Dying to get fit and healthy but struggle to find time in your busy schedule? Many of us have fallen into this dreaded conundrum, but thankfully, fitness can be easily adapted to fit almost anyone’s lifestyle. This is especially when it comes to bodyweight exercises as they require no equipment and be performed anywhere, anytime!
A habit of healthy exercise need not require much time or effort as many first imagine. The easiest way to get started is by performing workouts the first thing in the morning. Not only is it convenient, it will wake your body up and even trigger extra fat burning before breakfast.
Use only these 6 bodyweight movements you will quickly strengthen and stretch your entire body with 6 minutes flat! They’ll get your blood pumping, improve your mood and even make you more productive for day ahead.
Ready to enter the morning-warrior club? Complete each exercise one after another in a circuit format. Let’s see how far you can get in 6 minutes!
Without a shadow of a doubt, squats are the king of the full-body exercises. While they focus primarily on the lower body muscles, hips, glutes, hamstrings and quads, they also help strengthen your entire core. While toning your legs and carving out your buttocks you’ll also improve your balance and improve bone density!
- Start with your feet at a shoulder width distance apart
- Tighten your abs as you lower your body and push your hips back
- Stop when your thighs become parallel with the floor
- Push through your heels to return to the standing position
- Repeat for 10-15 repetitions
2. Push Ups
Push ups are another bodyweight exercise powerhouse, this time focusing primarily on the upper body. They will strongly activate your chest, arm and shoulder muscles while also working your core. Don’t understate the effectiveness of this exercise!
- Begin from an all-fours push-up position, arms straight and hands just wider than shoulder-width
- Lock your body into a straight line position from your head down to your ankles
- Lower yourself down until your chest almost comes into contact with the ground
- Push back up focusing on contracting your chest and engaging your core
- Repeat for 5-15 repetitions
The plank is the gold-standard of abdominal and core muscle strengthening exercises. As a static hold exercise, it may not look like much, but don’t let this fool you! This simple isometric exercise works the core harder than many other common ab exercises. By engaging your core muscles in a natural function of stability, your abs with pop and your lower back muscles.
- Position your hands in line with your shoulders
- Contract the glutes, engage the core and support your body in a straight line position from head to feet
- Maintain with position without breaking form for 20-60 seconds
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4. Walk Outs
Known to some as the inchworm, this exercise works both the upper body and core muscles as you support your body weight. It can be made even tougher by adding push-ups during this movement.
- Start from a standing position with feet slightly further than shoulders width apart
- Lower yourself down into a squat position
- Put your hands on the floor in front of you and gradually walk them out until you are in a push-up position
- Steadily walk your hands back towards your feet, then return to the standing position
- Repeat for 2-8 repetitions
5. Low Lunge “Rocking Horse”
Lunges focus on strengthening the lower body and stretching out tight hamstrings and calves. The rocking horse variation helps to increase the stretch on your hip flexors and improve overall posture.
- Lunge forward with your left leg and bend to approximately 90 degrees
- Straighten your left knee and push your upper body forward until your fingers can almost touch the ground
- Try to frame your left leg between your hands
- Return back to the standing position and repeat for the other leg
- Perform between 5-15 repetitions (both legs)
6. Bicycle Crunch
The average crunch just can’t match up to the bicycle crunch and it’s a perfect supplement to the plank. This exercise will help tone your waistline by working your core, abdominal and oblique muscles.
- Begin by lying flat on the ground and your lower back pushed flat
- Place hands behind the head, but don’t interlock your fingers
- Lift your knees up towards your chest and allow your shoulder to raise slightly off the floor
- Straighten your right leg at a 45-degree angle to the floor while turning your body left and bringing right elbow to left knee
- Focus on moving your rib cage as you move your elbows. Switch sides and repeat the same motion.
- Keep alternating sides for 5-15 repetitions (each side)
Featured photo credit: Anastasia Hisel via unsplash.com