Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

Not everyone has space at home to store exercise equipment, if you're living in a flat or apartment it can be hard to accommodate large heavy gym equipment such as kettlebells or dumbbells in your home.

If you're limited with your time and are unable to get out to the gym, I have some great bodyweight exercises you can do in and around your home that will help keep you fit and strong.

Bodyweight workouts and strength training are perfect for muscle gain and will help you lose weight if that is your goal also.

Whether you're a fitness fanatic or just starting out, you can do these exercises below with just your own bodyweight, a handful of resistance bands and an Axiumpole, which is lightweight and easy to store.  

 

Crab Touch

The crab touch is a great bodyweight workout for your shoulders, glutes, abs and lower back.

If you perform this exercise quickly it doubles as a cardio workout as it really gets your heart going.

How to perform it

Start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent, feet on the floor.

  • Put both your hands on the floor behind yourself with your fingers facing your toes.
  • Now lift your whole body up off the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Now begin by extending your left knee and lift your left foot, reach forward and touch your toes with your right hand. Return to your starting position.
  • Now repeat with your right knee and right foot, reaching forward and touching your toes with the left hand.
  • Opposite hand to opposite leg.
  • Keep alternating between left knee and right knee.

Remember to keep your abs tight and your hips lifted. 

 

Bicep Curl

If you're looking to tone up and shape your arms, one of the best exercises is the bicep curl.

Your bicep is a large muscle on your upper arm. When this muscle contracts, it bends your elbow and it is also responsible for rotating your forearm outwards, making it an important muscle to keep strong.

How to perform it

To do this exercise attach your resistance band to a low anchor point on your Axiumpole.

  • Your starting position, hold your band in one hand, stand up strong - shoulders back and core engaged, feet shoulder width apart.
  • You can use a handle attachment if you wish.
  • Slowly curl your left arm upwards, keeping your upper arm still. Remember to focus on tensing your bicep during the movement.
  • Pause for a moment and then slowly lower your arm.

Remember to switch sides and work your right arm.

Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

 

Wall Sits

The wall sit is a bodyweight workout that only requires a wall to do. It will work your glutes, quads, hamstrings and your calves.

This workout is designed to help increase muscle endurance and overtime as you practice this exercise you will find you are able to hold the position for longer.

How to perform it

To start, lean against your wall that you are going to sit against.

  • Now take a few steps forward and allow your body to slide down until there is a 90 degree angle in your knees and hips.
  • Now with your hips and knees bent at the 90 degree angle, your back should be flat and pressed against the wall. Keep your back neutral.
  • If you are a beginner you can place your hands on your thighs, but try to leave them against the wall to make it more difficult.
  • Make sure all your weight is in your heels, your core is tight and hold this position for as long as you can.

 

Crossover Tricep Extension

Your triceps are another important arm exercise if you are looking to tone your arms.

Your tricep is the muscle down the back of your upper arm and actually makes up two thirds of the muscle mass.

Working this muscle will really help the shape of your arms, getting rid of the dreaded bingo wings.

How to perform it

Loop your band on a high anchor point and hold either end of the band in each hand.

You need to start by having your elbows bent, arms crossed across your body so your left hand is holding the right side of the band.

And your right hand is holding the left side of the band. This is your starting position.

You may want to attach handles to make the grip easier, remember to stand strong, feet shoulder width apart and core tight.

Slowly straighten out your arms down towards your sides.

Remember not to move the upper part of your arm, keep it locked in place and really focus on tensing your triceps as you pull the band down.

Pause for a moment and then slowly return.

Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment 

Another tricep variation you can do is an arms overhead tricep extension.

Stand with your back to your Axiumpole, with your band anchor at about head height.

Take a few steps forward so there is tension in your band, and hold either end of your band in each hand. Have your elbows bent behind you at a 90 degree angle.

Now slowly straighten out your arms so that it ends with your arms extended overhead. 

Again focus on tensing your tricep whilst you do this movement, pause and release slowly.


Push Ups

Push ups really are a full body workout. It is strength training for your chest, shoulders, triceps, core and glutes.

They are great for improving your posture which in turn can help prevent back pain. Anyone can learn to do push ups and you can practice them anywhere.

If you perform your push ups quickly, they will get your heart going so can be used as part of a hiit workout. 


How to perform it

To begin, get on all fours, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Now extend your legs out straight behind you.

Bending your elbows, lower yourself down towards the floor, as low as you can go.

It's ok if you can only go a few inches, pause and then push yourself back up. That is one push up.

If you are new to push ups, try using a slightly elevated surface, like a bench. This will make them easier whilst you build your strength.

If you are ready to move onto a more advanced variation, you can change your hand position so that you do a diamond push up, by placing your hands together under your chest in the shape of a diamond.


Chest Flys

Chest flys are a great upper body exercise if you are looking to tone your chest muscles and your pecs.

Ensuring these muscles are strong are important as not only do they make you look good, but they are responsible for helping your arms move and more importantly they move your rib cage allowing you to breathe.

How to perform it

Attach your resistance band at about chest height.

Hold either end of your band in either hand.

Stand with your back to your Axiumpole and take a few steps forward to create some tension in your band.

Your starting position is arms extended wide, standing up straight, shoulders back and core engaged.

