Getting in shape doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Short periods of intense exercise can be just as effective, sometimes more so, than longer workouts that you do with moderate effort.
High-intensity circuit training that you do using only your bodyweight challenges your cardiovascular fitness and gives you a killer, full-body workout if you do it right.
Here are 9 high-intensity no-equipment required exercises that you can do anywhere to start you off with – all you need is your body and some space – whether it’d be indoors or outdoor. The whole workout takes about roughly 20 minutes.
Remember, these workouts are made for the exerciser who wants to get fitter and healthier, and feel great, which is you since you’re reading this. Each of these exercises focuses on one of three goals: cardiovascular fitness, power and strength, and endurance.
3 things to keep in mind before you start:
- You should do each move perfectly every time. These short workouts are meant to be intense, but that doesn’t mean going as hard as you possibly can each time you work out. The idea is to be working hard but to always be able to do another rep or two.
- Be sure to warm up first. Perform a few reps of the movements in the workout, making sure to slowly perform the full range of motion to prepare your body. You should also do some high knees or jumping jacks to get your heart rate up.
- And don’t forget to cool down.
How This Workout Works: Complete each exercise one after the other with the reps and/or time recommended with little to no rest between exercises. Rest up to 1 minute after you’ve complete one circuit. Do the circuit 3 times, working up to 5 per workout. Do this workout 3 times a week on non-consecutive days.
1. Push-Ups (15 reps)
- Come into plank position with your arms and legs straight, shoulders above the wrists.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the ground.
- Stop as soon as your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale to straighten the arms. This counts as one rep.
- If this is too difficult, do this exercise with your knees on the floor.
2. Jumping Jacks (1 minute)
- Jump your legs out as you bring your hands overhead, then jump back to standing.
3. Reverse Lunge and Kick (15 reps with each leg)
- Step back with your left foot coming into a deep lunge bending both knees to 90 degrees.
- Press the right heel into the ground as you push off with your left foot, kicking your left leg to touch your left toes to your right hand.
- With control, return to the lunge position. This completes one rep.
4. Spiderman Push-Ups (15 reps for each leg)
- Come into plank position (top of a push-up), with your hands under your shoulders, and your body in one straight line. If you can’t do a push-up this way, just lower your knees to the floor (as shown in the second half of the video).
- As you bend your elbows out to the side and lower your torso toward the floor, bend your left knee and touch it to your left elbow.
- As you straighten your arms, come back to plank position with your left foot next to your right.
- Now lower your torso down and touch your right knee to your right elbow. Then return back to plank position.
5. Squat and Reach (15 reps)
- Begin with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and toes pointed slightly outward.
- Keeping your weight in your heels, and sit back into your deep squat. Make sure your knees do not go beyond your toes.
- Holding your squat, raise both of your arms overhead. Hold this position for a moment, then return to standing while lowering your arms to your sides. This completes one rep.
6. Lateral Plank Walk (15 reps each direction)
- Begin in plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders, and your body in one straight line.
- Simultaneously cross your right hand toward the left as you step your left foot out to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left, returning to the plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart. Take two more steps in this direction, keeping your abs pulled toward your spine and your pelvis level. This completes one rep.
- Reverse directions taking three steps the right.
7. Jump Squats (15 reps)
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively.
- When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.
8. Glute Bridge (15 reps)
- Begin seated with your hands behind you with your fingers pointed away from you.
- Press the heels of your feet and hands into the ground as you raise your pelvis off the floor until it is in line with your shoulders and knees.
- Lower your pelvis back to the ground to complete one rep.
9. Push-Up and Rotate (15 reps)
- Begin in a plank position with your feet in line with your hips.
- Lower your body toward the floor, then push through your arms returning to plank.
- Twist to the left, reaching your left arm to the ceiling without letting your pelvis raise or lower.
- Return to plank position, bringing your hand back to the floor. Complete another push-up and twist to the right. This completes one rep.