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How to Get Toned Without Equipment Using These 8 Simple Exercises

7 minute read


Who says you need to buy expensive equipment or join a gym to get fit? You can get toned and have the body of your dreams without shelling out hundreds for equipment or having to transform into a gym rat. We’ve got some tips that will help you get toned using just the weight of your body.

Intrigued? Get ready to let your body help you get fit. The following bodyweight exercises give you cardio and strength training all in one. It’s the best way to build muscle mass and maintain it, and it's great for your heart too.

8 Bodyweight Exercises You Need to Try

The key to doing these exercises is to do as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes. And remember, if something you’re doing hurts consider modifying the exercise a bit because you don’t need to feel pain to know that the exercise is working. You may also want to try some stretches before exercising.

The exercises you want to try doing in your 15-minute bodyweight workout should follow this order:

♦ 4 hand-release push-ups

♦ 6 froggers

♦ 8 burpees

♦ 10 V-Ups

♦ 12 squat jumps

♦ 14 high knees (7 each leg)

♦ 16 shoulder taps

♦ 18 mountain climbers (9 each leg)

Now that you know the order to follow, let’s look at how each of these exercises is done, and you’ll be ready to begin your workout.

1. Hand-Release Push-Ups

Start in a high plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself all the way to the floor, keeping your body straight.

Once you’re lying on the floor, lift your hands off the floor by pinching your shoulder blades together in the back. Then return your palms to the floor, and push yourself back up.

2. Frogger

This one will get you breathing a little harder.

Start in your high plank position again, same as the hand-release push-ups. Then jump your feet up to the outside of your hands. You’ll end up in a squatting position with your hips lower than your knees. Then jump back to your plank.

3. Burpee

If you’ve never had to do this one in a gym class or as a sports warm-up, consider yourself lucky. The burpee is difficult, but it really works, and now you’re going to learn to master it.

Start in your high plank. This will feel different for practiced burpee-ers because it’s typically started from standing, but you’re transitioning from a frogger.

From your plank position, you jump your feet up again, into the frogger position, right outside your hands. Then shift your weight so you can explosively jump straight up into the air and raise your hands up as you do so.

When you land, immediately bring your arms down, palms flat on the ground and jump your feet out behind you to put you back in that starting plank position, and you're ready to do the next one.

4. V-Ups

A V-Up is sometimes also called a clamp sit-up, a jackknife, or a pick crunch. This one is great for your core, and you’ll instantly feel it.

Start lying on your back with your arms stretched over your head. Your back is in a hollow position, which means your shoulders and feet are hovering just off the ground while you’re pushing your low back down into the ground.

Bring your hands and feet up together, at the same time, and reach your hands to touch your toes or get as close as you can. Then slowly lower yourself back to the ground, you’ll feel the release as much, if not more, than you felt the first part of the move.

5. Squat Jump

Your glutes will reap the rewards of this move, and it burns a lot of calories.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly split between them and on your heels. Drop down into a deep squat position, and explode straight up for a big jump. As you land, try to do it softly and slowly to avoid damaging your joints. Finish with bent knees.

6. High Knees

This is an excellent cardio exercise that will get your legs moving. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and lift one leg up so that your thigh is parallel to the floor, and switch to the other leg. Pump your arms as you alternate legs.

This will feel like a strange, exaggerated jogging motion. If it does, then you’re doing it correctly.

7. Shoulder Taps

It’s time to drop back down into that high plank with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your body straight. This move isn’t necessarily exhausting, but it’s designed to work your core and upper body strength while focusing on balance.

Keep your hips square to the ground in a high plank, lift one arm and tap the opposite shoulder, crossing in front of your body. Then do the other side. The key is to keep it controlled and solid.

8. Mountain Climbers

Your last exercise keeps you down in that high plank. Mountain climbers are almost like running on the ground. You bring one leg up toward your chest then put it back down, and pick up the other one. Remember to keep your shoulders over your wrists to stay in good form and prevent injuries.

| Related: Strength Training Benefits for Older Women |

The Bottom Line

This series of bodyweight exercises can be done quickly, in about 15 minutes, and can give you a good, all-over workout that leaves you feeling refreshed and stronger than before.

By doing the exercises in this pre-defined order, you can easily move from one exercise to another without a lot of adjusting to help keep you going. You also get exercises that alternate between strength and cardio to keep your muscles on edge while giving your heart a workout too.

Having a great series of exercises like this eliminates most of your excuses for not exercising. Now you don’t need to buy expensive equipment, you don’t need to join a gym or hire a trainer, and you don’t need a lot of time. Just 15 minutes and your body will reward you with results you will notice over time.

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