Who needs a gym when there’s the living room floor? Bodyweight exercises are a simple, effective way to improve balance, flexibility and strength without machinery or extra equipment. From legs and shoulders to chest and abs, we’ve covered every part of the body that can get stronger with body resistance alone.
Slowly slide your back down a wall until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the knees are directly above the ankles and keep the back straight. Go for 60 seconds per set.
Stand with the hands on the hips and feet hip-width apart. Step your right leg forward and slowly lower body until left (back) knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Try stepping back into the lunge for a different variation.
Start by doing a normal lunge. Instead of bringing that forward leg back to the starting position, raise it up off the floor while lifting the arms overhead. The leg should remain bent at about 90 degrees. Add weights to really bring the heat.
Stand with the feet together and lunge forward with the right foot. Jump straight up, propelling the arms forward while keeping the elbows bent. While in the air, switch legs and land in a lunge with the opposite leg forward. Repeat and continue switching legs. Try to do 10!
Almost everyone can do a squat and variations are plenty. If you’ve never done a squat, you may want to practice by sitting down in a chair and standing back up.
The correct way to start a squat is to stand erect with a neutral spine and feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your body with the hips moving back as if you’re sitting in a chair and maintain the weight directly over the heels or mid-foot. Lower to about 90 degrees of knee flexion or when your thighs are almost parallel to the ground, pause, and slowly return to the starting position. Squats will work your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps, a sure way to strengthen and tone the butt and legs.
Ready to add some cardio to that squat? Perform a normal squat, but immediately jump up, reaching the arms straight overhead. Aim for 15 reps, taking a quick breather before the next set.
CHAIR SQUAT POSE
Stand with the feet hip-distance apart and squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor while swinging the arms up. Straighten the legs, then lift up the right knee while swinging the left arm outside the right knee. Return to standing and repeat on the other side.
SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT
Start in a standing position with the feet together. Lift the right leg slightly, and lower the arms and torso while raising the right leg behind the body. Keep the left knee slightly bent and reach the arms as close to the floor as possible. Raise the torso while lowering the right leg. Switch legs.
This may be self-explanatory, but just in case—find a step or bench, and place the right foot on the elevated surface. Step up until the right leg is straight, then return to start. Repeat, aiming for 10-12 reps on each side.
From a standing position, slowly rise up on the toes, keeping the knees straight and heels off the floor. Hold briefly, then come back down. And repeat. Try standing on something elevated (like a step) to achieve a wider range of motion.