You don’t need a gym membership to get in shape. Here are 10 body-weight exercises that will build strength, burn fat and improve balance and endurance. Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to try new ways to burn fat outside the gym. No more excuses. Now, get moving!
The push up is great for developing muscular strength and endurance in the chest, shoulders and triceps. To increase resistance add a weighted vest or elevate your feet for more incline. To add even more challenge try using one hand or adding a clap in between.
Sit-ups and their many variations can work your entire abdominal region, obliques included. To target the sides just add a twist. If you are not yet able to do a full sit up, abdominal crunches are a fantastic option.
The ultimate in body-weight exercises, the burpee is not only hard on every muscle in your body, it also taxes your heart and lungs to their extreme. From a standing position, kick your legs out behind you and lower yourself into a push-up position. Then after completing a full push-up, spring back to your feet and follow it up by jumping into the hair with your hands extended above your head. Repeat and see how many you can do.
4. One Legged Squats
This is a great exercise for your glutes and quadriceps muscle groups that also tests your balance and stability. By standing on one leg you are automatically doubling the weight of a regular free standing squat.
5. Towel Rows
Simply grab a large towel, place it in both hands and find a sturdy beam or pole to wrap it around. With your feet close to the base of the support piece you are using, lean back and extend your arms fully out while gripping the towel tightly with both hands. Then flex your arms and pull yourself back up into an upright position. This is a great substitute for a lat pull down and works your lats, biceps and shoulders.
6. Tricep Dips
Find a sturdy and elevated, flat surfaced platform about knee high. With your back to it squat down and place your palms with open hands on it while extending your legs out forward in front of you. Now bend at the elbows and lower your butt to the ground before bringing it back up. This is a great exercise for the back of the arms.
The lower back is part of your core muscle group and often overlooked. To do this exercise lay on the ground, face down with hands extended out in-front of you as if you were flying. Begin by raising your right arm into the air while simultaneously lifting your left leg, then lower the two and raise the opposite right left arm with right leg. Start slowly and as you get better make faster transitions without touching the ground.
8. Bicycle Kicks
From an abdominal crunch position with your knees bent and feet in the air, bring your right elbow to your left knee then pull back and switch sides, this time bringing your left elbow to the right knee. Go back and forth in rapid succession until both your abdominal and oblique muscles burn.
9. Stair Steps
You can use almost anything really for stepping exercises. A table, bench, chair, step platform, curb or stairs in your very own staircase. This is a great cardio workout and excellent for the glutes. Count the amount of steps you can do in a 2 minute time frame, and then try to better it as your fitness level improves.
10. Jumping Jacks
Who needs a treadmill when you can just as easily elevate your heart rate by standing in one spot and doing a well known and favourite child hood activity? Jumping Jacks, also known as Star Jumps in other parts of the world, are a great cardio workout and excellent for your warm-up. Try to do 2 or 3, two minute rounds before engaging in these other exercises.