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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"Reverse lunges are slightly more challenging than a traditional lunge, and they are great for working glutes and quads," says Ettinger.
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.
"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.
Side planks work the obliques, Ettinger says. It also strengthens the entire body, including your lower back, core, and also builds shoulder strength.
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.
The diagonal arm movement in a wide-stance plank with diagonal arm lift targets abs, obliques, and the lower back.
"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.
"I like the T-stabilization exercise because it focuses on rotational movement using only body weight, making it a great core exercise," says Ettinger.
The contraction in this exercise targets the hard to reach obliques, and is one of the most efficient moves to slim your muffin top.
Hit the lower part of abs with this crunch variation.
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.
"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.