27 No-Equipment Exercises You Can Do At Home

Work your arms, legs, and abs with these no-equipment-required moves

December 13, 2012
bodyweight exercises: woman yoga pose
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We've all heard people say they can't work out because they don't have time to go to the gym or they don't have any equipment. Well, no more excuses! You can get a full-body workout doing bodyweight exercises—no equipment required. "Squats, push-ups, and other moves that use only your own weight for resistance can be done anywhere and provide a great workout in a small amount of space," says Michelle Mason, ACE-certified personal trainer at Uplift Studios in New York City. 

More: The Lower Body Workout That'll Change The Way You Look at 'Leg Day'

In addition to being convenient, bodyweight exercises build muscle, boost your metabolism, and burn calories. For a full body workout, combine upper and lower body exercises into a circuit, for example, squats, lunges, push-ups, glute bridges, and then planks. Do one movement after another with little rest in between to keep your heart rate up, suggests Mason. For best results, do 20 reps or 30 to 60 seconds each.

To help you get started, we've compiled a list of 27 bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere and in any combination.

bodyweight exercises: push-up
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Beth Bischoff
Upper Body: Push-Up

"Push-ups are my favorite exercise to work the arms," Mason says. "Not only do they work the upper body, but they're also a great core exercise."

If you want to mix it up, check out these 10 push-up variations that'll challenge your entire arm day routine. 

bodyweight exercise: Pike Walk/Pushup Combo
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Beth Bischoff
Upper Body: Pike Walk/Pushup Combo

This push-up variation is a good cardio move that works your shoulders, chest, and back, says Steve Ettinger, a New York City-based personal trainer and author of Wallie Exercises.

bodyweight exercises: prisoner squat
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Prisoner Squat

"Prisoner squats are good for beginners—the hand position above your head forces a tall chest and teaches you good thoracic extension," says Dan Trink, director of personal training operations at Peak Performance in New York City.

You can also test out any of these 5 squat variations that'll make you stronger for an even more serious burn.

bodyweight exercises: lunge
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Bodyweight Lunge

"Lunges are great for the lower body—like glutes and calves—and they can help correct imbalances," Trink says. Typically, we all have one stronger side and lunges can help fix that because one leg is doing the work at one time, he explains. 

Make sure you follow the expert rules to make sure you're not doing lunges wrong, and see how to properly do them here

bodyweight exercises: Lying Gluteal Bridge
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Lying Gluteal Bridge

This exercise works the glutes, core, and lower back, says Mason. It's also one of the best exercises for better sex, so get ready to master this fan favorite. 

bodyweight exercise: Jump Squat
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Bodyweight Jump Squat

Jump squats are a plyometric exercise that get your heart rate up, says Ettinger. Follow these 10 secrets to the perfect bodyweight squat to know exactly how to power through the calorie-torching move. 

bodyweight exercise: Lunge Jumps
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Lunge Jumps

Even without weights, lunges help your body burn fat, and you'll feel some lactic burn in your legs, says Trink. For more efficiency, don't forget the total body warm-up to get yourself ready. 

bodyweight exercise: Iso-Explosive Jump Squat
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Iso-Explosive Bodyweight Jump Squat

Even for conditioned athletes, jumping exercises are great because you can get a high intensity workout no matter what level you are, Ettinger explains. 

As an added bonus, jump squats are also one of the best exercises to prevent osteoperosis, so you don't need to spend any money on stronger bones. 

bodyweight exercise: Walking Spiderman
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Walking Spiderman

The walking Spiderman lower body move increases overall flexibility and helps develop hip flexion, which allows you to work your glutes more efficiently, says Jay Cardiello, celebrity fitness trainer and creator of JCORE system.

bodyweight exercise: Glute Bridge with Leg Raise
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Glute Bridge with Leg Raise

"Single-side exercises like this help correct any muscle imbalances," says Mason. While the single leg glute bridge targets the glutes, you also use your core to stabilize your body and keep both hips lifted.

Bodyweight exercise: Split Jump
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Bodyweight Split Jump

"A form of plyometrics, the body-weight split jump increases muscular power, speed, and endurance," says Cardiello. 

