Get fit: 7 equipment-free workouts you can easily do at home

Easy to fit into any schedule, these workouts are designed to help you prevent packing on the pounds at home.

Not able to get to a gym? No equipment available to workout with? Tired of waiting in queue to get on to that treadmill? Fear not! The gym is not the only solution to getting fit. You can get your body in great shape all in the privacy of your home. You can even get a full bodyweight workout without using any free weights or machines.

Here are some workouts you can do in the comfort of your living room, kitchen, or anywhere at home. Whatever shape you may be in, lock the door, crank up the music and follow these workouts recommended by Arun Singh, Fitness Manager at Fitness First India Pvt. Ltd.

Easy to fit into any schedule, these workouts are designed to help you prevent packing on the pounds at home.

1) Push-Ups

A push-up is a common body weight exercise to achieve bodily fitness and grace of movement. It strengthens your chest, shoulders and upper arms, and can be done just about anywhere. Performed in a prone position by raising and lowering the body using the arms, push-ups exercise the triceps, pectoral muscles, and front deltoids (muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder).

Great for increasing strength, this exercise is used commonly in military physical training.

How to do: Get into a high plank position. Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under the shoulders. Begin to lower your body – keeping your back neutral and eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck—until your chest grazes the floor. Now, push back up.

Exercise Frequency: Repetition for beginners: 10-12 | Intermediate: 15-20 | Advance: 25+

2) Pull-Ups

When it comes to back training, no other exercise can equal the pull-up for effectiveness and versatility. A pull-up is referred to as closed-chain bodyweight movement where the body is suspended by the arms, gripping something, and is pulled up.

As this happens, the wrists remain in neutral position, the elbows flex and the shoulder extends to bring the elbows to or sometimes behind the torso. The exercise mostly targets the latissimus dorsi muscle of the back along with other assisting muscles.

The fact that you are hanging freely means that every move engages your core in order to stabilise your body, said Mr Singh.

How to do: Sit under the bar and grip it with your palms facing out. Now, straighten up and lift, keeping your feet on the ground and your knees slightly bent. Keep lifting until your chin is over the bar. Slowly lower yourself back to starting position. Repeat.

Exercise Frequency: Pull up is relatively advanced so one should focus on technique, starting can be with support. Beginners can do 4-6 reps, Intermediate should do 6-8 and advance can do 8-12 or more.

Tip: Bending the knees may reduce pendulum-type swinging.

3) Sit Ups

A sit-up, when done correctly, strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles.

How to do: This abdominal exercise begins with lying with the back on the floor, typically with the hands behind the head or arms across the chest and the knees bent in an attempt to reduce stress on spine and the back muscle, and then elevating both the upper and lower vertebrae from the floor until everything superior to the buttocks is not touching the ground.

Exercise Frequency: Beginners: 12-15 | Intermediate: 15-20 | Advance: 25+

Tip: The right posture is very important, since doing sit-ups badly not only lessens their benefit but can also result in terrible back problems.

4) Planks

Known to be the most basic one, this easy looking ab exercise will have you sweat and shaking in seconds. It is one of the best exercises you can do for your core, which is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your abs, including everything besides your arms and legs. It often acts as a stabiliser, and is incorporated in almost every movement of the human body. This is primarily focus on our deep abdominal muscle called transversus abdominis.

For people who spend long periods of their day sitting down, this can do wonders for improving your posture and reducing lower back and hip pain, said fitness expert Arun Singh.

How to do: Get into pushup position on the floor. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Hold it.

Exercise Frequency: Beginners: 20-30 seconds | Intermediate: 30-54 seconds | Advance: maximum time

Tip: This exercise is not repetition based, but duration based, in terms of how long one can hold the body in this position.

5) Wall Sit

Often used as a disciplinary action in the armed forces, this exercise strengthens the quadriceps muscles – a large muscle group that includes the four prevailing muscles on the front of the thigh.

How to do: The person doing this exercise places their back against a wall with their feet shoulder width apart and a little ways out from the wall. Then, keeping their back against the wall, they lower their hips until their knees form right angles.

Exercise Frequency: Beginners: 10-12 | Intermediate: 12-15 | Advance: 15-20

6) Squats

This is an important exercise to include in your workout plan, and helps sculpt the buttocks and legs. If you are looking to bulk up, gain lean muscle mass or lower your body fat percentage, squats are one of the most effective exercises one can do.

How to do: Stand straight with feet hip-width apart and tighten your stomach muscles. Now, lower down as far as you can, as if sitting, and straighten your legs. Repeat the movement.

Exercise Frequency: Beginners: 10-12 | Intermediate: 12-15 | Advance: 15-20

Tip: During this exercise, you can stretch your arms out in front of you for added balance.

7) Jumping Jacks

It not only provides a full body workout but also elevates your heart rate. This exercise can also be modified into a more intense muscle-building activity.

How to do: A physical jumping exercise performed by jumping to a position with the legs spread wide and the hands touching overhead, sometimes in a clap, and then returning to a position with the feet together and the arms at the sides.

Exercise Frequency: Beginners: 15-20 | Intermediate: 20-25 | Advance: 25+

“Working out from home shouldn’t be looked at any differently from working out in a gym. You can comfortably perform these exercises anywhere you wish, by simply using your bodyweight alone”, said fitness expert Arun Singh.


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