You don’t need a gym membership to get a great workout, and you don’t always need weights to sculpt a great body.  You can tone your arms, legs, abs, and burn fat using simple bodyweight exercises.  Here’s the skinny from Shape magazine on bodyweight training:

modified pushup

Convenient: Bodyweight workouts allow you to squeeze in workouts wherever you are and don’t require a lot of space.

Time-Efficient: No weights makes it easy to transition quickly from one exercise to the next because there’s no equipment involved.  Shorter rest time means you can quickly boost your heart rate and burn some serious calories.

Cheap: Bodyweight workouts don’t require a gym membership or any fancy equipment.  But giving your wallet a break doesn’t mean giving your body one!  These workouts can be just as effective as the ones you would do in the gym.

Anyone Can Do It: The exercises can be easily modified for any fitness level.  For example, push-ups can be done on the knees if you’re a beginner or on your toes if you’re more advanced.

Variety: Bodyweight training doesn’t have to be limited to push-ups and crunches.  Think prisoner squats, walking lunges, and mountain climbers!

Less Risk of Injury: Being in control of how intense you make the exercises means you can feel potential problems right away and adjust your form, without worrying about dropping a weight on your foot!

No Fear: Weight rooms (and the equipment in them) can be intimidating, especially if you’re a beginner.  Sticking to lunges, squats, triceps dips, and other bodyweight exercises is an easy way to get comfortable with strength workouts and focus on using proper form.


Here’s a GREAT Bodyweight Workout from Women’s Health:  (Do exercises 1-8 with no rest in between, and then repeat the entire sequence)

Jumping Jacks
 : 30 seconds Click here for details on performing this move.

Prisoner Squats: 20 reps – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your fingers on the back of your head (as if you had just been arrested).  Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.