No Kit? No Problem! Keep Fit With This Bodyweight Spartan Workout

(Image credit: unknown)

If your fitness routine has always been dependent on hitting the gym, we’ve got good news for you – you can get and stay in great shape at home as well, even if you don't have any of your usual equipment to hand. You just need to change your approach.

“We have to be adaptable and change the way we go about keeping fit and active in times like these,” says Sam Stauffer, director of training at Spartan Race UK.

To help you out, Stauffer has put together this full-body workout, which is suitable for all fitness levels.

“This workout can be completed with no weights or equipment and can be scaled to be super-easy or super-hard,” says Stauffer.


1 Leg cradle

Reps 8-10 each side

From standing, bring your right knee up as high as you can while maintaining your balance. Hold the outside of your knee with your right hand and grab your ankle with the left. Slowly pull your ankle towards your chest. You’ll feel this stretch in the back of your glutes.

Unweighted squat

Reps 10

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bending at your knees and hips, lower as far as you can. The goal is for your thighs to be parallel to the ground. Once you’ve lowered as far as you can, stand back up and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can. Keep your hands out in front of your chest.

Single-leg deadlift with reach

Reps 8-10 each side

This is a great exercise to challenge stability! Stand with a slight bend in your knees and put all of your weight on your right leg. Hinge forwards at the hips, sending the left leg backwards and your arms forwards. Reach as far as you can to create as much distance from fingertips to your toes as possible.

4 Arm circles

Reps 8 each side

Stand with your core engaged to avoid arching your lower back. Extend your arms out to the sides and move them in big circles forwards and backwards.

Jumping jacks

Time 30sec

Start with your feet together and your hands crossed over one another. From here, jump your feet and hands out wide, then jump back to the starting position.

Repeat the warm-up as many times as it takes to feel ready to take on the workout.


The workout is split into two tri-sets, followed by an intense superset to finish. Perform all exercises in each tri-set for one minute without a pause, only resting after the last exercise is complete. Rest for two minutes and repeat the tri-set. Once you have completed the tri-set three times in total, move on to the next tri-set. Then complete two rounds of the superset without rest. All exercises have regressions and progressions to suit your level of fitness. To make the whole thing a whole lot harder, reduce the rest period to one minute and perform each tri-set four times.

Tri-Set 1

1A Triceps dip

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 0sec

Sit on a stable surface like a chair, bench or low table with your hands gripping the surface next to your hips and your feet on the floor. The farther your feet are from you, the harder it’s going to be. Move your bottom off the surface so you’re supporting yourself with your hands, then bend at the elbows to lower your body. Once your elbows are bent at 90°, push back up until your arms are extended.

Make it easier: Bend your knees.

Make it harder: Extend your legs further or add a weight on top of your knees.

1B Reverse lunge to knee drive


(Image credit: unknown)

Sets 3 Time 30sec each side Rest 0sec

Stand with your feet together. Take a step back with your right leg and lower slowly until your right knee taps the ground. Return to standing and drive your right knee towards your chest. Alternate legs with each rep.

Make it easier: Lose the knee drive.

Make it harder: Add weight, holding dumbbells by your shoulders or kettlebells in the front rack position.

1C Active plank

Sets 3 Time 1min Rest 2min

Think the regular elbow plank – but harder. Lie on the floor supported on your elbows and toes, forming a straight line from the back of your head to your heels. Keep your feet together and your forearms parallel so your hands aren't touching. Squeeze your glutes and abs as tight as you can and drive your elbows in towards your chest but without taking them off the ground. This will activate your core in a way you never thought possible.

Make it easier: Elevate your upper body on a stable surface like a sofa.

Make it harder: Place a light weight on your back.

Tri-Set 2

2A Side squat

Sets 3 Time 30sec each side Rest 0sec

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Move your torso over your right leg, and bend at your right knee and hips to lower, keeping your left leg extended. Your goal is to sink down so your right thigh is parallel with the floor without the knee coming over the toe. This means you are going to have to sit back as far as you can.

Make it easier: Do an unweighted squat as in the warm-up.

Make it harder: Side lunge, where your feet start together and then you step out wide and sink into a side lunge position. Or add weight.

2B Bulgarian split squat

Sets 3 Time 30sec each side Rest 0sec

Stand about 60cm or so from a stable surface like a sofa or bed, facing away from it. Rest the top of your left foot on the surface. Bend at your right knee to lower your left knee as close to the ground as possible, but don’t let your right knee move forwards past your toes. Push back up.

Make it easier: Use a broom handle or something stable to assist the movement.

Make it harder: Add weight, holding dumbbells by your shoulders or kettlebells in the front rack position.

2C Woodchop

Sets 3 Time 30sec each side Rest 2min

Start off in a half-kneeling position with your left knee on the ground and your right foot on the ground in front of you, right knee bent at 90° and heel directly below your knee. Hold a weight – a heavy book will be fine if you don’t have any free weights at home – in front of your left knee. Lift the weight up and across your body until your arms are extended above your right shoulder. Reverse the move.

Make it easier: Use a lighter weight.

Make it harder: Bring your back knee off the ground slightly.


Do two rounds of this superset without resting to finish your workout strong.

3A Mountain climber

Sets 2 Time 1min Rest 0sec

Get into a press-up position, supported on your hands and toes, with your hands underneath your shoulders and your body forming a straight line. Alternate bringing each knee up to your chest, moving at pace.

3B Burpee

Sets 2 Time 1min Rest 0sec

From standing, bring your hands down to the ground and kick your feet back to get into a press-up position. Do a press-up, then jump your feet forwards again so they’re next to your hands and return to a standing position. Then jump, bringing your hands high over your head.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.