Toning up and feeling confident doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of time at the gym. We’ve rounded up some of the best bodyweight exercises to get you fit at home. Whether it’s your New Year’s resolution or you’re getting ready for an upcoming family party or vacation, or you simply want to dedicate some more time to “Project You,” follow these moves and you’ll love the results!
Mix up the exercises, and practice them two or three times a week. You can do them in gym wear or in your PJs, put your hair in a messy topknot and hit the shower right after you’re finished because, hey, you’re at home!
Tip: Even laundered gym clothes can sometimes hold lingering odors from sweat. Use our recommended laundry regimen to fight tough odors: Wash clothes in Tide Sport Odor Defense and Downy Fresh Protect Active Fresh In-Wash Odor Shield. If your clothes can run through the dryer, add a Bounce Sport dryer sheet to add freshness and prevent wrinkles and static.
Targets butt, legs, abs and back
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, looking straight ahead, hips forward. Keep your chest up and your back straight as you bend your knees and lower your bottom as if you’re going to sit in a chair behind you. Make sure the weight stays in the back of your heels.
Keep your knees in line with your feet (but don’t let your knees go past your toes), until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as close as you can get to it!). Then push back up through your heels to stand, squeezing your butt and pushing out your pelvis.
Protect your back by putting your hands on the back of your head with your elbows out to stop yourself from leaning forward. Hold hand weights to make it tougher. Repeat 20 times, rest, and then do two more sets of 20.
2. The Plank
Targets tummy, arms, butt, back and legs
Start as though you’re about to do a push-up on your knees, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your butt as you lift your body into one straight line, with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles on the same plane. Draw in your tummy muscles, imagining your belly button pulling in toward your spine, and don’t let your bottom or lower back dip.
Look at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands to keep your head in line with your back. Contract your abs and glutes and hold, taking slow, controlled, deep breaths. Stop and reset if your back begins to bow or your shoulders sink. Rest your weight on your forearms rather than on your hands to make it easier. Try to hold for 20 seconds, and keep increasing the time as you get the hang of it.
3. Tricep Dips
Targets arms and shoulders
Sit on a stable chair, bench, sofa or bed and place your hands, shoulder-width apart, on the edge of your seat with your fingers hanging over the edge. Slide your bottom off the surface, with your legs out in front of you. Keeping your chest up and open, straighten your arms without locking out your elbows.
Keeping your back close to the bench, slowly bend your elbows to about 90 degrees, lowering your body toward the floor. Once you reach the extent of the movement, pause, and then press into the bench to slowly straighten your elbows, keeping shoulders relaxed, and return to the starting position. Do 10, rest, and then do two more sets of 10.
Tip: Feeling the itch to get outside? The fresh air can do wonders for your workout routine. Head to a local park and spread a blanket on the ground to do these bodyweight exercises. For an instant burst of freshness while you’re out and about, toss Secret Freshies on the Go in your gym bag.
4. Crunch Reaches
Targets abs and waist
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Raise your upper body into a situp, with your fingers resting gently on your temples and your elbows out. With your eyes on the ceiling and tummy pulled in, reach your right hand toward your right ankle, keeping your chest parallel to the ceiling. Return to the situp position and repeat on the left. Do 10, rest, and then do two more sets of 10.
Targets butt and legs
Stand, keeping your upper body straight, shoulders back and chin up. Engage your abs and take a big step with one leg, either backward or forward, lowering your lunge until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Keep your front knee directly above your ankle, and hover your back knee over the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the start position, and then swap legs. Pass a weight from hand to hand through your legs to make it tougher. Do 10 reps on each leg, rest, and then do two more sets of 10.
6. Glute Bridge
Targets lower back, thighs and butt
Lie on your back, hands on the floor by your sides, knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart on the ground. Push through your heels, using your bottom and the back of your legs to lift your hips, keeping your back straight. Hold at the top, and then slowly return. Up the challenge by doing these single-legged: Put your right heel up on a bed or sofa, straighten the other leg above you, and then push your hips up. Do a set of 10, and then swap legs, repeating this two more times per side.
How do you fit exercise into your busy schedule? Share your tips with us in the comments section below!