9 Exercises To Do @Home Without Any "Gym" Equipment

Please keep in mind that there are a TON of things we can do for exercise. These 9 exercises were handpicked because we can do them just about anywhere. Plus we don't need any "gym" equipment! Just good ol' fashioned body weight exercises. It's important to make fitness goals when deciding on how many repetitions you need for each exercise. Remember, if you're just starting out - or getting back into it - start slow and work your way up! 
  1. Burpees: Here's How: Start from the standing position feet at shoulder-width apart and bend your knees to a squatting position. Next, place your hands on the ground in front of you and kick your legs out behind you. This will put you into the push-up position. Do one push-up and make sure your chest touches the ground. Then bring your legs back returning you to the squatting position and stand up. (For an extra challenge, instead of standing, jump up and reach for the sky before your next rep! The amount of reps {repetitions} will vary depending on our fitness level and goals!) Why: They strengthen major muscle groups like shoulders, glutes, quads and hamstrings, burn lots of calories and improve cardiovascular fitness! 
  2. Push-ups: We're here to PUMP (clap) YOU UP. There are a bunch of variations to the traditional push-up these days so for the sake of this blog I'll stick to four types:                                                                                                   > Incline push-ups (raise your arms off the ground using a bench/table/railing/counter etc. or stairs and slowly lower yourself to the ground {Try a 4 second count down}, then push yourself up. For an added challenge, add another 4 second count when coming back up! - works upper chest muscles and are easier to do. Great for beginning!)                                                               > Decline push-ups (raise your legs off the ground using a bench/stairs/wall etc. - works your lower chest muscles and are more challenging. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart. The 4 second  countdown works even better with these!)                                                                                                          > Clapping push-ups (requires an airborne hand-clap with each push-up. Arguably the toughest, best push-up of the group (not recommended for beginners!). Like with most push-ups keep your hands a shoulder-width apart. These babies work the...upper...latus-dorsimous... muscle group...it's a deep burn! For an added challenge, use a four-second count on the way down or try multiple claps! Please record if you can get the Friends theme clap in there.                                                                                                > Diamond hands push-ups (No actual diamonds required.) Bring your hands close together so that our thumbs and index/first fingers are touching. Keep your back straight and bring yourself as close to the floor as you can before pushing up. This variation targets the triceps more than the others!  
  3. Planks: Planking for just 3 minutes a day strengthens your core (mid-section/apple), improves your posture, your flexibility, your balance, strengthens your back, boosts your metabolism and can help with mental health. It's a "simple" and super-awesome exercise to incorporate into your exercise routine! In order to plank successfully, balance your body weight on your forearms and KEEP IT TOIGHT LIKE A TOIGER. Your hands can be faced down on the ground, fingers interlocked or with your fists clenched. You'll need to keep your core engaged and as straight as possible for as long as you can. Squeeze your glutes together to help keep your hips from drooping or elevating too high and make sure to look down at the ground to avoid neck strain/injury. Also, if you find 3 minutes is too difficult, start with 30 second intervals and work your way up!
  4. Squats Squats are a personal favourite! The primary target is your lower body (glutes, quads, hammies, calves, groin and hip flexors) but they also target your core (back, abdomens etc.). This exercise has many variations so I'll stick with the OG form. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Keep your chest up, engage your abdominals, and shift your weight onto your heels as you push your hips back into a sitting position. Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel or almost parallel to the floor. You should feel the squat in your thighs and glutes. Pause with your knees over, but not beyond, your toes. Exhale and push back up to the starting position.
  5. High Knees Can you say, cardio-intensive? This fast-paced exercise may feel a bit silly at first but I promise it will be worth it. It engages your core, strengthens all the muscles in your legs, gets your heart rate up and improves momentum, coordination and flexibility. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart then raise your left knee up to your chest followed by your right knee. Alternate high knees at running or sprinting pace and aim for 3 straight minutes. Again, depending on your fitness level and fitness goals this time will vary!                                       
  6.  LungesOften confused with "luge" or "lunch", lunges are another diverse, phenomenal exercise that targets multiple places on the body. Just to name a few - they improve balance, strengthen your legs, your core, your back, make you more flexible and can even improve how you run. Since there are multiple variations of this wonderful exercise, I'll explain how to perform the basic lunge. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a large step forward with one leg. Keep the majority of your weight on your front foot as you lower your hips, keeping the front foot flat and back heel lifted. Descend until your rear knee almost touches the floor (you can touch the floor too if you get tired but try not to) and the front knee is stacked directly above the ankle, creating 90° bend in both knees. Drive through the heel of your front foot and push yourself back up to your starting position. For an added challenge, try walking and lunging back and forth between two points! 
