“People always say:
‘I’m too busy to exercise,’
‘I have to be there for the kids,’
‘I’ve got too much work.’
You know what? These are little lies you’re telling yourself, and the go against the laws of self-preservation, because the more WHOLE and HEALTHY you are, the more fully you can give to other people.”
Leave it to Oprah to remind us the importance of prioritizing personal health in our lives. But sometimes life gets in the way of your fitness goals. In our crazy world, it is a huge challenge to make time for yourself, let alone a workout. That’s why it can be helpful to have an exercise routine that you can do anywhere, anytime, no matter how busy your life seems.
Lucky for YOU making it count doesn’t require a whole lot of time or equipment. Short sessions and smart, high quality training WILL add up. Here are easy-to-follow exercises that will get you up and moving, anytime, anywhere, no matter your fitness level. Whether you’re stuck at the office or traveling for work, at home with baby or simply can’t get out of the house, these no equipment needed workout moves will help you sweat when life gets hectic. You can mix and match all of the exercises and choose to fit in a few anytime during your day. Or you can combine all the below for a complete total body workout you can take anywhere. I hope these no equipment needed moves help you the next time your life has left you scrambling to find time to schedule in a workout or two. Enjoy and remember that whether you sweat in your hotel or while cooking dinner, it ALL adds up towards a healthier, happier you 🙂
Caroline’s Anywhere Anytime Exercises:
Fantastic no-equipment needed fitness moves!
Plank: Lie face-down on the floor with your legs together, forearms close to the torso, and toes perpendicular to the floor as if you’re going to do a push up. Lift your body using your abdominal muscles and your arms, until it’s in a straight line from head to toe, and the only things touching the floor are your toes and your forearms. Hold this position for as long as you can, working up to three minutes at a time. Click HERE for more of my perfect plank tips.
Seated Leg raise: Seated on the floor upright with the legs extended straight out in front of you and feet flexed, place the hands on the floor and slightly round the torso. Then, lift the hips off the ground, hold for five seconds and release. Repeat!
Push Up to Side Plank: Combine pushup and plank for the BEST bang for your buck! Perform one pushup. After coming back up into a starting push-up position, rotate your body to the right and extend the right hand overhead, forming a side plank with arms in a T position. Return to the starting position, do a normal push-up, then rotate to the left.
Bicycle: Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides. Its as easy as riding a bike right?! Go slow, focus on form, and aim to get the shoulders off the ground 🙂
Crunch: Form is key when it comes to this standby! Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With hands behind the head, place the chin down slightly and peel the head and shoulders off the mat while engaging the core. Continue curling up until the upper back is off the mat. Hold briefly, then lower the torso back toward the mat slowly.
Windshield Wipers: Target the oblique muscles. Lying on your back with your knees bent and core tight, let the knees fall gradually to the left (feeling a good stretch). Hold for five seconds, return to center, and repeat on the right side.
Butt Bridge: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place arms at your side and lift up the spine and hips. Only the head, feet, arms, and shoulders should be on the ground. Then lift one leg upwards, keeping the core tight. Slowly bring the leg back down, then lift back up. Try to do 10 reps per leg, then bring the knee in place and spine back on the floor.
Single Leg Ab Press: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet on the floor. Tighten the abs and raise the right leg, with the knee and hip bent at a 90-degree angle. Push the right hand on top of the lifted knee, using the core to create pressure between the hand and knee. Hold for five counts, and then lower back down to repeat with the left hand and knee.
Double Leg Ab Press: Two legs is twice the fun. Follow the same run-down for the single leg press (above), but bring up both legs at the same time, pushing the hands against the knees.
Side Plank: Roll to the side and come up on one foot and elbow. Make sure the hips are lifted and the core is engaged, and hang tight for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can stomach!).
Sprinter Sit-Up: Lie on your back with the legs straight and arms by your side — elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Now sit up, bringing the left knee toward the right elbow. Lower the body and repeat on the other side.
Russian Twist: Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet together, lifted a few inches off the floor. With the back at a 45-degree angle from the ground, move the arms from one side to another in a twisting motion. Here, slow and steady wins the race: The slower the twist, the deeper the burn.
