You might think it’s strange to have no equipment required home workouts linked from a page all about equipment.
And, you’d be right.
But. I’ve done it to prove that you don’t need anything special to get fit, get six pack abs, or lose weight in the comfort of your own home.
You can, in fact, just use your own bodyweight. It is probably the most effective way of working out.
Well, you can do it anywhere.
You can do it anywhere you have the space to lie down, stand with your arms outstretched and jump.
And that’s really the key to living a healthy lifestyle. The key to reaching your goals...whatever they are. Being able to fit your workouts into your everyday life.
No expensive equipment required. Nothing to carry around. Nothing to plan for. Just your own body weight.
Going away for the weekend? Do a bodyweight workout in your hotel room.
Dropping the kids off to an activity? Do a bodyweight workout while you weight for them.
Got 15 minutes while the kids watch something on the telly? Do a bodyweight workout in the garden. Or kitchen. Or your bedroom. Or the garage.
You get the idea.
Bodyweight workouts can help you fit exercise into your everyday life.
But...can they really help you reach your goals?
But as with anything it depends on what you do, and how you do it.
Let’s think about this...
Workouts, whether they are gym based, home workouts, body weight workouts, using heavy weights or cardio machines, are only ever effective if you push yourself.
If you challenge your body to go that little bit further.
To get fitter, build muscle, lose weight or even become more flexible, your body needs a ‘stress’ to adapt to. It needs to be put under pressure so it can say ‘right, that was tough. If that’s going to happen again we need to be able to get blood pumping to the muscles a bit quicker. We need to get the heart working more efficiently.’
Ok. It doesn’t really say that, but you get the idea.
To improve in any area of your life, you have to challenge yourself.
And your workouts are no different.
So, yes. Bodyweight workouts can absolutely be effective in getting you where you want to be. But only if you’re challenging yourself while doing them.
Well, first things first…
Your heart rate needs to be elevated.
This is the first and probably most important part of doing any exercise. Make sure your heart is pumping faster than it normally would.
Your heart rate doesn’t have to be elevated for the entire time you’re working out. It can be. This is called steady state exercise. Think jogging. Swimming or cycling at a steady pace.
You raise your heart rate, just slightly above resting and you keep it there.
There is another way to do it though.
And that’s having your heart rate elevated for a short time followed by a period of rest. This is called HIIT workouts. I do have another page on HIIT workouts if you’re interested.
HIIT has got to be the most challenging way of exercising your body. And so will likely lead to results a little quicker than steady state workouts.
The workouts at the bottom of the page are all HIIT workouts. Because bodyweight workouts lend themselves perfectly to HIIT.
Ok so the workouts below are just that. Workouts.
There are three, as normal. Focusing on the entire body, upper body and lower body.
They can be done together, although make sure you get plenty of rest in between each round. Or, they can be spread throughout the week.
But, how do you make them into a proper program that will keep you challenged and on course to hitting your goals.
Well, each round can be adapted.
Once you are starting to find it a bit easier. You are recovering quicker between workouts. Your muscles are a little less sore. You will need to make it slightly harder.
Increase the reps of each exercise.
Take minimal rest.
Turn it into an AMRAP workout, as many rounds as possible, and try and increase the amount of rounds.
Add in other exercise.
Do them more often.
There are lots of ways to keep your body challenged.
When you’re doing HIIT workouts you do need to make sure you’re recovering well in between.
So, schedule in some light exercise. And by that I mean a gentle walk. A steady swim or bike ride. Nothing too challenging.
Get some decent sleep. I know that’s not always possible when you’ve got kids. But, if you’ve not had a good night sleep, maybe put off the HIIT for another day.
Lean protein. Healthy fats and carbohydrates. And plenty of veggies.
And make sure you have some me time. Take a bath. A bit of meditation. Or, even some yoga.
All great ways to make sure you’ll be ready to HIIT the workouts again. (see what I did there).
This is a regular section of my posts, so I’m going to keep it in, even though I think I’ve already covered it.
You don’t need anything.
No personal trainer. No heavy weights. No fancy equipment.
We are going to concentrate solely on bodyweight exercises. Nothing else.
Although...a mat would help.
But other than that….your own body weight is going to do all the hard work.
