Anyone Can Use This Bodyweight Workout To Get Fit At Home

This tri-set circuit works the upper body and core, and is suitable for beginners

Even if you’re working out at home without weights or any equipment, you can improve your fitness in under 15 minutes, as demonstrated by this bodyweight workout from Harriet Le Seze, duty manager and trainer at ONE LDN.

However, it’s not only physical benefits you’ll get from exercise, there are mental benefits too, especially if you find yourself working from home for the first time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You’ll see benefits and you’ll feel benefits,” says Le Seze. “It helps to structure the day, and by getting up and challenging yourself to do something that initially you might not want to do, you’ll feel good and proud of yourself for completing it. You get the endorphin rush.”

The workout is also suitable for pretty much everyone, since it can be scaled to suit your fitness level by making small adjustments to the exercises.

“For example, if you’re new to working out, when you’re doing a press-up you can put your knees on the floor rather than starting out in the full plank position,” says Le Seze. “Or if you want to make triceps dips harder, you can have your legs straight out in front of you or even raise your feet off the floor.”

Follow the links on most of the exercise names to see Coach’s exercise guides for easier and harder variations to try. One universal way to make any exercise more challenging is to vary the tempo, doing parts of the move slowly to keep your muscles under tension for longer.

How often you should do the workout depends on your existing fitness level.

“I’d suggest every other day. If you’re a beginner, maybe a little less, but if you’re advanced then you could do it every day,” says Le Seze. “Listen to what your body’s telling you.”

Bodyweight Home Workout

The workout consists of two tri-sets. Complete the first set of three exercises twice, then move on to the second tri-set, which should also be done twice.

The first tri-set works the upper body and core, while the second hits your abs. If you’re a beginner you may find this second section particularly difficult. Putting your hands under your bottom or lower back for the final two moves can help, but if you feel that your abs and core aren’t doing the work and you’re putting pressure on your lower back instead, stop. Make a note of the time you worked for, then see if you can increase it next time you do the workout.

1A Press-up

Sets 2 Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Start on your hands and feet in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bend at your elbows to lower your chest to the floor, then push back up. Le Seze recommends using a 3030 tempo, so three seconds to lower, then three seconds to come back up, with no pause at the bottom or top.

“Keep your body in a straight line, and pay attention to where your hips and bum are. A lot of people raise them, which takes pressure off the arms, shoulders and abs and means the move isn’t as effective,” says Le Seze.

1B Triceps dip

Sets 2 Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Use a sturdy table or chair for this exercise. Facing away from the table, put your hands on it with your feet out in front of you – the further away they are, the harder the move will be. Lower your torso by bending at your elbows, then push back up.

“If you allow your elbows to flare out behind you then you’re not going to be targeting your triceps as vigorously as you could be,” says Le Seze. “Keep them tight to your midsection.”

1C Walking plank

Sets 2 Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Start in a high plank position, then drop onto your elbows one arm at a time, keeping your body straight and level. Then come back up onto your hands. Keep going up and down for the time.

“As with the press-up, keep your hips level,” says Le Seze. “Imagine you’ve got a glass of water balanced on your lower back. You want to make sure the water doesn’t spill out. Control is as important as pace.”

2A Crunch pulse

Sets 2 Time 45sec Rest 15sec

“Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor,” says Le Seze. “Bring your hands up, pointing your fingers towards your knees or the ceiling.”

From this position raise your torso off the ground, then “pulse” your torso up and down. If you don’t let your back touch the floor, your abs will be engaged throughout.

“I’d recommend doing it to a favourite song and trying to stay on the beat,” says Le Seze.

2B Leg raise

Sets 2 Time 45sec Rest 15sec

Lie flat on your back. “You can put your hands under your bum, which eases the pressure on your lower back,” says Le Seze. “Slowly raise your legs until they’re pointing straight up, then lower them. The downward movement is the most important part, so lower slowly and with control.”

2C Flutter kick

Sets 2 Time 45sec Rest 15sec

“These are deadly,” says Le Seze. Lying flat on your back, raise your legs about 30cm above the floor, and with small movements alternate raising your feet up and down, as if you were kicking your legs when swimming.

Written by Nick Harris-Fry for Coach and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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