No Equipment Workouts That Tone Your Whole Body
Mix and match the circuits however you like. Short on time? Choose two. Want to feel satisfyingly sore tomorrow? Do all four. Or if you're really pressed for time, do one and give it everything you've got. There's also an optional fifth "fine-tuning" circuit, as Stokes calls it, you can tack on at the end, focusing on glutes and abs (because who doesn't want both of those to be firmer?).
For circuits 1 through 4, perform the sequence of moves three times. For circuit 5, do the sequence just once.
Do the first two moves on your right side, then on your left, before moving on to the third and fourth moves. The goal is to connect the first and second moves, so on the last reverse lunge, hold it and move immediately into the Plyo lunge jump (see below).
Do 12 to 15 reps.
1. Begin by standing and balancing on your right foot. Reach your left leg behind you and lower yourself down until your left knee is one inch from the ground. You should be forming 90-degree angles with both legs, and your weight should be in your right heel. Hold the lunge for 2 seconds.
2. Drive up from your right heel to return to a standing balance, and repeat. If you feel wobbly, bring your left foot back to the floor before repeating. (The balance is meant to be challenging.)
Plyo Lunge Jump for 25 seconds
Try to hold the final reverse lunge and flow directly into these lunge jumps.
1. From your reverse lunge, drive your weight into your right heel to explode up into the air. You don't have to jump super high, just high enough to "catch air under the right and left foot," says Stokes.
2. Land directly back in your lunge position, and repeat.
Mountain Climbers for 30 seconds
1. Begin in an extended-arm plank position, with your wrists under your shoulders and feet hip width apart.
2. Drive your right knee into your chest while your left foot stays put, then alternate. You should feel your core working with each knee drive.
Triceps Pushups/Bodyweight Triceps Extension Flow
Do this for 45 to 60 seconds. It's a complicated movement, so focus on form over speed.
1. Start in an extended-arm plank position. Shift your shoulders slightly over your wrists, and allow your elbows to skim the sides of your body as you lower your body down towards the floor until your elbows reach shoulder height. Stokes says that these triceps pushups are more challenging than traditional pushups, so drop to your knees if you need to.
2. Keeping your core tight, press back up to plank.
3. Lift your hips toward the ceiling and flow back into a downward dog position.
4. Keeping your hips in a downward dog position, bend your elbows and tap them to the floor, feeling your triceps doing the work.
5. In a rolling wave-like movement, round from your lower spine to your upper spine to return to starting position. Repeat.
Alternating Lateral Lunge
Do 12–15 reps on each side.
1. Stand with feet together, feet and knees pointing forward. Step your right leg out to your right side and sit back into your right hip, sticking your butt out slightly and keeping your left leg straight. Your right hip, knee and ankle should be in one straight line to the floor. Hold the lunge for 2 seconds, feeling your right glute and left inner thigh doing the work.
2. Push through your right heel to come back to a standing position, and repeat on the left side.
Sumo Squat Jump/Heel Touch for 45 to 60 seconds
1. Start in a sumo squat position, feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes turned out to 45 degrees. Your feet and ankles should be in one line to the floor, and your butt should be sticking out slightly behind you.
2. Driving from your heels, hop forward (just a half-foot hop is plenty) and land back in sumo squat, then jump up and tap your heels together in the air, once again landing in a sumo squat position, then hop back to where you started, and repeat.
Panther Walks/Core Stabilization for 60 seconds
This movement can take a while to get the hang of, so go slowly at first to make sure your form is correct.
1.Start on all fours, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Lift your knees 2 inches off the ground, keeping your back flat.
2. Keeping your knees 2 inches off the ground, move your right hand and your left foot forward about 2 inches, then follow with your left hand and right foot. Move forward a total of three times with each hand/foot. Then repeat the same movement and number of reps going backwards.
3. Once you've completed one set forward and back, keep your core tight while you tap your left knee with your right hand, then tap your right knee with your left hand. Do three taps with each hand. Repeat the entire sequence.
Dips Off the Floor
Do 10 full repetitions, 5 pulses all the way down/halfway up, and 5 full reps to finish.
1. Sit on the floor with your hands and feet planted on the ground, your wrists under your shoulders, hands pointing forward, knees bent.
2. Lift your hips high and shift your weight over your hands. Be sure to open your chest and roll your shoulders back.
3. Bend your elbows to perform the dips, shooting your elbows straight back as you lower down. You should feel this in your triceps.
Do the first two moves on your right side, then on your left, before moving on to the third and fourth moves. The goal is to connect the first and second moves, so on the last one-legged deadlift, place both hands on the floor to begin your one-legged squat thrusts.
One-Legged Deadlift/Balance Tap
Do 12 reps.
1. Balance on your right foot. Keeping a slight bend in your right knee, a flat back, and your chest lifted throughout the entire movement, hinge forward to reach your left hand toward the ground and extend your left leg behind you. "Think of your body as a seesaw, hinging forward at the same rate that you lift your leg behind you," says Stokes.
2. Squeeze your right glute as you return to a standing balance. Bring your left foot to the ground between reps if you need to.
One-Legged Squat Thrusts for 30 seconds
These are challenging, so take your time and focus on the quality of your squat thrust and proper posture.