Ok, so what are you going to be doing for your home workout no equipment?
Start in a high plank position.
Engage your core and bring your right knee under your torso, keeping your toes off the ground.
Return to the start position and repeat on the opposite side.
Come onto all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
Engage your core and raise your knees slightly off the floor.
Move forward by simultaneously moving the right hand and left leg in a crawling motion. Make sure your knees stay off the floor.
Continue for the required amount of time, or number of steps.
These are very similar to a regular crunch but you take one knee to the opposite elbow. The twisting motion will put more emphasis on your obliques and you’ll also be working your hip flexors and lower back.
Lie down on your back, with your feet planted on the floor about hip-width apart and your knees bent.
Bring your fingertips to the side of your head.
Engage your abs, lift your knees to 90 degrees and raise your upper body off the floor, making sure your lower back is pressed into the floor.
As you breathe out, twist your upper body to bring your right elbow and left knee toward each other.
As you breathe in return to centre.
Breathe out, twist your upper body the opposite way to bring your left elbow and right knee toward each other.
Breathe out, return to centre.
Start by sitting on the floor
Extend your legs out in front, your heels should be touching the floor and there should be a slight bend in your knees.
Put your hands on the floor behind you, fingers facing your hips.
Engage your core and lift your bum off the floor.
Start walking forward by moving your left hand and right foot, then your right hand and left foot.
Continue for the required amount of time or number of steps.
You can move backwards as well as forward if you haven’t got much space.
These are burpees without the jump in between.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms by your sides. Lower into a squat position and place your hands on the floor.
Kick or step your legs back into a high plank position and then jump or step your legs forward to return to a squat position.
If doing more than one kick your legs back again and repeat.
Return to the starting position after the required amount of thrusts.
The classic turned on it’s side. This exercise again works all of your ab muscles, but this time with more emphasis on your obliques.
Lie on your right side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
Engage your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from your head to your feet.
Hold this position for the specified amount of time without letting your hips drop.
Then repeat on your left side.
Start in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders.
Engage your core and inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself to the floor. Getting as close as possible.
Exhale and push yourself back up to the start position.
Push ups are quite a challenging exercise so if you’re struggling your knees can go on the floor.
Sit on the edge of a chair or step.
Place your hands either side of your hips with your fingers pointing towards your feet. Your legs should be extended, with heels touching the floor and a slight bend in your knees.
Slide forward so that your bum and back clear the chair.
Breathe in, engage your core and lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees.
Breathe out and push yourself back up until your arms are almost straight.
Make sure your movement is controlled through all stages of this exercise.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Flex at the knees and hip, pushing your bum back, keeping your chest lifted.
Lower to a comfortable position, thighs parallel to the floor, knees at a 90-degree angle.
Return to standing by pushing the ground away keeping your chest lifted throughout to maintain a neutral spine.
Keep your knees in line with your toes and your heels down at all times.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Engage your core and take a big step forward with your right foot. Bend your knees until your right thigh and left shin are both parallel to the floor.
Push back through your right heel to return to the start position.
Repeat on the other side, stepping forward with your left foot.
Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, knees bent, and upper body hinged slightly forward.
Engage your core, bend forward and place your hands on the ground in front of you.
Jump your straight legs back into a high plank.
Then jump your feet to the outsides of your hands and bring your hands toward your chest to return to the starting position.
This is an AMRAP. That means as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. Rest where you need to.
If you want to make this a little harder...go for more rounds in 15 minutes. Increase the number of reps of each exercise. Or, you could add in more exercises.
Do each exercise for 45 seconds and then have 15 seconds of rest and then move on to the next exercise. Complete 3-5 rounds. Taking a rest after tricep dips, if you need to.
As with the Upper body workout, do each exercise for 45 seconds and then have 15 seconds of rest. Complete 3-5 rounds. Taking a rest after froggers if you need to.
I hope that's convinced you that you absolutely don't need any expensive equipment to have very effective home workouts.
Bodyweight training can be fun. It can be challenging. And most importantly it can help you get where your want to be.
I really hope you enjoy these workouts. For more inspiration head over to Home Workout Ideas, or sign up for my newsletter and get free workouts delivered straight to your inbox.