Most of us want to achieve a fit-looking body with defined muscles, an impressive set of abs, and the freedom and mobility to participate in the physical activities we enjoy. Regardless of age, routinely performing resistance training is the one tried and true method of keeping up with your physical appearance. However, going to the gym is a deal breaker for some. Whether you don't live near a gym, don't want to sign up for a pesky, pushy gym membership, or simply can't stand being in a weight room, we have some good news. You can still get a lean body without actually stepping foot inside a gym, thanks to this no-gym workout.
You can perform the below routine anywhere you have the space. That could be your living room, backyard, garage, or a local park. Literally wherever you feel comfortable and would most enjoy exercising, you can hit this workout to sculpt a killer body. Perform each exercise for 12 to 15 repetitions. Rest for 60 seconds between sets, and complete three to four sets. Perform this workout twice per week in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle habits for best results.
Keep reading for the ultimate no-gym workout for a lean body, and next, be sure to check out 5 Daily Exercise Habits for Women To Get Firm & Lean After 50.
The pushup is an excellent compound movement that targets your upper body and core simultaneously, without any equipment. Pushups predominantly work the chest, triceps, and deltoids, while also engaging the core muscles for stability. You can make them easier by placing your hands on a chair or wall, and harder by elevating your feet or moving your hands closer together.
To perform a pushup, start in a pushup plank position, ensuring your hands are directly under your shoulders. Maintain a strong core, and hold your spine in a neutral position, avoiding any sagging or arching. Initiate the descent by bending at the elbows and shoulders, moving your body as one unit toward the ground. When your chest is about an inch off the ground, forcefully push through your full palms, lifting your body back to the initial position, and keeping your body tight. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Lunges are a functional exercise that develops leg and glute strength, balance, and coordination. They primarily target the quadriceps but also involve the glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Your gait mechanics (walking, stair climbing, and running) will improve as well.
To perform a lunge, start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your right foot, maintaining the hip-width distance between your feet to ensure balance. As you lower into the lunge, subtly rotate your left foot inward, and lower your left knee toward the ground while keeping the right knee directly above the right ankle. Drive through the full foot of your right leg, returning to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions, then switch legs.
Planks are fundamental to building core strength and stability. They primarily target the rectus abdominis, obliques, and erector spinae, while also engaging the shoulders and glutes. I also find they sometimes reduce low back pain in clients who spend a lot of time sitting. For this exercise, you will hold for 30 to 60 seconds instead of doing reps.
To perform a plank, begin in a forearm plank position, elbows directly under your shoulders, forearms parallel to each other. Keep your body straight from your head to your heels, engaging your abs and glutes. Maintain this position, ensuring your hips don't sag or lift too high, and your head remains in line with your spine. Hold this position, focusing on your breath. Repeat for the target time.
This exercise is a great way to target the glutes and hamstrings, helping to build a strong, shapely lower body. It also engages the core and lower back for stability. If you have additional weight, you can place it on your lap for added difficulty.
To perform a glute bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. As you initiate the lift, visualize drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis, and engage your abs. Lift your hips off the ground by pushing evenly through your full feet until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line. Hold the top position for about a second, squeezing your glutes at the top. Lower back to the ground, and repeat for the target repetitions.
Next up in this no-gym workout for a lean body is air squats. The air squat, also known as bodyweight squats, is an essential lower-body exercise. This exercise primarily works the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings, while also engaging your core for balance and stability. You can hold extra weight if needed to increase the difficulty.
To perform an air squat, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed outwards. Initiate the movement by sending your hips back and bending at the knees, as if sitting in a chair. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping your chest up and your knees tracking over your toes. Push through both feet to return to the standing position, ensuring your hips and knees extend fully. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Mountain climbers are a dynamic, full-body exercise that combines cardiovascular training with muscular endurance. This exercise targets a wide array of muscles, especially your obliques, abdominals, and hip flexors.
To perform mountain climbers, start in a high plank position, your hands directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Drive your right knee toward your chest without letting it touch the ground. Return your right foot to the starting position while simultaneously driving your left knee toward your chest. Continue to alternate legs quickly, maintaining a strong core and avoiding any hip lift or sag. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Burpees are a high-intensity exercise that provides a full-body workout, increasing both strength and cardiovascular endurance. This move works numerous muscles, including the deltoids, pectorals, triceps, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
To perform a burpee, begin in a standing position. Squat down, and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump your feet back into a high plank position. Lower your chest to the floor in a pushup motion, then push back up to a high plank as you jump your feet back toward your hands. Then, stand up and jump, reaching your hands overhead. Repeat for the target repetitions.
This no-gym workout for a lean body ends with bicycle crunches. The bicycle crunch is an effective exercise to target the entire abdominal region, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques.
To perform bicycle crunches, lie flat on your back, place your hands behind your head, and bring your knees toward your chest. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Straighten your right leg while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward your left knee. Switch sides, straightening your left leg while turning your upper body to the right and bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Continue to alternate sides in a pedaling motion. Repeat for the target repetitions.