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Gym-free workouts - Exercise

Put the fun back into fitness with these equipment-free workouts for all levels.

These illustrated guides are designed to help make your workouts effective and easy to follow. 

Created with busy people in mind, these routines can be done anywhere, at any time.

Many of these routines count towards your recommended 150 minutes a week of exercise and muscle strengthening activity.

Standing abs exercises
An image describing exercises you can do for your abs while standing. This includes doing 20 knee to elbows, side-to-side chops, cross chops, high knees, twist jumps and side leg raises. Repeat 5 times and have a 2 minute rest between sets.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Forget everything you know about abdominal exercises: you do not have to perform endless stomach crunches on the floor for that 6 pack. This standing abs routine strengthens your entire core and works your cardiovascular fitness, too.

Seated yoga workout
3-minute seated yoga routine, 30 seconds on each exercise. Forward fold, stretch up, alternating side stretches, alternating lotus twists, alternating lift and reach, alternating half lotus.
Release tension in your limbs with this seated yoga routine, which you can do throughout the day, including at work at your desk. Perform each move slowly and smoothly, and breathe deeply and regularly.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Chair workout
An image of exercises for wheelchair users. 3 sets of exercises with a 2-minute rest between sets. 20 chest expansions, 20 side arm raises, 10 dives, 10 raised arm circles, 20 overhead punches, 20 punches.
An energy-boosting routine for wheelchair users that helps to increase upper body strength and cardiovascular fitness, as well as ease joint stiffness, particularly in the shoulders and chest.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Neck exercises
3 sets of neck exercises with a 2-minute rest between sets. 10 back and forth tilts, 10 side-to-side tilts, 10 neck rotations, 10 count press to back of head, 10 count press to forehead, 10 count alternating side press of face, 10 count alternating chin press.
Relieve tension and stiffness in the neck with these stretches. Perform each move slowly and smoothly, and breathe deeply and regularly. For best results, try to do this routine at least once a day.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Roller workout
Repeat exercises 3 times and rest for 2 minutes between sets. While lying on your back on the ball do 20 crunches. While lying on your side on the ball do 20 crunches. While kneeling, roll the ball towards you and back again 10 times. While lying flat on the ball, lift your back up to do 20 back extensions. While lying on your back with your feet on the ball, roll the ball away and then towards you 10 times.
A back and abs workout using an exercise ball (or swiss ball). The unstable nature of the inflated ball engages and strengthens many more muscles than classic stomach crunches, helping to develop balance and posture.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Sprinter workout
Image of exercises. Repeat 3 times with a 2-minute rest between sets. 8 jump squats, 8 jump knee tucks, 8 jumping lungs, 20 side-to-side jumps, 20 high skips, 20 straight leg bounds.
Feel the need for speed? Work on your strength, power and speed with this sprinter workout. This energising routine is designed to strengthen your legs and buttocks, and improve your cardio fitness.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Pillow workout
An image of exercises using a pillow. Repeat 5 times and rest for 2 minutes between sets. Raise the pillow above your head and down again 20 times, squat with the pillow behind your neck 10 times, hold the pillow in front of you and raise your knees to touch the pillow 10 times. Strike the pillow away from you 20 times. Lunge with the pillow in front of you 20 times.
The humble pillow: good for sleeping, but even better for exercising! This strength routine turns your pillow into a free weight to work your major muscle groups.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Sofa workout
An image of exercises you can do on a sofa. Repeat 3 times, rest for 2 minutes between sets. 10 half squats in front of the sofa, 10 sofa dips with your arms resting against the edge of the sofa, 20 climbers while your hands rest against the sofa, 10 side-to-side sofa walks, 10 leg raises while you sit on the edge of the sofa, 10 raised leg circles while sitting on the edge of the sofa.
Unable to tear yourself away from the TV? Why not turn your couch into a workbench with this 30-minute full body muscle-strengthening workout.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Cardio jump workout
An image of exercises. Repeat 3 times and rest for 2 minutes between sets. 10 jumps on the spot, 10 wide leg jumps, 10 half star jumps, 10 toe tap jumps, 10 side-to-side single leg jumps, 10 side-to-side jumps.
Hopping exercises are fun and energising, especially if you've got some music on in the background. This routine is designed to strengthen your lower body and improve your cardio fitness.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Stairs workout
An image of exercises you can do with stairs. Repeat 5 times and rest for 2 minutes between sets. 20 alternating step taps, 20 alternating step ups, 10 step jumps, 10 split squats, 20 stair climbers, 10 calf raises with your feet on the edge of a stair.
Take your fitness to the next level step by step. You'll be surprised at what you can do with a set of stairs. This routine develops lower-body strength, muscle tone and cardio fitness.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Knee workout
An image of knee exercises. Repeat 3 times and rest for 2 minutes between sets. 10 wall half squats, 10 wide single leg squats, 15 seconds cross leg side tilts, 10 alternating leg raises, 20 alternating raised leg swings, 15 seconds stretching each hamstring, 10 alternating split squats.
These knee-strengthening exercises will help with your running, strengthen the muscles around the knee, and prevent knee pain.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Back exercises
An image of back exercises. While kneeling, do 10 bottom to heels stretches and 10 opposite arm and leg raises. While lying on your front do 10 back extensions. While lying on your back do 10 bridges and 10 knee rolls.
A series of strength and flexibility exercises to help reduce lower-back pain, including tension, stiffness and soreness.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Cardio hill workout
An image of exercises to do while walking up hill. Repeat 3 times and rest for 2 minutes between sets. 5 jumps on the spot, 10 star jumps, 10 mountain climbers, 20 star jumps, 20 mountain climbers.
You'll feel like you really have run up a hill after doing this routine, which develops speed and power in your lower body and core muscles, as well as working your cardio fitness.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

150 points exercises
An image of exercises. Each exercise is 1 points. Star jumps, squats, lunges, tricep dips, floor taps, side leg raises.
You've got 24 hours to complete this full-body muscle-strengthening routine, which can be broken up into convenient chunks. Perform 1 exercise for 1 point as you aim for 150 points.
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neilarey.com NHS Digital

Page last reviewed: 24 July 2020
Next review due: 24 July 2023