6 Ways to Strength Train Without Weights

With all of the fitness trends and swanky equipment that catch our attention, we often forget that the most useful and convenient workout tool is our own body weight. “People have the misconception that body weight equals an easy workout and that’s not true,” says personal trainer Joanna Castro of Body Space Fitness in New York City. “With the proper progressions, you can get a great workout that will help you further connect with your mind and body—something you cannot achieve when you rely solely on equipment.”

Castro created a DIY workout you can do at home or when you’re on the road. These six moves target your arms, butt, abs and legs without having to drag yourself to the gym or invest in fancy gear to get the job done. The best part is, unlike a trainer or gym membership, this workout is free!


Targeted muscles: Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, core and calves

Stand with your feet hip- or shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward and hands down at your sides. Draw your navel in towards your spine, creating an engaged and stable core. Hinge your hips back and lower your glutes. As you move down into a squat, hands move up to chest height. Make sure your knees don’t shoot past your toes. Do 4 sets of 12-15 reps.


Targeted muscles: Core, arms and shoulders

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hinge your hips back, bend your knees and lower your hands down onto the ground. Use your hands to walk yourself out until you are in a full plank. Hold this position for two seconds, then walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up. Do 4 sets of 12-15 reps.

3Side Lunges

Targeted muscles: Glutes, quadriceps, adductors and hip flexors

Stand with your feet close together and engage your core. Take a large step out to the side. Your moving leg bends at your knee, keeping that knee directly over your toes as you hinge at your hip, while your other leg will straighten out. Keep both feet forward. Push off the heel of the leg that is bent. Alternate legs. Do 4 sets of 12-15 reps.

4Toe Touches

Targeted muscles: Abs

Lying down on your back, fully extend your legs with one arm at your side and the other extended above your head. Make sure there is no space between your back and the ground by tilting your pelvis forward. Draw your navel in to help support your back. From here you will bring up the arm that is extended over your head, along with your head, neck and shoulders, while the opposite leg comes up and meets your arm in the middle. Return back to starting position and repeat on one side for 15 reps; switch sides. Do 4 sets of 15 reps.


Targeted muscles: Chest, triceps and core

Start in a plank position and move as one unit by bending at your elbows and lowering your chest and hips at the same time. Your elbows should create 90-degree angles. To modify, bring your knees down to the floor. Do 4 sets of 8-12 reps.

6Single Leg Reaches

Targeted muscles: Quads, hamstrings and calves

Start by standing with both feet together. From here, take a short step back with one leg, keeping that rear heel raised. Keep your forward foot planted firmly into the ground. Draw your navel in towards your spine, while your forward leg is bent slightly. Lift your rear leg off the ground and reach forward towards the floor with the arm that is on the same side as the lifted leg. Inhale as you bend at your hips reaching forward, and exhale as you go back to your starting position. Repeat on one side for 15 reps; switch sides. Do 4 sets of 15 reps.

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