So you think you can’t get a full-body workout without being in the gym? Try these bodyweight exercises the next time you can’t make it to the gym — on vacation or maybe at Grandma’s during the holiday season. You’ll still feel the burn! These will hit those muscles in your upper and lower body as well as your core.
Get into a pushup position with your forearms resting on the floor. Be sure your elbows are aligned under your shoulders and arms are shoulder width apart. Hold for 20 seconds.
While lying on one side, prop yourself up on your bottom elbow and forearm. Keep your legs stacked one on top of the other. Hold for 20 seconds
Too easy? Up the ante: Instead of resting your weight on your forearm, get into the same position and prop your weight on your hand with your arm fully extended and lift your top leg.
From a seated position on the floor with both legs extended in front of you, place both hands on either side of your hips. Keeping your legs straight in front of you, engage your core and push down through your arms and shoulders to lift yourself off the floor.
Lay flat on the floor. Sit up keeping your back straight while lifting your legs to a 45 degree angle. Balancing on your tailbone, reach forward with both arms and hold for 30 seconds.
With your back against a wall, slide down into a seated position as though there is an invisible chair behind you. Make sure you keep your knees at a 90 degree angle. Hold for 60 seconds.
Too easy? Up the ante: Perform the same action, but with one leg, crossing the other by placing your ankle on the opposite knee or extended in front of you.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keeping both feet flat on the ground with both arms extended in front of you bend down at the knees. Be sure to keep your spine in a neutral position and that your knees do not extend past your toes.
Too easy? Up the ante: Once you’ve mastered perfect squat form, try grabbing a gallon of water, hold it in front of you and repeat the exercise. P.S. a full gallon will weigh 8+ lbs.
Begin with a regular squat, but instead of returning to a standing position, explode forcefully from the bottom of your squat, jumping into the air and swinging your arms above your head. Be sure you bend your knees to absorb impact and touch down with the balls of your feet.
Standing on one leg with both arms in front, extend your free leg out in front of you. Sit down as far you can, with your rear end just off the ground keeping your free leg extended straight in front and return to the starting position. Be sure your planted foot stays flat on the ground at all times.
An old standby, in proper form you should place both hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your shoulders back and stable, your back flat, and your elbows above your wrists.
Too easy? Up the ante: Bring your hands together to form a “diamond” with your thumbs and index fingers or try them with one hand.
Also known as Supermans, lay flat on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Lift both arms and both legs as far as you can off the ground and hold for 60 secondes — kinda like you’re flying through the air.
Face a bench, step or stable chair with feet shoulder-width apart. With your foot on top of the step and your hip, knee and ankle all at a 90 degree angle, pushing through your midfoot and heel. Lift your body to a full standing position until your weighted leg is straight. Lower yourself slowly from this position taking at least 5 seconds to return.
Too easy? Up the ante: Try the exercise again, but with something heavy in either hand.
From a standing position with feet hip-width apart, take a step forward with your heel striking the ground first. Lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the floor keeping your weighted foot flat. Lightly tap the ground with your opposing knee ensuring your toes stay on the ground.
Standing with your feet hip-width apart, step backward with one foot crossing it behind your opposing leg. Bend at your knees and lower your hips until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure you keep your upper body straight and shoulders square.
From a seated position in a sturdy chair, place both hands on either side of your hips gripping the edge of the chair. Keeping your feet on the ground with knees bent, slide your bottom off the seat. Slowly lower yourself keeping both elbows bent at a 90 degree angle and behind you.
Too easy? Up the ante: Perform the same exercise keeping both legs extended in front of you with heels resting on the floor.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. With hands behind your head engage your core muscles to lift your head, neck and chest into a seated position. Ensure you are not pulling on your neck or using momentum to complete the exercise.
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