Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Maybe a gym isn’t a part of your routine because it’s snowing, you’re traveling, stuck at the house or simply trying to save some extra money. Hey, we get it! But don’t let that stop you from getting an excellent workout right here at home. It may take a little determination and creativity, but we’ve laid out a handful of alternatives to get your sweat on without any need for a membership.
Make It a Circuit
For each of the following exercises, start with three to five rounds of 15-20 reps each. Give yourself short 15-second breaks in between each exercise.
It’s an oldie but a goodie for building upper body strength and bulking up chest and arm muscles. But here’s the thing: There is a right way to do a perfect pushup.
- Keep your back straight, your core engaged and your butt down.
- Lower yourself into the bottom position, resisting the urge to drop your hips toward the floor — this will keep your core engaged.
- Reverse the motion without locking your elbows at the top position. Boom! There you have it.
If this is too challenging, try starting the pushups on your knees. Or, if floor pushups aren’t challenging enough, raise your feet up on your bed or a chair and try it that way!
Here’s a little something you might not know: Squats are good for more than just your legs! They’re also a great way to build muscles in your back and core. Hello, improved posture! Squats are an exercise that does a lot and only requires a little room to do it. Your studio apartment just became a fitness studio.
- Place your feet just a little wider than hip width with your toes pointed slightly out.
- Squat down and push your hips back and down as you descend.
- Remember to keep your knees in line with your toes!
- Reverse the action to complete your rep.
No, this exercise won’t actually require outdoor gear (although we’re also fans of getting outside and active). Mountain climbers are a challenging full-body workout that push everything from your deltoids and biceps to your hamstrings and hip abductors. It’s like the Swiss army knife of strength and cardio training.
- Assume a pushup position (which you’ve just mastered) with one leg forward and under your body as if you’re about to run a race.
- Slightly launch your lower body up and switch legs as you bring the front leg back and the back leg forward simultaneously.
- Go at your own pace, but continue this motion for all of your reps.
As the name implies, all you need is our old four-legged friend: the chair. The chair dip is a convenient and challenging tricep and back workout that builds strength and stamina.
- Sit on the edge of the chair gripping the sides with both of your hands.
- Place your feet either on another chair or on the floor. You should be suspended by your arms and your body should make an “L” shape.
- Lower your body and form a 90-degree angle at your elbows and then return to the top position without locking your joints.
Who knew chairs could be used for so much more than sitting?
Working out should make you feel good down to your core. And crunches can help you strengthen that core.
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- With your hands crossed over on your chest, raise your shoulders off the floor while keeping your lower back planted.
- Crunch up by curling your upper body toward your legs.
- Lower back down without resting your midsection to complete.
Now Cool It Down
Stretch out for five minutes after completing your circuits and then feel free to cheer, give yourself a pat on the back or attempt a self-five. You did it!
Anywhere and Everywhere Is Your Gym
It’s all too easy to let your exercise routine fall by the wayside. But let’s face it — a big part of an active lifestyle is actively pushing yourself to actually do it. All it takes is a handful of simple exercises and a little initiative. And we’ve given you the first part!
So get going and tell us how you stay fit outside of the gym in the comments below.