These 9 Bodyweight Exercises Will Help You Get Toned AND Lean
While lifting heavy has become very on-trend, that doesn’t mean workouts using just your bodyweight are any less challenging. Besides, who doesn’t love a sweat sesh that can happen wherever, whenever? Think of all the time you save—no traveling to and from the gym, no adjusting machines, no picking up and dropping weights, the list goes on and on.
We’ve chosen nine of our fave moves from Women’s Health’s No Gym Required that help sculpt your arms, abs, legs, and everywhere in-between. Not only are these exercises great for strength-building, but many of them get your entire body moving, so they double as a cardio workout, too. That way, you’re toning muscle and burning fat all at once—now that’s how you multitask.
If you like what you see here, pick up a copy of No Gym Required to get even more equipment-free exercises and learn how to incorporate them into your routine.
How to: Stand with your left foot two or three feet in front of your right. Bend your knees to lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Jump up quickly, switching your legs midair so you land with your right foot in front; immediately lower into a split squat. Continue alternating. Do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds.
How to: Get into plank position, forearms on the floor, elbows under your shoulders, legs extended behind you. Place your right hand flat on the floor, and then your left, straightening your arms to pushup position. Return to start by lowering onto your right, then left, forearms. Repeat, leading with your left hand; alternate. Perform as many reps as you can in 50 seconds.
How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips, and your right foot on a towel. Bend your left knee and push your hips back as you slide your right foot out to the side as far as you can. Pause, then pull that foot back to start. That’s one rep. Do 15, then switch sides and repeat.
MARCHING GLUTE BRIDGE
How to: Lie faceup with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides. Press through your heels to raise your hips, so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Raise your right foot, knee bent at 90 degrees, until your shin is parallel to the floor. Hold for three seconds, then lower your foot and repeat with the left. Alternate. Perform as many reps as you can in 50 seconds.
How to: Sit on a mat with your legs extended in front of you. Roll your back onto the mat and lift your legs over your hips, supporting yourself with your arms. Use momentum to roll quickly back to the starting position, but bend your knees and place your feet flat on the mat. Plant your feet and jump up, reaching your arms over your head. Land softly and bend your knees to lower back down to start. That’s one rep. Do 10.
How to: Cross your left leg behind your right and lower into a half-squat, your right arm out to the side, left arm across your hips. Hop to the left, switching your legs and arms. That’s one rep. Keep hopping quickly, alternating from side to side. Perform as many reps as you can in 50 seconds.
How to: Lie facedown on the floor, chest lifted, and hold a towel taut between your hands in front of your shoulders, elbows bent. Press the towel away from you until your arms are straight . Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 20.
SEAT OBLIQUE TWIST
How to: Sit on the floor and hold the towel taut between your hands, arms straight and extended at shoulder height; lean back and raise your feet about a foot off the floor, keeping your core tight and knees bent. Pull the right end of the towel toward the floor, rotating your shoulders and torso. Pause, then rotate back to center and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 20.
How to: Place your heels against the bottom of a wall, bend forward, and position your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Walk your feet up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor and your body forms a 90-degree angle; this works your upper back and shoulders. Raise your right leg to activate your core. Reverse to return to start. That’s one rep. Do 10.