The Body Weight Workout for Women

weightless workout for womenNo weights? No gym membership? No problem. All you need for this workout is a body–and it doesn’t even have to be in shape! Here’s the plan below.

The Workout Routine

This is as simple as it gets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to kick your butt. But anyone can follow this plan. And you can do it at home! A few tips:

  • You’re going to do one set of each exercise straight through.
  • After you’ve gone through one set of each, take a one minute break.
  • Do 3 total sets.
  • Do the workout 3 times a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday is ideal, but whatever works.
  • Always skip a day in between, but never more than 2 days.
  • In all exercises, focus on squeezing your tummy to strengthen your core.
  • Don’t forget to breathe. Blow out in the straining portion of each rep.
  • Stretch a bit before and after.

The Moves

1. Squat (20-25 reps)–Maybe the most talked about move on this site…and for good reason. This is going to kill you quads and round your butt. Start standing up straight with feet pointing straight, shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and arms bent in front of you like you’re praying. Lower your body, with your butt sticking out, as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Lower until your hamstrings are parallel with  the floor, and then return to a standing position. As you stand, push your pelvis forward and squeeze your butt for extra work. That’s one rep.

  • Make it easier–Place a chair behind you. When you lower, sit briefly and stand back up. You can also only squat half way if it hurts your knees.
  • Make it harder–Hold at the bottom of each squat for a count of five. You can also hold the last squat of the set for a 30 count.
  • Change it up–Tired of the same ol’ squat? Widen your feet a bit and point your toes out.

2. Push-up (max reps)–This move hits your chest, shoulders, and tris. In other words, it will burn away the wings, lift the chest, and give you angular shoulders that look great in tank tops. Bonus, it works the core too. Start in a straight armed plank position, with hands shoulder width apart. Imagine a straight line from your head to the bottom of your feet. Lower as far to the floor as you can comfortable. Come back up. That’s one rep.

  • Make it easier–Do push-ups form your knees instead of your feet.
  • Make it harder–Put your feet on a stool to put more weight on the push-up.
  • Change it up–Work different muscle fibers by switching hand positions. Widen hands or bring them in and push elbows back.

3. Plank (45-60 seconds)–A full body move that really works your core. Start on your stomach outstretched, with your forearms on the ground in front of you. Straighten out your toes and lift your lower body. Then lift your upper body until you are up in a straight line. Hold for 45-60 seconds. That’s a set.

  • Make it easier–Stay on your knees. You can also cut the plank into 10 second reps if you can’t hold it that long.
  • Make it harder–While holding the plank, squeeze your butt and pulse your hips forward. Do as many reps as you can.
  • Change it up–While in plank position, bring one knee out to the side and forward. Switch to the other. This will activate your obliques.

4. Horizontal Pull-up (10-15 reps)–No pull-up bar? No big deal. This move will still work the big back muscles to prepare you for that evening gown. All you need is a sturdy table. Lie down on the floor beneath the table. Grip the edge of the table. Pull up until your chest touches the edge of the table. Lower and you did one rep. Perform 10-15 for a set.

  • Make it easier–Only pull up half way.
  • Make it harder–Put your feet up on a chair or stool so you are more horizontal. You can also try one arm pulls.
  • Change it up–Get a pull-up bar for a doorway in your house. If you can’t do that, open a door and put a towel over it. With one hand holding each side of the towel, pull up.

5. Hip Raises (10-15 reps)–Too often we neglect the other side of the core. This move will strengthen your lower back muscles, burn your booty, and tone your hamstrings. Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees, but plant your feet flat on the floor. Put your arms flat on the ground, stretched out parallel with your body. Slowly lift your hips as high as they will go. Focus on squeezing your abs and butt. Hold for one second and lower. That’s one rep. Do 10-15 for a set.

  • Make it easier–There’s not really a good modifier–just cut the reps down.
  • Make it harder–Hold each rep at the top for a 10 count.
  • Change it up–Extend one leg in the air. Hold while you do the rep. Do half on one leg, half on the other.

Want Cardio?

Feel like you need more cardio? No problem. On the rest days, perform 20-30 minutes of your choice of cardio. A few great options include:

  • Jogging
  • Walking
  • Sprints
  • Biking
  • Swimming

Make sure you take at least one complete rest day per week.

Women hip raise photo courtesy of marin / freedigitalphotos.net