1. After completing your last rep of one-legged deadlifts/balance taps, place your hands on the floor and hop back into a one-legged plank, keeping your left knee tucked toward your chest and your core tight.
2. Hop your right foot back in toward your hands, plant your right heel on the group and proceed to lift your chest and explode up into a jump (your left knee should remain tucked in toward your chest). Land and repeat.
Plank Taps for 30 seconds
1. Begin in an extended-arm plank, with your hands shoulder width apart, feet hip width apart, navel to spine and glutes squeezed.
2. Keeping your hips squared to the ground (don't let them sway), tap your right hand to your left shoulder, then your left hand to your right shoulder. Continue this pattern, going faster as you master the form.
Crouching Tiger Pushups for 60 seconds
1. Start in a pushup position, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your feet hip width apart.
2. Lower your body down to the floor as though you're doing a pushup. Staying low to the ground, push through your shoulders to sit your hips back and bend your knees to 2 inches off the ground. "This is the crouch, or pounce position," says Stokes.
3. Lift your hips into a downward dog position and straighten your knees.
4. Tuck your tailbone in, draw your navel to your spine and perform a rolling wave through your lower back to your upper back to return to start position.
Do 10 full squats, five pulses holding your hips at knee level and moving 1 inch up/down, then five more full squats.
1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, toes and knees pointing forward.
2. With your weight in your heels and your chest lifted, stick your butt out behind you and sit back into your hips until your hips are level with your knees. Hold for 2 seconds.
3. Drive up from your heels and squeeze your glutes, "like you have a check for a million dollars in between your cheeks and you have to hold it there," says Stokes, and return to starting position.
Squat Jumps for 30 seconds
Keep the same form as you did in the air squats, but instead of driving up from your heels to return to standing, jump up into the air and land back in your squat position. Repeat.
Walk Out to Pushup/Jumping Jacks
Repeat this sequence for 60 to 75 seconds
1. From a standing position, roll down one vertebrae at a time to bring your hands to the floor.
2. Keeping your legs as straight as possible (it's fine if you need to bend them—just keep them straight enough to feel a stretch in your hamstrings), walk your hands forward to a plank position, then to slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
3. Do one pushup, then walk your hands back to your feet, keeping your legs as straight as possible. "Remember that pushups are a moving plank—keep your core tight by drawing your navel towards your spine and squeezing your glutes," says Stokes.
4. Roll up to standing one vertebrae at a time and perform one jumping jack.
5. Continue this pattern but add one more pushup and one more jumping jack with each repetition.
Plank Up-Downs for 30 seconds
1. Start in a forearm plank, elbows on the floor directly under your shoulders.
2. Maintaining a plank position (navel to spine, glutes squeezed), replace your right elbow with your right hand, then your left elbow with your left hand, and rise to an extended-arm plank.
3. Return to starting position by placing your right elbow back on the floor, then your left.
CIRCUIT 5 – FINE TUNING
Perform this sequence on your right side, then repeat on your left side.
1. Start on your hands and knees, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Keep your back flat and your core tight.
2. Lift your right leg directly out behind you, leg straight and as high as your hips. Squeeze your quad and point your toes. Focus on using your right cheek as you pulse your leg 1 inch up, 1 inch down, 20 times. If you feel pressure on your lower back or you're having trouble keeping your back flat, lower down onto your elbows.
3. Keeping your leg behind you and your knee at hip height, bend your right knee to bring your heel toward your butt, squeezing your right hamstring and flexing your foot. Pulse your knee 1 inch up, 1 inch down, 20 times.
4. Straighten your leg and repeat the pulses in step 2.
5. With your right leg still extended, lift and extend your left arm out in front of you. Find your balance, and pulse your leg and arm 10 times.
6. Once you finish those 10 pulses, pulse the arm and leg twice, then crunch your abs to bring your left elbow to meet your right knee 10 times.
1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, upper body resting on your elbows, which should be directly beneath your shoulders. Your lower back should be on the ground but your shoulders should be off it.
2. Tuck your tailbone slightly under, and contract your abs. Keeping your torso exactly where it is, slide your elbows out from underneath you and hold onto the backs of your thighs. Hold for 15 seconds, squeezing your abs.
3. Pulse your upper body 1 inch up, 1 inch down—using your abs to create the movement, not your hands—for 15 seconds.
4. Maintaining the contraction in your abs, release your hands from your thighs and pulse them toward the floor, then back up, for 15 seconds.
5. Keeping your torso in the same position, raise your arms by your ears and hold for 15 seconds.
Do 15 reps.
After the last C Curve hold, roll your back down so your shoulder blades touch the ground. One vertebrae at a time, roll all the way up to a seated position, then, roll back down until your shoulder blades touch the ground. The moment they touch the ground, begin your next rep.
Bicycles for 45 seconds
"Remember that pace is the last thing to be concerned with on this move," says Stokes. It's more important to focus on getting a full rotation so you really feel your obliques working.
1. After your last roll-up, bring your shoulder blades back to the ground, your hands behind your head and your right knee toward your chest, left leg extended out long and parallel to the floor. Keep your lower back in contact with the ground.
2. Rotate to bring your left elbow to touch your right knee. Hold for a moment to feel the contraction in your right oblique.
3. Switch sides, bringing your left knee to your chest and your right elbow to your left knee as you extended the right leg long and parallel to the ground. Hold to feel the contraction.