My 5 Favorite Strength / Flexibility / Balance Moves You Can Do At Home Without Weights

how to do a scorpion

While I admit my home gym setup is pretty solid, you don’t need any weights or equipment to keep your body running smoothly during times when you’re stuck at home.

In fact, right now is the perfect time to introduce new exercises and movements and correct some of those muscle imbalances (we all have ’em).

Here are 5 of my favorite functional, core-focused movements that will keep your muscles strong, flexible, and limber during quarantine! These will be particularly helpful for you if you spend a lot of time sitting.

Best of all, no weights required (but you can use them for some if you want).

Scorpion

Focus: Back, shoulders, hips, abs/core

This is one of my all-time favorite functional strength movements that works a variety of muscle groups. It’s excellent for improving rotational mobility and power, which is applicable to nearly every sport imaginable. I do this exercise in between days I lift weights. Here’s an explanation of how to do it on Men’s Health.

Two Step Getup

Focus: Shoulders, lower back, abs/core

This is another fantastic core movement for those who spend a lot of time sitting that can be done with or without weights. I do this exercise at least two days a week. Lie on your back, a light dumbbell in your right hand directly over your chest (or just raise your arm up with no weight), right knee bent. Press the your arm upward, propping yourself onto your left elbow. Pause. Push your torso off the floor. Pause. Do 5-10 reps on each side.

Squat to Hip Opener

Focus: Legs (quads, hips, hamstrings), lower back, abs/core

Deep squat + hip opener = one of the all-time great total body exercises. It’s great for tight hips and glutes and helps improve your balance too. Start standing and slowly drop into a deep squat (if you have bad knees, only go as far as you can). Stand back up, squeezing your glutes, and lift your right leg, driving your knee up. Rotate your thigh outward, flexing your right glute. Pause, then return to standing. Repeat on the other side. Do reps for 30 seconds on each side, and complete 3 sets.

Downward Dog with Calf Reach

Focus: Hamstrings, mid-back, abs/core, triceps

Here’s a great exercise to do if you spend a lot of time sitting. It combines a classic yoga pose with an added flexibility/mobility/core twist. First, get into a downward dog position. Now reach down with your right hand and grab your left calf. Hold that position for a few seconds then switch sides and repeat. Do 5-10 reps on each side. If you can only reach your knee or thigh area that’s fine … listen to your body!

Lateral Line Stretch

Focus: Shoulders, lower back, abs/core

Ok, this one is a bit easier. The lateral line stretch can help ease tension in your QL (quadratus lumborum), an abdominal muscle located deep within your lower back that often gets overworked and causes lower back pain. Here’s a YouTube video that explains how to do it:

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