The gym’s closed, it’s too far, you’re out of cash; whatever the reason, it doesn’t need to keep you from working out. Your health doesn’t accept excuses; only sweat, energy, and effort. So, if your regular workout hub is unavailable, these are our top exercises without equipment to help you stay in tip-top shape.

No excuse, no equipment workouts for a better body

That’s right! There’s no excuse for not keeping healthy; we know how tempting hiding under the duvet can be, especially in winter, but getting up and moving can help your body stay strong and keep your mind from feeling depressed in reduced sunshine hours.

Target: Legs and balance

Lunge

doing lunges

A great leg workout that not only helps build your muscles but also utilizes your hips and core muscles to develop balance and coordination.

How to lunge:

  1. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step forward or backward with one leg, bending until one knee goes towards the ground. This is where your weight should be.
  3. Ensure your back remains straight and avoid leaning too far forward or placing undue pressure on the front leg.

Number of reps: Start with 12 reps for each leg and increase as needed.

Extra tip: For an extra push use a liter bottle filled with water in each hand as a weight.

Squats

squat workout

A true core and strength builder that engages a number of muscle groups and burns fat too. Squats are one the best workouts without weights that you can do at home.

How to do squats:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your toes should be pointed at a 30° angle to your heels.
  2. While pushing your bum out and holding your tummy tight, bend your knees and squat downwards.
  3. Your knees should be directly above your toes and your back should remain straight.
  4. Hold the squat pose for 2-3 seconds and then repeat.

Number of reps: Start with three sets of 12 reps each.

Target area: the core

This is your center, where all your balance and strength comes from, and these no-equipment exercises will help you build your muscles at no extra cost to your pocket.

Bicycle abs crunch

bicycle exercise

Targeting your lower back and abs, these bicycle crunches bring strength to your core region. That six pack? Just an extra bonus.

How to do bicycle crunches:

  1. Lie straight on your back on a solid, flat surface. If you have one on hand, a yoga mat is perfect for keeping your back protected, but if not a regular rug or mat will do.
  2. Place your hands behind your head and raise your knees to your chest. Now you’re primed to cycle.
  3. First, let’s get those legs moving. Straighten one leg out then bring it back, then the other, until you have a cycling-like movement.
  4. Next, raise your elbow, while keeping your hands behind your head to almost meet the knee closest to your chest, engaging your core muscles.

Number of reps: Aims for three sets of 25 reps.

Boat pose

doing a boat pose

Less of a movement exercise and more of a strength building pose. This yoga movement, also known as paripurna navasana, is one of the best for strengthening your abdominal muscles and improving your posture.

How to do the boat pose:

  1. Start by sitting with your knees bent to your chest.
  2. Next, lift your feet off the ground and try to raise them to a 45° angle (or as much as possible).
  3. Keep your back straight and tummy tight.
  4. You can use your hands to wrap around your thighs or hold them out straight depending on your experience level.
  5. Hold the pose for five breaths and repeat.

Number of reps: Start with around five reps.

Target: Strength-building

Think you need weights to increase your muscle tone, think again. Our top strength building exercises without equipment will get you toned in no time at all.

Plank side twist

side plank at home

Just like a regular plank, but much more fun. Keep your core strong while engaging your arms and legs with this plank side twist exercise.

How to do the plank side twist:

  1. Get into plank position by first lying flat on the mat face down, then raising your body, so your arms are bent at the elbow, with the upper-arm straight under your shoulders. Keeping your legs and body is parallel to the ground.
  2. Once you are ready in traditional plank pose, twist your body to one side so that one arm is completely of the ground and you are facing away.
  3. Return to traditional plank pose, then twist in the opposite direction. You should feel a pull in your core muscles, this lets you know you are doing it right.

Number of reps: Aims for five reps, each time holding for 10-15 seconds.

Plank to dolphin

girl doing plank

If you’re looking for an all-around challenge, this is it. Plank to dolphin engages almost all of your muscle groups and focuses on your own body’s weight to build strength.

How to do plank to dolphin:

  1. First get it the traditional plank pose; arms out straight under your shoulders and legs stretched.
  2. Next, move into dolphin pose by bending your arms at the elbow, first one then the other, lowering your entire body while keeping your back straight.
  3. Then (and this is the tricky bit) it’s back to plank. Go from bended arm to straight and back into plank pose.

Number of reps: This one is a real test of endurance, so aim for three sets of three reps.

Ready to go?

Whether you have 15 minutes or 45, by combining these exercises, you can build an effective workout routine without equipment to do in the comfort of your home that will improve your muscle tone, keeping you fit and healthy.

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Your body transformation starts with sticking to a healthier and more active life filled with regular exercise.

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