Posted on by Beckworth & Co

8 Military Workouts You Can Do at Home

Being in the military is no easy task. You are forced into situations which will test your body, mind, and spirit. And the ability to carry yourself and finish your task is essential in the smooth operation of the team. 

To prepare themselves for national service, soldiers go over multiple exercise regimes and workouts to condition their bodies for the job. This includes strength training, endurance, and cardiovascular training which are all designed to keep them at peak performance. During their service, they are made to participate in physical training or personal training sessions to keep them at their fit best.

Here we take a look at the most popular workouts that the Armed Forces do to keep themselves at tip-top shape the job requires them to be in. These workouts are easy and simple enough to be done by anyone at home. Obviously the repetitions and workout plan that they go through might be more intense for the average joe, but you can certainly do these workouts at a pace best suited for you.


Lady doing push-ups


The Push-Up is by far the most famous military exercise. It’s done by laying flat on the ground, on your stomach. The hands are placed on the ground palms down on each side of your upper rib cage with your feet together. You push down on the ground until your arms are straight, then return to the starting position.

The exercise is designed to make the upper body stronger. It works on the chest, upper abdomen, and shoulder muscles. It also works on the triceps too. The military often uses push-ups to get fit. They are also commonly used as punishment or to instill discipline and resilience.

Make sure your elbows stay tucked back not flaring out, keep your back as straight as possible, and keep your knees and hips off the ground during the exercise. If regular push-ups are too difficult for you, you can start by doing them on your knees until you have the strength to do them from your feet. 

Guy doing sit-ups


This exercise is in more military physical fitness evaluations than the push-up. For decades, sit-ups have been the standard test of the US military.

The sit-up is a core-strengthening exercise that is accomplished by starting laying down on your back with your arms crossed over your chest and your knees together and bent almost 90 degrees. From there you sit up touching your arms to your legs and then go back down.

Thorough this may be the military standard, you might want to consider curl-ups or crunches if you’re having back problems. Sit-ups impose extremely large compression forces on the discs and vertebrae of the spine, especially in the lower back. 

Both crunches and sit-ups are common abdominal exercises that are great for developing core strength.  However, while crunches isolate the muscles in your abdomen, sit-ups target multiple muscle groups including the hip flexors and muscles in your lower legs.

Man doing burpees


The burpee is a whole-body exercise and has a variety of health and strength benefits. It is a great cardiovascular exercise because it gets the heart pumping, and quickly. 

You start by standing, then squatting and placing your hands on the ground in front of you. You then kick your feet back so you are in a push-up position immediately dropping your chest to the ground after. Bring your feet back to a low squatting position, and jump up in the air while clapping, counting, or chanting.

The exercise truly hits everything, and many other muscles, including the stabilizers in the lower legs, forearms, and smaller muscles in the arms like your triceps all get a great workout.

Woman doing lunges


Lunges are a great leg-strengthening exercise that also develops balance and dexterity. It’s a lower body exercise that targets the legs, specifically the quadriceps, buttocks, and hamstrings.

There are many variations of the lunge, and all are great. The common move is quite simple. stand tall with your back straight, engage your core, and then move one leg forward with your feet shoulder-width apart. With your balance in check, performing a successful lunge involves lowering your body down until your rear knee touches the floor, and the forward thigh is parallel to the ground.

This resistance exercise is popular among people wanting to strengthen, sculpt, and tone their bodies, while also improving overall fitness and enhancing athletic performance. Lunges are ideal for those wishing to get stronger and for athletes, including runners and cyclists.

Man doing pull-ups


The Pull-Up is a Marine Corps favorite and is always on their Physical Fitness Test. It’s essential to building strength, require no specialized equipment, and offer scalable and customizable options for both beginners and experienced.

Though there are a number of variations to the pull-up, the main movement is pulling your whole body up while hanging from a bar or pipe every time getting your chin up over the bar. 

This exercise focuses on keeping your body healthy and strong. Pull-ups strengthen your biceps, upper pectoral muscles, and triceps too. They also make your shoulders firm and toned.

Man swimming


An underrated skill, swimming has an important role to play in fitness, especially in the military. While there are some minimal requirements to meet in a couple of military branches, typically swimming regularly as a training session is reserved for more specialized units, and units on the water regularly.

Like other forms of aerobic exercise, swimming improves cardiovascular fitness. It allows the heart to become stronger and the lungs to become more efficient in utilizing oxygen. It can enhance lung volume and aid breathing techniques.

Because of its very low impact on the body, swimming is ideal for people who are overweight and those who are limited due to painful joints, weak muscles, or profiles. The body’s buoyancy helps minimize injuries to the joints of the lower legs and feet. It exercises the whole body without jarring the bones and muscles.

Man squats


The simple squat is a heavy exercise that people do if they want to build up their lower body muscles, specifically the buttocks and the hamstrings. The squat will also condition the lower back and core as muscles fight to stabilize the top of the body.

Having strong core muscles can make everyday movements like turning, bending, and even standing easier. Not only that, but a strong core can improve your balance, ease pain in your low back, and also make it easier to maintain good posture.

The squat involves having your feet splayed at a 45-degree angle and shoulder width apart. The back is kept straight as you go down by bending at the knees (making sure the knees don’t go past your toes). Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, you stay in the squat position for a second or whatever the workout requires then slowly return to a standing position.

Woman rope climbing

Rope Climbing

A real military classic workout. Rope climbing was thought to be a dying exercise and was rarely seen anymore until Crossfit gained popularity.

Rope climbing puts your strength to the test and calls for using your entire body to execute. This Crossfit exercise not only strengthens your upper body but also improves your coordination, grip strength, and agility. Rope climbing is significantly simpler compared to the other exercises, but it has tremendous advantages for physical growth.

woman after a workout

If you liked our blog, sign up for our newsletter to get updates on what’s new and what’s hot. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for daily news, tips, and more!

You can also subscribe to our blog's RSS feed and receive notifications when a new post is published by using "".