Let’s face it, the gym can be a downright pain in the behind… from the registration fees, to the borderline outrageous monthly fees, to the ridiculous crowds, and always having to wait for the equipment you want to use, it can all be a little much. The good thing is, there are great workouts (for FREE) you can do from your apartment with minimal equipment or even using your own body weight. Here are some of our favorites:
Burpees (Video) – This is a great and tiring exercise that does a little bit of everything. Great cardio, works out your arms, and builds your leg muscles. On top of that, there’s no need for any kind of equipment. 20-30 of these using the proper technique, you’ll work up a sweat for sure.
Plank to push-up (Video) – Great for your core, shoulders, triceps and chest. Begin in a plank position then transition into a push-up by extending the right elbow and placing the right hand flat on the ground. Do the same for your left elbow and hand until you are in a push up position. You can hold in the push-up position for 3-5 seconds and/or mix in another push up then lower back into a plank. This sequence equals one full rep. Repeat for however many reps you are comfortable with before switching to left side.
Star Plank (Video) – A variation of the plank position that forces you to exercise your chest, abs, and shoulders while taxing your core a little bit more. Hold for as long as you can but no more than two minutes.
Jumping Rope (Video) – Skipping a bit of rope is a great cardio exercise that you can get on the cheap from Amazing ($10 or less). Not only is it great for cardio, it improves your footwork which is the main reason boxers use it in their training. This is best done if you have a first floor apartment, so as not to annoy your neighbors!
High Knees and Butt Kickers – A couple of workouts that are great for some cardio. The best thing about them is you can do them in your own living room or just about anywhere! Even while performing them in place, you are definitely still getting a good workout. Start of by doing each set for about 45 seconds/a minute (or however long you are comfortable with). You can also ramp up the intensity as necessary. Trust us, after a few sets you’ll definitely be working up a sweat. These are definitely a couple of workouts that can and will kick your butt, pun intended.
Forward Sprints/Backward Sprints – This requires you to get outside and get some fresh air. You can do it on the sidewalk, on a hike, at a park or field (or en route even). All out sprint for 50 yards (think 8 seconds give or take) while resting for 40 seconds. Try 5 reps each of forward and backward sprints; you can do 5 forward then 5 backward or alternate the two however you’d like!
Squats and Lunges – Great and basic workouts for the lower body that are effective. Plus, you can do from pretty much anywhere. If you want to add a little difficulty to your workout, mix in a few dumbbells or medicine balls to develop your core strength even more. Try jump squats to add a little more punch to this exercise (normal squat as normal while adding an explosive jump at the end. Land softly and go right into another squat. Repeat). You can add the same variation to lunges as well.
Sumo Squat to Side Crunch (Video) – This one incorporates legs as well as your abs and core. Begin with your hands on your head, feet apart a little wider than shoulder length. Bend your knees into a squat position (sumo squat) while bringing your right knee to your right elbow (side crunch). Repeat the movement while alternating to your left side.
Bicycle Crunch (Video) – This great ab workout exercises both the upper and lower abs. While providing work for the secondary muscles of the hamstring and quads. Not only is there a benefit in terms of muscles worked, but it also gets your heart rate going a bit more too!
Dead Bug (Video) – This is a great ab workout that stabilizes your core and works on the transverse abdominal muscle which is a significant component of the core. The workout is slower paced and emphasizes correct form and breathing (exhale as you lower your leg and the opposite arm: see video).