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Fitness

Full-Body Exercises That Require No Equipment

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And the whole routine only takes 10 minutes to do!

photo of woman working out

As a parent, it can feel like nearly all of your time and attention is spent taking care of your family, and things like exercise can easily fall wayside. While social media may make it feel like you need a fancy home gym to accomplish a workout, it’s completely possible to get one done without having any equipment on hand. All you need is a mat and at least 10 minutes to spare.

To make the most of your workout, focus on bodyweight exercises that target multiple muscle groups at the same time (think: push-ups, lunges, and squats) and that you can do in a sequence, says Jennifer Renfroe, an ACE-certified trainer and vice president of group fitness at Crunch Fitness. “An effective and efficient workout is all about balance and incorporating moves that not only integrate lower and upper body but core and stabilization too.”

If you’re looking for a quick workout, Renfroe recommends putting together five exercise sequences made up of three moves each and doing each sequence for two minutes. “You always want to make sure you’re executing the movement correctly and never sacrificing form and techniques,” she says, so don’t be afraid to take a 10-second break if you need to. With this kind of set-up, you’ll not only get a strength-and-core-based workout, but following this pattern will also elevate your heart rate for some cardio, Renfroe adds. While one round is enough to reap the benefits, you could do a second round and pick up the pace to rack up more reps or slow things down to increase the amount of time your muscles are under tension. Try this routine she suggests to get started:

1. Bear Hold to Plank to Triceps Pushup

Start on all fours, hovering knees about an inch off the mat. Hold for a few seconds, then walk feet back to a high plank position. Hold for a few seconds, then lower chest as close to the ground as possible, keeping elbows tucked by sides. Push back up, then walk feet back to start. Repeat.

2. Squat to Calf Raise to Standing Oblique Rotation

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hands clasped in front of chest. Push hips back, bend knees, and lower down, bringing hips to just below parallel. Push into heels to return to standing position. Rise up onto your toes and then lower back down. Extend clasped hands straight in front of chest, then rotate torso to the right, return to center, and rotate to the left and return to center. Repeat.

3. Reverse Tabletop to V-Sit Hold to Side Abductor Lifts

Start in reverse tabletop position, feet hip-width apart and on a mat, hands behind you with fingers pointing towards toes, and butt lifted off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then lower butt to the mat and lift legs and arms into a V-sit. Hold for a few seconds, then lower to the ground, roll to your right side, and keeping leg straight, lift toward the ceiling. Lower leg, return to start and repeat, this time rolling to your left side and lifting your right leg.

4. Plank Walkout to Alternating Glute Lift to Cobra

Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands at sides. Tuck chin and roll spine down into a forward fold to place palms on floor. Walk hands out into a plank. Lift and lower right leg while keeping spine neutral, then lift and lower left leg. Bend arms to lower into a cobra position, then push hips back and walk hands to feet. Return to start.

5. Reverse Lunge to Plank to Side Plank with Reach

Stand with feet hip-width apart, with hands at sides. Take a big step back with right leg and land on ball of foot, bending front knee to 90 degrees. Place palms on floor and step left leg back to meet the right in a high plank position. Shift weight to right hand and roll into a side plank on the right side, reaching left hand toward ceiling. Return to plank, step left leg forward, and return to start. Repeat on the opposite side and continue alternating sides.