While there are a lot of reasons to belong to a gym (like classes and equipment options), membership isn't essential to getting fit. At-home workouts are an excellent way to shape up without stepping foot in an actual weight room or fitness studio, along with some great ways to sweat outdoors, too. From equipment-free exercises that use only your body weight for resistance to high-intensity cardio routines that get your heart pumping without a treadmill, the options are limitless.
Exercises That Don't Require Equipment
There are plenty of activities that do not require additional Equipment. Some use your body, while others use stairs or chairs to increase resistance. Here is a list of only a few of the many exercises you can do almost anywhere in your home:
- Calf Raises
- Triceps Dips
- Jumping Jacks
- Plank Position
- Leg Lifts
Complete two rounds of the following:
– Seated Ankle Flexion/Extension – 20 per foot
– 90/90 Hip Swivel – 10 per side
– Wrist circles – 10 per-side, per-direction
– Arm Circles – 20 per team, per direction
– Jumping Jacks – 25 reps
– Down Dog to Plank – 20 reps
Work-out Exercises at Home
- Jump Knee Tuck
Begin in a comfortable standing position with your knees slightly bent. Hold your hands in front of you, with your palms down and your fingertips together at chest height. This will be your starting position. Rapidly dip down into a quarter-squat and immediately explode upward.
2. Bird Dog
Start with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips, and keep your head, neck and back straight. Raise your right arm and reach it forward until it's in line with your torso. As you bring your arm forward, kick your left leg backward until it's straight and in line with your body and hold for one second. Slowly bring your arm and leg back to the ground and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
- Side-lying hip abduction
You may not think about strengthening your hip muscles until they start to bother you, but please reconsider!
This is especially the case if you sit all day. Counteracting that with hip-targeting movements will be very beneficial.
- Lie on your left side, with your left leg straight, right leg straight, and right foot resting on the ground.
- Lift your right leg, maintaining the position of your body. Make sure your hips don't open up.
- Return to the start position. Repeat for the desired number of reps, then do the other side.
4. Frog Crunch
Start by lying on your back with your hands behind your head and the soles of your feet flat together. Perform crunches by lifting your shoulders off the floor while also bringing your knees up toward your midline.
5. Squat Jack
Squat Jacks are a lower-body power and strength exercise that target the quads, glutes and hamstrings. Stand with your feet close together, and your hands clasped behind your head, and push your hips back to get into a half-squat position. Jump your feet out to the sides while maintaining the squat position.
- Steam Engine
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands behind your head. Lift your left knee and touch your right elbow to your left knee while avoiding bending at the waist. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Bicycle crunches on the bed
Lying on the bed, with hands clasped behind your head and knees bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your upper body, twisting your left shoulder into your right knee while the left leg extends parallel above the bed, then reverse legs. "The benefit of lying on the bed versus the floor is that the bed is a squishier surface, so it's less stable which means your abdominal muscles are going to work a little harder to keep you balanced during the movement."
- Mountain climber
This exercise is excellent at engaging the core and getting your heart rate up. Place your hands and toes on the floor in a plank position, like the top of a push-up. Bring one knee up to your chest, and then quickly switch legs.
- Hovering jumping jacks
If you have some space on the floor, lie down on your belly and open your arms and legs into a full X position. Extend your spine, lifting your chest and thighs off the floor. Close and open your arms and legs quickly, imitating the movement of a jumping jack. This exercise works the back, glutes, core, inner thighs, upper back and shoulders.
- Forearm plank
A full-body exercise that requires strength and balance, planks put the core into overdrive.
- Assume a plank position on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from head to feet.
- Ensure your lower back and hips don't sag. Hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Chair squats
Standing three feet from a sturdy chair, clasp your hands behind your head and lower your body as though you're going to sit in the chair behind you. Lightly tap the chair with your bottom then use your hamstrings, glutes and core to push yourself back up into a standing position. For a more challenging workout, lift one leg off the floor for single-leg squats.
- Off-the-bed push-ups
Push-ups are great at engaging the chest and core muscles. Using the bed can make this classic exercise more comfortable or more challenging. For those who lack upper body strength, place your hands on the edge of the bed and your toes on the floor, leaning in a high plank position for incline push-ups. For those who want a more intense workout, flip the seat, placing your feet on the bed and your hands on the floor for a decline push-up.