10 Exercises That Don't Require Equipment | Blog | THE BOD

10 Exercises That Don’t Require Equipment

No weights or machines? No problem. You don’t have to go to the gym to meet your workout goals for the week. We lay out the most beneficial moves sans equipment. All you need is your body weight to get 'em done, sis.

Bodyweight exercises can be just as effective as the moves you do with equipment. With the help of a little gravity, your own body is an amazing tool for challenging your muscles and keeping you moving towards your strength and fitness goals.

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to include these in your routine—even when you get back in the gym. 


Why we love it: Jump squats are the power-packed version of squats. You not only exhaust more energy, but also flex your muscles more. Jump squats increase your explosive power, improve upper and lower body strength, and burn calories faster than regular squats.

How to: 

  1. Position your feet at shoulder width. 
  2. While keeping your back straight and chest up, squat down so your upper thighs are parallel or lower to the floor. 
  3. Pressing mainly with the balls of your feet, jump straight up in the air as high as possible. 
  4. When you touch the floor again, immediately squat down and jump again. Perform for the number of prescribed repetitions.

Why we love it: The difference between the Sumo Squat and Air Squat is the placement of the feet, which impacts the muscles worked. This variety of squat places more emphasis on your inner thighs, glutes, and core muscles than a conventional squat.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet in a wide stance with your feet facing out.
  2. Squat down to below parallel as if you were going to sit on a chair.
  3. Push through the heels to push yourself back up to the starting position. This is one repetition.

Why we love it: Push-ups are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises around, targeting your chest, triceps, and your anterior deltoid muscles (the front of your shoulders). As a bonus, it’s also a great core strengthener. There are many variations to continually build your strength, but if you’re a beginner, try a Push-Up On Knees. 

How to:

  1. Begin with your hands placed under your shoulders and feet slightly wider than hip width apart on the floor.
  2. Step your legs behind with your feet together and curl your toes under.
  3. Lift your hips up and keep your chest in front of your hands.
  4. Form a straight line from your head through to your heels, and maintain this line throughout the movement.
  5. Lower yourself downward until your chest almost touches the floor while your feet stay firmly put.
  6. Straighten your arms back up to the starting position before you lower yourself down again. This is one repetition.

Why we love it: Mountain climbers are a great exercise to get your heart rate up fast while also firing nearly every muscle group in the body—deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, abdominals, quads, hamstrings and hip abductors.

How to:

  1. Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width apart. 
  2. Position one leg forward bent under your body and extend your other leg back.
  3. While holding your upper body in place and leaving your hands in the same position throughout, alternate leg positions by pushing your hips up while immediately extending the forward leg back and pulling the rear leg forward under your body, landing on both forefeet simultaneously. Perform for the number of prescribed repetitions.

Why we love it: Walking lunges function as an excellent exercise to target all the major muscle groups of your lower body while simultaneously improving your balance and core strength

How to:

  1. Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips.
  2. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright, and your front knee should stay above the front foot.
  3. Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg. Perform for the number of prescribed repetitions.

Why we love it: Commandos are a full-body burner - working your arms, chest and shoulders much more than a traditional plank, and are challenging enough to get your heart rate up while you're at it. In addition, your legs and bum will have to get involved to help you stabilise

How to: 

  1. Start in a plank position ensuring correct technique.
  2. Move one arm from the forearm onto the palm and into a straight locked out position, followed by the other arm until both arms are locked out into a push-up position.
  3. Moving only one arm at a time, move each arm back onto the forearm until you are back in a plank position. This is one repetition.

Why we love it: Glute bridges are a great way to activate your glutes muscles. When you sit a lot, your hamstrings and hip flexors tighten up. Over time, this can make it challenging for your glutes to engage the way they're supposed to, in the gym and in day-to-day life. Incorporating glute bridges in your routine can help combat this.

How to:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Position your feet so that your heels are close to your buttocks. 
  3. Drive your hips upwards by pressing your feet firmly to the floor and squeezing your buttocks at the top of the exercise (while avoiding overextending). 
  4. Gradually lower back to the starting position, ensuring that you maintain tension through your glute muscles.

Why we love it: Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, you can't talk about effective no-equipment exercises without mentioning burpees. This full-body exercise works your core, arms, quads, glutes, and hamstrings. They’re a sure way to rapidly increase your heart rate, especially if you add an explosive jump at the end of the movement. Strength, check. Cardio, check.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms down by your side.
  2. Lower your body into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you, standing on the balls of your feet ready to push your legs backwards.
  3. Jump your legs backwards into a push-up position and lower your chest to the floor.
  4. Push your chest back up to the push-up position and leap both feet forward so you are back in the squat position.
  5. Jump up into a rocket jump, clapping your hands. Perform for the number of prescribed repetitions.

Why we love it: Planks work the entire body, can be done anywhere, and have a lot of variations. Although it looks simple, planks can be deceiving. In fact, while in a plank you’re working the entirety of your core—including the transverse abdominus, rectus abdominus, and obliques. Your glutes are also at work, carrying your back and bum.

How to: 

  1. Begin in a push-up position. 
  2. Lower both your forearms to the ground so that your elbows and fists are flat on the ground. Your palms should be balled up and your shoulders should be parallel to your elbows. 
  3. Curl your toes under and engage your abs by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. 
  4. Straighten your body, keeping your neck and spine neutral. Flex and engage your core, while squeezing your bottom. 
  5. Hold this position until after the burning begins, ensuring you always maintain your technique throughout. Keep your eyes on the floor in front of you. Avoid raising your behind. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the back of your head.

Why we love it: Regular push-ups burn, but they recruit the entire pectoralis major muscle group—your pecs, shoulders, triceps, and core—so the effort is spread across a number of muscles. Triceps pushups, on the other hand, turn the spotlight on your upper arm muscles specifically. The result: burning—but sculpted—triceps.

How to:

  1. Begin with your hands placed closer than shoulder width and feet slightly wider than hip width apart on the floor.
  2. Step your legs behind with your feet together and then drop to your knees.
  3. Form a straight line from your head through to your heels, and maintain this line throughout the movement.
  4. Lower your chest to touch the floor using your triceps and aim to go as low as you can or access your full range of motion.
  5. Push your palms into the floor and extend your arms to press your body back up to the starting position. This is one repetition.

Give these no-equipment moves a go on your next workout day and get ready to feel the burn, sis. 

You can find more zero equipment exercises and workouts in THE BOD app, GF. Sign up today for your FREE 7-day trial!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.