A Quick No-Equipment Workout That Gets the Job Done

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A Quick No-Equipment Workout That Gets the Job Done

April 11, 2022

Looking for your next fitness challenge? Don’t overlook the power of using your own body weight. Sure, it often gets a bad rap for being “easy” since it doesn’t involve any equipment. But don’t be fooled, these types of moves are a super effective method for improving your total body fitness.

Using your own body as a built-in piece of equipment has big benefits. In fact, research published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal revealed that bodyweight exercises can not only help you build your muscular fitness, but also lower your body fat, and improve your VO2 max, a measure of how well your body uses oxygen during exercise. Even better, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that strength-training via bodyweight exercises was as good as aerobic exercise (think jogging or cycling) at reducing risk for certain chronic diseases.

Ready to get in on the action?

The routine below is accessible and easily scalable, making it a great option for beginners and more experienced exercisers alike, says Frank Baptiste CSCS, owner of FranklyFitness in New York City. “This circuit takes advantage of peripheral heart action for maximum calorie burn. By alternating between lower and upper body exercises with minimal to no rest, your cardiovascular system is forced to work overtime,” Baptiste says.

Stick with this routine and Baptiste says you should experience an uptick in sleep, energy, and strength within three weeks. Start with 8-12 repetitions of each move. Aim to do two to three rounds of the circuit back to back (go through it without stopping as best as you can. Rest only as needed). Repeat the workout two to three times a week. As you get stronger, you can up the repetitions to 12-16 or more.

Skaters

Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Pushing off your right foot, hop to the left, landing with bent knee, hips back and chest up; bring your right foot behind your left. This is one rep. Repeat move, this time pushing off your left foot to hop to the right. Continue alternating sides.

Jumping jacks

Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously raise your arms out to the sides and then above your head as you jump your feet out to about shoulder width apart. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement. This is one rep. Repeat.

Pushups

Start in plank position with hands about shoulder-width and abs tight; hands should be stacked under shoulders. Bend elbows and lower body down to hover over ground. Push back up to start. This is one rep. Repeat.

Mountain climbers

Start in a plank with shoulders, hands and wrists stacked. Engage core and lift your right knee, bringing it toward your right elbow. Return the right knee back to the start as you simultaneously drive your left knee up toward your left elbow. Each side is one rep. Continue alternating, using a quick motion.

Russian twists

Sit with your legs extended. Lean back slightly, tighten abs, and lift legs, keeping a bend in knees; body should form a V-like shape. Balancing here, twist your torso from left to right while keeping legs still. This is one rep. Repeat.

Reverse lunge to high knees

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, step your right foot back about two feet, landing on the ball of foot; keep heel up. Bend both knees, lowering down until legs form 90-degree angles. Push through the heel of your right foot to rise back up and then lift right knee up. This is one rep. Repeat for your number of reps, and then switch sides and repeat.

Clap jacks

Stand with your feet together and your arms extended straight out in front of you with palms touching. Simultaneously open arms out to the sides as you jump your feet out to about shoulder-width apart. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement. This is one rep. Repeat.

Side plank + hip drops

Lie on your left side propped up on your left elbow and forearm; shoulders should be stacked over elbow with feet stacked on top of one another. Raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels. Slowly lower your left hip to gently tap it on the floor and then lift hip back up. This is one rep. Do your number of reps and then switch sides and repeat.

Prone Ys

Lie face down with your arms and legs fully extended, toes pointed and palms facing in. Tighten abs and pull shoulders down and back. Slowly lift your arms off the floor, moving them to about 45-degrees to form a “Y.” Hold for two seconds and then release. This is one rep. Repeat.

A Quick No-Equipment Workout That Gets the Job Done

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