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10 Effective Ways to Workout Without Lifting Weights

10 Effective Ways to Workout Without Lifting Weights

Working out doesn’t always have to entail getting your weights out, if you have any. You can get a great workout by using only your body, meaning that at work or at home, there is no excuse not to keep moving.

In addition, most, if not all these exercises are super easy to do. They can be used in combination with your weight training to add a change of pace or as warm-up, and is a great way to test your strength when you can’t make it to the gym.

1. Blurpees

Is that a typo? Nope—you’ve heard of a burpee and this is similar except you’re adding a lateral movement.

You will squat down and extend your legs out behind you to get into pushup position. Jump your legs back up, but then have them land outside of your hands—you will be pulling with your lats in order for your legs to get ready to jump, and then come up. When done right, you will feel it in your back the day after.

2. Pushups

So many people hate pushups, but the good news is that there is an easier way to do them. Instead of keeping your legs straight out, do them on your knees if needed.

Another alternative is that you can do them while standing against a wall. You will be working out your chest area as well as building up strength in your arms.

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push-ups

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    3. Leg Lifts

    Having your legs straight out, raise them in front of you and do as many reps and sets as you’d like. This exercise is ideal for building the muscle and strength in your legs. This is easy to do anywhere you are—at home or in the office.

    4. Crunches

    This is the best exercise for building and strengthening muscles in the abdomen. If you are just starting out, you probably won’t be able to bring your head up all the way and that is okay.

    Just as long as you are going up and you are feeling your muscles stretching, you will be reaping the benefits. And as time goes on, it will get easier for you.

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    crunches-2

      Image via Wikimedia Commons

      5. Squats

      Work out your legs and back by getting into squats. When getting started, an easy way is to just sit and then stand up from a regular chair.

      It isn’t necessary for everyone to start off here—only if they are difficult. You will be getting the benefits of squats when you are doing squats with a few repetitions.

      squats

        Image via Pixabay

        6. Dance

        Do it alone, or do it with a partner—getting up and dancing is amazing for your heart. It is one of the easiest ways to exercise and admittedly one of the most fun.

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        Turn on your favorite music and boogie down in your home, or take up a formal class. No matter how you do it, you will be getting the blood flowing and actually lift your spirits.

        7. Jog in Place

        If you are limited on space, jogging is not totally impossible. You will be raising your heart rate while watching your favorite television shows or listening to music.

        All that you will need is a good pair of shoes so that you are not putting too much stress on your legs.

        8. Step Exercises

        If you have access to steps in or near your home, take full advantage. Be careful in using them!

        Whether you decide to go up and down a few flights at a time, or use just a few steps to go up and down like in a step class, any type of repetitions will work to tone the muscles in your legs.

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        step

          Image via FreeStockPhotos.biz

          9. Jumping Jacks

          Feel like a kid again with fun jumping jacks. Use them as a warm up or main exercise! Jumping jacks are a great way to get your cardio for the day.

          10. Walking

          If cabin fever is getting you down and the weather is nice, go outside and take a walk to enjoy the scenery. If you live in an area that is easily accessible by walking, think about opting to walk to work rather than drive, or walk a portion and take a bus the rest of the way.

          Walking tones our legs and provides you with a way to get low impact aerobic exercise. If you can only walk around your home, ramp it up by carrying a load of laundry—you will be getting exercise and working on chores at the same time.

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          Published on July 18, 2019

          11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

          11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

          No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

          Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

          The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

          While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

          Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

          1. Planks

          Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

          Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

          Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

          For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

          2. Side Planks

          To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

          From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

          Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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          Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

          3. Reverse Crunches

          The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

          When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

          The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

          Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

          Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

          4. Flutter Kicks

          The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

          If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

          Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

          It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

          5. Arms High Sit-Ups

          Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

          Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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          Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

          Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

          6. L-Sits

          The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

          To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

          Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

          Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

          7. Stomach Vacuums

          And now for something different!

          It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

          This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

          To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

          Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

          You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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          8. Star Planks

          Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

          The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

          From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

          Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

          9. Boat Pose

          Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

          Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

          Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

          Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

          10. Mountain Climbers

          Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

          Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

          Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

          It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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          11. Russian Twists

          Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

          Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

          You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

          For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

          The Bottom Line

          The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

          However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

          If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

          Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

          Give them a shot!

          Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

          Reference

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