Free Hand Exercises for Weight Loss

young woman runner tying shoelaces on city road

Free hand exercises and free weight exercises are not one in the same. Free weight exercises involve dumbbells and barbells, and free hand exercises involve nothing but the weight of the body. If you want to tone up and lose weight, perform free hand exercises that recruit as much muscle as possible while simultaneously increasing your heart rate.


Running is a type of cardiovascular training that strengthens the lungs and heart, while simultaneously burning calories and toning leg muscles. To increase the effect with running, perform intervals, incorporate hills into your workouts or do wind sprints. With intervals, alternate back and forth between high and low intensity. With wind sprints, run as fast as you can, then rest completely before your next sprint. Rest twice as long as you run.

Star Squats

The star squat is a progression and more intense variation of a squat thrust. This exercise works the upper and lower body and core, while burning calories. To do it, stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Lower yourself into a squat, place your hands on the floor and kick your legs behind you. When your feet touch, maintain a straight line from your shoulders to heels. Quickly kick your feet back to the starting point and explosively jump in the air. While doing this, extend your arms and legs out at angles to form a star shape, land with your feet together and repeat.

To increase the challenge and place more emphasis on your chest, lower yourself into a pushup every time you kick your legs behind your body.

Angled Knee Mountain Climbers

Angled knee mountain climbers work your chest, shoulders, abs, thighs, glutes and cardiovascular system. To do these, place your hands on the floor and legs in staggered stance with your right leg forward and knee up by your chest. After lifting your right foot off the floor, shift your leg position so your left leg moves forward and your right leg moves backward. As you do this, keep your left foot off the floor and move your left knee toward your right elbow. Carefully switch your foot position again and bring your right knee toward your left elbow. Alternate back and forth in a fast and steady motion.

Alternating Butt Kick Knee Tucks

Alternating butt kick knee tucks work your legs and abs while increasing your heart rate. To do these, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Lower yourself into a partial squat and jump as high in the air as possible. When doing this, tuck your knees into your chest. As soon as you land, jump in the air again. This time, lift your heels in the air behind you and try to get them to touch your butt. Alternate between the two movements every time you land.