No Gym? No Problem!

5 Exercise Ideas With Little to No Equipment to Keep You Fit and Sane

In light of community gym closures, we’re here to share our functional exercise expertise! Our patients can attest that you don’t need a lot of equipment to get a good workout, and sometimes you can even get the most burn out of a body-weight-only exercise. Add just a few key (and inexpensive!) pieces of equipment and you can build yourself a nice home workout routine that has you feeling the burn and targeting important muscles you might have been neglecting at the gym.

The Hardest Exercise You’ll Ever Do Without Moving

Push Cross 1024x189 No Gym? No Problem!

Forget crunches! Our Core Series is a real abdominal burner that targets the deep core muscles needed for good postural stability. There are four parts to this exercise held for 30 seconds each. Progress towards completing all four without resting in between. Start by laying on your back and bringing your knees to your chest with your bum curled up off the ground.

Push: Place one hand on each mid-thigh and pull your toes up towards your nose. With your lower core muscles (between your pubic bone and navel), you’re attempting to keep your bum curled up off the ground while your arms are simultaneously trying to push your bum back onto the ground. Hold this stalemate for 30 seconds. If you start shaking, continue to hold until the shaking subsides, which will indicate you have achieved pure core activation. This is possibly the only exercise that should actually get easier the longer you hold it as you recruit more and more of your core muscle fibers.

Cross: Same as above, but cross your arms to push slightly on the diagonal. Hold for 30 seconds.

Pull: Once you’re going all the way through the series without rest breaks in between, this is your active rest, and it should feel less intense than the first two parts. This time you’re going to move your hands to the backs of your thighs and do the opposite–try to uncurl your pelvis and get your bum to the floor with your core muscles while your arms try to keep you curled up. Hold for 30 seconds.

Always finish with 30 seconds of the “push” position again to complete the four-part series. This exercise can be performed as part of a circuit or three times in a row for a good dose of core strengthening. For a complete core workout, add planks from your elbows, side planks, mountain climbers, and bird dogs.

Cardio Without The Machines

This might seem impossible at first if you’re used to treadmills, stair masters, swimming pools, or stationary bikes. In fact, there are plenty of options to choose from! For starters, jumping rope can burn more than 10 calories a minute. No jump rope? Alternate high knees and bum kicks in place for 30-second to two-minute intervals. If you have access to stairs you can walk, run, or long step (skip every other or every third step) to get your heart rate up. There are also a ton of free Zumba and cardio kickboxing workouts on YouTube.

Foam Rolls Are for More Than Rolling

Foam Roll No Gym? No Problem!
Foam Roll 2 No Gym? No Problem!
Foam Roll 3 1 No Gym? No Problem!

With a cheap, full-size 36 inch foam roll, you have a huge number of awesome exercises at your disposal for targeting your whole body.

Legs: Do bridges with your feet on the roll to bring on more hamstring activation, 3×10 (easier with the roll closer to your bum, harder with it further away). Progress this exercise by adding marches at the top of your bridge and then work your way up to single leg bridges when you’re ready.

Arms: Basically a double-leg mountain climber, make sure you’re engaging through the muscles in your armpits with your hands on the floor and your knees on the foam roll. Roll it back into a plank position and forward into a tuck position to work both your core and your shoulder stabilizer muscles. Work your way up to three sets of 10 reps.

Core: Lay on top of the foam roll with it running along your spine. Place your hands out palm down on the floor and begin slowly marching your legs, at least up to 90 degrees at the hips. When you get the hang of this, move your hands closer to your sides and continue marching with the goal of using your core to not fall of the foam roll. As this gets easier, use just one finger on either hand, then no hands, then bring your arms up and point your fingers at the ceiling. If you can still stay on the roll up to this point while marching, great job! The last two progressions are to move the arm overhead at the same time as you lift the leg on the same side and then finally to progress to full dead bug, moving the opposite arm and leg while not fall off the roll. Practice for at least three sets of 30 seconds each.

Netflix With No Chill

Netflix No Chill No Gym? No Problem!

Pick your favorite movie or TV show and search the internet for a follow-along workout or make up your own (potentially adapting from the drinking game versions). Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, push-ups, plank holds, heel raises, bridges, forward jumps, and balancing on one leg are all great equipment-free ideas to keep you active and entertained.

An Expert in Your Home

Physical Therapy Telehealth is in full swing and covered by many insurance plans. Your physical therapist will video chat with you to see what you’ve got laying around at home that could be creatively used as exercise equipment. We’re also helping people set up their home workstations in the most ergonomic way possible to prevent neck and back pain.

To learn more about telehealth services at Body Gears, visit, or call 877.709.1090 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment.