20 Best Equipment-Free Workouts for Adults

An overview of our workouts

  • Back extensions
  • Arm raises on back
  • Wall sits
  • Wall push-ups
  • Flutter kicks
  • Plank tap
  • Lunges
  • Squats to chair

Workout categories

We have broken down our workouts into 5 sections. These sections can help you organize your routine and target specific areas of your body. They are listed below.

  • Equipment-free back workouts
  • Equipment-free armworkouts
  • Equipment-free chestworkouts
  • Equipment-free core / ab workouts
  • Equipment-free leg workouts

Benefits of bodyweight workouts

Bodyweight workouts, also known as equipment free workouts, are all about the basics.

You can, in fact, use your own bodyweight to build strength, improve coordination, and target specific areas.

No matter where you are on your weight-loss or fitness journey, your body always falls back on its base level of strengthEquipment free workouts are free, don’t require a personal trainer or a gym membership, and can be done at home.

Best part?

Bodyweight workouts can be modified for your fitness level.

Best Equipment-Free Back Workouts for Adults

1. Back Extension


Back extensions can help you maintain good posture with sitting and standing, and also assist mid back pain associated with postural strain.

First, lay face down on your bed or the floor with your hands palm down by your face. Begin to bring your head up and slowly arch your back.Push up onto your elbows, hold for a few seconds, and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

As you get more comfortable with the exercise, increase the time you hold the extension.

2. Arm Raises on Knees


This exercise will improve your upper back and shoulder stability, but also withreaching above your head.

Position yourself on your hands and knees with your back straight, and be sure to keep your hips in a neutral position.

Alternate lifting your arms parallel to the floor or whatever surface you are on, while keeping your elbows straight. Repeat each arm 10 times.

To add a challenge, raise the opposite leg every time you lift your arm.

3. Arm Raises on Your Back

arm raises

Arm raises on your back with your knees bent are a good way to gently stretch and strengthen a back that is tired or sore due to overuse.

Simply lie on your back with your knees bent, and place your arms at your sides. Alternate lifting yours arms to an upright position, and then lowering them back down. Repeat each arm 10 times.

4. Sit Backs


This back strengthening exercise helps stabilize and strengthen the lower back.

Sit with your knees bent, arms either crossed over your chest or stretched out in front of you, and slowly sit back as far as you can. Take your time rising back up into the start position, and repeat 10 times.

To try taking it up a notch, try the exercise with one leg extended out in front of you.


Best Arm Bodyweight Workouts for Older Adults

5. Tricep Dip


Find a sturdy bench or step, and sit on the floor with your knees slight bent. 

Grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor.

For an extra burn, reach the right arm out while lifting the left leg and alternate.

6. Arm Circles

arm circles

Stand straight up, with your feet hips width apart, and arms parallel to the floor.

Slowly make circles for about 20 to 30 seconds, about one foot in diameter. Then reverse the movement for another 20 to 30 seconds.

You can adjust the time and diameter of the arms’ circles to modify the exercise.

7. Boxer


This is another great one to grab two water bottles and place in each hand.

Stand with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, and ease your chest towards the ground. Keep the elbows in and extend one arm forward in a punching motion, while the other arm stays back. Hug the arm back in and switch.

8. Overhead Press


Grab those water bottles again.

Stand straight up, feet hip-width apart, with a water bottle in each hand. Lift your arms, so they are parallel with the floor and bend your elbows.

Slowly, press your hands up to the ceiling, pause, and lower back to the bent position. Repeat.

Best equipment-free chest Workouts for Adults

9. Wall Pushups


This exercise works your entire upper body, especially your chest, and its very simple.

Find a sturdy wall and stand about two feet away from it. Put your hands against the wall shoulder-width apart and at shoulder height. Bend your elbows diagonally to your sides to lower your chest towards the wall, and be sure to keep your body in a straight line as you lower. Allow your heels to lift off the floor and hold for a few seconds. Slowly press through your hands to rise back up and repeat.

Note, the closer you stand to the wall, the easier the exercise will be.

10. Contralateral Limb Raises

exercise for adults

Lie down on your stomach with your arms stretched over your head and palms facing one another. Slowly lift one arm a few inches off the floor, keeping it straight without rotating the shoulders. Hold the position, then lower the arm back down, and alternate sides.

To add a coordination challenge, try lifting the opposite foot as you raise your arm.

11. Fly Exercise

For this one, grab two water bottles, or any other similar house hold item.

Lay down on a hard surface and place one water bottle in each hand, and stretch your arms up with palms facing each other.

Lower your arms slowly until they are parallel to the floor and raise them back up. Repeat 10 times.

12. Floor Push Up

older adults fitness

There’s a reason this one’s a classic.

Start in an elevated plank position on a hard surface, with your hands shoulder-width apart.

Bend the elbows until the chest lowers close or touching the ground, and then push back up.

To modify a floor pushup, you can always let your knees rest upon the ground as your lower down.

Best equipment-free Core Workouts for Adults

13. Standard Plank


Plant the hands directly under the shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, as if you are about to do a push up.

Ground your feet into the ground, tighten your core and glutes, and hold. Find a spot on the floor to stare at, so you don’t strain your neck.

Start with holding for 20 seconds, and add on time as you progress.

14. Bicycle


Lie on the floor your head in your hands and knees bent.

Bring one knee in towards the opposite elbow, as the other leg straightens. Alternate sides, just like you are pedaling on a bicycle.

15. Flutter Kick


Begin this exercise by lying on your back with your arms at your sides.

Extend your legs straight out and lift your heels about 6 inches off the floor. Make quick, small up-and-down pulses with the legs, and repeat for 45 seconds.

16. Plank Tap


Start in the same position as you would for number 13. on our list, the standard plank.

Lift up right right hand and touch your left shoulder, then go back to standard plank position. Then touch your left hand to your right shoulder, and return to standard plank position. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Note, for this exercise keep your hips as still as possible.

Trust us, they will try to rotate!

Best equipment-free Leg Workouts for Adults

17. Wall Sit


Stand against a sturdy wall with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly, slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground (a 90-degree angle).

Keep your back straight, knees over your ankles, and hold.

Aim to hold for 30 seconds when you first start doing this exercise. You can increase the time or raise your arms over your head for an extra burn.

18. Lunge

lunge exercise

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips.

Step your left leg forward and slowly lower body until your right back knee is close to or touching the floor. Rise up, bring your left foot in, and switch to your right foot. Repeat each leg 15 times.

Once you are comfortable and feel balance, try walking your lunges forwards, or stepping backwards.

19. Squats to Chair


Squats help strength the entire lower body and even your core too.

Find a chair and stand in front of it, facing away. Keep your chest lifted, push your hips back, and bend your knees until your bottom touches the chair, or you sit down.

Hold, then push through your feet and squeeze your bottom to return to start.

20. Calf Raise

calf raises

Stand up straight, slowly rise up on the toes, keeping the knees straight and heels off the floor. Hold for 3 seconds, then lower back down and repeat. 

For an added range of notion stand on an elevated surface, like a step.

If you struggle with balance, be sure to hold onto something.

The importance of staying fit as an adult

There are many benefits of working out as you age. Not only does staying active help you preserve your mobility and strength, but an active lifestyle helps proper brain function.

At Against the Grain, our goal is to help our clients live happier lives by developing a sustainable healthy-living routine through our weight-loss and personal training services.