If you’re looking to get started strength training, a beginner workout at home without equipment is a great jumping off point. That’s because working with just your bodyweight allows you to familiarize yourself with the moves before you add external resistance like dumbbells, kettlebells, or bands to the mix.
“Bodyweight is still resistance,” ACE-certified personal trainer Sivan Fagan, owner of Strong with Sivan in Baltimore, tells SELF. “The fact that you don’t have external resistance doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be intense—especially if you are doing the movement properly and under control.”
Mastering the moves first is important, she says, because if you add weight too soon, you might end up working muscles that actually aren’t supposed to be the main drivers in the exercises, which can leave you vulnerable to strain or injury. Take the glute bridge, for instance: You can load these up with dumbbells, barbells, or other kinds of weight, but if you don’t know how to stabilize your spine and pelvis first—something referred to as lumbopelvic control—you may end up overworking your lower back instead of using your hips or glutes to complete the move.
If you’re looking to get in a full-body workout, you should make sure that you’re hitting all the major parts of your body, says Fagan: quads, hamstrings, core, back, chest, and shoulders.
The beginner workout at home without equipment below does that with just four moves—you’ll be working your quads with a lunge, your hamstrings and glutes with a glute bridge, your chest (and shoulder stability) with a push-up, and your back with a Superman variation.
While this workout is great for a beginner, exercisers who are more advanced can enjoy it too, with just a couple of tweaks (see below). Here’s what you need to get started.
What you need: An exercise mat for comfort and a box or a step
- Forward lunge
- Hands-elevated push-up
- Glute bridge
- Superman with pull-down
- Complete 10–15 reps of each exercise in circuit fashion, going from one to the next without resting. After finishing all four, rest for 1–2 minutes. Complete 4 rounds total.
Demoing the moves below are Angie Coleman (GIF 1), a holistic wellness coach in Oakland; Amanda Wheeler (GIF 2), a certified strength and conditioning specialist and cofounder of Formation Strength; Shauna Harrison (GIF 3), a Bay Area trainer, yogi, public health academic, advocate, and columnist for SELF; and Sarah Taylor (GIF 4), a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and plus-size model in Toronto