Unless you’re a superhuman, you’ve probably had a day where you’re simply too busy to hit the gym.
Unfortunately, those days can happen. With family, friends, work, and appointments, life can get crazy sometimes. But you don’t have to forgo your workout just because of a jam-packed schedule.
You can get in a solid workout even on your busiest of days, all without hitting the gym. Check out some of the best bodyweight exercises you can do nearly anywhere, to keep yourself fit and productive, all at the same time.
7 Best Bodyweight Exercises
1. Calf raises
If you’re up on your feet often, calf raises are perfect for you.
Calf raises are exactly what they sound like: while standing up straight, lift up onto your toes slowly, and then slowly let your heels come back to the ground (or, don’t let them touch the ground for an extra burn). You should feel it in your calves. That’s all it takes, so it’s easy to do these even while you’re concentrating on another task.
Plus, it’s not like you have to get in some weird position, so you won’t look like a freak to your co-workers or unsuspecting bystanders—but if you’re still worried about that, then just do them at home when you’re brushing your teeth or cooking dinner.
2. Lunge instead of walk
Lunges are relatively simple: take a step with your right leg, then lower your body so that your knees are both at right angles. Then do the same with your left leg. Make sure to do them relatively slowly to feel the burn.
This is something you definitely want to do at home so that only your family can make fun of you, but it will work out your butt like nobody’s business. While getting ready in the morning, try doing lunges throughout your hallways instead of walking.
You might look crazy, but you’ll feel the burn, and you’ll get a good workout in before you even leave the house. Your family won’t be laughing when they see how great your butt looks!
3. Twist it out
When you’re sitting for long periods of time, try taking some short breaks to do some abdominal twists. While sitting up straight and keeping your core tight, twist your upper body to the left and look to the left as you twist. Rotate your body back to the center and repeat on the right side.
And when your co-workers laugh, lift up your shirt and show them your sweet abs. (I’m kidding. Please don’t do that.)
When you’re relaxing after work and have a bit of time to watch shows on TV, try doing some exercises doing commercials. First, do some push-ups.
Get on your knees on the ground, then place your hands completely flat on the floor, your arms at shoulder width from each other. Get up onto your toes so that only your toes and palms are on the floor, keeping your body as straight as possible. Then, still keeping your body straight, slowly lower your body as close to the floor as possible without touching it, then raise your body back up. Do as many of these as you can handle!
When you’re finished with these, don’t get out of the push-up position! Instead, keep in the same position, except bend your elbows with your forearms on the ground. Then hold it as long as you can, making sure to keep your body completely straight. It might seem difficult, and tough—and totally worth it!
After you’ve planked like nobody’s planked before, try doing some bridges during commercials instead. Lie on your back, keep your palms and the bottoms of your feet flat against the floor, and then left up your torso and butt from the floor. Slowly bring your body back to the ground. Repeat as many times as you can.
If you do bodyweight exercises during every commercial, for approximately every one hour you watch TV, you’ll get in 15 minutes of solid activity. Consider how long a movie generally takes, and that’s a pretty solid workout.
Related: 7 Steps to Fat Loss
7. Wall squats
While you’re brushing your teeth, waiting for food in the microwave, or even folding laundry, consider doing a wall squat at the same time. Wall squats are essentially exactly what they sound like—put your body against the wall, and then assume the squat position. Hold it as long as possible and you should feel a burn in your thighs and butt. It’s a great way to get in a workout while completing even the most mundane of tasks.
When your schedule is jam-packed, you can get a workout in without hitting the gym. Even on your busiest days, you can keep your body looking great. By doing the best bodyweight exercises for a busy day—calf raises, lunge-walking, exercising during commercials, squatting instead of sitting, and doing some abdominal twists—you can get your workout in while you work.
Photo by Method Fitness
Originally published 1/2014 and updated 11/2014.