We’ve all heard people say they can’t work out because they don’t have time to go to the gym or they don’t have any equipment. Well, no more excuses! You can get a full-body workout doing bodyweight exercises—no equipment required. Squats, push-ups, and other moves that use only your own weight for resistance can be done anywhere and provide a great workout in a small amount of space.
In addition to being convenient, bodyweight exercises build muscle, boost your metabolism, and burn calories. For a full body workout, combine upper and lower body exercises into a circuit, for example, squats, lunges, push-ups, glute bridges, and then planks. Do one movement after another with little rest in between to keep your heart rate up. For best results, do 20 reps or 30 to 60 seconds for each exercise consecutively with no rest in-between. Do 3 circuits 3 times a week for maximum burn. With the rigt diet, you’ll see your body transform spectacularly after 2 weeks.
Push-ups are many personal trainers’ favorite exercise to work the arms. Not only do they work the upper body, but they’re also a great core exercise.
- Get into a plank position with your hands slightly outside your shoulders. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push back up.
2. Prisoner Squats
Prisoner squats are good for beginners—the hand position above your head forces a tall chest and teaches you good thoracic extension.
- Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Place your fingers on the back of your head (as if you had just been arrested).
- Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.
3. Bodyweight Lunge
Lunges are great for the lower body—like glutes and calves—and they can help correct imbalances Typically, we all have one stronger side and lunges can help fix that because one leg is doing the work at one time.
- Stand with your arms by your sides, cross your arms in front of your chest, or place your hands on your hips or behind your ears.
- Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, then push yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions with your right leg, then do the same number with your left leg.
4. Lying Glute Bridge
This exercise works the glutes, core, and lower back
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides, palms facing down.
- Squeeze your glutes and slowly raise your butt off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds, then slowly lower yourself to the floor. That’s 1 rep.
5. Bodyweight Jump Squat
Jump squats are a plyometric exercise that get your heart rate up.
- Place your fingers on the back of your head and pull your elbows back so that they’re in line with your body.
- Dip your knees in preparation to leap.
- Explosively jump as high as you can. When you land, immediately squat down and jump again.
6. Iso-Explosive Bodyweight Jump Squat
Even for conditioned athletes, jumping exercises are great because you can get a high intensity workout no matter what level you are.
- Place your fingers on the back of your head and pull your elbows back so that they’re in line with your body. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause for 5 seconds in the down position.
- After your pause, jump as high as you can. Land and reset.
7. Walking Spiderman
This lower body move increases overall flexibility and helps develop hip flexion, which allows you to work your glutes more efficiently.
- Lunge forward with your left leg until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. For stability, lean forward and place your right hand on the floor in line with your left foot. With your left hand, grab your right arm just above the elbow; place your left elbow just below your left knee. Squeeze your glutes, step your right leg forward, and return to standing. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
8. Low Side-To-Side Lunge
The side-to-side motion of this lunge fires up the quads, targeting the inner and outer thighs and hips.
- Stand with your feet set about twice shoulder-width apart, your feet facing straight ahead. Clasp your hands in front of your chest. Shift your weight over to your right leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your knees. Your lower right leg should remain nearly perpendicular to the floor. Your left foot should remain flat on the floor.
- Without raising yourself back up to a standing position, reverse the movement to the left. Alternate back and forth.