No access to a gym? You might think that building muscle and getting a good workout without any heavy weights is impossible. In fact, exercises using only body weight are a good way to improve coordination, flexibility, and, of course, strength. Read on to discover the nine best body weight exercises — no machinery or equipment needed.
- Push-ups. The push-up might be the perfect upper body exercise, since so many different muscles are involved. Your arms, chest, back, and abs all get put through their paces when you perform a push-up. While performing a large number of push-ups might be beyond you, even a few push-ups will do you good. Try one of the many push-up variations if you get bored with the standard exercise.
- Mountain climbers. An exercise that imitates the movements of scaling a rock face (but on the floor), mountain climbers are great for boosting agility, basic strength, and endurance. Start off in a push-up position. Now jump one foot forward towards you chest, landing it on the ground. Next, jump this leg backwards, while simultaneously bringing the other foot up to your chest. Repeat the pattern, so that both legs are in constant, fluid motion.
- Jumping jacks. The classic exercise of jumping jacks is one of the best ways to get in a cardio workout in a small amount of space — for example, if you’re stuck in a hotel room, or want to exercise while watching TV. Jumping jacks are also a good plyometric workout. Plyometrics exercises are those involving fast, intense movements, which increase your quickness and explosiveness.
- Squat. Simple exercises are often the best. Consider the squat, which effectively works almost your entire body. Your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are all crucially involved in a squat. Plus, squats work your core. The core muscles — perhaps the body’s mos