9 Weight-Free Workouts

Walking Pushup

Begin in a pushup position with your left hand on a paper plate or band. Perform a pushup and, as you press up, walk the hands to the left until the right hand is on the paper plate. Continue pushups, alternating walking the hands to either side for a total of 10 to 12 reps (one rep includes walking to the right and left).

Chair Squat

Stand in front of a chair and slowly squat until you're hovering just over it.  Pulse halfway up for eight counts. Stand up and repeat for 12 to16 reps.

Sliding Lunges

Place a paper plate under your left foot and slide your left leg back as you bend the right knee into a lunge. The back leg should be straight or slightly bent. Slowly slide the left foot back to start, pushing into the plate and repeat for 16 reps before switching sides.

Front and Reverse Lunge

Step your left leg forward into a lunge. Push back to start, lifting the left knee to hip level. Take the left leg back into a reverse lunge and push off the toes to come back to start. Repeat for 12 to 16 reps and switch sides.

Bent-Over Squat With Leg Lift

Bend over with your hands behind your back and your abs engaged. Take your left leg out to the side with your toe on the floor, and bend the right knee into a squat. Straighten your right leg as you lift it a few inches off the floor. Keep the hip, knee and foot in alignment and facing the front of the room. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps and switch sides.


Sit on a chair or bench and balance on your arms, moving your backside in front of the step with your legs straight. Bend the elbows and lower down, keeping the shoulders down until elbows are at 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat for 16 reps.

Back Extensions

Lie face down on a mat and place the hands behind the head.  Contract the abs and keep them contracted throughout the exercise.  Squeeze the back to lift the chest a few inches off the floor.  Lower and repeat for 16 reps.

Pyramid Planks

Begin in a plank position on the forearms (back straight, neck in neutral alignment). Press your hips up toward the ceiling while staying on the forearms (like an upside 'v') and gently press the heels to the floor. Hold briefly, then come back to your plank and push up onto the hands. Hold (back straight) for a few counts and then press back into a downward dog, stretching the heels to the floor and the chest gently through the arms. Come back into your plank, lower down to the elbows and repeat the entire series three times.

Planks with Knee Bends

Begin in a plank position, on the hands and toes. Lift the left foot off the floor and bend the knee, pulling it in towards the chest. Your torso might bend a little as you bring the knee in. Cross the left foot over the right leg, hold briefly, then take left knee back to the chest. Bring the left foot back into your full plank and repeat on the other side. Repeat for 8 reps (1 rep includes a knee bend with both the right and left legs).

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Portland Personal Training Examiner Amy Rutherford-Close volunteers, helping run a non-profit, community-based health organization, Fresh Start Restorative Health Services Inc. She teaches and instructs others about the greatest gift: your health.

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