5 Awesome Free Exercises that Will Help You Get in Shape

by John Schroeder

Who says you need an expensive gym membership to get in shape. Exercising does not need to cost a lot of money or take a bunch of your time. Getting fit doesn’t even require any exercise equipment and can easily be done in your home.

If you are looking to save some money on gym memberships and expensive workout equipment, consider replacing those with free exercises. Here are 5 awesome exercises that don’t cost a dime, can be done from your home, won’t take much time, and can get you totally ripped!

Free Exercises - Pushups

Pushups are great strength builders and can be done anywhere.

1. Push Ups – Can’t say I really like push ups myself, but if done properly, they are one of the best exercises around. Push ups can build strength in your upper body – including chest, shoulders, and arms.

Push ups don’t require much space and can be done throughout your day. For example, I try and do 3 or 4 sets of push ups each day now as part of a free workout routine. I often do a set while I wait for my coffee to brew, a couple during breaks at work, and maybe throw another set in at night during a TV commercial break. Before I know it I have done several reps of push ups in my day without spending any money in a very short period of time.

2. Burpees – If you can get past the funny sounding name, a burpee may be one of the best exercises you can do. All you need is enough flat space to jump to the floor in a push up position. I do my burpees from the comforts of my living room, but they could be done in virtually any small space in your home or even outside.

If done properly, a burpee is a great exercise that will work your stomach, arms, and lower body in a short period of time. For more information on this exercise, check out this article on about  Cave Burpees.

3. Planks – One of the best “core” exercises that I have found that works not only your stomach but also your upper and lower body. Arms, back, abs, hips, and buttocks all can get worked over in a plank exercise.

No need for a ton of space or required equipment to do a plank exercise. Even better, holding a plank for 30 – 60 seconds a day can leave you burning. These plank exercises are convenient and can be done in your home, hotel room, or even the office.

There are even different types of plank exercises for more variation in your workout. The most common is the basic plank where you raise your body (flat like a plank of wood) by elbows and the balls of your feet for a certain amount of time. Other variations include the side plank (right and left side) and plank pulses.

Check out this article for more information on – How to Do a Plank.

4. Squats – When I think of squats I picture body builders on some type of machine or with heavy barbells over there shoulders. Well – squats can actually be done with no weights in just about any spot in the house. There are several different variations of a squat too – so if you get bored you can change things up.

Squats are another exercise that can work your core and show excellent results without spending a dime.

Check out this article on the importance of squats – Why You Need Squats In Your Workout And How To Do Them Right.

5. Lunges – Lunges could be done with some weights if you desire but is not necessary. Just like the other exercises listed, lunges don’t require very much time and space. After a couple sets your lower body will be burning (which is a good thing).

Here is some more information on how to do a lunge the proper way – How to do the perfect lunge.

Final Thoughts

I use to think the only way to get a good workout in was either spending hours at the gym or running long distances which took hours out of my day. While those are certainly still options for getting fit, each one requires significant time and lots of money in the case of a gym membership.

Since adding all of the exercises listed above to my weekly workout routine, I have dropped my gym membership which has saved me hundreds of dollars. I have also saved a TON of time in my day and am actually in much better shape than before!

What other exercises can you add to the list?

Published or updated January 31, 2014.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Doug @ The-Military-Guide

Heh– this post reminds me of my good ol’ U.S. Navy submarine sea duty days. Years later I’m returning to bodyweight exercises because they’re simple, compact, and more than enough challenge.

I have to add variety (Hindu pushups, handstand pushups), intensity, and more choices (flutter kicks) to avoid repetitive stress and boredom.


2 Debt BLAG

I’m in the same boat as Doug. For many years, body weight exercises were the only thing I knew. As for running, I find I still need it, but have taken more to doing sprints rather than long distances to get my heart rate up and minimize the time I spend outdoors — very welcome in the intense weather we’ve been experiencing 🙂


3 John

@Doug – Variety is good once you get started! I love doing the body weight exercises now because they are quick and easy and can be done around the house.


4 John

@Debt Blag – I use to run so much that I stressed myself out about running! Once the weather warms up I am going to start adding sprints to my routine. Much better for the body and easier on the legs.


5 Jarhead

Jump ropes are a great way to get a workout as well. They are inexpensive and can give you a great aerobic workout that is much more fun than running.


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