You don't need weights to build strength, just this equipment-free seven-move home workout

This circuit session builds muscle, improves coordination and boosts your metabolism

Woman doing an incline push-up on a sofa.
(Image credit: Getty)

You might think lifting weights is the only way to build muscle, but it's possible to make plenty of progress using bodyweight exercises alone, particularly if you're new to strength training. 

And the benefits don't end there, with bodyweight training contributing to improved coordination, balance and mobility. You don't need any equipment either (though a yoga mat is optional for some added comfort), so there's nothing stopping you from giving it a go. 

This equipment-free routine from personal trainer Hannah Hooker is a great option if you're looking for an effective home workout. All you'll need is a chair or couch to lean against for a couple of the exercises. 

It’s a circuit-style session, challenging you to perform seven strength-building exercises back to back, resting as little as possible between each one. This will raise your heart rate, providing a side of cardio perks at the same time as working your muscles. 

To complete the workout, Hooker suggests completing the seven-move circuit for three or four rounds, depending on how much time and energy you have. 

Watch her video below to find out which exercises await you, and how many repetitions you'll need to complete of each one. 

Watch Hannah Hooker’s equipment-free home workout

Most of the moves in this workout are compound exercises, recruiting multiple muscles at once. 

This makes them a time-savvy training option as you can work several muscles with the same exercise. As an added bonus, they tend to burn more calories than single-muscle moves (otherwise known as isolation exercises) too.  

There are also two unilateral exercises in the circuit: the single-leg hip thrust and jumping Bulgarian split squat. This simply means these moves work one side of your body at a time. 

Unilateral exercises are a top tool for bodyweight training as, in these instances, your working muscles are challenged to support more of your bodyweight than if you used both legs simultaneously. It also offers a good core workout as your midsection muscles must engage to help you stay balanced. 

During each round of the circuit, perform 12 repetitions of the single-leg hip thrusts and jumping Bulgarian split squats on each leg before moving on to the next exercise.  

If you're looking for more bodyweight workouts, try this 12-minute session to build a stronger core without weights. Or, if it's a full-body routine you're after, you can strengthen your entire body with these equipment-free moves

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.