05 May 10 exercises you can do with no equipment
It’s no surprises that keeping active at home comes with its challenges. Staying home has become the new normal and with so many changes to your lifestyle, before you know it, your sedentary time has increased without even realising!
Sedentary behaviour is any activity that involves sitting or lying down, such as watching TV or working at a desk computer. Increased sedentary time has been linked to poorer health outcomes such as an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Not only does exercise improve metabolic functioning, it also contributes to improved mood, brain function, immunity, cardiorespiratory functioning, weight control and sleep quality.
So, what can we do to minimise this risk?
You guessed it, exercise!
Keeping active at home can be easy and simple. You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment, just your own bodyweight to provide the resistance. It’s important to move your body as often as possible so try to break up your sedentary time with this full body workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home!
Whole body resistance session (without equipment!)
This workout has been carefully designed to target all areas of the body from head to toe. It’s bound to get your heart rate pumping, your muscles burning and leave you feeling energised at the end. Simply find a space and get started!
Complete each exercise for 30seconds followed by a 30second rest. Repeat the circuit 2-3 times for a short 20-30minute workout!
- Jogging on the spot (30seconds)
- High knees (30 seconds)
- 5x deep breaths
Muscles targeted: Arms, shoulders, abdominal muscles, glutes, legs
- Begin in a standing position.
- Bend at the knees and bring your hands towards the floor.
- Place each hand on the floor and walk your hands forward until your body is in a plank position. Pause 1-2seconds.
- Walk your hands backwards towards your toes and rise up into standing position. Repeat.
Tip: Keep your core engaged throughout the whole movement to protect the lower back from injury.
2. Squat with calf raise
Muscles targeted: Thighs, calves, glutes, abdominal muscles, arms, balance, coordination
- Begin in a standing positon.
- Engage the abdominal muscles, bend from the hips and lower the hips towards the floor.
- Extend both arms in front of the body with palms facing down.
- Raise your heels off the floor, hold for 1-2 seconds before lowering the heels back down to the floor and rising up standing position.
Tip: Be sure to squeeze your bottom when rising back up to standing position to enhance effectiveness of the exercise.
3. Plank with alternating arm reach
Muscles targeted: Shoulders, abdominal muscles, glutes, legs
- Begin in a plank position with hands directly below the shoulders.
- Tap each hand out in front, lightly touching the floor before returning to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Tip: Engage the abdominal muscles to keep the hips from shifting out of alignment.
4. Single leg deadlift
Muscles targeted: Legs, glutes, abdominal muscles, shoulders, arms, balance
- Begin in a standing position.
- Slowly lean forward from the hips and simultaneously lift one foot off the floor, keeping a slight bend in the leg that remains grounded.
- Stabilise this position by engaging your core and lifting both arms overhead.
- Slowly lower the foot and rise back up to standing position.
Tip: Ensure the hips are level by imagining there is a straight line running from one glute through to the other.
5. Push up
Muscles targeted: Chest, shoulders, arms, abdominal muscles
- Begin with your hands directly below your shoulders.
- Slowly lower your chest towards the floor by bending the elbows.
- Push through your hands and straighten the elbows until you are in the starting position. Repeat.
- Rise up on to your toes to increase the difficulty.
Tip: If you are experiencing pain through the wrists, elevate from the floor to a higher platform such as the edge of a couch or a wall.
6. Prone Shoulder Retraction
Muscles targeted: Upper back
- Lie face down with your arms in a right angle position.
- Lift the forearms towards the sky by squeezing the shoulder blades together.
- Lower both arms to the floor and repeat.
Tip: If you are feeling your neck tense, focus on pulling the shoulders down instead of shrugging the shoulders upwards.
7. Glute bridge
Muscles targeted: Glutes, abdominal muscles, legs
- Begin on your back with both knees bent.
- Squeeze your bottom, engage your abdominal muscles and drive the hips towards the sky. Pause for 1-2seconds.
- Slowly lower the hips back down towards the floor. Repeat.
Tip: Bring your feet closer to your bottom to feel more activation in the glutes and slide them further away to feel more activation of the hamstrings.
8. Triceps Dips
Muscles targeted: Triceps, shoulders, abdominal muscles
- Begin sitting with both knees bent.
- Place your hands behind you with your fingers pointing towards the toes.
- Slowly bend at the elbows, pause for 1-2seconds and press back up so that the elbows are straight.
Tip: Engage the abdominal muscles to protect the lower back.
Muscles targeted: Glutes, legs, abdominal muscles, balance
- Stand with your feet split apart.
- Lower the knee down to the floor so that the knees are in a 90-degree angle.
- Keep the torso upright and the chin tucked.
- With the weight in the front foot, press back up to the starting position and repeat.
Tip: Engage your abdominal muscles and focus your eyes on one specific spot to control balance and stability.
10. Bear walk
Muscles targeted: Abdominal muscles, shoulders, chest, glutes, and legs
- Start in four-point kneeling position.
- Lift the knees off the floor and engage the abdominal muscles.
- Step the right foot and left arm forward as if to crawl. Repeat on the other side.
- If in a small space, return to the start position by stepping the right foot and left arm backwards and repeating on the other side.
Tip: Be sure to avoid weight shifting creating too much movement in the spine and hips. You can do this by engaging the abdominal muscles for better control and alignment.
Injured or living with a chronic condition?
If you’re living with an injury, persistent pain or a chronic condition, then it’s best to talk to your GP and an accredited exercise professional before starting a new exercise program. An exercise physiologist will be able to individualise exercise prescription so that it’s safe and effective for you and your body. Many exercise physiology services are now being offered via telehealth. To find your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist, click here.
If you want more home workout ideas to keep you moving, don’t forget to check out our free home exercise videos at Exercise Right at Home.
Written by Caitlin Diggins, Accredited Exercise Physiologist.