15 Best Exercises at Home Without Equipment to Lose Weight
If you’re looking to lose some weight, you know that staying active and exercising regularly is a MUST (especially if you want to do it in a healthy way and get a lean body)! When it comes to staying physically active, a lot of people choose the gym, running or playing sports outside, and although they are all great and effective ideas, we know that this is not always possible because of work or tight schedules.
What if we told you that there are very simple exercises you can do at home, without equipment (or with common items), that can help you achieve your weight goals, burn fat and calories quickly? Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Here 15 ideas of weight loss exercises without equipment to do at home that will help you burn calories quickly!
This is the typical "proposal" movement we are all familiar with. Its main benefit is that it targets several body areas simultaneously: hips, quads, hamstrings, core, glutes and thighs (it doesn’t get any better than that).
If you want to do lunges you need to stand straight with both your feet hip width apart. Take a step forward while leaving your other leg behind. Shift your weight forward and low your body until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Same as with squats, your knee can never be beyond your toes if you want to prevent injuries. Drive back to the starting position and switch side.
If you want to increase the difficulty you can stuff a backpack up with items and then perform lunges as normal. If you can’t keep your chest up while you do them, it's because the backpack is too heavy and can potentially affect your posture so remove some of the weight.
This is a classical to do at home exercise due to being so popular, having so many variations and requiring no equipment. Unfortunately, squats can also be the source of injuries (mainly in the knees) if not performed correctly.
The first step is standing straight with both your feet at a shoulder width apart and your arms extended in front of you. While keeping your back straight, go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Go back up and repeat. In order to prevent injuries you need to make sure your back is always straight and while going down your knees should never be beyond your toes.
One of the main advantages of squats is that it targets several body areas at the same time (glutes, hips and legs). If you want to increase the difficulty and maximize the benefits of this exercise you can hold a heavy item as if it was a kettlebell (with both of your hands and at a chest level). Maybe weights or a gallon of water can help you with this.
3. Single leg balance
This is a very easy exercise for beginners. To start you have to put both your hands on your hips and low down into a squat like position. While squatting, leave one of your legs on the floor and lift out the other one as high as you can. Do 10 reps and switch side.
To avoid injuries remember that your knees need to be aligned with your toes while you squat and perform the exercise. If you’re struggling or find yourself leaning to the opposite side, then extend your hands in front of you for balance.
Push-ups are well-known for being one of the most effective exercises to work out your core area, mainly targeting your chest, shoulder and arm muscles (biceps and triceps).
You need to start in a high plank position, with both your hands on the floor wide open and at a shoulder width apart to avoid any injuries. The rest of your body (from the core to your feet) needs to be in a long straight line (imagine there is a glass of water on your back and you don’t want to pour it).
Slowly start bending your arms and lowering your chest down to the floor. If you’re only starting then only go as low as you can. If you need to down the difficulty level then put both your knees on the floor (this is what we call a “modified push-up”). Push your body back up to the initial plank position.
5. Air Swimming
Yes, air swimming is a thing. Its name comes from how similar this exercise is to actual swimming posture and movements. Furthermore, it is especially useful if you’re looking to improve your posture and balance your strength.
Air swimming is very easy. Lie down on your stomach and extend your arms in front of you (always overhead). Lift your chest, arms and legs off the floor and as much as you can, squeeze your glutes to ensure balance. Once you have the posture right start fluttering your arms and legs up and down without touching the floor.
6. Triceps Extensions
These are very similar to push-ups and they target the same areas with focus on your triceps, main difference is that you do them standing on your feet and that they are easier to do, especially if you are a beginner.
All you need to do these is a wall, stand in front of it and place both your hands on it (at the level of your chin and shoulder width apart). Slowly, start leaning your body forward until both your forearms touch the wall, stay there for one second and push your body back to the starting position.
This is one of the most popular variations of the squats. As its name suggests, all you need to do this exercise is a wall. To start doing wall-sits hold yourself against a wall with your back straight and your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly, start lowing yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and stay there for as long as you can.
Contrary to squats or similar exercises wall-sits are not dependent on repetitions, but in how long you can stay in the same position. If you want to increase the difficulty you can add some weight by handing a full backpack or a bottle of water while you’re down.
8. Triceps Dips
Also to target your triceps and some areas of your core, this exercise will require a chair, bench or similar item (has to be at least 2 feet above the ground level in order for it to work).
Sit at the edge of it with both your legs extended in front of you and each of your hands at one side of your body at the edge of the bench. Slowly low your body down towards the ground, stay there for about one second and with your arms push your body back up. To avoid injuries is important to bend your elbows in a 90 degree angle when you do these. If you’re struggling to do these, try sitting in the bench for a few seconds to rest before the next repetition.
9. Fire Hydrants
Perfect exercise to strength your glutes and hips.
Get on your hands and knees with both palms wide open and shoulder width apart. Keeping your back straight start lifting one of your knees off the floor and move it to the external side and then up. Keep it bended all the time. After one second, low it down to the initial position. Although you can do this directly on the floor we suggest you use a yoga mat, a towel or a carpet.
Bridges are good to work on your glutes, thighs and core area.
First, you need to lie on your back, with your palms touching the floor and your knees bended. Slowly start lifting your hips until your body takes the shape of a bridge, with a straight line from your head to your knees. Engage your core and make sure your abs are tight. Stay there for 3 seconds, then go back to the starting position and repeat.
11. Yoga Exercises
Although a yoga mat is advisable if you want to practice it on a regular basis, if you are only a beginner you can use a towel instead. Yoga is well known for its benefits on your body and your health, and it involves a series of postures and positions that will help you build balance and strength in your full body, and end up relaxed and fully aware of your body.
Here is a very good 20-minute Yoga workout for beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE
12. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Rather than one exercise, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves a series of exercises that alternates short periods of very intense anaerobic exercise with recovery periods that will help you improve your cardiovascular function. These circuits usually involve some of the exercises mentioned earlier, combining them in a challenging and highly beneficial way that will help you lose weight and burn fat and calories in a very efficient way.
Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml6cT4AZdqI
13. Climbing Stairs
This is the type of activity that can be performed anywhere and at any time. You just need to take the stairs whenever you have a chance. It will not only improve your cardiovascular function (helping your heart and lungs work better), but it will also help you build strength on your legs.
14. Wall Angels
This exercise will mainly help you improve your posture and strength your back muscles.
Find a wall and stand with your back flat against it, the back of your head should also be touching the wall. Bend your knees slightly as if you wanted to sit, but only up to a 20 degree angle (the sitting position being at a 90 degree angle). Bend your elbows and put your hands up (both hands and elbows should be against the wall) at a 90-degree angle. Slowly slide your hands and elbows up the wall until you can feel the tension on your arms, then slowly go back to the starting point.
To maximize the benefits of this exercise is important that your elbows and hands are always touching the wall and avoid arching.
Planks are a great exercise that mainly targets your arms and core area.
Although there are many variations of this exercise, the standard plank can be done by putting your hands directly under your shoulder (shoulder width apart) as if you were doing push-ups. Slightly squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body; there should be a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold this position for as long as possible. Take a break. Repeat.
Expert in Sport and Psychology
Psychologist with a master in sports sciences, Veronica writes about fitness and works in the fields of physical activity and psychology.