So you don’t have a $2,500 spin bike or a $4,000 treadmill in your private home gym — you’re not the only one, alright! As popular as home-gym equipment has become in the past year, you don’t actually need any equipment to get a total body burn. We’re talking cardio, strength, fat-burning, muscle-toning — all with a home workout, no equipment required.
The Benefits of No Equipment Workouts
Arguably, the biggest perk of a no-equipment home workout is the accessibility. Anyone, anywhere can pull this off. And you can do it any time of day — nothing needs to be open, nothing needs to be scheduled, and it won’t be noisy (think: clunking weights, loud treadmill).
Speaking of accessibility, another layer is that it’s low cost or free — no membership, monthly payment, or costly weight rack required. You don’t even need home gym space, and you can do it in any situation — home, outside, at an airport or hotel (less likely in pandemic times, but you get the picture).
And finally, it’s effective. Bodyweight training (ie., equipment-free exercise) is versatile and proven to be effective for a number of physical goals, from burning fat and increasing muscle strength to losing weight and improving cardiovascular health.
Other Benefits of Bodyweight Training
#1 Burn Fat, Fast
By combining bodyweight strength exercises with high-intensity plyometric movements, your home workout can easily become a calorie-blasting machine. But that’s not all. Plyometric movements have been proven to help you build muscle while burning fat. Yes, please!
#2 Build Muscle and Core Strength
Performing push-ups, walking lunges, tricep dips, or burpees is no walk in the park. These bodyweight exercises can be just as challenging as a seated leg press when done correctly and put into the right sequence.
Better yet, since they are compound movements, you rely on your core to perform them correctly. This means you’re toning your midsection while building all-over muscle. Bonus!
#3 Improve Range of Motion and Flexibility
Most bodyweight exercises are compound movements, meaning they target multiple muscles and require the mobility of multiple joints at once.
Some of our fav bodyweight exercises include:
- Lunges (walking, static, curtsey, jump)
- Crab walks
- Squat to sidekicks
- Mountain climbers
These all challenge your mobility while sculpting your body and burning calories.
#4 Work on Your Stability
Movements like single-leg deadlifts, jump lunges, single-leg squats, planks, and push-ups all require a large amount of core strength and recruit your smaller stabilizing muscles that are harder to target when lifting heavier weights.
To successfully and safely do these exercises, you will need increased body awareness and control to maintain stability. Your balance is a crucial part of your everyday life — think picking up something off the ground, catching yourself if you almost fall, maintaining good posture while sitting at the computer, etc. — and these no-equipment exercises and bodyweight workouts can help.
Your Quick Full Body No Equipment Home Workout You Can Do in 5 Minutes
Short on time? We bet you have five minutes. Just five minutes! And for this one, it’s all standing, so you don’t even need a mat — or to get on the ground!
High Knees: 1 Minute
Warm-up with a minute of high knees. Get your heart pumping and get your muscles warm.
Modify for low-impact: drive one knee up at a time, keeping your lower abs locked in and active. Go as fast as you can without creating impact for your joints.
Squats: 1 Minute
Now to get the glutes and hamstrings working with some squats. A classic squat — when done with proper form — also works the abs. And if you’re keeping form well enough to ramp up the pace, you can get a little cardio in there, too! Remember to keep the weight in your heels and keep your knees tracking over your ankles, behind your toes.
Squat to Knee Up Twist: 1 Minute
Ramping up the intensity and adding in some core while keeping it low-impact.
From a squat position with your hands behind your head, drive your right knee to meet your left elbow — think: standing bicycle crunches. You’ll work the obliques (side abs in your waist) and rectus abdominis (that whole six-pack area) while doing those glute-burning squats in between.
Bodyweight Deadlifts (“Good Morning:): 1 Minute
Keep that ab-and-glute train in motion by perfecting your deadlift form, kettlebell free.
Place your hands on your hips, feet hip-width apart, weight in your heels (but don’t lift your toes). Lock in your abs (keep that core tight!), and start to hinge at the hips (not waist). Imagine you’re trying to reach a wall behind you with your backside. Keep your spine long, and don’t kink your neck. Keep hinging until your back is almost parallel with the ground. Then, use your glutes to thrust your hips forward as you raise your head up, keeping your spine straight. Squeeze glutes to reset, and repeat for one minute, maintaining good form.
Increase the challenge: try a balancing variant (still bodyweight, of course) with the single-leg Romanian deadlift.
Arm Circles: 1 Minute
Cooldown while you work the arms — stretching your arms out wide by your sides, forming a T-shape with your body, rotate your arms in little circles (think: your hands are tracing an orange or grapefruit). Rotate forward circles — as many as you can — for 30 seconds, then reverse directions.
Practice some other no-equipment arm exercises with Julianne Hough and Cassey Ho in this FitOn Pilates class.
Add More No Equipment Workouts Into Your Fitness Routine