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Having exercise goals is awesome. But if you’re like me,actually sticking to them can be really tough, especially if we get busy. Or if we are traveling, or the weather is bad, or…excuses are easy to come up with! But if you have the right “no equipment needed” exercises at your fingertips you can keep working towards your fitness goals no matter where you are or what the weather throws at you. These 4 easy exercises are a great place to start!
When it comes to exercise, or just about anything else, it’s important to set the right kinds of goals so that you can actually make progress rather than giving up in frustration. If you have a hard time with that, then check out this posts 5 Easy Steps to Becoming an Exercise Enthusiast.
I know there are a lot of exercise plans out there that call for multiple moves put together to form “an exercise” for example, burpees, box crawls, bird dogs, rotational lunges, jack planks with tap ups, you name it. The idea is that by doing these combinations you can work every part of your body in less time and get your exercise routine completed more quickly.
BUT… if you’re not in the best of shape or if you have back or joint problems, these exercises can be difficult to do with correct body position and form. So you exercise for one day with the best of intentions and then end up with a sore knee or a wrenched back. Who needs that?
These 4 exercises are very basic and focused. They will work key muscles of your body and you’ll be able to do them at a pace that will help ensure your form is correct. I’m not a licensed fitness coach or physical therapist or doctor. So be sure to check with yours before trying any new exercise program.
LOL! Cute, but no…that’s not quite it.
This simple (and very functionally based exercise) works your thighs, buttocks, back, and abs. It can also help improve balance. This quick video shows you how.
Wow…but no…not quite what I’m talking about.
This basic move will strengthen your entire core – abs, back, thighs and buttocks. You can do this on the floor or even on a firm mattress if you don’t want to get down on the floor (like if you’re in a hotel room and would just rather not).
This first video explains the difference between a pelvic tilt and a bridge and if you haven’t done anything with your core for a while or maybe have some low back issues the pelvic tilt might be a good place to start. (Again, check with your doctor if you have any health issues, disc problems, etc.)
This video gives you some great coaching on how to do the bridge exercise.
This video has some additional variations to ramp things up a bit as you get stronger.
Ummm…make that wall push-ups or countertop push-ups.
This exercise, that you don’t even have to get down on the floor to do, will work your shoulders, chest, and arms. I have some issues with my wrists so I find that these variations allow me to get the benefits of push-ups without putting as much stress on my wrists.
If wall push-ups are too easy you can make it a little more difficult and try them on a counter:
Uhhh…well O.K. That’s inspiring!
This exercise will work biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
Here’s the simplest 45-second explanation of the basic exercise.
If you want to expand on the arm circle idea a bit more and see some additional exercises that will work your arms without weights, try out this fun (and effective!) 5-minute arm workout from Dr. Oz’s trainer.
How many reps of each exercise? That really will depend on what kind of shape you are in already. If you are just starting out maybe try 2 sets of 8 reps on the first 3 moves and 30 seconds of arm circles in each direction. If that’s too easy add reps and sets as needed. Too hard, then do a little less. Work up to your level of fitness.
I always like to start out slow the first time or two and see how I feel the next day. If everything seems good then I’ll add reps or try a more difficult variation.
Will these 4 exercises make you Olympic ready (or look like the gentleman in the photo above)? No, of course not.
Will they help you get stronger and allow you to work on your exercise goals no matter where you are or how busy you are? Yes, they will!
The awesome thing is that you can do these exercises all at once for a fast “total body” type workout or you can do them here and there throughout the day when you have time.
Do your bridge exercises in bed in the morning.
Try some wall push-ups or countertop push-ups while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew.
Do some chair sit/stand reps at work when you need to stretch.
Work on some arm circles while you’re watching TV at night.
These 4 simple exercises take away your excuses because you don’t need any special equipment and you don’t need a block of time to do them. For me, the key to getting my exercise in is to make it as easy as possible and to just “DO SOMETHING” to get started.
I hope you find these 4 easy exercises helpful!
Please let me know if you’ve got other great “no equipment” exercises to share!
P.S. If you’d like an easy to follow plan to help you simplify your life and reduce your stress – check this out: