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Equipment-free exercises

10 Best Equipment-Free Exercises for Every Level and Goal

Author:NeuroGym Team

Equipment-free exercises, also known as bodyweight exercises, are all the rage!

These fitness moves can get you into shape without needing to go to the gym or shelling out on expensive equipment.

We’ve rounded up 10 of the best exercises—challenge yourself to do them every second day and see results quickly.

1.   Pike Push-up

The pike push-up is a compound exercise that benefits many areas of the body. It’s specifically useful to improve shoulder strength.

  1. Get into a high plank position. Your arms should be straight with your hands beneath your shoulders.
  2. Push your hips toward the ceiling and walk your feet in slightly so that your body forms an upside-down “V” shape.
  3. Drop your head down to form a straight line from your back to your neck.
  4. Lower your body toward the floor by bending your elbows like with a regular push-up.
  5. Push your body back up until your arms are straight.

Start with two sets of five repetitions (reps) each. Work up to five sets of eight reps.

2.  Superman

Superman is a floor exercise done on your stomach that mimics the position superheroes use when flying through the air. It strengthens the lower back, core, glutes, and hamstrings.

  1. Lie facedown on an exercise mat. Extend your arms out in front of your body.
  2. Squeeze your abs and back muscles, and then, lift your arms, chest, and legs toward the ceiling. Keep your neck in line with your upper body.
  3. Hold this position for five seconds.
  4. Return to the starting position slowly.

The Superman exercise can feel ineffective, especially if you are struggling to do it. Just keep going to improve yourself physically and mentally—you will become stronger over time.

Start with five repetitions and build up to 10. Challenge yourself to get to 10-second holds.

3.  Prone Swimmer

The prone swimmer exercise mimics swimming by using an engaged stretch. It shapes the entire body which makes it one of the best exercises to do frequently.

  1. Lie facedown on an exercise mat. Extend your arms in front of your body to form a straight line.
  2. Tighten your abs and back muscles, and then, lift your chest slightly, along with your left arm and right leg.
  3. Hold the position for five seconds.
  4. Return to the starting position, and then, repeat the exercise with your right arm and left leg.

The prone swimmer should provide a good stretching sensation throughout the body.

Start with five reps on each side and work your way up to 10 reps. Make it more challenging by holding the position for 10 seconds.

Achieve Your Fitness Goals Faster

What are your fitness goals for 2022?

Getting fitter and healthier by eating right and exercising is only one part of the process.

You also need to have the right mindset. Learn how to change your thinking about fitness by attending our training on Winning the Game of Weight Loss.

4. Side Planks

Side planks are a variation of the traditional plank. It exercises the side of your glutes and obliques (a part of the core).

When you do a side plank, you focus on side-to-side movements.

  1. Lie on your left side with your left elbow bent and beneath your shoulder. Stack your left foot on top of the right foot.
  2. Engage your core and push your body up so that your left upper arm is extended and supports your weight.
  3. Hold the plank for 10 seconds. Do not allow your hips to drop.
  4. Return to the starting position, and then, repeat on your right side.

Side planks need to be held for as long as possible to exercise the muscles fully.

Focus on getting to 10 seconds and then work your way up to a minute per side. If you can’t hold it for that long, then break it down into shorter periods with several repetitions.

5.  Heel Raise

The heel raise is an easy exercise for individuals of all skill levels. It works your leg muscles, core, glutes, and lower back.

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Bend your knees to create a 90-degree angle and keep your legs shins in the air and parallel to the floor.
  3. Keep the bend in your leg and slowly lower your left foot to the ground.
  4. Return your left leg to the starting position.
  5. Repeat the process to tap your right foot to the ground.

At the beginning, do three sets with five reps per side. Work your way up to three sets of 15 reps per side.

6. Hollow Hold

If you want a stable core, then the hollow hold is the ideal exercise for you.

It’s slightly challenging and creates a good burn, but it’s worth the effort.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees pressed together. Your arms should be extended over your head and lying on the floor.
  2. Close the gap between your lower back and the floor by pressing your back right against it.
  3. Tighten your core and squeeze your thighs together.
  4. Raise your head, shoulders, and legs a few inches off the floor. Your arms will be in the air and roughly in line with your ears. Your lower back should remain against the floor.
  5. Hold the position for five seconds, and then, return to the starting position.

Do three repetitions of the hollow hold. Once you are stronger, hold the position for up to 30 seconds at a time.

7.  Squat Twist

Squats are a great exercise, as they engage several muscles throughout the body.

Adding a twist to the squat activates additional muscle groups and forces the brain to cross the midline.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Clasp your hands in front of your chest and tighten your core.
  2. Squat by lowering your bottom toward the ground as if you were to sit on a chair. Only go as low as is comfortable—it’s okay to go low enough that your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. Push through your feet and thigh muscles to stand up. As you rise, bring your left knee straight up, twist your torso to the left, and touch your right elbow to your left knee.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat with your right knee and left elbow.

Start off with five reps per side. Complete three sets. Work your way up to three sets with 15 reps per side.

Set Your Health Goals

Take control of your physical and mental health so that you can live a better life.

Start by writing down your health goals and then create a plan for how you will achieve them.

Join us for Winning the Game of Weight Loss and achieve your goals even faster!

8. Star Jump

Star jumps are an excellent cardiovascular exercise that strengthens the heart. They are a great way to get your blood flowing faster when you are tired.

  1. Stand up straight with your feet about hip-width apart.
  2. Squat while keeping your back straight.
  3. Push through your feet and jump upright with your arms and legs outstretched to form a star.
  4. Bring your body back to the squat position as you land and launch into the next rep.

Start with one set of five star jumps. As you get fitter, you can add more reps or sets.

Focus on getting fit enough to do three sets of 15 reps or add star jumps into an interval-training workout.

9. Tuck Jump

Another cardiovascular exercise to do is the tuck jump. It is a fast-paced exercise that works your entire body and increases your heart rate.

  1. Stand up straight with your feet a bit more than hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and place your arms outstretched in front of you.
  3. Bring your arms down quickly and propel yourself into the air. As you jump up, tuck your knees toward your chest.
  4. Land carefully in the starting position and proceed to the next rep immediately with your current momentum.

Do five tuck jumps at first, and then, continue with another five if you feel you can. Work up to 15 reps and three to five sets.

10. Speed Skater

Speed skater is a full-body exercise that tones the body and strengthens your heart. It’s inspired by the movement of ice skating—even if it happens on dry land.

Include it as a cardiovascular component of interval training or do it on its own at a comfortable pace.

  1. Stand up straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Point your toes slightly to the outside with your arms at your sides.
  2. Hop on your left foot and cross your right foot behind your body and toward the left. As you do the movement, swing your right arm toward the left foot.
  3. Using the momentum you already have, repeat the exercise toward the right side instead of coming to the starting position.

Alternate skating between the legs so that you complete five reps on each side.

Do the exercise for 30 seconds or one minute at a time. You could also add more reps so that you do 15 speed skaters per side and three sets.

Doing More Than Equipment-Free Exercises

These 10 exercises in your back pocket are incredible. It brings you one step closer to meeting your goals, but having the correct mindset is more important.

Train your brain for commitment and consistency to use other fitness tools properly. Winning the Game of Weight Loss is what you need to get this done successfully.

About The Author

NeuroGym Team

NeuroGym Team: NeuroGym’s Team of experts consists of neuroscientists, researchers, and staff who are enthusiasts in their fields. The team is committed to making a difference in the lives of others by sharing the latest scientific findings to help you change your life by understanding and using the mindset, skill set and action set to change your brain.

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