Monday, August 30, 2010

The Best Exercises in Life are Free.

If you thought that getting in shape meant joining a gym, then you would be dead wrong. In fact, some of the best  exercises for our body do not require any fancy gym equipment. Our body is all that we need.

As I progress towards increasingly more difficult exercises, I find that the best and the toughest exercises are the ones where you use your body for generating explosive power & strength.

Here are some of my favorite exercises that do not require any fancy equipment.

1. Walk/Jog/Run: All you need is a pair of good shoes and you are good to go. It does not matter where you run or what time you run. As long as you   can make the time to do it, it can be done.

Make it Harder: Incorporate Interval running into your workout. Interval running is a great way to boost your metabolism and finish your workout in a shorter time.

2. Push-Ups: The push-up, is most likely, the single most comprehensive workout for your upper body. The push-up works the chest muscles, the back, and the triceps. It is no wonder, that the U.S. Army uses it as a key indicator of physical fitness of its personnel.

Here's a video demonstrating the correct way to do a push-up.

Make it Harder: Mix it up with these different versions of the push-up
   1. Walk-Out Push-Ups.
   2. Medicine Ball Push-Ups.
   3. One Arm Push-Ups.
   4. Clapping Push-Ups.

3. Squats: If the Push-Up is the king of the upper body exercise, then the Squat has to be the king of the lower-body exercise. Squats can be done in any place where you can stand.

Here's a video demonstrating the correct way to do squats.

Make it Harder: Just like the push-ups, you can do squats in a variety of ways.
   1. Frog Squats.
   2. Weighted Squats.
   3. One-Legged Squats (The most difficult).

4. Sit-ups: The Sit-ups take care of the mid-section of your body. The Abs. Sit-ups is probably one of the most misunderstood exercise. Many people think that by doing a lot of sit-ups, they will get ripped abs in a few weeks. Nothing could be further from the truth. You build abs by losing the fat around your mid-section through diet and cardio workouts. Sit-ups will only assist in the process of getting ripped abs by building muscles around the core. But sit-ups on their own cannot give you ripped abs.

The Sit-ups is the second exercise of the U.S. Army physical fitness test (the first being the push-up and the third being the 2 mile run).

Here's a video demonstrating how to do the full military Sit-up.

Make it Harder: Just like the previous 2 exercises, you can do the sit-up in a variety of ways.

1. 8-Minute Abs: This 8-minute abs workout shows 9 different variations of the sit-ups. If you can do the full 8-minute workout, you are in great shape.

5. Jump Rope: Skipping rope is a great way to burn massive amount of calories in a short amount of time. Most people will have a hard time doing 1 minute of continuous jump rope.

Here's a video demonstrating jump ropes.

Make it Harder: You can mix up jump ropes with intervals and double-unders.

1. Interval Jump Ropes: Do this 10-minute workout that changes from walking in place to jumping ropes for every 30 seconds.
2. Double-Unders: This exercise features heavily in the Crossfit Workout. I think I have a long way to go before I can do a double-under.

6. Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups: Both are very similar exercises and all you need to do this exercise is a pull-up bar. You can find pull-up bars in any sports shops that you can easily attach to a door-way. Chin-ups target your biceps, while the pull-ups target your back and triceps.

Here's a video demonstrating how to do pull-ups.
This video demonstrates correct chin-ups.

Make it Harder: You really can't make the pull-ups any harder as they are already very hard to do. There is a variation of one-hand pull-up but if you can do that, you don't really need to read this blog.

Incorporate these exercises in your daily routine and you won't have any excuse for not staying in shape.


  1. Looks like this is the way to finally start it

  2. @ Mohammad: you just need to look around your apartment and find a nice space where you have room enough to do these basic 'free hand' exercises. Its as simple as that! all the best! :)

  3. You have given the review about the abs review such that by reading this review I find very useful tips and tricks for abs workout.

  4. @Mohammad..Yeah. The important thing is to get started. Once you feel that you need to join the gym, you can always do it once you are ready. As Mathai said, you don't need a lot of things to get started - motivation is all you need.

    @6 Pack Abs..Thanks