You don’t need a gym to work out. Here are four at-home no-equipment workouts that will give you a full exercise regimen. Working out at home means that you don’t have to get yourself to the gym, pay membership fees, or work out in front of other people. That takes away the potential for a lot of excuses. These workouts cover cardio, strength training, core strength, and (because so many people prefer it) yoga.
1. Cardio: It doesn’t get much simpler than walking or running. Just get outside and walk or run. (Okay, maybe that’s not at-home, exactly, but it doesn’t require a gym.) You don’t have to just run and run, if that idea bores you. You can run wind sprints with your dog. Run intervals (alternate fast, heart-pumping sprints with slower jogging periods in the same workout). Walk in a mall if it’s cold. Or if you really want to stay home, run in place or on the stairs.
In addition, skipping or jumping jacks will give you a cardio workout. Don’t forget to stretch afterward. Simple, right?
2. Strength: this is where many people feel that they need gym equipment. But you simply don’t. Old-fashioned bodyweight exercises are still among the best for carving lean muscle mass. If you want to build your body into bulging muscles, you will need some heavy weights. But if you want to tone, variations on pushups, squats, and lunges will do wonders. It’s surprising how varied these workouts can be. Here is just one example, from Women’s Health (and it’s just as suitable for men). Each move is described and illustrated with photos. You can also click on each to watch a video how-to. They say that this is:
a killer head-to-toe body-weight routine you can do anytime, anywhere. Tackle the moves two nonconsecutive days a week and you’ll look tighter and feel stronger within four weeks.
3. Core: you definitely don’t need equipment for this. And you don’t need to do hundreds of crunches. There is a variety of ways to strengthen your core. The good news is that your core is involved in everything. If you’re doing the bodyweight exercises above, your core will come into play during planks and pushups (note: make sure you pay attention to form. Keep your body straight-don’t let your hips sag, and don’t poke your butt in the air). For a whole workout that will focus on developing a strong core, Marie Claire has this one (it’s a killer–you may need to work up to the full reps). Here’s a sample:
Works: lower ab muscles
What to do: Lie on your back, arms stretched straight over your head and legs fully extended and crossed in the air. Exhale and lift your tailbone, then slowly lower as you inhale (don’t just drop — resist on the way down). Repeat 30 times.
4. Yoga for tone: Here’s a yoga workout, also from Women’s Health, a flow with only four moves, but that will leave you with jelly arms. It’s terrific for toning the core and arms.
You truly don’t need a gym, and you don’t have to buy expensive workout equipment for your home. No gliders, treadmills, or ellipticals needed. A yoga mat will work just fine. You can get a great workout right at home. Go for it.