No Equipment Necessary: Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room
By Melody Foster
If you think you need a gym membership or expensive equipment to stay fit, you’re deceiving yourself. While there are plenty of benefits to paying for a gym membership or workout class — such as helping you stay motivated, there are plenty of exercises you can do right in your living room with little or no equipment.
Here are fat-blasting workouts you can do in your living room, or even your office or hotel room.
Bodyweight training simply means using only your bodyweight as resistance to improve balance, flexibility and strength. With bodyweight training, you can work every muscle in your body, from your chest and shoulders to legs and abs. A short, yet intense bodyweight circuit can be just as effective as spending an hour (or more!) in the gym.
Start with this simple bodyweight circuit. Do each exercise for 40 seconds, with a 20 second rest in between. Complete the circuit three to five times, as you are able.
Jumping lunges — Standing with your feet together, jump into the lunge position, with one leg out front, and your other behind. Jump back to standing position, bringing your feet together. Alternate legs.
Modify it: If you’re new to lunges, start with walking lunges, alternating legs as you lunge across the room.
Burpee — Start standing up straight. Bend forward, placing your hands on the ground in front of you in the pushup position. Jump your feet back behind you until you are in the plank position. If you are able, complete a single pushup, then jump your feet back underneath you and jump straight up, clapping your hands overhead. The movement should be as fluid and quick as possible.
Modify it: If you aren’t able to do a pushup in the beginning, simply jump into the plank position and then back up. You can add the pushup in as you get stronger. If it’s too difficult for you to jump your feet back into the plank position, simply step your feet back one at a time.
Squats — Standing with your feet about hip width apart (or slightly more), bend your knees and lower your backside into the sitting position, as if you are sitting in a chair. Get as low as you are able without arching your back. Return to standing. Be sure to look straight ahead, holding your shoulders back and chest out while squatting to help keep your back straight.
Wall sit — Lean against an open space on a wall, standing with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly lower your body into the seated position, holding your thighs parallel to the ground. Hold for 40 seconds and return to standing. Be sure to keep your knees centered directly above your ankles to help protect your knee joints.
Plank — Begin on your hands and knees. Move your feet behind you until you are propped up on your toes and lower your arms down so you are resting on your elbows. (You can also do the plank on your hands with your arms straight.) Be sure your hands and elbows are directly below your shoulders. Engage your abs and keep your back straight, as if you drew a line from your heels to your head. Hold for 40 seconds.
Modify it: Rest your legs on your knees, rather than your toes. Be sure to keep your body as straight and flat as possible from your legs to your head.
Step up — Find a small step stool or bench and step up into the standing position. Step back down to the floor and alternate legs. Alternate legs.
If you have a set of hand weights, you can add in shoulder press and bicep curls, or simply hold the weights at your side as you lunge, squat, wall sit or step up.
Tabata training is similar to a bodyweight circuit, except the exercises are shorter in duration and can be completed in only a few minutes. Start by selecting any (or all) of the body weight exercises above and begin your Tabata routine with 20-seconds of work followed by a 10 second rest. Repeat eight times. If you start with one exercise, you’ll spend just four minutes exercising. Two sets of Tabata work throughout the day can help you blast fat, improve cardiovascular endurance and build strength.
The American Heart Association recommends adults get at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise five days a week, for a total of 150 minutes weekly. If you’re short on time, squeeze in one or two quick bodyweight or Tabata circuits throughout your day. Even 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there will achieve the same results as you’ll see from one 30-minute workout session.
About the Author
Melody Foster is a Dallas-based freelance writer and contributing author to the Nicholson Clinic blog. Melody researches and creates content for clients in industries ranging from health care, fitness and nutrition to interior decorating, legal and social good.