Prisoner Bodyweight Workout

Prisoner Bodyweight Workout that makes you truly powerful

This prisoner bodyweight workout post is especially for all of you out there who have been avoiding working out with the excuse that you don’t have the time to go to the gym, and don’t have the space and the equipment to work out at home. 

That is exactly why we call this full-body workout ‘The Prisoner Bodyweight Workout’. As much as we hope you will never have to end up behind bars, the idea is that these exercises can be done anywhere (especially in small spaces) without any equipment – even in a prison!

In fact, the term Prisoner Bodyweight Workout came from prisoners who become fitness fanatics and gain immense strength and muscle without any fancy dumbbells, clean food or supplements. The prime inspiration is Charles Bronson, who has been in prison since 1974. His crazy workout regime has given him superhuman strength; he claimed to be able to bend steel prison doors with his hands and does over 1,700 push-ups in an hour! He also claimed he was able to pick up a pool table by himself and do 172 push ups in 60 seconds. He set many prison fitness records as well, including one for most push-ups in an hour: 1,720.

According to the book he wrote in prison, Solitary Fitness, Bronson performs 2,000 push-ups a day. If you start doing 10 push-ups a day and add 5 more each day, in a little over a year, you can get up to that level.

While you might not need THAT sort of strength, you certainly can do a Prisoner Bodyweight Workout to improve stamina and overall fitness, and muscle train, if that is your aim. Here are some of the exercises:

Prisoner Bodyweight Workout Exercises

1. Pull-ups

These will work your entire body and can be done anywhere there is a place to hang. If you spend more time at home, you can invest some money and put a pull-up bar in your door frame. Try commando pull-ups, where you grip the bar in the center and pull up to one side of the bar, then the other. You can also try a towel pull-up; hang two towels over the bars and pull up with them. If you want to go for it, try one-armed pull-ups.

prisoner bodyweight workout

2. Leg-Raises

While you are at pull-ups, try leg raises. Pull yourself up on the bar, assume a steady position and lift your legs up till your body forms a 90-degree angle. You could alternate legs to make it easier. To go a level up, keep your upper body still while raising your legs and then moving them side-to-side, stretching as much as you can. This makes for a great ab workout! Got your beast mode on? Try it while hanging with one arm.

3. Push-ups

It’s as simple as that, and you will be surprised at how many muscles you can work with slight variations. Placing your hands at a wide distance will work your pecs, while a narrower distance will work your triceps. There are several types you can try, including diamond push-ups, where you place your hands to form a diamond between your thumbs and index fingers. If you are feeling enthusiastic, try one-arm push-ups.

Push up variations

4. Squats

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

If you think squats are easy, you are doing them wrong. They work your hips, thighs, quads and hamstrings. When squatting, the rule is that when you bend, your knees should be in line with your toes and no further. To increase intensity, add weight on your shoulders or try jump squats; jump up and land in a squatting position. Repeat 20-25 times for a great HIIT workout.

prisoner bodyweight workout

5. Burpees

They are usually a part of HIIT training for weight loss, but make for great muscle training when done in abundance. It is a full-body exercise and, as a beginner, you will find yourself panting just after 3-5 reps! Begin in a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Then, quickly jump into a push-up position, and jump back to squatting. To level up, alternate each rep of burpees with a jump-squat.

TIP: For all of these workouts, make sure you are familiar with pre-workout and post-workout full-body stretches. If you don’t relax your muscles and make them flexible, you will end up having to deal with sore arms and legs for days and days!


So, if you don’t have time for the gym, if you travel too much to have one place to work out, or even if you are locked up, get going! There is no excuse to not do the prisoner workout!