Don’t have time to head to the gym? Don’t want to invest in pricey equipment just to stay in shape? That’s okay, because you don’t have to!
There are plenty of exercises you can do that require no equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Do them at home, at the park or even in a hotel room while on vacation. Some of them you can even do at your desk at work or while waiting in line at the store. These exercises all use your bodyweight to improve strength, flexibility and balance.
Here are 10 to try:
- Arm circles – Stand straight with arms raised to each side, parallel to the floor. Slowly make clockwise circles with your arms keeping elbows straight for about 30 seconds and then reverse the motion for an additional 30 seconds.
- Wall sit – Stand against a wall and slide your back down until your thighs are parallel to the ground (as if you were sitting in a chair). Keep your knees directly above your ankles and hold for as long as you can.
- Squat – Stand straight with feet pointing straight ahead or slightly turned out and hip-distance apart. Bend your hips and knees as if you were going to sit in a chair, keeping your back straight and your heels on the floor. Try to get down low enough so your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Hold for as long as you can and then push up through your heels to stand.
- Tuck jump – Stand with knees slightly bent and back straight. Then jump up as high as you can while brining your knees in towards your chest. Extend your arms straight out during the jump. Land with knees slightly bent and go right back into your next jump.
- Plank – Lie face down on the floor and rise up on your forearms and toes, keeping your body parallel to the floor with your back straight and your core tight. You may only be able to hold this position for a few seconds at first, but as you keep doing it, shoot for 60 seconds or more.
- Push-up – Lie on the ground with your body in a straight line and place hands directly under your shoulders. Using your arms and keeping your belly tight, lift your body up while keeping it in a rigid line. Then return to the floor. If these are too difficult, make them easier by doing them from your knees instead of your toes or propping your hands on a step or bench.
- Bicycle – Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your head and knees bent. Alternate bringing each knee in towards your chest as you also bring the opposite elbow up to meet the knee. Alternate legs as if you were pedaling a bicycle.
- Lunge – Begin in a standing position and step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Then return to standing. Keep your hands on your hips during the move. Alternate legs.
- High knees – This is similar to running in place except the focus is on bringing the knees up as high as you can towards the chest during the move. Be sure to keep your back and chest upright during the move.
- Calf raise – While standing straight, rise up on your toes. Hold this pose briefly and then return your heels to the floor. You can even do this while standing in line at the checkout.