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Your No-Equipment, Go-Anywhere Workout

You can do these 7 easy moves anywhere, anytime to boost your fitness and energy levels every day.

Medically reviewed in October 2021

Updated on January 5, 2022

Ever plow through a busy day, checking off to-dos left and right, only to realize that you neglected one of the big ones entirely? We get it, when you are crazy busy, it can be hard to fit in the recommended 30 minutes of exercise most days, let alone every day.

But here’s a workout that eliminates one of the biggest stumbling block: equipment. You can do these simple moves with items that are within arm’s reach at home or at the office. The key is to realize that exercise doesn’t have to be separate from the rest of your life and it doesn't need its own time slot or location. You can get your workout in just by adding a few easy movements to your daily routine.

Build up to 30 minutes of these activities each day—mixed in with some heart-rate-raising cardiovascular exercise—and you'll be meeting your minimum daily requirements for good health.

Strengthen Your Stomach

1. Chair Crunches
Muscles worked: abdominals

  • Starting point: Sit in a chair, back straight, arms at sides, hands gripping the seat of the chair, feet flat on the floor, knees bent and directly over toes, legs pressed together.
  • Action: Lift your knees straight up, keeping the bottom of your feet parallel to the ground. Exhale while you lift your knees, and inhale as you bring your feet back down to the floor. Complete 1 set of 10 to 12 repetitions.
  • Tip: For extra workout points, keep your back off the backrest and do not lean heavily on your arms.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

2. Chair Crunches with a Twist
Muscles worked: internal obliques

  • Starting point: Begin in the same position as you would with regular chair crunches (above), but instead of gripping the chair, clasp your hands behind your head and push your elbows out to the sides.
  • Action: Lift your left knee straight up. As you do so, twist your upper body to the left side until your right elbow meets your left knee. Return to your starting point. Repeat, this time lifting your right knee straight up and twisting your upper body to the right until your left elbow meets your right knee. Complete 1 set of 5 to 6 elbow-to-knee touches per side.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

Firm Your Upper Body

3. Grocery Bag Curls
Muscles worked: biceps (upper arms)

  • Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, palms facing forward, grocery-bag handle gripped in one hand.
  • Action: As you walk, every time you step with your left foot, bend your arm at the elbow to lift your bag up to chest level. Straighten and lower your arm back down every time you step with your right foot. Complete 1 set of 10 to 12 reps. Switch hands and repeat with the other arm.
  • Tip: Keep your wrist straight and your elbow directly beneath your shoulder with each curl.
  • Time: Aim for 5 minutes.

4. Grocery Bag Rowing
Muscles worked: deltoids (shoulders)

  • Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, hands in front of your thighs, palms facing your thighs, a bag handle gripped in each hand.
  • Action: Pretend that there is a golf club connecting the bags in your hands. Lift the golf club up toward your chest, bending your elbows out to each side as you lift. Complete 1 set of 10 to 12 reps.
  • Tip: Keep your hands about 3 inches in front of your body as you lift.
  • Time: Aim for 5 minutes.

Tone Your Lower Body

5. Leg Lifts
Muscles worked: adductors (inner thigh)

  • Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right leg extended in front of you until the toes are resting on the ground about 10 inches in front of your left foot.
  • Action: Slowly sweep your right toes to the left, beyond your left foot. Use your inner thigh muscles to pick your right foot up and move it back to the starting point. Complete 1 set of 10 to 12 reps for each leg.
  • Tip: Keep your knees straight and your weight on your stationary foot.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

6. Hip Hiker
Muscles worked: abductors (outer thigh)

  • Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right knee bent with right foot resting on a stable 4- to 6-inch rise (such as a stair step or a sidewalk curb), hands on hips.
  • Action: Slowly straighten your right knee so that you are lifting your weight up onto the step or curb. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly lower your weight back onto your left foot. Complete 1 set of 10 to 12 repetitions. Switch legs and repeat.
  • Tip: When using a step, stand sideways so that your feet are parallel. When using a sidewalk curb, safety first! Choose a curb that is not near traffic.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

7. Heel Raises
Muscles worked: gastrocnemius (calves)

  • Starting point: Standing, legs straight, feet 1 inch apart.
  • Action: Slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground as high as you can, and then slowly lower your heels back to the ground. Complete 1 set of 10 to 12 reps.
  • Tip: Keep your legs straight, but don't lock your knees.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

With easy moves like these that require no equipment, anytime is a good time for exercise. So tie on some comfortable shoes and bring your workout wherever your day takes you.

If you can get into the habit of slipping these moves into your daily routine—for a total of 30 minutes a day—you may begin to notice improvements in your strength and endurance after only a few weeks. And don't forget to complement with moderate- to vigorous-intensity cardiovascular activities, such as walking, swimming, biking, or jogging, whenever you can.

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