Let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t make it to the gym—traffic, obligations, traveling, lack of time, or you just don’t want to head out for whatever reason. But that’s no excuse to skip your workout altogether. In fact, if you’re looking for an efficient, effective workout, you already have everything you need to get started. All that’s left is a complete no equipment workout guide.
You can boost your strength and flexibility, burn extra calories, build muscle, and improve your balance all in the privacy of your own home. You don’t need to spend money on expensive gym memberships, or worse, outrageous money on those exclusive and pricey “burn-boot-camps.” It’s true; you can save yourself time, money, and the trip to the gym and get in great shape by using your own body weight for a free and effective workout.
Take a look at this simple and easy-to-follow guide we’ve put together for you. It’s perfect for even beginners who aren’t sure where to start! So, grab your workout gear, lace up your shoes, and skip the gym with this great workout plan that will leave you feeling the burn.
Where Should You Start with Your No Equipment Workout?
So, you’re ready to get started with a home-based, no equipment workout. Now what? There are a couple of things to consider that will get you going in the right direction.
- Decide on where in your home works for your exercise space. It’s important to have a specific area you designate for your workouts. This will solidify in your mind this is a serious endeavor, and you’ll be getting real results from this program.
- Next, decide on when you’ll be working out. What time of day will be the easiest for you? Which days of the week will work best for you? If you really want it to happen (and you do!), it’s important to plan your no equipment workout and put it on your calendar, just like you would an important meeting or a doctor’s appointment.
Now that you have those two areas covered, you’re ready to go!
Here’s a beginner plan you can try at home. Get started right away by following these easy steps. The whole workout should take no longer than 45 minutes, and depending on your level of fitness and how sore you feel, you should be able to do this workout 3 – 4 times a week. Just be sure you take at least one day off in between workouts.
Once you’re accustomed to the exercises, you may want to use some cans of food, water bottles, or a set of simple dumbbells for a few of the exercises to increase the difficulty, but no equipment is necessary.
Our Complete, No Equipment Workout Guide
Begin by warming up with 3 sets of 10 jumping jacks. Then, once you have your blood flowing, do each exercise, one after the other, with 20 seconds rest in between each exercise. Do between one and three sets of each exercise, again depending on your fitness level.
Squats—use your own weight to perform a body weight squat. Place your fingertips on each side of your head with your elbows out or place your hands on your hips. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider. Bend at the hips and knees, lowering your rear end back and down until your thighs are parallel with the floor (do not go down past parallel). Push back up to standing position using your leg and glute muscles, and repeat for 10 to 20 repetitions.
Walking Lunges—from a standing position, step your right leg out in front of you, about the length of your knee to hip, toes facing forward. With your hands on your hips, slowly bend both knees and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel with the ground, the knee of your back leg is directly beneath your hip, and your knees are at 90-degree angles. Hold for one second and push off from your rear leg to return to a standing position. Step forward with the opposite leg and repeat for 10 to 15 steps per leg.
Calf Raises—place your hands on the wall in front of you. With your legs straight but soft in the knees, raise up your heels to stand on the balls of your feet for a count of 10, and then lower. Repeat 3 to 5 times for one full set. For a greater stretch at the bottom, place a simple board on the floor, and stand with the balls of your feet on the board, and lower your heels all the way to the floor.
Planks—assume a pushup position and then place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders. Make sure your back forms a straight angled line from your head down to your heels. Keep your head neutral, so your spine holds a straight-line position, and pull your belly button up and in toward your spine. Hold the position for 20 – 30 seconds. Release by dropping to your knees. Rest and repeat.
Arm Circles—standing with your feet hip-width apart, raise your arms straight out to your sides until they are parallel with the ground. With your fingertips pointing toward the ceiling, move your arms in small forward circles for 20 repetitions. Repeat in the opposite direction. Move on to the next exercise.
Pushups—start on your hands and knees. Next, straighten your legs and lift your knees off the ground with your arms positioned straight below you and about shoulder-width apart. Lower your body gently by bending at your elbows. Be sure to keep your back and glutes in a straight line and your tummy tight. Once your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, or your chest is near the floor, push back up until your arms are straight. Repeat 10 times for one set. If this is too challenging, you can start with your knees on the ground.
Bridge—lie down on your back, preferably on a carpet or padded yoga mat. With your arms extended and fingers pointing toward your heels and next to your sides, bend your knees and walk your heels back as close to your buttocks as you can. Press your back flat into the ground and scoop your belly down toward the ground. Lift your hips off the ground, and squeeze your glutes until your body forms a straight upward line from neck to knees. Pause to hold, return to start, and slowly repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions.
Side Lunges—stand with your feet set wider than hip-width apart, with your feet facing straight ahead. Clasp your hands in front of your chest or place them on your hips. Shift your weight over to one leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your knees, keeping your upper body as upright as possible (though you will lean forward slightly). Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side for 10 repetitions per side.
Supermans—begin by lying face down on a rug, carpet, or mat with your arms stretched out straight in front of you. Simultaneously lift your shoulders and arms and legs off the floor about 6 inches and hold for a count of five. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
Biceps Curls—here’s where some water bottles can come in handy. From a standing position with your feet hip-width apart, hold a water bottle in each hand with your arms straight down, palms facing forward. With your right arm, slowly bend at your elbow while keeping your wrist straight and lift the bottle until it touches your right shoulder. Pause and hold for one count and then slowly lower your hand back to the starting point. Repeat 12 – 15 times for each arm.
Triceps Dips—using the edge of your couch or a stable chair, place your hands on the edge, palms down, with fingers facing forward. Slide your hips forward, past the edge of the chair, and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Using your triceps, bring your body back up to the starting position. Repeat for 10 – 15 repetitions.
Finish off your no equipment workout with some gentle stretching or a 5-minute walk and a nice big, refreshing glass of water.
Now you have a no excuses, no equipment workout you can do any time, any place to help you get and stay in shape. Enjoy!