The No-Gym Workout

Get Fit at Home

You don’t need machines at the gym to get fit. Your own body weight and gravity can do the job, and you’ll work them with these 15 moves. Not active now? Check in with your doctor first, and if something hurts, stop. You’re on your way to getting into your best shape!

Wood Chop

Your whole upper body gets a muscle-ripping workout here, including the abs. Start with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Attach a band overhead and grab it over the shoulder, trunk angled toward the band. Pull down to the opposite hip, rotating slightly. Slowly return.

Standing Tubing Row

This move hits all the muscles used in a pull-up, as well as all your core muscles. Grasp the handles with straight arms and tubing taut. Pull the handles towards you and lean back a little. Focus on bringing your shoulder blades back and together. Pause and slowly straighten arms back to the starting position without bending forward.

Circuit Train to Burn Fat

Want to burn fat quickly? Rapid-fire circuits turn strength moves into calorie-torching, cardio work. “If your goal is weight loss, use light weights and low reps,” says exercise physiologist Pete McCall, of the American Council on Exercise. A circuit may include push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches followed by a two-minute run. Repeat or alternate with another circuit of biceps curls, dips, and shoulder presses to target smaller muscles.

Pull-up

Pull-ups work arm and back muscles, giving you great bang for your buck. Turn palms away to work more back muscles. Having the palms facing you works not just the back, but also targets the biceps. Grasp the chin-up bar and cross your legs to keep the lower body stable. Slowly pull your body up, bending your elbows, until your chin is level with the bar.  Pause, then slowly return to your starting position. Repeat.

Wide Grip Push-up

A wide grip makes the chest muscles work a little harder. Place your hands outside the shoulders. You should engage your core, thigh, and glutes to get the most out of this or any push-up. As you lift, “Think about gripping the ground with your hands to engage the large muscles of the pectoralis major,” McCall says.

Decline Push-up

This challenging push-up can kick your shoulder strength up a couple notches. Get into a standard push-up: hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward, elbows slightly bent, and eyes on the floor. Then place feet behind you on a sturdy chair or bench. Keep your body in a straight line, engage the abs, bend your elbows, and lower your chest towards the floor. Push back to starting position.

Jump Train for Power

Pro athletes train with jumping jacks and other explosive moves to increase muscle power. It helps basketball players jump higher and tennis players get to the ball faster. Jump training is also called plyometrics, and it’s not for beginners or for those with joint issues. But if you have good strength and balance, it can ramp up your game. Try adding plyometric moves to your workout once or twice a week.

Jump Squat

Shift your hips back and down until your heels start to lift off the floor. Explode up, swinging the arms overhead as you straighten your legs. Create a straight line from toes to fingers, with your back flat. Land softly on the middle of your foot and sink back into a squat to help absorb the impact.

Jump Lunge

Try this advanced move on grass or another soft surface.  Sink into a lunge position with left leg forward, right leg back, and both knees bent to 90 degrees. Swing your arms behind you for greater power as you jump up, using your arms to assist as needed. Keep your back straight, eyes facing forward, and use your abs. Switch legs in the air and land softly, returning to the lunge position. Rest after each set.

How to Trim Belly Fat

To lose belly fat, you’ll want a full-body exercise routine that builds lean muscle all over. Muscle burns calories, even at rest. So having more muscle helps to melt fat all over, including the belly. The best plan is to make cardio, strength training, and a healthy diet part of your daily routine.

Split Squat With Biceps Curl

Rest your right foot on a chair well behind you, with your weight on your bent left leg. Keep your head up, eyes forward, and weights at your side. Very important: Keep the front knee directly over the ankle. Now, slowly lower your hips by bending the front knee. Push back up and pull the weights up towards shoulders, but don’t twist the arms as you lift. Do all reps and switch legs.

 

One-legged Hamstring Blaster

Strong hamstrings help power your legs. To challenge these muscles, lie with knees bent at a 90-degree angle and both heels on a chair or stair. Cross one ankle over the opposite thigh just above the knee. Now raise your hips as high as you can and keep your back straight — do not arch. Pause at the top and slowly lower hips back to the ground and repeat. Switch legs.

Chair Dip

This simple move tones the backs of the arms. Sit on the edge of a step or chair, palms on each side, and knees bent to 90-degrees. Now, move your hips forward, off the step, until your hands are supporting your weight. Slowly lower your body, keeping your back very close to the step.  Bend the elbows until you upper arms are parallel to the floor. Slowly push back up and repeat.

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