No weights? No worries! You don’t need anything other than your body to smash these killer bodyweight exercises. Now, you may think it’ll be a breeze without the extra burden of a kettlebell or the resistance from a band but, trust us, these simple yet savage moves are sure to get you sweating and feeling the burn!
When performed correctly, no-equipment bodyweight exercises can torch fat and strengthen your whole body. The six we’ve selected below all include an explosive element, such as a jump, meaning you’ll raise your heart rate and shift more calories than static varieties.
Grab some floor space and give these a go! Back at the gym? Why not put all six exercises together and create your own finisher circuit to complete a heavy weights session? Or, if you’re working out from home, perform a few rounds for a real challenge!
It’s no secret that the burpee has got a bad rep for being downright evil. But, the suffering really does pay off with this legendary exercise; the benefits are not limited to burning mega calories, shedding up to 50% more fat than moderate exercise*, but they also work multiple areas of the body including the arms, chest, glutes, hamstrings and quads. This makes burpees one of the best home workouts.
How to do a burpee
Simply stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width a part and bend down and place your hands on the floor. Then, push your legs out behind you fast (you should end up in a push-up position) and jump your legs back in so that they land each side of your hands. Finish by jumping up quickly. This move should be performed with power and as fast as possible for full effect.
2. Squat jumps
It's time to spice up a bog standard exercise with some power! As these are performed faster, the benefits of squat jumps are that you’ll increase your heart rate and burn more calories too. Just like regular squats, you’ll work the quads, glutes and calves, but the explosive element promotes cardiovascular health and will get you sweating in no time!
How to do a squat jump
These are super easy; simply stand shoulder width apart, knees soft. Bend down into a squat position, ensuring your knees do not go over your toes, and, instead of simply returning to standing, jump up instead and then straight back down into squat position.
3. Mountain climbers
Another one that’s not for the faint hearted. Mountain climber exercises are great for working the core, as well as your legs, glutes, shoulders, and triceps. Like burpees, speed is everything with this exercise; go fast if you want maximum fat burn!
How to do mountain climbers
They’re super easy to perform. Start in a push up position and simply drive one knee up towards your chest and quickly back to the floor and alternate.
4. Plyo lunges
If you think regular lunges are tough, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Plyometric lunges follow the same format as regular lunges however, when switching legs, you add in an explosive jump, adding intensity to a somewhat low intensity exercise. A great one to raise your cardiovascular fitness, plyo jump lunges also develop lower body strength, stability, and coordination. Perform these correctly and you’ll target your quads, calves, hip flexors and glutes – get ready to feel the burn!
How to do a plyo lunge
Start with your feet together, knees soft. Push off with both feet, jumping them together then jumping into a lunge. Then, jump the foot in front to the back and visa versa.
5. Lateral jumps
If it’s coordination and stability you’re set on improving, then lateral jumps are for you. The benefits of lateral jumps are that they improve leg strength, while also helping improve balance and mobility. They’re no walk in the park, but there’s no denying you’ll reap the benefits!
How to do a lateral jump
There are a few different variations but let’s focus on side to side lateral jumps; start with your feet no more than hip-width apart. Bend your knees and dip into a squat position, then , pushing through your heels, explode up and sideways quickly – you should land on both feet softly but to the left of where you originally started.
Keen to switch up your regular sit-up regime? Well, v-sit-ups are a great alternative, targeting the core as well as helping to improve your balance and stability. Again, this exercise is no joke. It’s tough but keep at it and you’ll not only strengthen those abs but see an improvement in your ability to stabilise your body too.
How to do a V-Sit-up
To perform, lie on the floor with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight out in front. Tuck your chin into your chest and slowly raise your upper body off the floor, while simultaneously raising your legs off the floor. Your body should be in a ‘V’ position when reaching the top of the exercise – hence the name! For an extra burn, remain in top position for an additional few seconds – this’ll test your balance too and sculpt that stomach.
Who said bodyweight exercises were easy?! These may be a killer, but they’re hands down worth throwing into your regime, whether it’s a sweaty finisher at the end of your session or worked into your daily home HIIT workout.
Set on shedding fat? Give our top 5 fat burning gym exercises a go!