Ten Effective No-Equipment Exercises to Help You Live Paleo
When living a Paleo lifestyle —like cave men — you gotta move! Making exercising a priority when living Paleo is super smart for your health and well-being. The key to looking and feeling healthy is understanding that your body needs exercise and movement to fuel you with energy. Making this one lifestyle change will have a major impact on reducing your risk of slow, progressing chronic diseases, and it will improve your quality of life.
Burpees combine a squat, a plank, and a vertical leap.
The burpee is a staple movement. You can find this exercise in just about every fitness trainer's toolbox in some form or another. It's a great way to get a full-body workout in just a couple of short, swift movements, and it's a great cardiovascular workout to boot. Try to do ten of these guys without breathing super heavy afterward.
1. Begin in a standing position.
2. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
3. Extend your feet back in one quick motion to assume the plank position.
4. Return to the squat position in one quick motion.
5. Jump straight in the air as high as you can.
The sit-up is great for hip flexors and the deep muscles of your abdomen.
1. Bend your knees and place the balls of your feet and heels on the ground.
2. Place your hands on opposing shoulders so your arms are crossed over your chest.
3. Tighten your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button to your spine.
4. Keep your heels on the ground and your toes flat to the ground, and slowly and gently lift your head first, followed by your shoulder blades. Come all the way up, touching your armpits to your knees.
5. Slowly bring your torso down to the floor and keep a slight yet relaxed arch.
Walking lunges are similar to regular walking, but you just add a lunge.
1. Stand tall holding your hands at your hips.
2. Take a step, tighten your abdominal muscles to give you more spinal stability, and bend forward with your foot, bending both knees so that your front knee is aligned over your ankle and the back knee comes close to the floor, with your back heel lifted off the floor.
3. Before your back knee touches the floor, push up with your back leg, forcing the weight of your body through your front heel, at the same time bringing your back foot together with your front foot.
4. Continue, alternating legs.
Air squats give you a fit and firm bottom, tummy, and thighs.
1. Begin by standing with your legs apart.
2. Bend down and squat, making sure your thighs and calves connect. Your knees should always be out and over the feet. The hips should dip down farther than the knees. At the same time, push your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder height.
3. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly as you push back up into a standing position.
4. Return your arms to your sides. (Be sure to fully complete one squat before beginning the next.)
Step-ups are a great way to strengthen your thighs and knees.
1. Standing in front of a bench or staircase, place your foot flat on the stair or bench. Push into your heel and bring your other foot up to the step, but don't put any weight on that foot — just tap your toe.
2. Keeping your first foot planted flat on the stair or bench, place the other foot gently back down to the floor. Come up and down eight to ten times, just tapping the toe of your other foot on the step.
3. Repeat on the other side.
Dips work your chest, shoulders, and biceps to get your entire upper body toned.
1. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair. Place your hands on either side of your hips, fingers gripping forward over the edge of the seat. Plant both feet on the floor and scoot your hips forward off the seat.
2. Bend your arms, lowering your body. Keep your torso straight and hips as close to the bench as possible. Use your arm muscles to control your decent.
3. Stop when your shoulders are level with your elbows or just before. Your elbows should stay directly over your hands throughout the movement.
4. Straighten your arms by pressing yourself back up to the start position. You can use your legs as necessary, but try to keep the power coming from your arms.
Jumping jacks are a full-body exercise that gives you a cardiovascular workout and tones everything.
1. Begin by standing with your feet together and arms at your side.
2. Bend your knees and jump, moving your feet apart, making sure they're wider than your shoulders. At the same time, raise your arms over your head. Make sure you're on the balls of your feet when you land.
3. Keep your knees bent while you jump, again bringing your feet together and your arms at your sides. When you're done, your weight should be on your heels.
The plank hold is an exercise that gives you a super strong core and a rock-solid trunk and spine.
1. Lie face down on the floor. Place your forearms on the mat with your shoulders aligned directly over your elbows. Clasping your hands in front of you makes this a little easier.
2. Extend your legs behind you and rest on your toes. Don't lift your hips toward the ceiling, and don't arch your back. You should have a straight line between your shoulders and toes.
3. Tighten your stomach muscles and hold as long as you can. If you feel your back start to cave from fatigue, take a minute then regroup and go at it again! The better you get at this, the longer you'll be able sustain the hold without fatiguing.
Walking and running have no limitations.
To make sure you get the best experience, warm your muscles with some dynamic range of motion. Start slow and easy if you're hitting the pavement as a newbie.
Stimulate the Qi Gong K-27 energy buttons.
K-27 stands for kidney meridian number 27, which describes the pathway of energy used in Eastern medicine that flows from the balls of the feet to the collarbone. This pathway is an important area of energy flow throughout the body.
1. Place your fingers on your collarbone (clavicle). Use both hands.
2. Follow your collarbone inward until you reach the corner, and drop down and outward a bit to the indent below the collarbone. You found the K-27 points, indicated on the image. (The K-27 point is located just below the collarbone, close to the middle of the body.)
3. Massage these points in a rotating motion for about 20 seconds. You can do both sides simultaneously or one at a time.