Hey there, Byrdie readers! It’s Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott from Tone It Up, and we're here to let you in on a little secret: It is completely possible to get a total body workout from your own home. That's right: No weights? No gym? No problem! We’ve put together five moves to tone your entire body from head to toe, all without needing a single dumbbell! We're talking about a routine that will help sculpt your entire body all from the comfort of ease of your own living room or bedroom.
We love full-body workouts because they target all the major muscle groups, ensuring that you’re developing strength across your whole body. Workout routines that focus on specific muscles individually can create muscle imbalances, which can lead to poor posture and injuries. Plus, full-body workouts (like our workout below) tend to incorporate dynamic exercises that use many muscle groups simultaneously and mimic functional movements. This is great for two reasons:
- You’ll torch more calories in a shorter amount of time because you’re using a greater percentage of your muscle mass.
- The benefits of your sweat session will make it easier for you to do regular, daily life activities like carrying groceries or running up a flight of stairs because you’ve trained your muscles to work synergistically.
This means your brain is better able to actively recruit all your muscles to work together for different tasks. And, much like the power of teamwork, muscles that work together, and have been trained and strengthened together, equate to much greater efficiency and enhanced function for your whole body. In other words, full-body workouts work.
We also love workouts that don’t require equipment because they can be done anytime, anywhere. Thanks to the force of gravity, your own bodyweight can provide all the resistance you need to get a challenging workout, especially when you rely on moves that get your heart rate pumping and target lots of muscles at once. We love high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts with bodyweight exercises because you can fly from one move to the next without needing to switch equipment, keeping your heart rate up.
Lastly, preparing for equipment-free, full-body workouts couldn’t be simpler. All you need is clothing that allows you to move, a good pair of sneakers, and some cold water to stay hydrated. We also suggest queuing up a playlist of your favorite workout jams to stay motivated and focused.
Are you ready? Follow these five heart-pumping, bodyweight exercises for a full-body workout you can do from home.
Lunge Switch Jumps
This move is the epitome of a full-body exercise. It packs a blast of cardio to raise your heart rate and strengthens all the muscles in your lower body. Your entire core will be required for stability, and you'll use your upper body for power and momentum.
Here’s how to do it:
- Begin in a lunge position with your right leg in front. Make sure your front knee doesn't go too far past your toes.
- Push off of the ground and jump into the air.
- While in the air, switch legs, and land softly with the left leg in front, engaging your core for balance.
Complete 10 reps on each side (20 total jumps).
Triceps Push-Up and Kickback
Now it's time to tone your triceps, glutes, back, and hamstrings! You'll feel the burn along the entire backside of your body on this move. This move also strengthens your pecs (chest) and your abdominals.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start in a push-up position with your knees on the ground and your hands directly below shoulders.
- Keeping your elbows tucked by your side, lower your chest to the ground, while you simultaneously raise your left leg directly back behind you.
- Return to the starting position.
- Continue, alternating legs with each rep.
Complete 10 reps on each leg (20 total).
Lying Leg Raises
This move strengthens your abs and hip flexors. We love it because it not only works your upper abs like traditional crunches and many popular core exercises, but it also strengthens and sculpts those pesky, harder-to-tone lower abs. Don't let the fact that you get to lie down trick you into thinking it's easy, though. We guarantee you'll still feel the burn.
Here are the steps:
- Begin by lying on your back with legs straight, lifted a few inches off the ground, and your hands under your butt.
- Keeping your belly button sucked in toward your spine, lift your legs straight up until they are perpendicular with the ground.
- Slowly lower your legs back to a few inches off the ground.
Complete 15 reps.
We love this one. It primarily sculpts the glutes and hamstrings, giving you a powerful backside! You'll also work your hip flexors, abdominals, lower back, and triceps.
Here’s how to do it:
- Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your hands by your side.
- Squeezing your glutes, lift your hips up into the air until you reach the bridge position.
- Slowly lower your hips back down.
Complete 20 reps.
Plank Leg Lifts
Nothing says "full-body workout" like planking, and this modification works overtime to sculpt more than just your abs. This move strengthens your shoulders, core, glutes, back extensors, hamstrings, and quads. It's also a great exercise for improving posture and balance. It'll have you dripping with sweat, too!
Here’s how to perform this move:
- Begin in a high plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders and your core engaged.
- Tighten your core and squeeze your glutes as you lift your right leg into the air. Be sure to keep the leg straight.
- Slowly lower your right leg back down.
Complete 10 reps, then switch legs.
Begin by doing one round of all five exercises. As you get stronger and fitter, go through two or three rounds of all five exercises for a challenging full-body, bodyweight workout that will have you sweating, strengthening, and feeling great right from your own home.