So the world has recently witnessed a new record in abdominal planking! 57-year-old George Hood smashed the previous record by a staggering 45 minutes, setting the new record at 5 hours and 15 minutes.

Now anyone who has performed a plank movement will know the difficulty of the exercise. It involves many muscles working together to support the body in position. So with that, let’s have a look at some great bodyweight compound exercises which will help your whole body get stronger.

  • Planks: As mentioned above, your body uses many muscles to stay in the plank position. It is a great exercise for beginners as more or less anyone can perform it for short periods of time (10-30 seconds). To make the plank harder, all you do is increase the time spent in the position.
    Beginner Difficulty: 3/10
  • Pushups: A great exercise as it works the main pushing muscles in the arms, chest and shoulders while also utilising the core in a similar way as a plank would. Often used in fitness tests, most people can do some form of pushup. For those struggling to do them, first try resting on your knees while you perform them, instead of your feet. Pushups can also be modified by using wider or narrower hand placements to make the exercise harder.
    Beginner Difficulty: 5/10
  • Bodyweight Squats: For lower body exercises, it doesn’t get much better than a squat. Once again, most people should be able to perform a squat. Working your upper and lower legs as well as your bum, it is a great compound exercise which can be performed anywhere. To make the exercise harder, try increasing the reps. Even harder? Try single leg (pistol) squats.
    Beginner Difficulty: 4/10
  • Bodyweight Rows: Primarily targeting the pulling muscles in the back and arms, this exercise also targets core muscles. Some people may find this exercise quite challenging, as it involves lifting a percentage of your bodyweight.
    Beginner Difficulty: 7/10
  • Pull ups: One of my favourite bodyweight exercises as it really targets those pulling muscles in the back and arms. However, many people cannot do pull ups. This could be for a few different reasons which I outline in my guide to pull ups.
    Beginner Difficulty: 9/10

What is your favourite bodyweight exercise? Reply in the comments below!