Whether you’re here to learn about the Alphabet Workout …
… you’re just looking for some new exercise ideas…
… or you’re hoping to win a trivia game…
Let’s dive right into a list of exercises that start with the letter B.
Some of the best exercises that start with the letter B are:
- Back extension
- Bench press
- Broad jumps
- Box jumps
- Band pull apart
- Brettzel stretch
- Bicycle crunch
- Butt kicks
- Bear crawl
- Bulgarian split squat
- Back squat
- Bicep curl
- Bent over row
- Bird dog
Let’s take a look at each exercises, how to do it, muscles worked, and how you can put together an alphabet workout to mix things up!
How To Use This List
Not every workout has to be robotic and strict. Exercise is supposed to be fun and creative.
Whether you want to just focus on one letter per day or take one exercise from each of the twenty-six letters (prepare for a long gym session!) or every other letter, or even spell your name or the month of the year, the pattern is completely up to you.
By creating some sort of “game” or alternate routine, not only will your mind be more engaged, but so too will your body as you would likely not be performing the same pattern or exercise routine.
(P.S. Switching things up and gamifying your workouts is a great way to stay motivated in the long term.)
Whether you are in elementary PE class or a boot-camp session, very few people admit that they like doing burpees.
A full-body calisthenics exercise that builds both strength and endurance throughout your entire body, burpees are a great anywhere, anytime exercise, even if you hate them!
There is no correct starting movement for a burpee, as you can decide to start with a jump or with a push-up. (For this example, we will start with the push-up). However either way you want to begin in an athletic standing position with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart.
Place your hands on the floor and kick your feet back so that you are in a high plank position. Make sure that your hips don’t dip. You can alter this move by stepping your feet back one at a time.
Perform a regular push-up.
Hop your feet up towards your hands (back to your original starting position, again, you can alter this move by walking your feet forwards one at a time)
From this starting position, jump quickly with your hands in the air. Upon landing in an athletic position, quickly execute another burpee and repeat for reps or time.
2. Back Extension
An ideal exercise for lumbar strength, back extensions also assist in improving posture, lower back pain, and flexibility to help with everyday tasks such as bending over to pick something up or reaching to grab an item off a high shelf.
It is important that any variation of this exercise is done in a slow and controlled tempo. Do not hyperextend your back at the top of the motion!
Using a back extension machine or a hyperextension bench (usually set at either 45 or 90 degrees), rest your thighs on the pad with your knees slightly bent and your feet secure. Cross your arms in front of your chest, or clasp your hands behind your head.
As you exhale, begin to rise until your shoulders, spine and hips form a straight line. Keep your core engaged throughout this lift.
Inhale and slowly begin to bend from the waist, returning to the starting position.
- Erector Spinae
- Gluteus Maximus
- Quadratus Lumborum (deep muscles found on the sides of your lower back)
3. Bench Press
It’s almost next to impossible to walk into a gym and not see a number of bench press stations or people using dumbbells to perform this classic exercise.
You can use a barbell or a set of dumbbells for the basic bench press. For this example, we will be using the barbell. The major difference between the two is that the barbell will allow you to lift heavier weights.
Depending on your experience and/or the amount of weight, you may want to have a spotter on hand.
Make sure that the rack or power cage is set at a level at which you can easily remove and re-rack the bar.
Lying with your back flat on the bench, position your head so your eyes are underneath the bar. Make sure your feet are planted flat on the floor as it will assist you in generating power.
Grip the bar (overhand grip) with your hands at an even distance apart (approximately shoulder-width. Slowly lift the bar off of the rack and lower it to your chest as you inhale.
As you exhale, push the bar upwards. Do not lock your elbows. You may have a slight arch in your back as it will help maintain a neutral spine and keep your back muscles engaged. Keep your eyes focused on a spot on the ceiling, not the bar itself.
Lower the bar so that it is just above your chest (approximately at the nipple line) and repeat the exercise.
- Pectoralis Major (main chest muscles)
- Upper Back
4. Broad Jumps
A cardiovascular, plyometric, and calisthenics exercise all rolled into one, broad jumps help to increase lower body strength and explosive power.
Being standing on the balls of your feet, approximately shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent in an athletic stance. Position your arms straight up in the air
Slowly swing your arms back behind your body as your knees bend more (almost into a half squat) and your hips push back.
