Strength training at the gym or taking a class at a fitness studio is great, but sometimes, you just want to get in your workout at home—or on vacation, or on a work trip, or wherever you may be. While most of us don't have round-the-clock access to a full gym stocked with weights and machines, the truth is that you really can work your entire body without them. Of course, equipment can help and is great for progressing and diversifying a workout program. But if you want to just get moving and do some strength and cardio work wherever you are, that's completely doable with a bodyweight workout.
The workout below, created by Jess Sims, NASM-certified personal trainer and instructor at Classpass Live, Shadowbox, and Fhitting Room in New York City, challenges your entire body and doesn't require a single piece of equipment. "It’s a full-body, dynamic workout that includes strength, power, mobility, and cardio," Sims says. "It’s also great because it’s customizable—if you have less than 20 minutes, you can do the circuit one time, or if you have more than 20 minutes you can do it three times."
The workout includes a dynamic warm-up to get your blood flowing and prep your body for the rest of the work ahead, and a cool-down to help you slow back down and wrap it all up. If you want to make the workout more challenging—maybe you've done it a handful of times and are ready to turn things up a notch—add weights to the lunge and squat movements. You can also, like Sims said, add another round of the main strength circuit.
Demoing the moves below is Amanda Wheeler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Formation Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and allies.
Ready to fit in a quick, equipment-free workout? Here's how to do it.
This workout is broken up into four sections: a warm-up, a circuit, a burnout ladder, and a cool-down.
Do each move for 20 seconds. Do this warm-up twice.
- Jumping jack
- Inchworm walk out to shoulder tap
Do each move for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds in between each move. Do the entire circuit twice.
- Blast-off push-up
- Squat thrust
- Pendulum lunge
- Mountain climber twist
- Pause squat
- Plank up to frogger
Do 1 rep of each, then 2 reps of each, then 3 reps, etc., and go as high as you can get in 3 minutes.
- Touchdown jack
- Panther shoulder tap
Do each move for 10 to 30 seconds…or longer if it feels good and you have time.
- Child's pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Forward fold
- Standing quad stretch
- Shoulder circle