8 Equipment-Free Exercises to Do Anywhere

You don't need a gym or fancy fitness machines to get a good workout. Exercise requires you to move, and you can do that without equipment.

To effectively burn calories and build muscles is to do specific movements that strengthen major muscle groups. A machine isn't going to do that work for you, you need to do the work. Body weight exercises use your muscles and are functional movements that you perform daily.

MoreInfographic: A 30-Minute Bodyweight Workout

Leave the gym and high-tech machines behind and perform these moves that engage full-body strength—and you can do anywhere.

Equipment-Free Exercises

Squat

Sit, stand, and pick something up--these motions equal squats.

Proper form: Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart, chest up, shoulders back and core engaged. Sit back into your heels with your rear-end reaching back as you lower yourself into a squat. At the bottom of this position, drive through your heels, into the knees, and finish by thrusting the hips forward. Do 20 squats.

Isometric Squat Hold

This is a variation of the basic squat. Set up the same way as you would with a squat. Begin to squat down as low you can go. This time, don't come back up. Hold your position at the bottom of the squat for two minutes. The challenge is to keep your muscles engaged and chest up for the entire duration of the hold.

Jump Squat

Begin with a basic squat stance. Lower down like you're performing a squat. Once you reach the bottom, instead of standing back up, add an explosive jump. As you land, repeat the movement by lowering back into the squat before jumping again. Try doing 30 seconds of jump squats.

More: Video: How to Do Squat Jumps 

Lunge

Stand tall and roll your shoulders back and down. Step the right leg forward, while lowering the left knee to the ground. (Keep in mind this back knee doesn't touch the ground.) Keep your chest up and shoulders back--this prevents your body from leaning forward. Next, push off the right heel and peel your toe from the ground to return your right leg to the left. Repeat the move by lunging forward with the left leg, as you lower the right knee to the ground. Do 10 on each leg (20 total).

Push-up

Start face down on your stomach. Place your hands, fingers spread wide, under and in line with your shoulders. Plant your toes into the ground. Press your body off of the ground, keeping your elbows alongside the body. Both your hips and upper body should rise together in one plank. At the top of the movement, bend your elbows, while keeping your legs and core tight, to lower your body back to the ground. Once your face is an inch from the ground, push up. Try doing 30 seconds of push-ups.

More30-Day Push-Up Challenge

Superman Back Extension

Begin flat on your stomach. Arms are on the ground extended forward. Instead of pushing up like a push-up, lift arms and legs off the ground. Squeeze your glutes, low back and upper back to lift your limbs. Hold for three seconds before returning to the start position. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds.

Plank Hold

Begin lying face down on the floor. Just like a push-up, place your hands, fingers spread wide, under and in line with your shoulders. Plant your toes into the ground. Press your body off of the ground. Contract your muscles to engage your entire body. Hold this position. You can stay on your hands, or come down onto your forearms. Either way your goal is to stay stiff as a board. Start with 20 seconds and work your way up to one minute.

More: 30-Day Plank Challenge

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About the Author

Joe Vennare

Joe Vennare, one of the nation's top trainers, is a freelance writer and a fitness entrepreneur who created Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio? and Race Day Domination.
Joe Vennare, one of the nation's top trainers, is a freelance writer and a fitness entrepreneur who created Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio? and Race Day Domination.

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