There are so many reasons to not want to go to a gym. No one ever wipes off the equipment when they are done. Trainers are walking around constantly soliciting services when you just want to get on your machine. Membership is so expensive.
Then, there are the judging eyes when you’re working out. Maybe even the errant person who decides to snap a photo of you so they can laugh at you online. The gym is where all the gear is, though, how do you work out without equipment?
Well, the good news is that people have been in shape long before equipment existed and you can buy some for your home. All you need to do is make some space and you have a judgment free zone to exercise with these routines on peace.
Bosu balls are easy to use. They are multi-functional, can be used in nearly any sized space and can be utilized for most workouts and stretching aids. Bosu stands for Both Sides Utilized. The ball side up is utilized for athletics and aerobics. The flat side up is used for balance and stability. The Bosu routine by peanut butter fingers is a total body workout that consists of 9 exercises to complete at one-minute intervals in 3 cycles. Overall, it is a 27-minute workout that will be sure to get your heart pumping! In their article, the great people at PBF also offer ways to decrease or increase the intensity and full descriptions of how the exercises should be done.
Foam rollers are amazing tools. They may not seem like much, but their benefits are immense. Brynne Elliott at Muscle and Fitness wrote an article expressing how foam rollers are great for self-myofascial release. Which is essentially a low force dragging massage, which after a period restores mobility between layers of sliding soft tissue. This may not sound like a big deal, but it increases the blood flow throughout your body and decreases the recovery time between exercise sessions. Also, better circulation increases range of motion. They are also small and light, so you can put them anywhere and utilize them anywhere. Tone It Up offers some moves to stretch out sore muscles.
Elliptical/ maxi climber
The elliptical and maxi climber are both total body fitness machines that can be used in the home. The ellipticals tend to take up more space and are a bit more expensive. The vertical climber workout is the new big deal, it doesn’t take up much space and folds up easily to be put away.
Dumbbells are the classic exercise equipment that has been utilized for aerobic and weight training for decades. They can be stored in a closet, on a shoe rack or in a garage and you can utilize them anywhere. There is no real trick to figuring out how to use them other than picking it up. If you can do that, you are moving in the right direction. To get some real benefit from them, there should be some routine. 2Fit Magazine suggests a set of 6 exercises that target each muscle group.
Now just any old chair won’t do for these workouts. No, you don’t need to go to the store to buy a special chair. You just shouldn’t try doing workouts with armchairs, recliners, or rolling chairs. Injuries may ensue. If you have a few regular old wooden kitchen chairs, there are many exercises you can do with them. Of course, you should make sure that they are sturdy and not wobbly. Nicole from Pumps & Iron offers a great full body routine of chair exercises that are easy to follow with pictures and directions.
Pilates Rings are utilized with Pilates sessions and provide a light resistance for movements. This resistance raises the difficulty of holding the positions and adds more tone to the muscle groups being worked. Since they are also light, they also reduce the risk of accidental injuries. Womanista has a great workout routine with a Pilates ring that can help target thighs. With these exercises and the power ring, you will find that you will feel the burn all over.
If you have a body, you have a means of exercising. Ever since humans have existed, they have been able to keep in shape without exercise equipment. Your body can be your weight resistance if you know how to utilize it. Bodyweight exercises are easy and can be done anywhere. These workouts also boost your metabolism, burn calories and build up your muscle. Rodale wellness suggests 27 exercises and a cycle of 20 reps of 30 to 60 seconds each with a very short pause between to keep the heart rate elevated.
Swiss/ stability ball
Swiss/ stability balls create a deeper workout than bodyweight alone. Since the ball is an unstable area, your core muscles are working harder for balance. These balls come in different sizes and the size you choose relates to your height (>5’ = 45 cm, 5’1” – 5’7” = 55cm, 5’8” – 6’2” = 65cm, and <6’3” = 75cm). They do not take up much space, but you should have a sizable area available in case of you falling or escaping ball. Otherwise, the exercises are invigorating and Rodale Wellness offers a full body routine that is sure to be a regular.
Resistance bands are adaptable to any exercise routine, physical therapy or just stretching in general. These bands can be rolled up and put into a pouch that can fit into your pocket and taken anywhere. You do need to be careful which band you utilize because each band is of a varying resistance level. It is recommended you try your routine with the lightest level and work up until you are using the band level you are comfortable with. Tone and Tighten has a total body workout with resistance bands that you can use to get started.
Yoga is another no equipment exercise. It can be done anywhere and it is easy if you practice, practice, practice. Yoga is not just a practice that is good for losing weight or getting fit. It promotes flexibility, blood circulation, and can even correct bone alignment. There are many new versions of it out and for those who are still new and looking how to get started, Brooklyn active mama has an article with an array of videos to help.