A good work out does not require a gym or heavy equipment. All you need is the comfort of your home or an open backyard, a little creativity and the will to shape up. Exercise without all the hassles of gym memberships and the scrutiny of strange eyes; get some fresh air and sun while you are at it.

The Shuttle Run

The most exhilarating and effective way to increase your metabolism is the 'shuttle run', which requires the person to run back and forth between two parallel lines as fast as possible. Engaging in the shuttle run increases you maximum oxygen consumption, speed and endurance level. Incorporate this fun exercise into your home boot camp by running from one end of your backyard or room to the middle and then back to the start, before running to the other end and then back to the starting point again. When you complete the sequence 5 times, it becomes a set. Complete five sets and between each of them, take a minute-long breaks.


Along with being a fun and low-key sport, Badminton is an amazing cardiovascular workout. It is a great game for children as it allows them to be physically active, yet safe. If you have a spacious yard, setting up the net is pretty easy. However, nets and rulebooks go with the wind when it comes to family fun time; all that matters is everyone joins in.

Ballet Plies

Ballet plies help shape your thighs, glutes and quads, and require only a patio chair. Face the chair sideways and put one hand on the back of it. Turn your feet out to a 45-degree angle and spread them shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees for a deep lunge as the heels pop up, stretch and repeat 20 times. Do the same on the other side. These plies can be repeated in the second position as well, where the heels are further apart and remain on ground at all times, when you go for the deep lunge. If you are feeling inspired and are ready for a more impactful workout, try out other positions demonstrated in the video below.

Tree Climbing

Think of your backyard as a jungle gym and master the art of tree climbing. Make use of the branches to work arm muscles in ways that are impossible without high-specialty equipment. Swing across branches and do pull ups. This is another activity the children are going to love; so make a day of it and have fun while you work yourself into a good sweat.

Hoola Hoop

Finally, the simplest and most effective way to tone your abs is the hoola hoop. Everyone from Zooey Deschanel to First Lady Michelle Obama is hot for Hula-Hoopin and it burns about 165 calories in 30 minutes. Start your workout by side stretching with your hoola hoop and then start hooping away. On a particularly energetic day, incorporate plunges into your hoola hooping and end the workout by winding down and simply passing the hoola hoop between both hands. 

Waste no time to include these fun activities to enjoy your personalized backyard boot camp alone or as a family.