You can get results with just your bodyweight.
The best at-home workouts don’t necessarily require a ton of equipment—or any equipment—other than your own bodyweight. That’s good news for many exercisers who may not have dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or other equipment at home, especially after the closures of gyms and fitness studios (and the recommendations to practice social distancing) due to the coronavirus.
If you don’t have a lot of equipment, at-home bodyweight workouts are clutch and allow you to keep up your fitness routine. You might think your options are limited if you don’t have a whole rack of equipment at your disposal, but that’s definitely not the case. You can use bodyweight exercises to work nearly every muscle in your body, from your quads (squats) to your butt (glute bridges, anyone?) to your chest (yes, you can do a push-up!) to your core… plank variations for the win!
They’re not just great for building strength, though: Bodyweight workouts can double as a cardio routine, especially when you choose moves that are easy to ramp up in intensity and perform them in such a way—usually circuit-style, with limited rest—that challenges you cardiovascularly.
Plus, there are a ton of bodyweight exercises out there, meaning the possibilities for bodyweight workouts are nearly endless, and we’ve rounded up a bunch of them for you here. Want to really home in on your lower body? Workout #1 may be for you. Looking to get just as sweaty as when you run? Try #6. And if you’re looking for a way to strengthen your shoulders and arms, #11 may be one to try.
Whatever your intended goal of the workout, the list below of the best at-home workouts that require only your bodyweight has you covered. Try a bunch of these workouts from SELF to figure out your favorites!
- A Lower-Body Workout With Cardio Burnout
This isn’t your regular old leg workout—there are a few exercises in here that we bet you haven’t tried yet, like the runner’s-lunge-to-balance (great for speed and agility) and the corkscrew (a dynamic plank variation that’ll seriously test your core strength). Created by Amy Eisinger, C.P.T., this workout will test your endurance all the way through. And then just when you think you’re done, there’s a cardio burnout at the end that’ll give you one last challenge. You can make it easier or harder by tweaking the amount of rest you take between exercises in the circuit.
2. A 20-Minute HIIT Workout That’s Kinder on Your Joints
Lots of at-home HIIT workouts are chock-full of plyometric moves (read “lots of jumping”), which is great for some people, but not the best choice for those who may have some problems with their joints. This HIIT workout, which was created by Equinox group fitness instructor Colleen Conlon, is kinder on the joints than most HIIT workouts, since it includes lower-impact moves like side kick throughs and crab toe touches. There still are some moves that are a little higher impact, like skater hops, so if you’re not sure if this workout would be safe for you, talk to your doctor or physical therapist first.
3. A Full-Body Cardio Challenge
Want an at-home cardio workout that works your whole body? Then you’ll have to give this routine, created by Eisinger, a try. The circuit will cycle through five moves, which work everything from your legs (squat pulse), core (tuck-up), and shoulders (frogger). Once you complete the circuit for your chosen number of rounds, you’ll finish with a AMRAP (as many reps as possible) finisher.
4. A Plank-Based Workout to Light Up Your Core
Yes, you can work your arms with just your bodyweight. And a great way to do that is through variations of the plank, where your shoulders and triceps really put in the work. Created by certified trainer Lita Lewis, this workout will start with skaters to get your blood pumping, and then take you to the floor for the next three plank-based moves: push-up, shoulder tap, and plank forearm reach. The second circuit is heavy on the plank variations too, with the plank jack and forearm plank. You’ll be tasked with holding the plank for a good chunk of time with these moves (since they’re back-to-back-to-back), so if it’s too hard to maintain with good form, drop to your knees to make it a bit easier.
5. There Are No Burpees or Mountain Climbers in This Routine
Not a fan of burpees or mountain climbers? Then this HIIT workout is the routine for you. Created by Conlon, this total-body bodyweight workout gets you moving in multiple planes of motion to work all your different muscle groups. The exercises she chose—moves like the lateral shuffle and explosive crab reach—allow you to move at a pace where you can really ramp up the intensity, which is vital for HIIT workouts. Hint: Try performing each move 10 times on its own at a comfortable intensity before moving into the workout, so you are familiar with any new exercises.
6. An Abs Workout That’s Done in 8 Minutes
The good thing about abs workouts is that they’re pretty easy to do at home without any equipment. The not-so-good part? Abs workouts can be superhard, which is why we’re all for one that’s over in eight minutes. With this at-home workout, which was created by Amy Marturana Winderl, C.P.T., you’ll spend 30 seconds on five separate exercises, including dead bug, forearm plank rock, and plank up-down, taking no rest between the moves until the circuit is complete. After three rounds, your abs will definitely be burning.
Written by: Christa Sgobba