Is the weather too cold to go out, or is it preventing you from getting to the gym? These equipment-free exercises can be done at home or anytime you can\’t get to a gym. Whether you’re looking for a boost of cardio or want to work your legs, butt, core, arms, or all the above, there’s an exercise for everyone. No equipment is necessary. I created a list of exercise examples explaining how to do the exercises.
First and most importantly – Stretch! Stretch your body every day, especially before any type of exercise. It only takes about 5 – 10 minutes. Remember, these equipment-free exercises can be done at home or anytime you can\’t get to a gym.
Push-Up – A classic go-to exercise, and for a good reason. Push-Ups target your chest, triceps, and your anterior deltoid muscles (front of shoulders), It seriously works your core.
Push-Up How to:
- Start in a high plank position with your hands flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart, wrists stacked under your shoulders.
- Keeping your body in one long line and your core engaged, inhale as you bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor. If you can\’t maintain a flat back or bend your arms fully so that your chest almost reaches the floor, lower your knees to the floor to do a modified push-up from that position.
- Exhale as you push back up to starting position.
Push-Up Reps – Do as many as possible while maintaining good form, repeat 3 to 5 sets with about 1 minute between reps.
Air Swimming – This exercise strengthens the postural muscles by targeting your posterior chain (backside of your body), and that\’s important for improving posture, preventing back pain, and making sure your strength is balanced – which is a major key to healthy overall movement, both in and out of the gym.
How to Air Swim:
- Lie on your stomach with arms extended overhead by your ears.
- Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the floor and squeeze your glutes.
- Flutter your arms and legs up and down while still keeping them off the floor.
Air Swimming Reps – Inhale for 4 seconds, then exhale for 4. Repeat again for a total of 16 seconds. Do 3 sets. Resting about a minute in between.
Superman Punch – This is a great exercise because it hits the weaker areas of the posterior chain, working the back, shoulders, and butt if you do it correctly. This is similar body positioning as Air Swimming.
How to Superman Punch:
- Lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead by your ears.
- Lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground and squeeze your butt.
- Keep your arms and legs off the ground, pull your elbows in toward your sides, then punch overhead. Repeat the punching motion, while keeping your arms and legs off the ground and clenching your glutes the whole time.
Superman Punch Reps – Start with 10 seconds, repeat 3 to 5 sets. Slowly increase the number of seconds as you get better.
The Split Squat – This can be done pretty much anywhere on any lifted surface like a couch, bench, table, or chair to name a few. This move is a major lower-body burner, you’ll feel it in your quads, glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, and even your calves.
How to Split Squat:
- Stand with your back towards the “chair,” with your left foot on the floor a few feet in front of the “chair,” and place the top of your right foot on the bench shoelaces down.
- Place your hands behind your head and engage your core (Engaging your core means contracting your trunk muscles to provide support for your spine and pelvis in static positions and during dynamic movements. These muscles are used for balance, lifting, pushing, pulling, and general movement).
- Bend your knees to lower down into a slit squat. Your left knee should form a 90-degree angle so that your thigh is parallel to the ground, and your right knee is hovering above the floor. (Quick position check: your left foot should be stepped out far enough that you can do this without letting your left knee go past your left toes—if you can\’t, hop your left foot out a bit farther away from the bench.)
- Driving through your left heel, stand back up to starting position.
Split Squat Reps – 15 to 18 reps on one leg then switch sides. Do 4 sets on each side.
Single-leg Tricep Dip – Many arm exercises are focused on the biceps, this simple isolation exercise dials in on the triceps, or the backs of your arms. If you find your biceps working overtime, this is a great way to make sure you’re building balanced upper-body strength.
How to Do the Single-Leg Tricep Dip:
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, about hip distance apart. Place your hands behind you with your fingers facing toward your body.
- Lift your hips up to bring your butt off the ground and shift your weight back into your hands, then lift your right leg toward the ceiling.
- Bend your arms so your butt\’s hovering just above the ground. Keep your elbows tight in toward the center of your body, and avoid flaring them out at an angle when you lower down.
- Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
Single-Leg Tricep Dip Reps: Do 20 reps on the same side, then do 20 reps with the other leg pointing toward the ceiling.
Bodyweight Exercises can be just as effective as the moves you do with equipment or at the gym. With the help of gravity, your own body is an amazing tool for challenging your muscles. So don’t worry if you can\’t get to the gym for whatever reason. There\’s always a way to get in some exercise. I hope you take the time to try some of these equipment-free exercises and take some time to learn a few new moves in the process. Take advantage of your free time or get in a couple of reps during your lunch break. It might help you warm up and it could very well help fight mid-day fatigue. Remember these equipment-free exercises can be done at home or anytime you can\’t get to a gym. No Equipment, No Gym, No Excuses!
These exercises are not limited to my examples. Feel free to search out more options and moves to perform. Mix it up and have fun.
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