Thrust your arms forward and drive your feet into the ground as you push your hips forward and propel yourself off the ground, jumping for both height and distance. It is important to use your arm drive to help produce maximum power.
Land with your feet and hips squared and in the starting position, repeat the exercise for reps.
- Hip Flexors
5. Box Jumps
A great way to help increase your explosive power and lower body strength, box jumps also enhance your vertical jumping ability and overall athletic performance.
It is important to use a proper plyo box or sturdy bench or elevated surface that will not move when you land or kick it or injure you if you happen to hit it.
It is also vital that you start with a platform height that is within your comfort zone so that you use proper form and avoid any injury.
For this exercise we will be using the term “box” to describe the platform
Being by facing the box with your feet approximately hip-width apart, body in an athletic stance. The box should be roughly six inches away from you
Stand on the balls of your feet, bending your knees and shoot your hips back while you swing your arms behind you
Use your arms to help propel you upward and forward, explode off your feet, jumping into the air, aiming to get as high as possible. At the peak of your jump, bend your knees and draw your hips forward to help you land on the box.
Aim to land with both feet at the same time, hip-width apart. Landing on the balls of your feet, with a slight bend in your knees and hips will allow you to absorb any shock from the landing.
Step off of the box and repeat
6. Band Pull Apart
This strength and muscle building exercise for your shoulders and upper back can be used as a quick warmup or a full out exercise. Not only will this exercise help build strength, but it will also improve your posture and shoulder mobility.
With the use of a simple, portable piece of equipment, you can perform this exercise anywhere.
(We could do about 400 more B exercises that start with the word Band, but we’ll refrain because that list would never end!)
Depending on if you are using this exercise as a warmup or part of your workout, you will want to adjust the tension of the band.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, extend your arms straight out in front of you. Your hands should be at chest height and shoulder width apart.
With one end of the band in each hand, begin to stretch the band by simply pulling it apart until you pull it as far as it or you can possibly go.
Slowly bring the band back into the starting point, do not let it snap back.
- Rotator Cuffs
- Rear Deltoids
7. Brettzel Stretch
A perfect full body stretch, especially for those who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or do predominantly linear direction sports/activities such as cycling, running or swimming.
While reading the directions may make this stretch seem complexed, the video tutorial shows that it is not that difficult to execute
Begin by lying on your side with your hips and shoulders stacked. You may choose to use a small pillow or rolled up towel to provide neck support or comfort for your head
Bending your top leg, bring it towards your chest, slightly more than a 90 degree bend and grip it with your top hand. Drive your other knee down and back, using your other hand to grab that ankle. If this is a challenge you can use a towel or strap to assist you.
Slowly rotate your upper shoulder back and down towards the ground, or as far as your range of motion allows. Repeat this movement several times while controlling your breathing
Depending on your level of flexibility you can release your hold on your bottom leg and kick it back further to increase the stretch.
After working on your range of motion, slowly drop your shoulder down and remain in that position for a few moments, allowing your body to relax while your breathing flows.
Repeat on the opposite side.
- Middle Back
- Upper Thighs
8. Bicycle Crunch
Combining strength and cardio in one exercise, bicycle crunches are one of the most effective body weight exercises that targets your core muscle group.
Lay back flat on the floor (or mat) with your legs straight out in front, feet on the floor. Your head and shoulders should be slightly elevated off the floor
Place your hands at the side of your head. Do not interlock them behind your head for this exercise as you will do damage to your neck.
With your core engaged, raise your knees to a 90 degree angle allowing your shins to be parallel to the ground
As you curl upwards, slightly turn the right side of your body off the floor moving your right elbow towards your left knee, while extending your right leg outward (imagine pedaling a bike) Hold this position for a quick count.
Repeat the movement on the opposite side, left elbow to right knee.
To get the optimal benefits from this exercise it is best to move slowly and methodically rather than at a quick pace.
- Rectus Abdominis
- Transverse Abdominis
- Hip Flexors
9. Butt Kicks
A simple aerobic exercise to help increase muscular strength and endurance. Whether you are using this exercise to dynamically prepare your lower body for a workout or
You can do this exercise on the spot or while moving forward. For this example we will remain on the spot.
Standing upright, begin by kicking one heel off the floor up to your glutes using a runners form with your opposite arm.
Stay on the balls of your feet as you rapidly switch between legs.
