No gym? No problem! There are a variety of body weight exercises you can tackle without equipment. Here are seven exercises you can do without even leaving your house.
These are perfect for getting your heart rate up and utilizing a number of muscles at once. You can start by jumping up and then resting your whole body on the floor with your stomach facing down. Next, push yourself back up, jump your feet forward to meet your hands and jump up again. Repeat until you’re out of breath.
Working your triceps like this will make your arms burn in no time. Grab a sturdy chair and place it behind you. Put your hands on the edge with your fingertips facing your back, shoulder-width apart. Place your feet at a 90-degree angle (or straighten them entirely for an added challenge), and keep your back parallel with the chair. Then lower your body until you feel your shoulder blades start to touch and your triceps muscles tighten. Try to do 10.
Planks are a great at-home workout, especially if you need to make as little noise as possible during your workout (like if a baby is sleeping, for example). Simply place your elbows on the floor with your hands extended in front of you, and lift your body up on your toes. Keep your back straight — no slumping or arching! See if you can hold a plank for 30 seconds while waiting for the microwave to defrost something. You can make this process easier by lifting your body on your knees rather than your toes.
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The combination of jumping and squats is a mix of strength and cardio and is almost guaranteed to leave you sore the next day. Place your feet slightly wider than hips’ width apart while placing your weight in your heels. Then keep your knees facing forward and lower your bottom toward your ankles until you reach a deep squat position. Release and jump up, and then lower yourself back down. See if you can do 10 in a row while you watch TV.
Doing this move will target your core muscles and get your blood flowing. Position yourself in a plank, but instead of placing your elbows on the ground, raise yourself up on your hands, similar to the position you’d assume when starting a push-up. While keeping your back straight, bring your right knee forward to your upper chest, and then return to plank position. Bring your left knee forward to your upper chest. Repeat, going as fast as you can without sacrificing your form.
It’s important to have strong core and glute muscles, especially if you’re a runner, and single-leg squats target both of these areas. Balance on your left leg (placing your left hand against a wall, pole or tall chair for stability), and slowly lower your bottom toward the ground, keeping your knee pointing straight out, not inward, and your right leg lifted. Keep your weight in your left heel. Repeat on the right side. Single-leg squats are difficult at first, but with a little practice, you’ll master them!
This is a tried-and-true exercise move that has been around for decades for a reason — they simply work. Start with your feet together and arms at your side. Jump your feet out to the side, about shoulder width apart and raise your arms. Then reverse that motion by jumping back to your starting position. Rev your heart rate up and see if you can do a set of 50 while you cook dinner.
Ready to get started with body-weight exercises? Watch instructional videos from the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Exercise to make sure your form is spot-on. Then combine these seven exercises together, and see if you can go through multiple rounds of them over a 30-minute period.