The No-Workout Workout

The No-Workout Workout

Easy exercises you can do virtually anywhere

Ah, the end of another busy day. Your workday is over, your errands are done, and dinner is slowly digesting in your belly. You sit back on the couch to take in the news of the day or the latest scores before heading to bed.

But what about your workout? At this stage in the game, it's probably the last thing on your mind. Wouldn't it be great to get home from a busy day and already have completed your workout? You bet it would. And RealAge can show you how to do it with our no-equipment workout. The key is to realize that exercise doesn't have to have its own separate time slot. You can get your workout in just by adding a few quick and easy exercises or movements to your existing daily routine.

Simple actions, such as taking the stairs or lugging your groceries to your car, can help you tone muscles and burn calories on the go.

Learn how you can increase your activity levels at work, at home, or out around town with the RealAge No-Workout Workout. With these 7 easy exercises, you may discover that you're already exercising without even knowing it!

The RealAge No-Workout Workout
Build up to 30 minutes of these activities and you'll be meeting your minimum daily exercise requirements for good health.

Strengthen Your Stomach
1. Chair Crunches

Muscles worked: abdominals

  • Starting point: Seated, back straight, arms at sides, hands gripping the bottom of the chair, feet flat on the floor, knees bent and over toes, legs pressed together.
  • Action: Lift your knees straight up, keeping the bottom of your feet parallel to the ground. Exhale while you lift your knees, and inhale as you bring your feet back down to the floor. Complete one1 set of 10–-12 repetitions.
  • Tip: For extra workout points, keep your back off the backrest, and do not lean heavily on your arms.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes. 

2. Chair Crunches with a Twist
Muscles worked: internal obliques

  • Starting point: Same as regular chair crunches, but instead of gripping the chair, clasp your hands behind your head and push your elbows out to the sides.
  • Action: Lift your left knee straight up. As you do so, twist your upper body to the left side until your right elbow meets your left knee. Return to your starting point. Repeat, only this time lift your right knee straight up and twist your upper body to the right until your left elbow meets your right knee. Complete one set of 5–6 elbow-to-knee touches per side.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

Firm Your Upper Body
3. Grocery-Bag Curls

Muscles worked: biceps (upper arms)

  • Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, palms facing forward, grocery- bag handle gripped in one hand.
  • Action: As you walk, every time you step with your left foot, bend your arm at the elbow to lift your bag up to chest level; straighten and lower your arm back down every time you step with your right foot. Complete one1 set of 10–-12 reps. Switch hands and repeat with the other arm.
  • Tip: Keep your wrist straight and your elbow directly beneath your shoulder with each curl.
  • Time: Aim for 5 minutes.

4. Grocery-Bag Rowing
Muscles worked: deltoids (shoulders)

  • Starting point: Standing or walking, arms straight down at your sides, hands in front of your thighs, palms facing your thighs, a bag handle gripped in each hand.
  • Action: Pretend that there is a golf club connecting the bags in your hands. Lift the golf club up toward your chest, bending your elbows out to each side as you lift. Complete one set of 10–12 reps.
  • Tip: Keep your hands about 3 inches in front of your body as you lift.
  • Time: Aim for 5 minutes.

Tone Your Lower Body
5. Leg Lifts

Muscles worked: adductors (inner thigh)

  • Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right leg extended in front of you until the toes are resting on the ground about 10 inches in front of your left foot.
  • Action: Slowly sweep your right toes to the left, beyond your left foot. Use your inner thigh muscles to pick your right foot up and move it back to the starting point. Complete one set of 10–12 reps for each leg.
  • Tip: Keep your knees straight and your weight on your stationary foot.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

6. Hip Hiker
Muscles worked: abductors (outer thigh)

  • Starting point: Standing, weight on left foot, right knee bent with right foot setting on a stable 4- to 6-inch rise (such as a stair step or a sidewalk curb), hands on hips.
  • Action: Slowly straighten your right knee so that you are lifting your weight up onto the step or curb. Hold for 5 seconds and then slowly lower your weight back onto your left foot. Complete one set of 10–12 repetitions. Reverse legs and repeat.
  • Tip: When using a step, stand sideways so that your feet are parallel. When using a sidewalk curb, safety first! Choose a sidewalk curb that is not near traffic.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

7. Heel Raises
Muscles worked: gastrocnemius, or gastroc (calves)

  • Starting point: Standing, legs straight, feet 1 inch apart.
  • Action: Slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground as high as you can, and then slowly lower your heels back to the ground. Complete one set of 10–12 reps.
  • Tip: Keep your legs straight, but don't lock your knees.
  • Time: Aim for 4 minutes.

If you make it a habit of slipping these seven easy exercises into your daily routine -- for a total of 30 minutes a day -- you may begin to notice improvements in your strength and endurance after only a few weeks.

And don't forget to complement your RealAge No-Workout Workout by mixing in more moderate to vigorous activities, such as walking, swimming, biking, or jogging, whenever you can.

When you think of exercise as a separate activity, it's easy to find a million excuses to leave your workout gear in the closet. You slept in a little. You worked late. Your commute was extra long. You didn't feel motivated. You had to run to the post office, the bank, the store. Bad weather. Maybe tomorrow. But with our no-equipment workout, anytime is a good time for exercise. So wear comfortable shoes and take on your day and your workout at the same time.

Medically reviewed in November 2019.

60-Second Workouts
60-Second Workouts
You can do a lot in 60 seconds, like whip up a smoothie, update your Facebook status or find out if that plastic stick you just peed on is going to tu...
Read More
How is a renegade row exercise performed?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
To perform the renegade row exercise, you will need either a pair of dumbbells or a pair of kettlebe...
More Answers
Do-Anywhere Workout Plan
Do-Anywhere Workout PlanDo-Anywhere Workout PlanDo-Anywhere Workout PlanDo-Anywhere Workout Plan
This 14-move, excuse-proof workout is perfect for you.
Start Slideshow
Transform YOU: Chest Stretch
Transform YOU: Chest Stretch