If you can’t get to a gym right now, and don’t have a home gym, you can still get effective, full-body workouts. The trick to any good exercise program is sticking to it, not having access to fancy equipment. Here are seven exercises you can do from the comfort of your living room, using only basic equipment (or none at all):
Planks are a basic exercise, but they’re wonderful for building and maintaining core strength. Best of all, they require no equipment at all — if you have hard flooring, you may want to use a yoga mat. If you have a rug, you may be fine as-is. Start by lying on your stomach with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders. Using your quads, extend your legs and pull your toes toward your shins. Tighten your core muscles, and slowly lift yourself. Hold this position for at least 15 seconds.
2. Squat jumps
Squat jumps work your entire lower body. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms relaxed at your sides. Move into a squat, until you feel your heels begin to lift from the floor. Then, jump upward, extending your hips, knees, and ankles. Land softly, knees and hips flexing to absorb the impact. You can make this exercise more difficult by pulling your knees toward your chest during the jump. Landing properly is important — make sure you can manage a soft landing before trying to increase the difficulty or add reps. Repeat 10 times.
3. Tricep dips
Like the name implies, this exercise targets your triceps. Begin by sitting at the edge of a couch, chair, or sturdy table. Rest your hands at your sides, fingertips pointing forward. Raise your hips, and move your feet about 12 inches forward. Lower your hips, bending elbows behind you, between 3-5 inches. Lift your hips, straightening arms. Repeat 20 times.
This is a great exercise for the lower body. Begin by standing with feet wider than hip-width apart, knees bent, and upper body inclined forward slightly. Bend forward, place hands on the floor in front of you, and quickly extend your legs backward, into a straight-armed plank. Jump feet forward, beside your hands, and rise into the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
This exercise targets your core muscles. Begin on your back, one leg extended out and held a few inches above the ground, the other knee pulled to your chest. Keeping your abs engaged, switch legs. Straighten your bent leg, and bring the opposite knee to your chest. Perform three sets of 10.
6. Diamond push-ups
This is a more difficult variant of the basic push-up. Begin in a straight-armed plant, hands positioned in front of you so your thumbs and index fingers form a diamond shape. Bend your elbows, lowering your chest to the floor, then push yourself back into the starting position. Perform three sets of 10.
7. Dead bugs
Begin this exercise on your back, arms straight in front of you, fingers pointing toward the ceiling, knees bent, and shins parallel to the floor. Slowly extend your left leg until it’s straight, and lower your left arm until it’s overhead. Keep your arm and leg a few inches above the floor. Move them back into the starting position, and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Perform three sets of 10.
Exercise doesn’t just provide physical benefits, it helps your mental health, too. If you can’t get out, an at-home workout can be just the boost of endorphins you need. These exercises are simple, effective, and don’t require any equipment at all — just a little bit of time, dedication, and consistency.