You don’t need the gym for this equipment-free routine
Looking to get fit this year? Get started with an easy, no-equipment workout from Jennifer Menzer, fitness expert and founder of Essential Nutrition and Fitness in Boston. You’ll combine light cardio moves with strength training for a full-body workout you can do anywhere. If you’re a beginner, one cycle of Menzer’s workout is a great place to start moving. To make it harder, add more reps.
Do-Anywhere "10 in 10" Workout
10 Jumping Jacks
Stand with feet together and arms by your sides. Jump up and kick legs out to the side, swinging your arms up to meet above the head. Jump up again and return to standing. Repeat.
Stand with both feet facing forward, shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight and adjusting your weight to put the most pressure on your heels, slowly lower into a squat, keeping your arms forward for balance. Lower until your quads are perpendicular to the ground and hold for a couple of seconds before returning to standing. Repeat.
Lie on your back with your feet planted 6 to 8 inches apart and knees bent. Cup your hands at the base of your skull and curl your upper body upwards. Lower slowly back to the ground. Repeat.
Start lying on your stomach. Place your hands under your shoulders and push up from the ground until your body is raised and straight. Lower your body to just before it touches the ground by bending your elbows outward to a 90-degree angle. Repeat. If you need a little extra help, place your knees on the ground to support your lower body.
Lie on your stomach. Lift your torso up so you can bring your elbows under your shoulders. Clasp your hands and tuck your toes under. Lift your pelvis up into a bridge position (modified plank), supporting your upper body on your forearms and your lower body with your feet. Hold for 15 seconds at a time, or more for a challenge.
10 Mountain Climbers
Start in an ‘up’ plank position, with legs and arms straight and shoulders in line with your wrists. Bring your right knee up toward your chest, resting your right foot on the floor in an active lunge position. Switch legs and bring your left knee up toward your chest and your right leg straight back. Alternate the legs so that each side is in the forward leg and active lunge position 10 times.
Sit with your back to a hard low surface (like the footboard of a bed, a bench, or a low and stable chair). Grip the top edge of the surface with both hands behind your body with fingers facing outwards. Extend your legs in front of you with feet flexed, or place your feet on the ground and slightly bend your knees if you need extra support. Push your body up with your arms (with help from the legs if you’re bending the knees) until they are straight, and then bend your elbows and lower until your body is hovering above the ground. Return to start with your body lifted and arms straight.
10 Lower Back Extensions
Lie on your stomach with your arms extended in front of you. Lift all four limbs up at the same time, carrying your torso up. Hold for a couple of seconds before lowering slowly.
10 Side Lunges
Stand with feet 6 to 8 inches apart and clasp your hands together at the center of your chest. Step with one foot out to the side about three feet and bend at that knee, shifting your weight. Lean diagonally over the extended ankle but keep your back straight. Push back up and return to standing. Repeat 10 times on each side.
10 Up-Down Planks
Come to all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and ankles under your knees. Extend one leg back at a time so that your body is in a straight line with your feet 6 to 8 inches apart. Make sure you aren’t hiking your hips up or dipping them down—they should be level and supported by your core. This is an ‘up’ plank. Shift your weight slightly forward and bend your elbows straight back, lowering your body. Stop when your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. This is a ‘down’ plank. For extra support, lower your knees to the ground.
Perform each exercise in succession until you've come to 10 minutes, Menzer says. If you repeat the cycle before time is up, stop on whatever move you end up on at 10 minutes, no need to repeat the whole cycle. For beginners, do this twice a week. If you already have a workout routine, add this as an extra day. After a week, extend your workout to two cycles. “If you have the stamina and the time, add more rounds and increase the duration to 15 or 20 minutes,” she says.
If you’re looking for more ideas to get moving, take your pick from these workouts that are tailored to your current fitness level!
Talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.