Don't Have Fitness Equipment? Here's How to Get a Great Workout Anyway
Ever find yourself in the middle of a mundane physical task (reaching under a desk, stepping onto a chair, pushing yourself off the floor) and thought, “This is actually pretty hard?” You’re not necessarily out of shape — you’re merely experiencing what personal trainers already know to be true: Bodyweight movements can offer a serious physical challenge. And if you know which ones to perform and the order to perform them in — as we’ve outlined below — you can use them to create an intense, total-body workout.
Perform this workout anytime you’re strapped for equipment, trapped at home, or need a break from your usual routine.
The No-Equipment Home Workout
- Start the workout with a 5-10 minute warm-up of dynamic stretching.
- Perform 2-3 sets of the first movement (Pilates sit-ups), resting 60 seconds between sets.
- Perform the remaining four exercises in pairs as “supersets.” One superset equals a single set of each exercise in the pair performed back-to-back without rest. Rest 60 seconds between each superset.
- Repeat each set or superset two to four times, depending on your fitness level.
- Perform this workout up to three times a week on nonconsecutive days.
Here’s how to perform each exercise.
1. Pilates Sit-up
Appears in: XB Pilates: Express Abs
Target muscles: Abs
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat, back long, arms extended forward.
- Slowly roll backward onto the floor, trying to lie your back onto the floor one vertebra at a time.
- Reverse the move, slowly curling your way back up to sitting.
- Repeat for the duration of the work interval.
Make it easier: Perform a controlled crunch, curling forward just as far as necessary to lift the shoulder blades off the floor.
2A. Sprinter Reaches
Appears in: T-Minus 30: Athletic Training Day 1.0
Target muscles: Quadriceps, glutes, shoulder mobility, balance
- From an athletic stance, step your right leg backward as far as possible, simultaneously hinging forward on your left hip, and reaching for the floor with your hands.
- Tap the ball of your right foot to the floor behind you and your fingertips to the floor in front of you.
- Reverse the move, driving your right knee upwards in front of you, and simultaneously reaching your hands overhead.
- Return to the starting position and repeat, this time stepping your left leg back.
- Continue alternating sides for the duration of the set.
Make it easier: take a smaller step backward; reach to knee level rather than the floor as you lunge back, and shoulder level as you draw your knee upwards.
2B. Pendulum Tap Pushup
Appears in: 600 Seconds: Bodyweight Resistance 2
Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, triceps, abs
- Assume a pushup position on the floor: palms on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder-width, balls of your feet on the floor, feet spread shoulder-width, body straight from your head to your heels, abs and glutes tight.
- Maintaining your alignment, slowly retract your shoulders and bend your elbows, lowering your chest until it’s close to the table.
- Pause, then reverse the movement, keeping your body straight and your head aligned with your spine.
- Keeping your body as straight as possible, raise your right hand and right foot from the floor, and, keeping both your arm and leg straight, tap them together near your right hip.
- Return to the starting position and repeat the move, this time touching your left foot with your left hand.
- Continue the move, alternating sides for the duration of the set.
Make it easier: Reduce your range of motion for each movement. You can also drop your knees to the floor for the push-up and reach for your foot instead of tapping.
3A. Alternating Jumping Side Lunges
Appears in: Rough Around the Edges, MMA Dance Cardio
Target muscles: Glutes, adductors
- From an athletic stance, simultaneously skip your right leg to the right, bend your left knee and hip, and reach for the floor with your right hand, keeping your right leg straight.
- Repeat the same motion to the left.
- Stand, jumping back to the starting position.
- Continue alternating sides, lowering your hips as far as possible on each rep.
3B. Superman Lat Pulldown
Appears in: JBYB: Full Body Strength 1
Target muscles: Lats, upper back, shoulders
- Start by laying on your stomach with your legs extended, arms fully extended overhead, and neck neutral.
- Squeeze the glutes as you raise your arms, legs, and head off the ground.
- Bend both elbows and pull down toward the hips, squeezing the shoulder blades together behind you.
- Extend arms back overhead and release both arms and legs about an inch off the ground, and repeat.
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