No gym? No problem

Not everyone has a gym membership. In fact not everyone likes the gym but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out. All you need is your own bodyweight and a bit of space.

I love bodyweight exercises because you can do them everywhere – in your living room or hotel room, the back garden or the park. What’s even better is that because they require no equipment they’re absolutely free.

Bodyweight exercises are extremely functional, helping you perform better in other sporting activities or everyday life. They involve compound movements and large muscle groups, increasing your heart rate and burning lots of calories in a relatively short space of time.

You can combine both cardio and strength for a super-efficient workout and because there’s no equipment rest times can be kept to a minimum, enabling you to exercise at high intensity.

There are hundreds of cardio and strength exercises that don’t involve any equipment and no matter what your fitness level, there is something to suit you. Squats, lunges, press ups, planks and crunches are the most basic. Add plyometrics for more intensity and challenge or full body moves such as burpees and mountain climbers. If you have a little more space or are training outdoors you could add sprints or shuttle runs.

Choose a few exercises and then decide in what order you’re going to do them and for how long. You can use an interval timer or the timer on your phone for this. If you don’t have one you can perform a certain number of reps.

I like to put together a circuit that combines cardio and strength moves for a intense HIIT but the permutations are endless. If you’re not sure where to start there are plenty of ideas on the internet.

Beginner’s Bodyweight Circuit

This simple circuit has six exercises. Perform the specified number of reps and move onto the next exercise without rest. Once you’ve completed the whole circuit rest for 60 seconds and then repeat two or three times.

  • 50 star jumps (for a low impact  modification you can tap your feet to the side rather than jump)
  • 3o alternating lunges (15 each side)
  • 15 press ups (beginners can perform these on their knees)
  • 50 high knees
  • 20 squats (jump squats if you want to increase the intensity)
  • 10 burpees (to reduce the intensity step back rather than jump)

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