Woman doing push-ups

7 exercises you can do at home to tone your body without going to the gym

Learn how to use your own body weight for resistance training

Time and money are usually the main reasons why people don't go to the gym. But you can't hide behind these excuses to not exercise and tone your body anymore. It's certainly more motivating to have a trainer to guide you when you're working out, but if you just invest even a little time in yourself, you can stay in shape by exercising from home or outside. 45 minutes and 7 exercises is all you need. So don't waste any time, and get ready to learn how to work with your own body weight to get in shape!

Put on your best pump-up music and warm up for 10 minutes: a brisk walk, a leisurely jog (or even walking on the spot) or skipping rope are enough to ramp up your cardiovascular system. Then, start your workout:

Plank in pairsn©iStock
The plank is a full-body exercise that tones almost the whole body

1. Plank and its variations

Get down on your hands (arms straight) and your toes. Your body should look like a semi-inclined board with your arms exactly in line with your shoulders—no further forward, no further back. Open your hands and spread your fingers apart.

Your abdominal muscles should be contracted and your neck should be in a straight line with the rest of the spine. For a plank to be effective and safe, you must be sure to have good posture and breathing. Once you've mastered this technique, you can do the variations: with one arm raised, with one leg raised, side plank, etc.

Mujer realiza jump squats©iStock
The jump squat is a variation that works the legs, core, and cardiovascular system Woman doing jump squats

2. Squats and jump squats

The name basically says it all: essentially, you squat down onto an imaginary bench. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Now try to sit down, but keep your back as straight as possible trying not to lean forward. Exhale when you squat down, inhale when you come back up, and repeat.

Once you've mastered this, you can make it more challenging: lift your heels up off the floor as high as you can while staying balanced or do a jump squat, which is jumping straight up from a squatting position. You should try to jump as high as possible by bending your knees and raising your arms.

Woman doing a push-up©iStock
Push-ups are an excellent exercise for strengthening the upper body

3. Push-ups

Return to the plank position, but this time lower your body by bending your elbows until you nearly touch the floor. And then push yourself back up. Be sure not to straighten your arms all the way to avoid injury.

You can do them with your legs extended, but if you don't have the strength in your arms and shoulders yet, you can do them with your knees on the floor instead. This is one of the most effective exercises for working your core and upper body.

Woman doing burpees©iStock
With burpees, you'll work many different muscle areas and improve cardiovascular function

4. Burpees

For this exercise, you have to perform an exhausting but effective sequence that begins in an upright position with your feet together; then do a squat followed by a push-up and a jump up. Do all of this in the same order, and in the quickest, most controlled way possible. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.

Woman doing a pistol squat©iStock
The pistol squat tones glutes, legs, and abs

5. Pistol Squats

This is a rather difficult squat exercise, since it's done with one leg extended and one leg squatting. Ideally, you should do the entire movement with total precision. Be sure to engage your core and breathe. You can do it on a bench first until you learn how to perform the full movement more naturally. Do 8 on each leg.

Woman doing a handstandn©iStock
Handstands require a lot of arm strength and determination

6. Handstands

It's time to work on balance. Place your hands flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your palms and fingers are all touching the floor. Your arms should be at your sides. Lift one leg up, and then the other. Try to keep them together and perfectly still. If you're a beginner, you can practice on the wall first.

When you've mastered this, you can try doing it away from the wall or even walking on your hands!

Woman doing lunges©iStock
Apart from squats, lunges are one of the most effective exercises for working your glutes

7. Lunges

Start by stepping forward with your right leg and bending your knee with your foot perfectly flat on the floor, leaving your left leg behind you nearly lowered fully to the floor, and only the toes of your left foot touching the ground. Your torso should be completely straight. Now go up and down.

One variation of this exercise is to move forward in a straight line as opposed to lunging in place. To finish up, take some deep breaths and stretch for 3 to 5 minutes.

All of these exercises together make up a complete routine that relies on nothing more than your very own body weight! They might look easy, but their perfect execution can only be achieved through lots of repetition and dedication. Accompanied by a healthy diet and lifestyle, these exercises will give you great results quickly!

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