When it comes to no-equipment exercises, it’s best to subscribe to the Navy’s KISS principle—Keep it simple, stupid. Straightforward, compound moves that hit all the major muscle groups don’t have to be overly complex. In fact, bodyweight workouts should be less about reinventing the wheel and more about sound programming. ReebokONE trainer Maillard Howell points out that with the right equipment-free workout, you can spike your heart rate quickly, boosting your metabolism while improving both cardiovascular and muscular health. Plus, circuit-style routines can be completed quickly, offering stellar results in a modest amount of time. The next time you can’t hit the gym, try this eight-move circuit from Howell—perform each exercise back-to-back as described, cycling through the routine three to four times.
1 of 8
No surprises here, the bodyweight squat hits all the major muscle groups of your lower body. Focus on keeping your chest up and your weight in your heels as you press your hips back before bending your knees. Aim to get your thighs at least parallel with the floor, but if your hips are mobile enough, take the squat lower. Perform squats at a steady pace for 60 seconds before moving to the next exercise.
Credit: RossHelen / Getty
2 of 8
Now that your legs are nice and warm, fire up your quads, glutes, and hammies by lowering yourself into a bodyweight squat, then holding it as long as you can. Aim for 10 to 30 seconds per hold, release to a standing position, then immediately perform the exercise again. Perform 10 repetitions before moving to the next exercise.
Credit: AzmanJeka / Getty