Have internet with you? Here is one of my quick, no equipment needed core workouts:
Wall Sit: Slide down a wall until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the knees are directly above the ankles and keep the back straight. Go for 60 seconds per set (or however long it takes to turn those legs to jelly). Need more fire? Add some bicep curls or hold the arms out straight.
Lunge: Stand with the hands on the hips and feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and lower your body until the right knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Try stepping back into the lunge for a different variation.
Clock Lunge: Complete a traditional forward lunge, then take a big step to the right and lunge again. Finish off the semicircle with a backwards lunge, then return to standing. And all that’s one rep! Aim for 10 reps and then switch legs.
Lunge-to-Row: Start by doing a normal lunge. Instead of bringing that forward leg back to the starting position, raise it up off the floor while lifting the arms overhead. The leg should remain bent at about 90 degrees. Add weights to really bring the heat.
Jump POWER Lunges: We do these moves a lot in my group fitness classes in San Francisco. Stand with the feet together and lunge forward with the right foot. Jump straight up, propelling the arms forward while keeping the elbows bent. While in the air, switch legs and land in a lunge with the opposite leg forward. Repeat and continue switching legs. Try to do 10! This move is great for explosive power and cardio.
Curtsy/ Crossover Lunge: Another one of my fitness class favorites. When lunging, step the left leg back behind the right, bending the knees and lowering the hips until the right thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Its most important to remember to keep the hips square and watch your posture!
Squat: Stand with the feet parallel or turned out 15 degrees — whatever is most comfortable. Sit the butt back and down, bringing the thighs parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels stay on the floor and chest stays lifted. Press through the heels to return to a standing position.
Single leg Squat: Stand holding the arms straight out in front of the body, and raise the right leg, flexing the right ankle and pushing the hips back. Lower the body while keeping the right leg raised (a squat with one leg). Hold and then return to standing. You can use a bench to squat/sit on to work your way towards doing the single leg squat if needed.
Squat Jump: Cardio squat! Perform a normal squat and then JUMP, reaching the arms straight overhead. Aim for 15 reps, taking a quick breather before the next set.
Chair Squat Pose: Stand with the feet hip-distance apart and squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor while lifting the arms up. Straighten the legs, then lift up the right knee while swinging the left arm outside the right knee. Return to standing and repeat on the other side.
Step-Up: Find a step or bench and place the right foot on the elevated surface. Step up until the right leg is straight then return to start. Repeat, aiming for 10-12 reps on each side.
Single Leg Deadlift: Start in a standing position with the feet together. Lift the right leg off the floor and lower the arms and torso while raising the right leg behind the body. Keep the left knee slightly bent and reach the arms as close to the floor as possible. Raise the torso while lowering the right leg. Perform 12-15 reps and then switch legs.
Calf Raise: From a standing position, slowly rise up on the toes, keeping the knees straight and heels off the floor. Hold briefly, then come back down. You can also try standing on something elevated (like a step) to achieve a wider range of motion.
Here are a few of the above lower body moves in action:
Push-Up: The classic. Start in plank position with hands shoulder width apart keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body). Can’t do a full push-up just yet? Thats ok! Use my helpful push-up guide and find the variation that currently suits you.
Donkey Kick: Start in a push-up position, with the legs together. Tighten the core and kick both legs into the air with knees bent, reaching the feet back toward the glutes. Just try to land gently when reversing back to the starting position.
Reverse Fly: For DIY dumbbells, grab two cans or bottles of water. Stand up straight, with one foot in front of the other and the front knee slightly bent. With palms facing each other and the abs engaged, bend forward slightly from the waist and extend arms out to the side, squeezing the shoulder blades. Repeat.
Superman: Lie facedown with arms and legs extended. Keeping the torso as still as possible, simultaneously raise the arms and legs to form a small curve in the body.
Contralateral Limb Raises: Lie on your stomach with the arms reaching forward and palms facing one another. Slowly lift one arm a few inches off the floor, keeping it straight without rotating the shoulders and keeping the head and torso still. Hold the position, then lower the arm back down, moving to the other arm.
Triceps Dip: Get seated near a step or bench. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. For some extra fire, reach the right arm out while lifting the left leg.
