When you’re traveling or just plain busy, you don’t have time to hit the gym. These exercises build muscle without machines by using your own bodyweight as a counterweight. They burn fat, improve flexibility and strengthen your overall physique. Do them right now!
Created by author and fitness coach Gray Cook, rolling produces amazing results. Lie on your back, arms above your ahead. Flex and relax your hips. Bring your right thigh perpendicular to your body so your calf remains parallel to the ground. Touch your left elbow to the top of your right knee. Roll to the side of your right hip and knee. Return to start position and repeat with the left thigh.
Begin by placing your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands behind your head or straight in front of you. Descend into a squatting position, bending at your knees and pushing your hips back. Keeping your back straight, squat down as low as possible. The bulk of your weight should be on your heels throughout each squat. Ascend to the starting position.
Burpees will give you the full-body workout you’ve been looking for. Begin in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Kick your feet back into a push-up position, immediately returning feet to a squat position. Jump up as high as you can.
This is another basic exercise, engaging your triceps, shoulders, core and chest. There are many variations of push-ups, and they can be modified to fit your fitness needs. Lying with your stomach facing the floor, place your hands on the ground slightly wider than each shoulder. Descend your chest until it almost touches the floor, elbows in. Ascend and repeat.
5. Crab Push-Up
A modification to the push-up, this exercise works inner core muscles. Begin on the floor in a push-up position. Keep your body rigid, and your eyes focused straight ahead. Press your body up and down, then move crab-style to the right. Press your body up and down, and then move your body back to the left. (Watch the video.)
6. Walking Plank
Begin on the floor in a push-up position. Slowly walk your hands forward an inch at a time. Walk forward as far as you can, then walk back. Repeat until you feel the burn.
7. Bear Crawl
Begin in a press-up position. Bring your right leg in close to your right arm and begin to crawl like a bear. For maximum results, keep your abdomen as close to the ground as possible. (Watch the video.)
Find a bench or step. Place your right foot on the bench or step, and step up, straightening your leg. Alternate legs. Intensify this exercise by adding repetitions.
9. Donkey Kick
Donkey kicks build glute muscles and lift your butt. Begin in a push-up position. Tighten your core and kick your left leg into the air. Keep knees bent and relaxed. Repeat as many times as your fitness level allows.
10. Wall Sit
The wall sit is a simple exercise to build and maintain muscle. You can modify this exercise by adding bicep curls or other muscle-resistance exercises. Simply find a wall and slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor in a sitting position. Your back should be straight and your knees should be directly above your ankles.
Begin slowly, and work your way up to advanced bodyweight exercises that demand higher levels of resistance and body tension. You’ll be engaging multiple muscles and joints with these exercises, which demand stabilization, stamina and coordination.