Some of my favorite workouts are those that require no equipment, just body weight—you can do them anywhere and the exercises always get my muscles burning (in a good way). Push-ups are one of my favorite body weight moves and recently I learned how to spice them up in a demo class I took at Equinox Fitness in NYC. In one variation the instructor had me lift my opposite arm and leg for a few seconds between each rep. In another, I lowered my chest down, then pushed up quickly and tried to extend my arms forward (I recommend doing these on your knees instead of your toes unless you’re super strong). One of the super-tough versions involved kicking my feet up behind me and criss-crossing my legs between reps. These last two are plyometric moves that take a ton of energy and are killer for your core. I also discovered that adding simple jumping jacks between sets amps up the intensity and creates a total-body workout that burns tons of calories.
These exercises are part a new high-intensity sculpting class at Equinox called Torch, which includes a mix of calisthenics, partner exercises, and other strength-training moves.
If you try a new class or DVD you love, make sure to tell us about it—especially if it involves some cool body-weight-only moves!
—Mallory Creveling, editorial assistant