We all need a workout that doesn’t require any equipment from time to time. Whether you are on a road trip, can’t get to the gym, or are stuck at home all day, these 7 exercises will get you strong and fit in no time. You can make serious gains in your fitness with just these 7 exercises.
Squats – These aren’t called the king of lower body exercises for no reason. Squats truly are the best exercise for toning your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. They also engage your core, and since squats engage the largest muscle groups in your body, they burn a ton of calories.
Lunges – Lunges are great because you can target just about every part of your leg just by positioning your feet differently. For example, if you cross one leg behind the other in a cursty lunge, you will target the sides of your legs. If you do walking lunges, where you do a lunge every time you take a step, you will tone and strengthen literally every muscle in your lower body. You can also do side lunges, reverse lunges, and more. Play around with this exercise until you find a version that targets your trouble areas.
Pushups – These are a must for toning and strengthening your whole upper body and core. If you can’t do pushups, don’t worry, I used to not be able to do a single one either. I’ve created a simple, 4 week plan to help you achieve your first solid set of pushups. You can do it! It just takes some work, like anything else worth having.
Tricep Dips – These can be done with your hands on the floor, or on a chair. I personally recommend using a chair because this allows for a greater range of motion, but you certainly can do them without. As the name suggests, tricep dips strengthen the tricep muscles on the backs of your arms. They also strengthen and tone your shoulders and upper back muscles. The best way to tone your arms isn’t to do endless bicep curls, although that exercise has its place. The triceps are actually larger than the biceps, and are equally, if not more important when it comes to functional strength.
Plank – When it comes to getting six pack abs, you won’t find a better exercise than the plank. This exercise engages every muscle in your core, including the smaller stabilizing muscles that often get neglected with other ab exercises. When holding plank, be sure not to let your hips sag or stick your butt up in the air. You should have a straight line from your shoulder, through your hip, to your ankles. You can hold this exercise on your forearms or hands.
Bridge – This is an exercise that is used as a conditioning exercise for dancers and gymnasts, who are well known for having crazy leg strength. This move will tone your glutes and hamstrings, as well as your lower back. When you train your core, don’t make the mistake of only working your abs. You also need to strengthen your lower back muscles so that you are balanced. If your core is stronger than your back, it will pull on your spine and cause all sorts of back issues.
Star Jumps – Last but not least, star jumps. If you’ve done these before you know how difficult they are. It’s basically a squat jump combined with a jumping jack. You do half a squat, then explode upwards while kicking your legs and arms out to the sides like a star. This move will tone your lower body, but it will also test your cardiovascular endurance and burn calories. If you hate burpees as much as I do, these can be a good alternative (although nothing can really top burpees).
And there you have it – 7 bodyweight only moves to tone, strengthen, and torch calories. Next time you’re tempted to skip a workout because you can’t get to the gym or don’t have equipment, remember that is no excuse. You can still get a great workout in with just these moves. If you need some inspiration, keep in mind that a lot of dancers and gymnasts use bodyweight only exercises to condition their bodies for their difficult routines. If it’s good enough for an athlete, it can certainly be effective for you.
Do you have another exercise that doesn’t require any equipment to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!