Budget Living

5 No Equipment Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

There are all manner of reasons we don’t exercise as much as we should. Perhaps you’re too busy, or the gym is too busy whenever you go. Maybe their class timetable doesn’t work for you or membership is too expensive to justify. Perhaps the weather is never fit to get outside for some exercise. Or maybe by the time you get in from a long day, you simply can’t face going out again and working up a sweat. No more excuses! These no equipment exercises don’t require any expensive memberships or kit – they’re completely free of charge. Plus, you can do them anywhere… within reason. All you need is yourself, and a few minutes to put yourself through your paces. Then you can get back to your day. So, let’s get stuck in.

1. The plank

 planking no equipment exercises

The plank is one of the most straight-forward no equipment exercises you can do. A standard plank is essentially getting into a press up position and staying there. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, and a little more than shoulder-width apart to make sure your form is correct. You can vary it a number of ways, too, depending on whether you want to make it harder or easier. Dropping from your hands to your elbows into a “forearm plank” will make it a little easier, while raising one leg into a “single-legged plank” will make it harder. You can even try moving between variations to make a routine out of it.

What does it work?

Planking is great for your core stability, but also develops your shoulders, arms and glutes.

2. Superman

superman no equipment exercises

A far cry from the 80s dance move some of us may remember, the Superman pose seems easy at first, but trust us, it gets to be hard work after a while! To get into position, lie straight and face down on the floor with your arms extended straight out in front of you. At the same time, lift your arms, legs and chest off the floor so that you’re balancing on your stomach. Keep your arms and legs straight, and hold the position for a few seconds. Then relax for a few seconds, and repeat.

What does it work?

The Superman is one of the best no equipment exercises you can do to work your upper and lower back muscles. Done regularly, it can even help you kick back pain to the kerb. Plus, it works your hamstrings and glutes as an added bonus. Heroic.

3. Boxer


You might think you need a ton of equipment to go boxing, but think again. All you need is yourself. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Bring your arms up so that your fists are alongside your jaw, and start punching the air in front of you by extending one arm forward at a time, fast. Mix it up by adding different punches into your routine – hooks, upper cuts, jabs, crosses… you don’t need a punching bag for any of it!

What does it work?

Boxing in this way is a great no equipment exercise for your arms and chest. You’ll work your biceps, triceps and deltoids and your pectorals the hardest. Maintaining your stance will give your glutes, quads and hamstrings a run for their money, too.

Related: 21 low cost fitness tips to get you through cold weather

4. Shoulder bridge

shoulder bridge

The shoulder bridge is an exercise often used in yoga, so it can be quite relaxing as well as hard work for your muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart, and place your arms at your sides. Lift yourself up so that only your head, feet, arms and shoulders are on the ground – in a bridge shape! You can choose to hold this position, pulse up and down quickly, or even lift and extend one leg at a time, depending on how hard you want it to be.

What does it work?

The shoulder bridge is primarily an exercise for toning your glutes, but it’s great for overall core strength and will help your posture. Your hamstrings and adductors will get a good workout from this no equipment exercise, too. Different variations can also put your hip flexors and quads through their paces.

5. Chair squat pose

chair squat no equipment exercises

Squats are among the most challenging no equipment exercises you can do. They seem easy at first, but as you go deeper and hold longer, you’ll definitely feel the burn! The chair squat pose is a type of squat hold, making it a bit more challenging than regular squats. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, and squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, as though you were sitting on a chair. At the same time, swing your arms up above your head with the palms facing each other. Hold for a few seconds, then straighten your legs, stretch by pulling each knee (one at a time) up to your stomach and resting your opposite elbow on the outside of the knee, and repeat.

What does it work?

The chair squat pose is a great way to build core strength, as you need those muscles a lot more than you think while holding this pose. Squats are also traditionally good, hard work for your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings.