Bodyweight exercises and no equipment workouts are a simple and effective way of improving fitness, endurance, strength, muscular definition, balance, confidence and flexibility without the need for any equipment whatsoever, and the bonus: it is free!
The great part about bodyweight exercises is that you can do them anywhere. At home, with a friend at their home, in the garden, at a park, in a field, at the gym, in a hotel room if travelling for work or pleasure. There are no limitations when all you need is your mind-set to do the exercises and your body fully energised to get stuck in to the fun challenges of what your body alone can achieve.
If you are new to bodyweight exercises then keep the movement at a basic level, then as you become stronger and more confident, you can take the movements to a more advanced level and perform the exercises for longer. For example, if you’re a beginner, modify push ups by doing them on your knees, if you’re advanced do push ups with feet elevated. Allow your body to flow through the movements at its current capability and become efficient in that full movement, then the easier it becomes you know your body is building strength and you can progress. Enjoy the challenges without equipment and learn the art of full body awareness whilst mastering your own strength.
This is part one of the exercises which will focus on full body and core exercises that can be pieced together as a no equipment workout. Part two will introduce upper and lower body exercises and part three will piece together example workouts for you to do. From shoulders to chest to legs, every part of the body can get fit and strong with body resistance alone. It is not necessary to use machinery, equipment and buy a gym membership to keep fit and build strength, all you need is your enthusiasm and a few days a week to use your own body.
- Inchworm – Stand up tall with the legs straight then drop your hands to the floor. Keeping your legs straight (but not locked), slowly lower your body towards the floor, and then walk the hands forward. Once in a push-up position, start taking tiny steps until the feet meet the hands. Continue for 4 to 6 reps for 3 to 5 sets.
- Mountain Climbers – Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left knee forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. With your hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward. Keep alternating sides for 10 to 12 reps on each leg for 3 to 5 sets.
- Plank to Push Up – This movement uses strength in the upper, core and lower parts of the body. Starting in a forearm plank position, place down one hand at a time to lift up into a push up position, with the back straight and the core engaged. Then move one arm at a time back into the plank position (forearms on the ground). Repeat, alternating the arm that makes the first move. Perform 6 to 10 reps for 3 to 5 sets.
- Bicycle – Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens, making a pedalling motion (like you’re riding a bicycle). Continue alternating sides for 10 to 15 reps per side for 3 sets.
- Flutter Kick – Start lying on your back with arms at your sides and palms facing down. With your legs extended, lift the heels a few inches off the ground. Engage your core, and make small up-and-down kicks with the legs. Perform 10 to 15 reps per side for 3 sets.
- Side Plank – On your side, with just one foot and one forearm touching the ground, raise your body up and keep your body in a straight line. Make sure the hips are lifted and the core is engaged. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds per side for 3 sets.
Which is your favourite bodyweight exercise?