The age-old move is also part of the ultimate endurance test and helps determine your ability to take on long miles. 

bodyweight exercise: Low Side-to-Side Lunge
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Low Side-to-Side Lunge

The side-to-side motion of this lunge fires up the quads, targeting the inner and outer thighs and hips. The side lunge also targets the hips, helping to slowly improve flexibility and range of motion.

bodyweight exercise: Inverted Hamstring
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Inverted Hamstring

This move challenges your balance while stretching your hamstrings. Also known as the single-leg deadlift, the move also works your hips, glutes, and lower back. 

bodyweight exercise: Squat With Leg Lift
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Squat With Leg Lift

"I love unilateral training, like the squat with leg lift, because you work the muscles in the standing leg harder, while also working on balance and engaging core muscles," says Mason.

For even more toning, check out these 5 moves that help to banish cellulite to get the doube benefits of leg day. 

Bodyweight exercise: Wall Squat
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Bodyweight Wall Squat

This squat variation uses the wall for stability to work your calves, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. See the right way to do the wall sit to make sure you're working your butt ... in just the perfect form. 

bodyweight exercise: Reverse Lunge
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Beth Bischoff
Lower Body: Reverse Lunge

"Reverse lunges are slightly more challenging than a traditional lunge, and they are great for working glutes and quads," says Ettinger.

bodyweight exercise: Plank
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Beth Bischoff
Core: Plank

Planks are key in developing core strength—they work the abs, lower back, and engage the quadriceps and glutes, says Mason.

Check out these 20 plank variations to mix up your core routine for even more options.

bodyweight exercise: Mountain Climber
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Beth Bischoff
Core: Mountain Climber

"I love doing mountain climbers to work the core," says Mason. It works the abs and it gets your heart rate up which helps you burn more calories, she adds.

bodyweight exercise: Side Plank
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Beth Bischoff
Core: Side Plank

Side planks work the obliques, Ettinger says. It also strengthens the entire body, including your lower back, core, and also builds shoulder strength.

bodyweight exercise: V-up
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Beth Bischoff
Core: V-up

V-ups use your entire body to work the core, concentrating on abs and obliques, and are one of the go-to moves in the perfect abs workout

bodyweight exercise: Plank with Diagonal Arm Lift
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Beth Bischoff
Core: Wide-Stance Plank with Diagonal Arm Lift

The diagonal arm movement in a wide-stance plank with diagonal arm lift targets abs, obliques, and the lower back.

bodyweight exercise: Hip Crossover
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Beth Bischoff
Core: Hip Crossover

"The hip crossover exercise is an excellent way to target the obliques and the core," explains Mason. "It requires a lot of core stability to slowly drop your legs from one side to the other without arching your lower back or losing control of your legs."

If you do opt for the equipment version, we have 25 Swiss ball exercises that'll tone your whole body, including a hip crossover that uses the ball for an added level of difficulty. 

bodyweight exercise: T-Stabilization
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Beth Bischoff
Core: T-Stabilization

"I like the T-stabilization exercise because it focuses on rotational movement using only body weight, making it a great core exercise," says Ettinger.

bodyweight exercise: Oblique V-Up
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Beth Bischoff
Core: Oblique V-Up

The contraction in this exercise targets the hard to reach obliques, and is one of the most efficient moves to slim your muffin top

bodyweight exercise Reverse Crunch
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Beth Bischoff
Core: Reverse Crunch

Hit the lower part of abs with this crunch variation.

bodyweight exercise: Burpee
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Beth Bischoff
Total Body: Burpee

Burpees help build lean muscle and strengthen your heart, says Cardiello. When it comes to Burpee 101, knowing the ins and outs of the often hated move will help you get your heart rate up and body moving. 

bodyweight exercise: Inchworm
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Beth Bischoff
Total Body: Inchworm

"Using your hands to walk in and out of this exercise warms up the upper body—working shoulder stability—and the core," says Mason. The inchworm is also a great exercise that'll strengthen your muscles for some bedroom moves (wink, wink) and help to loosen your entire body.

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