Bodyweight Fitness: Strength Training Without Weights

Burn calories and tone your muscles — no weights required.

This no-excuses workout can help you build strength and break a sweat. Best of all, you don’t need any equipment to get started. It’s perfect for days when you’re short on time or traveling.

Go one round through all seven exercises, then repeat the full cycle, completing up to 20 reps of each workout.

As your endurance increases, you can begin to add reps and rounds.

Remember: You can always modify or intensify, depending on your fitness level.

Mary Lauff, a Health Fitness Specialist of Corporate Fitness Works who teaches classes at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Customer Support Center Health Club, shares her tips for perfecting your form of each of the seven exercises.

1. SKI JUMPS

Start by slightly bending your knees, making sure to keep your chest up and your back straight.

With both feet together, softly jump to the left with a bend at the knees, in a quarter-squat position. Land with weight in your heels, not your toes.

Repeat side to side, as if you were skiing. Keep your core engaged.

Targets: Glutes, Legs

2. LUNGE DIPS

Start by standing up straight. Bring your hands to your hips. Step your right foot back to a high lunge. Make sure your toes point directly forward. Lift your left heel off the ground.

Stack your left knee over your left ankle and bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle.

Lower your right knee one inch toward the floor, the lift back up to starting position. Your knee should hover above, not touch, the ground.

Complete the series of small dips. Return to standing. Switch sides.

Targets: Glutes

3. PLANK WITH SINGLE LEG RAISE

Start in a fully extended plank on your toes, with your shoulders in line with your wrists and a straight back.

Exhale and slowly raise one leg up until it’s in line with your back, ensuring not to hyperextend or dip through your back. Continue to engage your core.

Inhale as you return to starting position. Breath out, then repeat with the opposite leg.

Targets: Core, Arms

4. SIDE PLANK

Start in a plank on your forearms. Ensure that your elbows are in line with your shoulders and your back is flat. Avoid arching your back and dropping your hips toward the ground.

Open up to one side by either stacking your feet one on top of the other or staggering your stance with your bottom foot behind your top foot.

Keep your shoulder in line with your elbow and draw your hip up to avoid drooping toward the ground.

To Modify: Drop down to the knee of your bottom leg, bending it to a 90-degree angle.

Targets: Core, Shoulders

5.BURPEES

Start by standing up straight.

Squat down to the ground with flat hands.

Hop both feet back to plank position.

Hop both feet up to your hands.

Jump straight up.

Repeat.

To Modify: Instead of hopping your feet forward and back, step one foot back at a time to plank position and walk one foot up to your hands at a time. Instead of jumping to complete the rep, stand straight up.

Targets: Full Body

6. “ROPE CLIMB” CRUNCHES

Start on your back. Extend your legs to the sky. Bend your knees to approximately 90 degrees.

Lift your shoulders one to two inches off the floor. Reach your arms toward your feet, as if you were grabbing an imaginary rope.

Keep your shoulders lifted as you “climb,” reaching hand over hand. Avoid crunching your neck.

Targets: Core

Try adding this workout to your weekly mix, increasing reps and rounds as your strength increases.