, you can just start where you left off and get into even better shape by the end of next year.

Hence, your winter maintenance plan should focus on a heavy dose of bodyweight calisthenics:

The Bodyweight Basics Exercises

If you’re confined to your bedroom, apartment, or dorm room – you want something you can perform with limited space using exercise which do not make a lot of noise. Noise is something that you will most likely make when exercising.

Limiting noise is very important to me because I have people living below me. For those living in an apartment or dorm room, you would face the same challenge and concern.

Even if you live in a home with enough privacy to exercise, doing certain movements on a hardwood floor is not recommended. If you’re able to workout on a carpet or have a basement or garage you can fortify with an exercise mat, then you’re already in a great position for an amazing workout.

The following are a handful of great exercises to start with:

Bodyweight Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down by pushing your hips back as if sitting down on a chair.
  • Bend your knees and continue the movement.
  • Keep going as low as you can.
  • Pause, then stand back up to starting position.


  • Start off with your hands flat on the floor, shoulder width apart, and your feet straight out behind you.
  • Keeping your body straight, lower yourself towards the ground until the chest is just an inch off the floor.
  • Your elbows should be bent at close to 90 degrees.
  • Pause, then push back up to starting position.

Dive Bombers

  • Get into what is known as a downward dog position.
  • This is where your hands and feet are on the floor, with your butt sticking up in the air.
  • Think upside down “V.”
  • Take a deep breath, then begin the movement by nose-diving.
  • Pick a point on the ground between your hands, and pretend as though you are trying to touch your nose to that point.
  • As you get closer, quickly push your body forward so that your chest is an inch off the ground.
  • From here, reverse the movement and return to starting position
  • Continue you pushing your body forward and push off the floor until your arms are fully extended, and your pelvis close to the ground.

Bulgarian Split Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart one to two feet facing away from a bench.
  • You can either place your hands on your hips, or clasp them behind your head.
  • Place one foot behind you on the bench.
  • Balance yourself, as you lower your body until the front leg is at a 90 degree angle.
  • Pause, and return to starting position.
  • The key to this movement is balance. It will take a few tries until you get your balance right.

Shoulder Press  Pushups

  • From the downward dog position, bring your head towards the ground.
  • Your butt will be higher in the starting position compared to a dive bomber or hindu pushup.
  • The more perpendicular to the ground your body, the greater the difficulty of the movement.
  • Therefore, to make the exercise harder, simply place your feet on an elevated object

Decline Pushups

  • Exact same movement as traditional pushup, but instead you place your feet on an elevated object.
  • To make it more difficult, place your feet higher up on an object.
  • However, there is a limit to this, as at some point the movement will turn into a shoulder-dominant exercise.

Winter Maintenance Sample Workout

You essentially have 2 chest exercises, 2 shoulder exercises, and 2 lower body movements:


  • Pushups
  • Decline Pushups


  • Shoulder Press Pushups
  • Dive Bombers


  • Bodyweight Squats
  • Bulgarian Split Squats

You can perform one exercise for each bodypart, or perform all 6 movements in one day.

The way you organize the exercises is up to. Switch things up slightly to keep things interesting, and add other movements along the way.

The following is a sample workout plan you can use as a template:

Workout A:

  • Pushups 3×15-20
  • Bodyweight Squats 3×20-30
  • Shoulder Press Pushups 3×10-12

Workout B:

  • Decline Pushups 3×10-12
  • Bulgarian Split Squats 3×10-12
  • Dive Bomber Pushups 3×6-8

Rest 30-60 seconds between each set.

From here, you can start to add things like a pullup bar and resistance bands to your workout arsenal to increase the effectiveness of your home workouts. Have a great winter!

About the Author

Parth Shah is a fitness enthusiast and blogger. For more bodyweight workouts, download his Playground Workout program at