3 Bodyweight Exercises To Burn Fat and Build Muscle

No weights? No problem. These three moves will target your entire body to build strength and burn fat.

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Targets: entire upper body and arms

If you can’t manage the regular push-up, place your knees on the floor to lessen the intensity. You may put a cushion under your knees to avoid excessive discomfort from resting them on a hard surface.

Setup: Place your hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs behind you so your head, hips and heels are in line and your back is straight.

Move: Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the ground, keeping your abs tight and your back straight. When your chest nearly touches the ground, press forcefully through your hands and extend your arms to return to the start.

Tip: Make sure your hips don’t drop as your muscles fatigue.



Targets: quads and glutes

This movement is a favorite with women of all ages. It’s one of the fastest ways to tone the entire upper leg and hip area. Yup! The butt gets more than its fair share from this exercise. Ambitious trainers may choose to hold a pair of dumbbells while doing their lunges.

Setup: Stand with your feet wide apart, front foot flat on the ground, rear foot up on your toes. Stand up tall, with your shoulders back and your chest lifted. Center your weight between your feet. Tighten your abs and square your hips.

Move: Bend both knees and lower straight down toward the floor; do not pitch forward over your front thigh. Keep your front knee over your toes as you lower, shinbone perpendicular to the floor. Keep your torso vertical and your shoulders back; do not lean forward. Lower until your front thigh is parallel to the floor, then reverse the move to stand back up to the start.

Tip: Take a big step forward to better work your glutes.

Side Plank


Targets: abdominals

Adopt the position as shown and attempt to hold for up to one minute. This is a fine waist and core movement, and can be made more intense by allowing the hips to lower to the floor, then raising them for a series of repetitions. Don’t forget to work both sides.

Setup: Place one elbow on the floor underneath your shoulder and extend your legs away from you.

Move: Lift your hips in line with your head and heels, reach your arm up and hold for 30 seconds each side.

Tip: If you find it hard to stay balanced with your arm extended, place your hand lightly on your hip.

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