Reaching Your Fitness Goals Without Weights or Exercise Equipment:
Want to know the best kept secret to changing your body? Use your body! You can use your own body weight to change how your body functions, looks, and feels. All of my workouts—from beginning to advanced—require nothing more than your own body weight. No weights, no equipment, no gym membership, and no commute. You can do everything in the comfort of your own home.
As a busy single mom, I didn’t have a lot of extra time. So the time I did have, I wanted to make sure was spent wisely. So I tested all the exercise methods around, from the classic programs to the latest and greatest science-based fitness programs. I researched every study on training, weight loss, and personal fitness and found out exactly what the body does and doesn’t need to burn calories and lose weight.
But the weight loss wasn’t the big discovery. I discovered that in literally just 10 minutes a day with no equipment, using just your own body weight, you can turn your body into a fat-burning machine and truly become physically fit. The following are five of my favorite workouts.
7-Minute Anywhere Workouts:
What I really love about these workouts is that they can be done anywhere, anytime, without any specialized equipment. It’s not even about counting reps or how many you do; it’s more about pushing yourself, engaging the muscles you’re targeting in each exercise, and progressing. If you’re making these exercises more challenging as you go, you’re good to go! Each of the exercises targets a specific area, while at the same time uses the body as a unit for a complete mini workout.
Remember, intensity and progression are what change our bodies. Do what is intense so you can progress! These workouts are designed to be very challenging, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t knock ’em out the first time through. The very act of working toward completing the exercises will help you change your body and get stronger. Do what you can, and push a little bit further every day. Work toward stronger! Use your fitness journal or app to record your progress and set goals.
Some basic tips:
• You don’t need any equipment, though you’ll be most comfortable in workout clothes and sneakers.
• Get in a quick warm-up—walking in place, swinging your arms—anything to get your body moving.
• These workouts are designed to be 7 minutes. Aim to work straight through the 7 minutes, but listen to your body and take breaks as needed. Each workout has stages for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
• Try to do one set a day. Feel free to mix up the exercises to create your own Jump Start fitness plan.
The Glute Definer
For each exercise:
Beginner: Start with 15 seconds of each with a 45-second rest.
Intermediate: Work up to 25 seconds of each with a 35-second rest.
Advanced: Work up to 45 seconds of each with a 15-second break.
Go into bridge position, lying on your back with your knees bent, arms at your sides, and hands and feet facing forward. Lift your hips up and hold, engaging your glutes. For this and all of the exercises in this sequence, press your lower back into the floor, keeping your abs and core tight and driving through your heels to really feel it in the targeted areas—your glutes, hamstrings, and thighs. You shouldn’t feel this in your lower back.
Glute Bridge Up and Down
Lift your hips into bridge position and lower them back down. Repeat the up and down motion for counts of 2 (2 counts up, 2 counts down). Keep your abs and core stable.
Glute Bridge Open and Close From Up Position
In bridge position with your hips up and abs and core tight, open and close your knees, engaging your inner thighs and core, and squeezing your glutes to create resistance (2 counts up, 2 counts down). Try to keep your core stable and avoid sinking into your lower back.
Glute Bridge Up and Down with a Single Leg
Lying on your back with your knees bent, lift your right leg up, keeping the knee slightly bent, then lift your hips up into bridge position and pulse it for 1 minute. Note that the movement is in the hamstrings and glutes, not the leg. Push through your heels and tuck your pelvis under so you don’t feel it in your lower back (your back should not have a C curve in it), and keep your core super-tight.
Repeat with the left leg.
Glute Bridge Single-Leg Holds
Lying on your back with your knees bent, lift your right leg, keeping the knee slightly bent. Lift your bottom, squeeze, and hold, engaging your glutes. Move to little pulses if this is too challenging. Repeat with the left leg. Remember to tuck in your pelvis and keep your core tight!