Are you playing hooky with your health habits? Time is the No. 1 excuse for not exercising. After you finish up with such daily obligations as managing a family, career, and household, there isn’t much time left to conquer fitness goals.

The average gym-goer spends a couple of hours each week commuting to the fitness facility, switching into sweat-designated gear, and waiting for workout machines to be freed up. Imagine if you could get that wasted workout time back. One simple time- and money-saving trick is to eliminate the gym from your routine. You do not need a gym to improve your physical and mental health. In fact, some of the best body-boosting exercises can be done with no equipment at all.

Bodyweight training can be completed virtually anywhere, at any time. It’s a safe and effective method for toning, tightening, boosting balance, perfecting posture, and increasing bone density. It also strengthens the muscles and joints responsible for such daily movement patterns as walking, sitting, standing, pushing, pulling, and twisting.

Here are the eight best bodyweight exercises to help burn fat:

Single leg bridge

From a supine position, bend your legs so your knees are flat on the floor. Lift your right leg and extend it straight, pressing your thighs together. Push through your left heel, elevating your hips until a straight line forms from your shoulders through your leg. Squeeze your glutes, then release. Repeat 20-25 times, then switch sides.

Dead bug

Stay in a supine position. Extend your arms and legs toward the sky, aligned over your shoulders and hips. Bend your knees and press your lower back into the floor. Without lifting your back, slowly lower your right arm and left leg, straighten your leg as it approaches the floor. Keep your core muscles engaged and hold for two counts. Now, bring your arm and leg back to the starting position and repeat with the opposite limbs. Continue this alternating sequence for 20 counts.

Hip abduction

Begin on your left side with your legs stacked. Use your glutes to pull your right leg up while keeping your foot and ankle in a neutral position. Hold for two counts then lower your leg back down. Repeat 20-25 then switch sides.


Start in a prone position with your shoulders stacked above your elbows, neck neutral, and spine straight. Hold this position for 45 to 60 seconds. (Beginners can modify this exercise by dropping down to the knees.)

Incline push-up

Start in a high plank position with your hands placed on a bench. Lower your body down toward the bench until your chest hovers a few inches above it. Hold for a count, then push through your hands to return to the starting position. Remember to keep your core muscles engaged and body totally straight with each repetition. Repeat 10 to 15 times.


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your knees and toes aligned. With your bodyweight in your heels, hinge back at your hips and lower your body into a squat. Everyone has a different depth in which they can comfortably squat. Try to have your thighs parallel to the floor. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Reverse lunge lift

Stand tall with shoulders back, core engaged, and feet hip-width apart. Take a step back with your right leg, lowering your body until both legs are bent at about 90-degree angles. Maintain your body weight in your front heel. Hold for a count, then push through your front heel to elevate your body, while lifting your right foot and bringing your knee to your chest. Repeat 12 to 15 times, then practice on the opposite leg.

Step up

Using a sturdy step or bench, position your left foot at the center of the seat’s base. Be sure to avoid a hanging heel, which creates pressure on the muscles in the front of the leg, rather than the intended muscles in the back of the leg. Step through the left heel as you elevate your body onto the step. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Repeat 20 to 25 times, then switch sides.

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more about her virtual training program, visit