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Best No-Gym Workout

Best No-Gym Workout

You don't have to use fancy equipment to get into shape. Finding a great no-gym workout can create flexibility that allows you to get in shape without much time or money needed. Here are some great exercises that you can do pretty much anywhere.
Woman doing squats on a walking path

Best No-Gym Workout

In ancient times, people lifted heavy stones, rocks, rudimentary dumbbells, heavy clubs, and their own body weight to build muscle, strength, and agility. Fitness, as we know it today, seems to be a relatively modern invention. Most evidence points to stylish fitness starting in the 70s with jogging and Jazzercise. As an adult, I would tease my mom when she would ask me how my “jog” went. I’d tell her, “I don’t go jogging. I go running.” Since 2000, the use of the word “jog” lost its popularity as more serious athletes began associating it with a fast walk or slow run. To say that one has gone “jogging” became an insult for any self-proclaimed runner.

No Gym, No Problem

Some of the first modern big-box gyms began to pop up in the mid-1960s, with Gold’s gym being one of the first. At about that time, people started to become interested in some form of exercise beyond their daily life tasks and routines. The fitness industry and gyms began to pick up pace in the early 1980s and have grown today into an enormous commercial enterprise.

A workout routine above and beyond your daily movement is always an excellent thing. While I love getting my best workout in the gym, it’s not always possible or convenient to get there. Having an effective go-to workout for when you’re at home or on the road is the best way to overcome the excuse of not having a gym. If you’re a gym junkie, sometimes it’s good to mix things up, save a bit of time, and challenge yourself to an at-home workout. No-gym workouts are also an excellent option for anyone who can’t afford them or just doesn’t like going to the gym. The good news is that there’s proof that a no-gym workout can still be highly effective and give you the desired results in your health and fitness goals.

The Best No-Gym Workout Routine

There are two important categories for a no-gym workout: bodyweight exercises and exercises with weights. The best thing about bodyweight exercises is that they can be done anytime, anywhere, with no equipment required.

The Best No-Gym Bodyweight Workout

Begin with a series of warm-up stretches prior to your workout. There are some great daily stretching ideas in our “5 Steps to the Ultimate Daily Stretching Routine”. Once you have stretched, you are ready to begin your no-gym bodyweight workout.

Use a timer (the one on your phone may work best) to time each of these exercises for 2-minute intervals:

  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Burpees
  • Side Planks
  • Push-ups

Lunges

Woman doing lunges in her living room

Lunges are a powerful exercise, allowing you to shape and strengthen almost every muscle in the lower body. This makes the lunge a powerhouse exercise that requires zero equipment to perform.

How to do a lunge:

  • Bend the knees and lower your body until the back knee is a few inches from the floor.
  • At the bottom of the movement, the front thigh is parallel to the ground, with the back knee pointing toward the floor.
  • Your weight is evenly distributed between both legs.
  • Push back up to the starting position, keeping your weight on the heel of the front foot.
  • Alternate legs using the same steps and positioning.
  • Continue the exercise for a full 2 minutes.

Squats

Bodyweight squats are a great way to increase strength in your lower body. Squats primarily strengthen your quads, hip flexors, and glutes, and they also activate your hamstrings, calves, abs, and lower back.

How to do bodyweight squats:

  • Stand with your hands on the back of your head and your feet shoulder-width apart with your feet turned out slightly to open the hip joint.
  • Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, then return to the starting position.
  • Continue the exercise for a full 2 minutes.

Burpees

Burpees

How to do a burpee:

  • Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, your chest out, and your arms at your sides.
  • Drop into a squat by bending your knees, driving them out slightly past your toes, while bringing your butt down. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands on the floor with your palms down in front of your feet.
  • Kick your legs back into a high plank position while keeping your body straight.
  • Lower toward the ground by bending your elbows and bring your body toward the floor.
  • Rise back to a high plank while focusing on keeping your body straight.
  • Return to the squat position by jumping forward. When you land, make sure your feet are flat on the floor.
  • (optional) Jump!
  • Continue the exercise for a full 2 minutes.

Side Planks

Side planks

Side planks strengthen multiple muscle groups simultaneously and are an excellent core-strengthening exercise. Additional benefits of side planks include improved balance and stability.

How to do a side plank:

  • Start on your side with your feet together, supporting your upper body on one forearm with your elbow positioned directly beneath your shoulder.
  • Keep your core tight and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to feet.
  • Hold this position without letting your hips drop for one minute.
  • Switch to the other side and perform the exercise for one minute.

Push-ups

Pushups on a walking path

Just like burpees and planks, push-ups target multiple muscle groups, making them a very beneficial bodyweight exercise. Push-ups increase upper-body strength, are good for your core, and can help improve your posture.

How to do a push-up:

  • Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Straighten your arms and legs.
  • Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  • Pause, then push yourself back up.
  • Repeat for 2 minutes.

Wrapping Up The Best No-Gym Workout

As with any type of exercise, consistency is what will yield results. Rather than being concerned about gym equipment and heavy weights, do this no-gym bodyweight workout 3-5 times per week for 6-8 weeks, and you can expect to see results whether your goal is fat loss, weight maintenance, or muscle building.

Read Next:

Winter Workout: Adapting Your Exercise Routine for Cold Weather

The Non-Exercise Workout That Could Save Your Life

4-Minute Tabata Workout… Too Good to Be True?

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