For a long time, the only way to develop strength was to spend hours at the gym. Fortunately, our understanding of how to boost our fitness has changed, which is why you can actually build lean muscle at home in just 15 minutes without weights.
Bodyweight exercises help build strength and improve your coordination, which is a fundamental skill for resistance training. You don't need any equipment to get started (park workout, anyone?) but investing in one of the best yoga mats can give you some support during floor-based moves.
This five-move routine from fitness coach Tanya Poppett works muscles across your upper body, lower body, and core without weights. There are also moves to boost your mobility, balance, and coordination, all squeezed into little over 15 minutes.
To give it a go, string the five exercises together as a circuit. Perform each one for 30 seconds, followed by a 20-second rest, and complete this five-move sequence four times to finish the workout.
You can watch Poppett demonstrate the five exercises below. Practice each one to perfect your form, then all that's left to do set a timer and get started (beautiful mountainous backdrop optional).
Watch Tanya Poppett's five-move bodyweight workout
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The result is a fun full-body session which beats mid-workout boredom by challenging you to learn new movement patterns. This has benefits for your brain, with picking up a new activity proven to maintain and build cognitive skills, according to the Harvard Medical School.
Don't worry though, there are plenty of positive impacts for your physical health too. There are the more apparent ones, like improved leg, shoulder, chest, arm and core strength, but you'll also see a boost to your flexibility and mobility thanks to moves like the half Hindu push-ups and sit-up pull-downs.
Bodyweight workouts like this one are great for times when you don't have access to any equipment, like when you're on vacation, or when you're tight on time and need a quick routine to find in when you have a spare moment.
Even if you enjoy intense workouts, it's also a good opportunity to move because it feels good without a specific goal in mind. If that's the case, take a look at our collection of recovery day workouts, or try these yoga stretches for beginners.
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Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.
Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.
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