No Gym? No Problem!

By Andrea Tritschler

Sometimes going to the gym can feel like a chore. We have to find time that works with gym hours and with our busy schedules. But, who says you need a gym to get a great full body workout? You can get amazing results by doing simple moves at home without equipment. Home workouts demand discipline and accountability, but that’s it.

Exercising at home can save you time and money and the benefits of staying home go beyond convenience and comfort. “You can be more honest with your body [at home] than in the gym,” certified at-home personal trainer Amber Ellison Walker said. “At the gym you think ‘who’s looking at me, is my outfit right for the gym?’ but when you’re at home, you can let go of that and you can really learn so much with your body.”

The secret to getting a toned, lean body without equipment is engaging different muscles and doing short, high-intensity circuits. Follow Walker’s ten-minute routine for a great workout, anytime, anywhere.

Fast Squats

Squats are a great exercise for toning the butt and thighs, and doing them quickly gets your heart rate up. Complete as many as you can in two minutes. embed video code:

Plank

Walker, founder of I Think I Can Fitness, said the plank is a good exercise for your core because it not only strengthens and stabilizes, but it isn’t about curving your body forward like traditional abs workouts. It’s about keeping your belly straight while engaging your muscles. Hold your plank for two minutes and 30 seconds and feel the burn! embed video:

Low Bridge

The low bridge is all about the glutes. It’s just a small movement of your hips and you get to lie down, which is a nice break from some of the more intense exercises. Complete as many of these as you can in one minute and 30 seconds. embed code:

Burpees

Burpees get the heart rate up really quickly and you can add a push-up and jump, or put your hands behind your head to build upper body strength. Do these for three minutes at a high intensity. embed code:

Quad Stretch

Finish up with a stretch. Proper stretching is just as important as the workout. Stretch as long as you feel you need it, but no less than one minute. embed code:

You can also borrow moves from Pilates and yoga to add to your routine or find a video class online. Doing exercises like the “hundred”, bicycle, and Russian twist help to strengthen the core and define your waistline. And, with the help of a mat, you can do almost any abs workout on the floor of your living room, bedroom or even while catching up on your favorite shows.

Modifying moves to work with your body is important, but without the use of equipment, sometimes you have to be creative. You can use a chair or step (if you have stairs) for moves like triceps dips, step-ups and single-leg squats.

Walker recommends using the counter if you can’t do push-ups on the floor because it decreases the weight you are working with.

Even if you are a gym regular, you can find ways to sneak at-home workouts into your day. You can do calf extensions, abs, squats or push-ups while waiting for your coffee to brew in the morning. You don’t have to workout for thirty minutes or an hour, you can do what you can, when you can, and still feel great and get fit.

“[Long workouts] are somewhat forced and reinforced by the gym culture,” said Walker. “But you can do short workouts of 10-15 minutes and then get back to what you were doing.” When working out at home, Walker warns that you should listen to your body, because ultimately, you are the expert. Pay attention to your form, but don’t hesitate to modify an exercise to make it more comfortable. If something doesn’t feel good, change it so it does, or just don’t do it.

At-home workouts don’t have to stay at home. Challenge yourself to take these moves outdoors if you have a backyard, or go for a hike and do them on top of the mountain or at the park. Just remember to have a little fun.

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Categories: Your Fitness

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