The no-equipment workout
Some of the top reasons often cited by people struggling to stay motivated to work out are that they can't afford a gym membership or they don't have their own equipment at home. It's understandable that we assume equipment is vital; we're often being sold the latest fitness gadgets on TV (just flick on those teleshopping ads at 4am). But you can still get a fantastic workout without a single piece of equipment at all.
Whether you're joining one of the many outdoor fitness classes that have popped up around the country, or you're working out to a DVD in your living room, a no-equipment workout is entirely possible, and equally effective. Alternatively, we've put together a series of ready-to-go exercises right here. There's no need to buy anything new. Just set aside half an hour and go for it!
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes slightly out-turned. Bend at the knees and lower to a basic squat position. Instead of rising back to standing, propel yourself upwards into a jump with the balls of your feet, keeping your body straight. Land in a squat position and repeat.
Lie on your back with your legs long and hip-width apart. Sit up, lifting your right leg higher as you reach your hands towards your foot. Lower back down to lay on the floor and then continue with the left side.
Lower from standing to a squat position. Place your hands on the floor in front of you and kick back into a plank. Jump forwards to return to a squat position. Jump into the air with your body straight. Land in a squat position and repeat.
Lower into a squat and then jump straight up and over to your right, lifting your arms up into the air. Land softly and continue, jumping to the left next.
Place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and straighten your legs so that only your hands and toes are touching the floor. Keep your feet close together. Bend at the elbows and steadily lower your body to the ground, keeping your body in a straight line. Stop a couple of inches from the ground and straighten your arms, rising back up into a plank position, and then lower again. If you struggle to hold your bodyweight with your legs straight, bend them so your knees are on the floor. Lean forwards slightly, keeping your hands under your shoulders, so your weight is distributed across your upper body.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly out-turned. Lower into a squat position. Jump straight up as high as you can and bring your knees to your chest as you do so. Land softly and repeat.
Start at the top of press-up position, with your hands and feet the only body parts touching the floor. Lower your chest and then push back up quickly. At the top, tap your left shoulder with your right fingertips. Return your hand to floor and continue on the other side.
Extend one leg behind you and one in front. Bend your front knee until it is at a right angle. Ensure your knee doesn’t extend over the toes of your front foot. From this lunge position, jump into the air and switch your legs. Land on your toes in a lunge position on the opposite side.
Start in a high plank position with your hands on the ground, directly under your shoulders, and your legs outstretched behind you. Your hands and toes should be the only body parts touching the floor. Bend one leg and bring your knee forward to your chest. Return to plank position and immediately switch legs, bringing your opposite knee forward to your chest. Continue switching legs at a fast pace.
And there you have it! All worked out, and not a dumbbell in sight. Let us know how you get on in the comments below, and if you have any no-equipment workout ideas of your own, we'd love to know about them!