We brush our teeth because we would prefer to keep them. Also because we know it works. It is simple, keeps them white and shiny and prevents decay.

So what are we doing for our bodies? There are so many exercises and types of routines. Where to begin? We are looking for that proverbial toothbrush.

This series of exercises can be done anywhere with no equipment. Done one at a time they provide some good stimulation to the large muscle groups and will provide a great foundation that you can build upon.

To get some cardio we can do the exercises in a circuit: that is one after the other with little to no rest in between!


30 seconds.  Works: Hips, Glutes, Lower Back, Abs, Ankles, Balance.

These are as simple as they sound. Gently kick straight in front of you, one leg and then the other. Start low and if you feel comfortable you can try higher kicks. If you can kick as high as your waist you are doing great. One day you may get as high as your shoulders! Great for your balance.


30 seconds.  Thighs, Glutes, Lower Back, Ankles, Balance.

Sit down on a chair that is about knee height and stand up straight, and sit down. Keep most of your weight on your heels. If this is easy you can do it without the chair. If you find it hard you can put your hands on your knees to help push yourself up. A thick cushion or higher chair will also make it easier.


30 seconds.  Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Core.

Traditional pushups are done face down on the floor. Hands a few inches wider than the shoulders, body straight, on the toes. Bend your arms to ninety degrees, lowering your body and push back up.

Beginners: keep your knees on the floor. You can even put your hands on a higher stable surface. Or you can do them standing, arms straight, hands on the wall, bend your elbows until your nose almost touches the wall and push back to standing position.


30 seconds. Abdominals, Shoulders, Back.

A great exercise for your core, posture and overall fitness.

Face down on the floor, get up on your elbows and toes. Knees and hips are off the floor, body straight. Remember to breath and don’t let your hips sag downward.

Beginners: start on your knees. Or put your elbows on an elevated surface like a bed or a sofa.


30 seconds. Hamstrings, Glutes, Lower Back, Ankles, Balance.

In this exercise we are going to lean forward on one leg and raise the other leg behind us. Stand in front of a bed or chair. Keep your back straight as you lean forward and raise a leg behind you. Touch the chair

seat with your hands and slowly stand up straight. Repeat with your other leg. Always keep the knees slightly bent, this will ensure the hamstring is engaged and reduces stress in the back of the knee.

If you have good balance and flexibility you can do it without the chair and touch the floor with your fingertips. Raise the rear leg as high as possible.

So, there’s one of many options for the toothbrush for the body! A total of two and a half minutes of exercise! Of course it will take a little longer as you get to know them and transition from one to the next.

Beginners can try doing the circuit twice.


A couple of days rest in between workouts is good, or until muscles have fully recovered. You will notice quick gains in strength and performance when doing this series 2-3 times per week.

More advanced participants can do the circuit up to 6 times in a row and even increase the amount of time spent on each exercise! Lots of calories will be burned!


About the Author

Conor McDermott is a Health and Fitness Coach with more than 20 years experience. He is currently servicing the Toronto area and can be contacted at

Photo credit: Edmund Vanzyl