Some days, going to the gym just isn’t practical. Maybe you have a doctor’s appointment or your kids have swim practice and you need to run errands before they leave in the morning, and then you’re going to be stuck waiting around all day with no plan other than eating extra-large slices of pizza because you were too lazy to make yourself lunch on the way home from dropping them off. When that happens, don’t panic—you can still get your body workout in at home!
These full-body workouts will keep you toned and lean without requiring any equipment at all.
This highly effective full-body exercise can be done with or without a bicycle. Stand and hold on to your bike with both hands, and pedal backwards for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds, then turn around and pedal forward for another 20 seconds. Rest for 10 more seconds, then repeat twice more. That’s one set. Aim to do two or three sets total, resting as needed between sets to catch your breath.
It’s simple, but certainly not easy. Just follow these steps: Hold a pushup position (on your toes) until you can’t any longer; drop to your knees; hold that position until you can’t any longer; get on all fours and repeat until failure. That’s one repetition. Once you become accustomed to holding each pose for a specific amount of time, try adding another set or two in between each pose. This move targets your shoulders, triceps, core and legs—all while building balance. It doesn’t sound like much of a body workout, but after just a few sets, your arms will be shaking so hard it’s impossible to think about anything else!
This climbing move requires no equipment, but it still works your entire body. Start in a high plank position (aka pushup position), but bend your elbows and bring your chest to rest between your forearms instead of placing it flat on the floor. From here, you have two options: 1) Lift both feet off of the ground and climb up by pulling with your arms; 2) Lift one foot off of the ground at a time as you bend your knees to climb up with just your upper body strength. At any point during either movement, you can switch from raising one foot at a time to raising both together – or even lifting one leg straight out for a single-leg variation.
Complete 10 reps on each side before moving on to Spider Pushups!
The lunge matrix is a series of lunges that are part of a core workout. This can be done with no equipment and it’s great for strengthening lower body muscles, including your legs and glutes. Each variation will target different areas of your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings so you’ll feel like you’re getting a nice full-body workout when you do these in succession!
When doing lunges, it’s important to make sure to use good form or else you risk injury. When lunging, keep your back flat and try not to lean forward or backward; your weight should be on your heel instead of midfoot or toes.
The jumping jack is a classic bodyweight exercise that’s super effective for calorie burn and toning. Jumping jacks build your leg strength, improve your core stability, and increase your heart rate faster than many other exercises. To do them: Stand with feet together and hands at sides; raise arms to shoulder height and jump legs apart (while keeping arms raised) as you simultaneously bend knees into a squatting position. Once in a squat, extend legs again to start position.
As you lower back into starting position, repeat movement in opposite direction. That’s one rep! To make it more challenging, do multiple sets of 15 to 20 reps or hold dumbbells while doing jumping jacks—just be sure not to let those weights get in your way when you’re jumping!
Stand with your feet together, and place your hands on either side of you, slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend your knees until they’re bent 90 degrees. Push yourself back up to starting position and repeat 10 times. Pushups work out multiple muscle groups in your upper body workout, including: triceps, pectorals (chest), deltoids (shoulders), biceps. This exercise is a great way to get a full-body workout without hitting a gym.
It also improves strength and endurance in these muscles when combined with other exercises that target those same muscles, such as pull ups for biceps and dips for triceps.
Crunches and Curls
While it’s important to focus on strength exercises like pushups and pullups to build overall body strength, working your core muscles is just as important. Crunches are a great exercise that can be done without any equipment, says Andrew Kastor, C.S.C.S., instructor at The Fitting Room in New York City (try one of their body workouts here).
By training your abs daily—or multiple times a week—you will shed fat around your midsection and strengthen your core for a leaner look. Here’s how to do them: Lie flat on your back with knees bent so you’re resting on something slightly lower than your hips, like an exercise ball or yoga mat.
The Burpee Challenge
Remember when we said you’d never have to step foot in a gym again? That was an exaggeration. But not by much. To get lean, defined muscles that are chiseled to perfection, you have to do more than lift free weights or hit up a Spin class once in a while—you need to build muscle and strength, which takes time and dedication. This 15-minute plan is built on burpees (which activate your entire body workout with just one move) as well as compound moves like squats, lunges and planks. The result: transformation! Just make sure you pair your workout with our grocery list; these foods will help rev your metabolism post workout so you burn even more calories throughout your day.
This workout is broken up into four sections: a warm-up, a circuit, a burnout ladder, and a cool-down.
Do each move for 20 seconds. Do this warm-up twice.
- Jumping jack
- Inchworm walk out to shoulder tap
Do each move for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds in between each move. Do the entire circuit twice.
- Blast-off push-up
- Squat thrust
- Pendulum lunge
- Mountain climber twist
- Pause squat
- Plank up to frogger
Do 1 rep of each, then 2 reps of each, then 3 reps, etc., and go as high as you can get in 3 minutes.
- Touchdown jack
- Panther shoulder tap
Do each move for 10 to 30 seconds…or longer if it feels good and you have time.
- Child’s pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Forward fold
- Standing quad stretch
- Shoulder circle