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No-Equipment Exercises

Use your own body weight

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No-Equipment Exercises

Don't let a lack of exercise equipment stop you from working out. Our exercises use your own body weight to create resistance for a complete workout.

As a trainer, it’s my job to know as many different exercises as my grey matter can store. I know thousands of different combinations to tone thighs, slim butts, flatten abs, and build pipes. However, sometimes simple methods using our own body weight are all we really need. I use bodyweight exercises to determine whether my clients are ready to move onto more complex movements. If they can’t press, pull, or squat their own body weight—with good form—they may not be ready to add external weights, such as dumbbells, to their workout. Adding external weights too soon may cause injuries. Bodyweight movements are great exercises to train the body to use the right muscles for each exercise. Bodyweight exercises aren’t just for beginners, though. Anyone can have a great workout and blast a ton of calories at home, at the office, or while on vacation. Try this circuit workout and you’ll be sweating in no time! Do each movement for 45 seconds and without any rest in between. Once you have completed a full circuit, take a one-minute rest, and then repeat. Aim for three to four rotations.


Mountain ClimbersMountain Climbers Muscles targeted: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hips, core

  • Start in a push-up position with your arms completely straight. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your ankles.
  • Lift your right foot off the floor and move the right knee toward your chest. Make sure your lower back posture does not change.
  • Return to starting position and repeat with your left leg.
  • Continue alternating.

SuperheroesSuperheroes Muscles targeted: low back extensors, lats

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms straight out above you at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions, with thumbs pointed up.
  • Tuck in your chin, so that the back of your neck is longer than the front, and squeeze your legs together.
  • Lift your upper and lower body up as high as you can and pause at the top part of the exercise. Lower and repeat.

Side Plank Knee DriveSide Plank Knee Drive Muscles targeted: obliques, shoulders, and hips

  • Lie on your left side with your left elbow directly under your shoulder, with legs straight out and feet stacked. Your body should be in a straight line from your neck to your ankles.
  • Lift up the left hip and place your right hand (top arm) on your hip. Your body weight is now resting on your feet, left arm, and shoulder.
  • Maintain this position and drive the top knee in toward the chest.
  • Keep driving the knee in and out for the duration of the exercise.

Tip: If this is too challenging for you, keep the bottom knee bent and balance on it instead of your feet.


PrisonersPrisoners Muscles targeted: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core, upper back

  • Place your hands behind your ears and, using your upper back muscles, pull your elbows back.
  • Start in a standing position and slowly lower your left knee onto the ground and then your right knee.
  • Once you are on both knees, come back up into a standing position leading with your left leg.
  • Keep your hands behind your ears throughout the exercise.
  • Continue leading with the left leg for the full set and then switch lead legs.

Bicycle CrunchesBicycle Crunches Muscles targeted: obliques

  • Lie on your back with hands behind your ears. Bend hips and knees at a 90-degree angle with your feet off the floor.
  • Straighten your left leg toward the ground while drawing your right knee in toward your chest.
  • As your right knee comes toward you, lift your torso off the floor and twist toward your right knee. Make sure to use your abs to lift and twist.
  • Alternate legs and twist the torso for the full set.

Squat ThrustSquat Thrust Muscles targeted: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core

  • Start in a standing position.
  • Bend down, knees bent, and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Shift your weight onto your hands.
  • Kick back both feet to a full plank position. Make sure to keep your abs tight to prevent your hips from rising or sinking.
  • Jump your feet back toward your hands and stand up again.

Sprinter's BlockSprinter’s Block Muscles targeted: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes

  • Position your body like a sprinter’s starting stance. Put your fingertips on the ground and kneel on your back knee with your back foot tucked under and gripping the ground. Keep your front foot flat on the ground and a hand’s length away from your back foot.
  • Keep your fingertips on the ground and drive your hips straight up.
  • Aim to straighten your front leg. The back leg will straighten easily. Your goal is to get your front leg as straight as you can.
  • Go fast, up and down, for 45 seconds and then switch lead legs.
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