Diamond Push-Up: These push-ups start with a diamond shaped hand position (situate them so that the thumbs and index fingers touch). This hand readjustment will give those triceps some extra (burning) love.
Boxer:Starting with feet hip-width apart and knees bent, keep the elbows in and punch one arm forward and the other arm back. Hug the arms back in and switch arms — like you’re boxing! This one counts as cardio.
Shoulder Stabilization Series (I, Y, T, W O): Lie down on your stomach with arms extended overhead and palms facing each other. Move the arms into an “I”, a “Y”, a “T”, a “W” and an “O”. (Gimme a Y, you know you want to!).
This video combines a few of core, upper body, and total body workout moves in 7 minutes:
Inchworm: Stand up tall with the legs straight. Bend at the hips and bring your fingers to touch the floor. Keep the legs straight (but not locked!),and then walk the hands forward bringing yourself to plank position. Once in a plank, start taking tiny steps so the feet meet the hands. Continue bugging forward and in for 4-6 reps.
Bear Crawl: Starting on the hands and knees, rise up onto the toes, tighten the core, and slowly reach forward with the right arm and right knee, followed by the left side. Continue the crawl for 8-10 reps.
Plyometric Push-Up: Start on a well-padded surface and complete a traditional push-up. Then, in an explosive motion, push up hard enough to come off the floor. Once back on solid ground, immediately head into the next repetition.
Stair Climb with Grocery Carry: Turn stairs into a cardio machine — no magic wand necessary. Grab dumbbells (or household objects – bags of groceries work great!) and briskly walk up and down the stairway while simultaneously holding weight with GOOD POSTURE to work the whole body.
Mountain Climber: Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward.
Prone Walkout: Beginning on all fours with the core engaged, slowly walk the hands forward staying on the toes but not moving them forward. Next, gradually walk the hands backwards to the starting position, maintain stability and balance.
Burpees: One of the most effective full-body exercises around, this one starts out in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion.
Here is an example of how you can put all the above moves together for a quick 10 minute circuit you can do anywhere:
You can roll out your yoga mat just about ANYWHERE you want. Do your sun salutes in a neighborhood park, on the beach by the water, or in your hotel room while you travel. If you have a computer or phone with access to internet, online yoga streaming websites like YOGAGLO are helpful in providing quality yoga classes. And of course you can stretch, breathe, or meditate anywhere as well. Take time to enjoy BEING and appreciating the moment. Real relaxation isn’t found on the couch – take it all in and practice gratitude for every second. Ive done yoga in union square, at lululemon Grant Ave, and even while waiting for the bus! Check out some fun photos of my yoga adventures and a 10 minute stretching sequence you can do anywhere:
10 minute relaxing stretching sequence – take off your shoes and relax!
Looking for more motivation or need to see the exercises in action? Check out all of my workout videos on my YOUTUBE channel. While they may not be filmed professionally, these short videos offer quick workouts you can enjoy anywhere and Im sweating along with you! You can piece together 5 or 10 minute segments for a complete workout – or squeeze in one when your tight on time. They can be downloaded to your Iphone, ipod, or computer for at home or on the road workouts to go. I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy these videos and find them useful in times your busy schedule challenges you. I love feedback and requests – so if you’d like to see another workout video or two, leave a note as a comment below and let me know what you’d like to move to.
Do you have a favorite “take with you anywhere” fitness move? Whats your strategy for fitting in exercise with a busy schedule? Leave your #1 on-the-go workout tip as a comment below. Together we can inspire each other to be healthier.
Onward and upward…. hope to see YOU soon for a workout. Till then, keep shining.
Other Things to Check Out This Week:
- Work, Train, WIN. You can have it all….
- The Gluten Free Diet – should YOU try it?
- Life is short, I am grateful I get to spend time with YOU. Connect with me online HERE.
- Biggest lessons from Oprah’s Lifeclass the Tour. Watch all of her lifeclasses on demand online. Learn about mastering the art of gratitude, living fearlessly, stopping the pain, living on purpose, and spiritual solutions. Powerful, inspiring, and LIFECHANGING!
- My thoughts, opinions, and reviews of the services that help YOU enjoy a active lifestyle in San Francisco. Click here to get my “San Franciscan Fitness” list.