Nothing can change your body more than your very own body. Using your own body weight to get your body to exercise, not only works, but it's also safer than using equipment and almost always functional. I'm not talking about running or doing a bunch of sit ups, although both of those can work well, too. I'm talking about getting creative with your workouts to move your body in ways it was meant to move.

We often spend most of our day moving in a straight line. This linear action gets us from point A to B efficiently, but when it comes to keeping our joints limber, mobile and ready for action, we need to skew outside of the straight line we're used to. Body weight exercises can do just that.

woman doing lungesBest of all, body weight exercises done right means less time working out. In fact, doing short workouts with plenty of focus and at the right intensity can be more rewarding for your body than longer, easier workouts. Intensity of a workout is key, and entirely relative to your own fitness level. Don't be intimidated by a workout just because you have to get your heart rate higher. It's important to push yourself to an uncomfortable (but not 'undoable') point before bringing your heart rate back down. What's intense to you might be easy to someone else, and vice versa. As you get fitter, you'll be able to raise the bar. Be consistent and get focused.

Here is a workout I posted on my Facebook wall yesterday. Total time is about 31 minutes. Give it a try and let me know what you think. If you enjoy it, you'll be happy to know that I'll be teaching a *new* fitness class here in Chicago, kicking off September 9th! Details coming soon. If you'd like to know more now, contact me today.

  • 1 Minute Walking Lunges
  • 30 Second Straight Arm Plank
  • 1 Minute Jumping Jacks
  • 30 Second Straight Arm Plank
  • 1 Minute High Knees*
  • 30 Second Straight Arm Plank
  • 1 Minute Small Arm Circles
  • 30 Second Wall Squat
  • 1 Minute Lateral Rebounds*
  • 30 Second Wall Squat
  • 1 Minute Supine Bridge*
  • 30 Second Wall Squat
    (REST 2 min, repeat two more times)

*Explanation of exercise

*High Knees: All you're doing is jogging in place, pulling your knees up as high as possible.

*Supine Bridge: Simply lie on your back with your knees bent and feet firmly planted. Raise your hips up as high as possible, and squeeze your bottom. Hold. ...and don't forget to keep squeezing!

*Lateral Rebounds: Standing with feet about shoulder width apart, spring off of one foot, jumping to the side. Push off immediately and spring to the opposite side. You're simply jumping from side-to-side, landing on the foot of the side to which you're jumping. Stay low and move quick. Your legs and bottom will benefit from being in a squat-like position.