Working out may seem intimidating at first, specially with the common notion that it means going to the gym, lifting weights, and using gym equipment. Add to this the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic where everyone is forced to #StayAtHome or practice social distancing, and you may think that working out nowadays is close to impossible. But fear not, as we are here to give you a quick and easy no-equipment workout that you can definitely do indoors and squeeze into your day whether you are in a work-from-home setup or just binge-watching shows on Netflix.
This full-body workout created by Jess Sims, a NASM-certified personal trainer and instructor at Classpass Live, Shadowbox, and Fhitting Room in New York City, doesn't require any gym equipment and can be done in 20 minutes or less. It is broken up into four parts: the warm-up, circuit, burnout ladder, and cooldown. If you have more time or you simply want to make the workout more challenging, you may do the circuit more than once or even add weights to your lunges and squats.
We’ve included GIFs of the exercises below as done by Amanda Wheeler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, to serve as your reference on how to properly execute each one.
Start with a quick warm-up to prepare your body for the whole workout. Do each exercise for 20 seconds and do the whole set twice. Remember to keep your core engaged as you execute all three.
- Jumping jack – Keep your feet together and hands at the sides, and engage your core. Jump and spread your legs about shoulder-width apart, then bring your arms up. Jump back to starting position.
- Inchworm walk out to shoulder tap – Stand with your feet together, hands at the sides, and core engaged. Bend forward at your hips and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Walk your hands forward to a high plank position. Keep your core and glutes engaged. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder, then your left hand to your right shoulder. Walk your hands back to toward your feet, then stand up back to starting position.
- Squats – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged. Bend your knees and push your hips back as you go into a squat position. Keep your chest lifted and back flat, then stand back up to starting position.
Afterwards, we go to the circuit. According to Pete McCall, a certified personal trainer and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, and creator of the All About Fitness podcast, the idea of circuit training is to work on different muscles all at the same time with minimum amount of rest. Because you alternate which body part you’re targeting, one muscle group rests while the other is working. And because you’re moving from exercise to exercise with minimal rests in between, circuit training also improves your cardio.
This particular circuit has six exercises, each done for 45 seconds with a 15-second rest as you transition to the next one. You can increase the difficulty by doing this whole circuit more than once. Again, keep your core engaged at all times.
- Blast-off push-up – Start in high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and legs extended, core and glutes engaged. Bend your knees and push your back toward your heels, then go back to the starting high plank position and do a push-up. Your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle to your body. Go back to a high plank position with your core and glutes still engaged and your back flat.
- Squat thrust – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and engage your core and glutes. Bend your knees, reach forward, and place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs out behind you to a high plank position. Jump and bring your feet back in and stand back up to starting position.
- Pendulum lunge – Stand with feet together, arms at the sides, core and glutes engaged. Step your right foot back at about 2 feet distance, keeping your heel up. Bend both knees into a reverse lunge, with your right knee slightly touching the floor. Return to starting position and step your right foot forward at about 2 feet distance. Bend both knees into a forward lunge, with your left knee slightly touching the floor. Push back to the starting position. Do this for 45 seconds and repeat with your left leg.
- Mountain climber twist – Start in high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and legs extended, core and glutes engaged. Bring your right knee under your torso to your left elbow then back to starting position, do the same with your left knee.
- Pause squat – Do the normal squat but hold the squat position for three seconds before standing back up.
- Plank up to frogger – Start in high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and legs extended, core and glutes engaged. Lower into a forearm plank starting with your left arm, then followed by your right arm. Come back up to a high plank position starting with your right arm, then with your left. Jump into a squat position, then back down to high plank.
Next is the burnout ladder. A ladder workout is a set of exercises done with ascending number of reps with short rests in between. As a result, you do more total reps in a shorter time versus what you get in simply repeating the same number of reps with longer rests in between.
Do the following exercises starting with one rep followed by a very quick rest, then two reps, three reps, and so on. Go as high as you can in 3 minutes per exercise. Keep your core engaged in all three exercises.
- Touchdown jack – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend into a squat position with your core engaged and back flat. Touch the floor with your right hand while keeping your chest lifted. Jump up and bring your feet together, then jump back to starting position.
- Panther shoulder tap – Place your hands and knees on the floor, core engaged. Keep your back flat and slightly lift your knees off the floor and maintain the position. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder, then your left hand to your right shoulder. Keep your hips as still as you can.
- Burpee – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, core and glutes engaged. Bend your knees and reach forward with your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Kick your legs straight out behind you and lower your entire body down to the ground while you bend your elbows so your chest touches the floor. Push your body back up with your hands while hopping with your legs. Jump with arms stretched upwards, then repeat.
For the cool down, do each exercise while taking deep breaths. Feel free to add additional cool down exercises or more stretching as you finish the whole workout.
- Child’s pose – Kneel with your knees hip-width apart, then lay your torso over your thighs. Rest your forehead on the ground and extend your arms out in front. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Downward facing dog – From child’s pose, keep your hands on the floor and lift your butt as you stretch your legs up. Keep your head lowered toward the ground. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Forward fold – From downward facing dog, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and straighten your legs with your torso hanging down. Tuck your chin in toward your chest as you hold your arms together. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Standing quad stretch – From forward fold, stand up straight and pull your left foot toward your butt with your left hand. Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat on your right leg.
- Shoulder circle – Stand with your feet together, hands on the sides. Circle your shoulders up and back for 10 counts. Do the reverse for another 10 counts.
And that’s it! Now you can stay active in the comfort of your home and without even using any gym equipment.
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