These days it’s not easy getting to the gym—if the gym is even open in your neck of the woods! (And let’s be honest: Has it ever been easy getting to the gym?)
But never fear! You can get a kickbutt workout right at home—and you don’t need a world-class set of weights, which are very spendy (yeah, we looked them up on Amazon too). Your own body creates plenty of resistance for you to strengthen and tone your muscles, while amping up your metabolism. Combine that with the 28-day Transformation Kit, and you’re going to be a lean, mean fat-burning machine.
Check out these 8 bodyweight exercises you can do at home—whether you’re a beginner or a pre-pandemic gym rat.
Planks are more than a former Internet craze. This core-strengthening exercise works just about every major muscle group. Just as a mind-blowing aside: The plank world record is for 8:15:15, and it’s held by a 62-year-old ex-Marine! We suggest starting with a minute; you can work your way up to 8 hours.
How to do it: Rest your forearms and toes on the ground, while extending your body straight out. Look straight ahead. Be sure not to raise your butt in the air or bow your back; try to suck your belly button into your spine. Hold for one minute.
Mountain climbers include all the “fun” of climbing a mountain, without the mountain! These also work your core, as well as raise your heart rate.
How to do it: Get in a push-up position. Focusing on your core, contract your abs to bring one knee toward your chest at a time. Do them for a minute. For a variation, you can bring each knee toward the opposite shoulder, working your obliques.
Squat jumps are like squats, but you get to jump in between them! Yay! These work your glutes and quadriceps, as well as raise your heart rate.
How to do it: Stand with your feet a little further than shoulder width apart. Squat down like you’re going to sit on a chair. Ensure that your weight is in your heels and that your knees do NOT go over your toes. From the squatting position, jump up, then come back down and immediately return to the squatting position. Repeat for one minute. To increase difficulty, don’t swing your arms; instead, keep them in front of your chest, with your hands just below your chin.
Good ol’ fashioned push-ups are great for your core, shoulders, triceps, and pecs.
How to do it: (A) Place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, arms straight. Extend your body straight behind you, up on your toes. Be sure not to raise your butt or bow your back; try to suck your belly button into your spine. (B) Bend your elbows to approximately 45 degrees, then return to the starting position. If you need to modify, elevate your upper body by placing your hands on a coffee table or chair. Do as many as you can in one minute.
These ab-busters will work your upper abs, lower abs, and even your quads.
How to do it: Lay flat on your back, arms extended over your head, on the ground, palms facing up. While keeping your legs straight, raise them up to the center of your body, focusing on your lower abs; then bring your arms up to meet them, extending your fingers to touch your toes while crunching your abs. Return your legs and arms to resting position simultaneously. Repeat the exercise for one minute.
Superman (or Superwoman!)
As you’re building all these muscles, we want you to feel strong enough to fly! That’s why we’re gonna throw in the superman (or superwoman—we’re equal opportunity here!). This fun exercise (you do kind of feel like you’re flying!) works a whole super league of muscles, including your lower and upper back, your glutes (always hitting those glutes!), and your hamstrings.
How to do it: Lay on your stomach, arms stretched out in front of you, palms face down, forehead on the floor. Concentrating on your core, extend your arms and your legs up about 4-5 inches—like you’re flying. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat for a minute.
Get your heart pumping and your quads, glutes, and calves burning with high knees! BONUS: Since quads and glutes are two huge muscle groups, developing them will help increase your metabolism!
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Jog in place, bringing your knees as high up as possible. Stand tall, keeping your core engaged, and land lightly on the balls of your feet. Do in one-minute intervals.
Whether you dream of having J-Lo’s derriere or just want to keep things where they were when you were in your 20s, donkey kicks will do wonders for your glutes!
How to do it: Get on the ground on your hands and knees. Pull your right knee toward your chest, keeping your foot flexed. Then kick your right leg up behind you toward the sky and back down, keeping your leg bent and foot flexed. Repeat for one minute on your right side, then switch to your left side and repeat for one minute. Increase the difficulty by tucking a handweight into the crook of your knee.
If you go through the whole rotation of eight exercises four or five times, you’re going to get a pretty good workout—all from the comfort of your own home, without any extra equipment needed. Remember: Consistency breeds success!