Slowly bring your arm together in front of you, pause and slowly release.

est Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

est Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

 

Lunges

Lunges are one of those bodyweight exercises that is not only great for your glutes and quads, but it also works your core.

It is an exercise that works each of your legs individually, therefore it is great for improving balance and coordination as a lot of muscles come into play to keep you stabilised during the movement.

You can also pinpoint any muscle imbalances and correct them.


How to perform it

To start stand with your feet hip width apart, take a large step backwards with your right leg, keeping most of your body weight on your forward leg. 

Lower your hips slowly, keeping your forward foot flat to the floor, your right foot lifts at the heel, so you are on your toes. 


Keep on lowering your hips so that your right knee almost touches the floor.


Your left knee should be above your left ankle. Now push back up through your left foot and bring your right foot forward back to the front. 

That is a reverse lunge. Remember to switch sides and work your other leg.


If you want to try a more advanced lunge, you can try the split lunge.

This is where you start in your lunge position, and then jump and land in the lunge position on the opposite leg. 

If you started with your right ankle behind you, when you jump and land, your left ankle will now be behind you.


Squats

Squats come in many variations and are an efficient bodyweight workout. They are a bodyweight exercise great for toning your legs, glutes and whole lower body. 

You can perform them anywhere and with no gym equipment - just your own bodyweight or you can add in bands to either assist you or provide resistance to make the movement harder. 

If you perform squats at a quick tempo, they will double as cardio burning fat. You use many muscle groups so they really get your heart pumping.


How to perform it

Your starting position is standing feet flat, shoulder width apart.

Bend your knees and bend forward at the hips, imagine like you are sitting in an invisible chair.

Squat down, making sure your knees don’t come over your toes. Keep your chest up and your back straight, this is your standard squat position.

Remember to keep your core tight and engaged throughout and look forward.

Push up through your heels back to a standing position.

Try as many reps as you can.

If you are a beginner at squats, you can use a band to help support you.

Attach your band to a high anchor point on your Axiumpole, take a few steps back so you have tension in your band.

As you squat and push up, use the band to support you and help you balance.

Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

You can also use a band to increase the difficulty whilst you squat, to do this loop a small band around your legs, this will increase the resistance making it harder.

Squat jumps are great for added cardio to help lose weight, to do squat jumps, immediately jump after your squat.

You want to jump straight back up and land back in the squat position.

Remember as with any exercise routines, maintaining good form is key.

For more information on different squats, check out our Strength training without weights blog.

 

Mountain Climbers

These are a great lower body workout but they will also work your shoulders.

They are simple to do and will really work your core and abs and it's an exercise that you can do with just your own body weight.

How to perform it

To start, get in a push up or high plank position.

Now bring your right knee forward up towards your chest, then back down to the start. Then bring your left knee forward to your chest and then back. 

Bring each leg forward, one leg at a time.

You want to switch legs really fast, right leg, left leg, right leg, left leg and so on.


Front Raises

Front raises work your shoulder muscles. Your shoulder muscles help support and rotate your shoulder joint. 

They move your arms forward, backwards, up and down. Making this an important strength training exercise to do. 

Toning these muscles will really give your shoulders a really nice shape.

How to perform it

To start, loop your resistance band around your Axiumpole at a lower level. You may want to attach handles for comfort.

Take a few steps forward to create tension in your band and stand feet hip distance apart.

Hold your bands in either hand and starting with the left side, slowly raise your arm up to shoulder height.

Pause and slowly lower back down, now raise your right arm.

Remember to stand up straight, core tight and keep your arms straight.

Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

Best Exercises Without Heavy Equipment

 

Plank

The plank is a bodyweight exercise that is great for your core. 

Your trunk of your body forms the core, which is made up of your abs, lower back muscles and the muscles surrounding your pelvis and hip. 

Not only is it working the core but it is also a full body exercise working your glutes, shoulders, hamstrings and even your feet! This will work your whole body.

There are several variations of the plank. There is the high plank position where you hold your upper body weight on your hands, side plank or you can support yourself on your elbows.

How to perform it

To start, get on all fours, with your hands directly below your shoulders.

Now get up on your toes, legs extended out behind you.

Keep your legs straight, imagine a straight line from your heels up your back to your head. This is the high plank position.

Hold for as long as you can. Keep your abs tight and don't let your back arch or dip down.

To do a side plank, lay on your left side. Keeping your body straight, lift your upper body up on your left elbow - keeping it directly under your shoulder. 

Now lift your hips up supporting yourself on your left foot. Keep your abs tight and a straight line from your feet through to your head.

Hold for as long as you can. Remember with the side plank, you will need to switch sides to ensure you work your entire body equally.

There are lots of different bodyweight exercises you can do at home to help you keep in shape, such as glute bridges, reverse lunge, split lunge, bicycle crunches, mountain climbers,. 

For more information on bodyweight exercises see our How to workout at home without weights blog.


So There We Have It

You don't need to waste your money on an expensive gym membership that you won't use, or have bulky equipment filling up your home collecting dust to get in or stay in shape. 

Any exercise you can do in the gym, you can do at home with a handful of resistance bands and a space saving Axiumpole.

Head on over to Axiumfit.com and get in shape today!