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It can be tempting to skip your daily workout in favor of sitting on the couch, especially during the cold winter months, but there’s good reason to stay motivated. Regular exercise helps control weight and combats health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as improves mood and boosts energy. The good news is you don’t need to buy a ton of fancy equipment or spend hundreds on a gym membership to stay in shape. An at-home workout that includes body weight training can deliver real results, and it can also be adjusted for a range of ages and fitness levels. 

Here are 4 at-home exercises for a heart-pumping, no-equipment workout. 

No-Equipment Exercise 1: All About Arm Dips

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What it works: Triceps, core

Difficulty Rating: 6/10

Pay Off: As a convenient alternative to the more difficult arms dips that use a machine, chair dips are an easier exercise that can be done by someone of just about any age and fitness level. You can even add extra resistance by stacking weights on your legs. While the exercise primarily works your triceps, it’s also a great way to engage your core and tone your entire upper body.

How to do it: Take a seat on a stable bench or chair. Start your exercise by positioning your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of your object of choice. Keep your knuckles forward and slowly slide your butt off the front with your legs extended at a 90-degree angle in front of you. Bend your elbows for two counts, lowering your body toward the floor until your elbows are about 90 degrees. Be sure your arms, not your feet, support your weight throughout the motion to get the best results. Straighten your elbows to return to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat 12 times.

No-Equipment Exercise 2: Become a Burpee Beast

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What it works: Arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs

Difficulty Rating: 10/10

Pay Off:  Low on time and looking for an exercise that’ll hit pretty much any target area? The burpee — while gross in name — is the perfect option.

How to do it: Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, then bend down and place both hands flat on the floor. Quickly shoot your legs out from behind you until you’re at the top of a traditional pushup position, with your elbows straightened. Jump your legs forward again so that your feet land behind and just outside of your hands, then jump up quickly, reaching for the sky with your hands and allowing your feet to leave the ground. Try working up to reps of 25-35 burpees.

No-Equipment Exercise 3: Learn to Love the Leg Lunge

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What it works: Primarily glutes, hips, butt and quadriceps, with the calves, abs and back muscles also engaged.

Difficulty Rating: 7/10

Pay Off:  The traditional leg lunge is a multi-joint exercise that can be modified to meet different goals

How to do it: Keeping your upper body straight with your shoulders back and your chin up, step forward slowly with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees bend about 90 degrees. Keep your front knee directly above your ankle, don’t let your other knee touch the ground and be sure to always engage your core. Keep the weight in your heels and push back up to the starting position. Try doing 10 lunges per leg, making sure to stay within your comfort range. For an extra challenge, add some free weights to condition your arms at the same time.

No-Equipment Exercise 4: Perfect Your Plank

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What it works: Multiple muscle groups, including your abdominal muscles and back muscles.

Difficulty Rating: 7/10

Pay Off:  It doesn’t take multiple rounds of monotonous sit-ups to get the toned stomach muscles you crave. Your abs of steel can be acquired more easily with targeted plank exercises, instead.

How to do it: Start your plank by getting into a modified pushup position, keeping both elbows bent at 90 degrees with both forearms on the ground. Keep your elbows under your shoulders and focus on the floor. If using flat palms bothers your wrists, try clasping your hands together. Keep your feet together, with only your toes touching the floor, and hold this position for as long as you can. Aim to reach a goal of three sets of 60-second planks.

Proper diet, exercise and stress management routines can help you live a long and happy life, but keep in mind that it’s important to do any type of exercise properly to avoid injury. Also, the number of reps you can do will change based on your age and overall fitness level. Listen to your body any time you start a new fitness routine, and start slow. If you have any questions or feel you might have injured yourself, consult with a doctor.

If you’ve mastered these no-equipment moves and want to add a little variety to your workouts, consider taking a kettlebell class. The kettlebell is small and affordable, and can help take your routine to the next level.

This article is intended to promote awareness and is for educational purposes only.
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