  7. YogaYoga is arguably the best one on here because if you did no other exercise(s) on this list, you could just do yoga by itself and be set. Conversely, if you're hitting the gym or have a regimented exercise routine already in place, yoga is an excellent cross-training routine. It ranges in difficulty depending on your skill level and what your fitness goals are but here are five basic poses to get you started! Try to do them in this order! (These five poses are explained best by Healthline.com)                           > Mountain Pose: "Stand with your big toes barely touching, and your heels slightly apart. A good way to gauge your stance is to see if your second toes are parallel. Press into all four corners of your feet: big toe, little toe, right side heel, left side heel. As you push into your feet, feel how that engages your entire leg and keeps those muscles active. Take a deep breath and roll your shoulders up and back, releasing them down, so your shoulder blades are resting toward each other and your neck is long. Take a few deep breaths here. Close your eyes if you like."                                                                 > Forward Fold: "On your inhale, lift your arms to the sides and up, over your head. On your exhale, release your arms (either in front of your body or out to the side, like a swan dive) as you fold your torso over your legs. On the first time through, have at least a slight bend in your knees. No matter how flexible you are, your hamstrings will be cold when starting out, and you’ll want to be gentle with them. As you relax into the pose more, begin to straighten your legs as far as feels good. Anything that pinches or is a shooting pain should immediately stop your movement. Let gravity do the work here — don’t pull yourself down and try to force the fold. You can put your hands on your shins, your feet, or the floor. This passively lengthens your spine and your hamstrings, and it’s also a great way to work on balance."                                                                                                      > Plank Pose: "From Forward Fold, put your hands flat on the floor, bending your knees as much as needed to do so. Step back one leg at a time, until you’re in a high Plank Pose. Press into your hands, keep your legs parallel and engaged, and pull your bellybutton toward your spine. Take a few deep breaths here, working your core and your arms."                                        > Downward-Facing Dog: "From Plank Pose, push into your hands and lift your hips up and back on the inhale. One thing that can be tricky with this pose is, again, keeping your shoulders engaged but not working too hard, and keeping a neutral spine. Your legs should be straight, and your heels working toward the floor. There will probably be some space between your heels and the floor. You could be very flexible, but if your legs are a bit on the long side, you probably won’t have your heels all the way to the floor. That’s fine. Keep your legs active and heels reaching toward the ground. Your first time in this pose, pedal out your feet a little to warm up your leg muscles."           > Child's Pose: "In Downward-Facing Dog, take a deep breath. On the exhale, release your knees to the floor, pull your hips back to your heels, and rest your forehead on the floor. You can either leave your arms stretched in front of you or pull them next to your body, hands resting palms up near your feet. This is a restorative pose, so adjust it to your needs. If you want to widen your knees a bit, do so. Like all forward folds, this pose is nurturing. It relaxes your spine, shoulders, and neck, and massages your internal organs." If you really start getting into yoga, for an added challenge - you owe it to yourself to try hot yoga. Prepare to sweat - and have fun!
  8. Stairs: Classic exercise. Going up and down the stairs at a medium to fast pace is great for our lower body, core and improves our cardiovascular levels! Try to avoid going at speeds where you feel out of control as this can lead to injury. For an added challenge, try doing a step-up on the first or second step! It should be knee height. To do a step-up, step onto the stair of your choice with your left foot at knee height, use your momentum to push yourself up then raise your right knee up into your chest. Step back down slow-ish first with your right foot then step down with your left. Then step back up with your alternate foot and repeat! If you're just starting out this exercise has a bit of a balance and coordination learning curve. Take it slow, get the movements down then worry about your speed! (Also, it doesn't have to be stairs, anything that can support your weight and is at knee height will do.)                       
  9. Walking/Jogging:    It feels like these don't need much of an explanation other than when you go for a walk, try to keep up a good pace. Same strategy applies to jogging; however, if you can't jog for long distances yet, try jogging in brief stints combined with walking! You can use telephone polls, street lamps and other markers to map the length of your jog/walk intervals!
Bonus move: The Dip    Jokes aside, the dip is an excellent body weight exercise that can be done on a multitude of things. If you take your kids (or yourself) to the playground, you can use the bars on the equipment or you can use a chair at home, try them at the edge of your bed or on a bale of hay etc. Dips are a type of strength training exercise that require you to lift your body weight with your triceps, deltoids, pecs, and rhomboid muscles. There are numerous variations like most of the exercises on this list so I'll stick to the original dip exercise to get you started! First, get into position with the bench/chair/bed behind you. Sit on the edge of the bench and put a hand down on either side of your legs. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart. Straighten out your arms. Next, place your feet flat on the ground with your knees at a 90 degree angle. Squeeze your core muscles to tighten them. Move yourself off the front edge of the bench and use your arms to lower yourself down toward the floor. Don't go all the way down. Try to have your elbows at a 90 degree angle. Any further and you start to increase the risk of injury! As you dip, make sure your body stays upright. Look straight ahead, keep your elbows close to your body and do not tilt your head while you're performing a dip. Hold the dipped position for 1 to 2 seconds before pushing yourself back up. Keep your core TOIGHT on the way back up and briefly lock your elbows back at the top. Then repeat! For an added challenge, straighten out your legs instead of bending them at 90 degrees! OR...
Thanks for reading! Such format. Very detail. Many moves. Wow. If you enjoyed the blog consider subscribing to the newsletter for all the reads and exclusive updates to High Score Apparel!

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