10. Bear Crawl
A full body exercise that can be done in multiple directions without the use of equipment. However ideally you do need to have at least five to ten feet of space to move in.
Bear Crawls not only challenge your strength, but also stability, mobility and coordination.
Starting in a table top position with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips
Elevate your knees slightly off the ground while remaining in the table-top position
With your core engaged and looking forward, move forward placing your opposite hand and foot in unison. Make sure to keep an equal distance between your hand and foot.
Repeat on the opposite side and continue to move forward for reps or distance. Moving quickly will add an element of cardio to the exercise, while slowing the pace will focus more on the thoracic spine and hip flexors.
11. Bulgarian Split Squat
A fantastic lower body exercise, the Bulgarian Split Squat can be done with or without weights as it improves leg strength, power and size.
For this example we will do the Bulgarian Split Squat without weights
Standing approximately one long step in front of a bench or plyo box, place one foot on the bench behind you. You can either use the ball of your foot or place the face of your foot flat on the bench. You may have to adjust your front foot by shimming it forward or back for proper distance
Slowly bend the front knee into a squat position, keep your hips square and core engaged while lowering the back knee until it is just a couple of inches above the ground. Do not allow your front knee to move in front of your toes
As you rise back up, drive through your front foot heel into an upright position. Repeat for reps with the same leg, then switch
- Erector Spinae
- Arms / Shoulders / Upper Back (depending if you are using weights)
12. Back Squats
Back Squats are a great exercise whether you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, sports athlete or a 9-5 desk jockey as it builds explosive strength in your legs and more powerful upper back.
After loading the barbell with the appropriate weight, step under the barbell supported by the squat rack
Position your feet in a regular squat position, approximately shoulder width apart
Place the bar behind your head, resting on your trapezius muscles
With your chest up, begin to sit back into your hips and bend your knees in a regular squat formation. Do not allow your knees to extend past your toes as you lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the ground.
Drive back up and repeat the squat movement for reps. Safely re-rack the barbell
- Spinal Erectors
13. Bicep Curl (or Barbell Curl)
An isolation exercise that focuses mainly on your biceps, using a barbell rather than dumbbells requires both of your arms to work with the same amount of effort in order to keep the bar balanced.
(Again, we could technically start a lot of B exercise names with Bicep or Barbell. For the sake of brevity, we won’t!)
After loading up the barbell, grip it with an underhand grip with your hands approximately shoulder-width apart. Position your feet shoulder width apart with your hips and shoulders squared.
With the barbell hanging at arm’s length in front of you, focus on keeping your hands, arms and shoulders in line with each other as you lift the bar towards your chest. Keep your upper arms and back still. Do not rock with your back to lift heavier weight as you will miss the point of the exercise
Once you have brought the bar up to chest height, slowly lower the bar to the starting position with the same tempo that you lifted. Repeat for reps.
14. Bent Over Row
With numerous variations to form and equipment, the bent over row is a compound exercise used primarily to build strength and muscles in the upper back.
This exercise also helps to strengthen your posture and core stability.
For this example we will be using a barbell.
With the bar loaded, stand behind it and grip it with an overhand grip, shoulder-width apart. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
Hinge forward at the hips until your upper body is approximately parallel with the floor.
Pull the barbell towards your belly button, driving your elbows behind your body as your shoulder blades retract. Focus on keeping your elbows tight to the sides of your body
Slowly return the bar to the starting position and repeat for reps.
- Latissimus Dorsi
- Posterior Deltoids
- Spinal Erectors
A simple bodyweight exercise (though you could add the use of weights or resistance bands) that focuses on core strength, balance, stability and flexibility.
Using an exercise mat, or folded towel under your knees, begin in a table top position with your hands in line with your shoulders and knees under your hips.
With your core engaged and hips squared, reach one arm straight out in front of you, while extending the opposite leg behind you. Maintain a flat back throughout the exercise, do not allow your hips to sag as you lift your leg
Flex your foot and point your fingers forward for a count of 2-3 seconds. Return to the starting position and switch arm and leg. Focus on keeping your core engaged throughout all movements. Repeat for reps.
- Lower Back
An alphabet workout can be a really fun way to keep your routine fresh.
Plus, going through letter by letter is a great way to learn new movements to add to your routines!
Before you go, don’t miss:
Hope this helps!