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Free Hand Exercises - No Equipment Necessary

First a bit of myth busting. Free hand exercises and free weight exercises are NOT one and the same thing.

Free weight exercises involve dumbbells and barbells, and free hand exercises involves nothing but the weight of your body.

Thus if you want some frugal exercises that don't cost you anything, free hand exercises are a great way to tone up and lose weight. Plus performing free hand exercises recruit as much muscle as possible while simultaneously increasing your heart rate - meaning you get a better workout because you are pushing your limits with your body weight instead of tiny hand held weights.

Squats, Squat Thrusts or Star Squats

Any kind of squats is a very good exercise for your legs. The squat thrust is demonstrated in the image on the right.

The star squat is a progression and more intense variation of a squat thrust. This exercise works the upper and lower body and core, while burning calories. To do it, stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Lower yourself into a squat, place your hands on the floor and kick your legs behind you. When your feet touch, maintain a straight line from your shoulders to heels. Quickly kick your feet back to the starting point and explosively jump in the air. While doing this, extend your arms and legs out at angles to form a star shape, land with your feet together and repeat.

To increase the challenge and place more emphasis on your chest, lower yourself into a push-up every time you kick your legs behind your body.

Cross Body or Angled Knee Mountain Climbers

The Cross Body Mountain Climber is demonstrated in the image on the right.

Angled knee mountain climbers work your chest, shoulders, abs, thighs, glutes and cardiovascular system. To do mountain climbers, place your hands on the floor and legs in staggered stance with your right leg forward and knee up by your chest. After lifting your right foot off the floor, shift your leg position so your left leg moves forward and your right leg moves backward. As you do this, keep your left foot off the floor and move your left knee toward your right elbow. Carefully switch your foot position again and bring your right knee toward your left elbow. Alternate back and forth in a fast and steady motion.

Alternating Butt Kick Knee Tucks

Alternating butt kick knee tucks work your legs and abs while increasing your heart rate. To do these knee tucks, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Lower yourself into a partial squat and then jump as high in the air as possible. While doing this, tuck your knees into your chest. As soon as you land, jump in the air again. This time, lift your heels in the air behind you and try to get them to touch your butt. Alternate between the two movements every time you land.

Running + Jumping

Running and jumping is one of the cheapest exercises you can do. All you need is running shoes.

Running strengthens the lungs and heart, while simultaneously burning calories and toning leg muscles. To increase the effect with running, perform intervals, add jumps into your running routine, incorporate hills into your workouts or do wind sprints. With intervals, alternate back and forth between high and low intensity. With wind sprints, run as fast as you can and do long jumps when possible to test your limits. Then rest completely before your next sprint + jump. Rest twice as long as you run.

If you are already very fit then for fun you can also get into parkour - which combines running, jumping and tumbling.


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