Gym memberships, as great as they are, can often times be too pricey. Or, if it’s not the money that keeps you from joining, perhaps it’s the fact that getting to the gym, parking, working out, and driving home just takes too much time out of your hectic schedule. We get it, but we also know that working out is one of the best things you can do for your body and soul. That’s why we came up with a list of creative ways to exercise at home without buying a single thing.
– Wall sits: Use any empty wall and sit down as though you were sitting in an invisible chair. If you don't feel the burn, you are either superhuman, or you aren't sitting down enough. Make sure that you don't sit below your knees, though. Try to keep your thighs parallel and hold for a minute (or longer, if you can!). (Works: Lower Body)
– Single Leg Lunges: One of our most despised exercises, but a classic for toning the thighs and tush. In any empty space, take a 2-3 foot step out with one of your legs and squat down. Be sure your knee does not protrude further than your ankle. The two should be in a straight line. If it does, take a bigger step. Use heavy objects like dumbbells or even soup cans to increase the difficulty. Try to do 20 on each leg every day. Photo: PrimePhysique.com (Works: Lower Body)
– Push-ups: Another classic exercise, push-ups are one of the best ways to increase total upper body strength. We dream of a day when we can do 100 in a row, and to help us get there, we're using the Hundred PushUps app to track our progress. (Works: Upper Body)
– Planks: We are up to 3 minutes in our Five Minute Plank Challenge and have definitely started seeing results! If you haven't started yet, read the post and try to hold a simple 10-second plank today. You'll be adding minutes in no time. Photo: WorldFitness.com (Works: Core Body)
– Bed Sit-Ups: Just as it sounds, lie on your bed with your back hanging off the edge. (If you have a headboard with bars, you might try tucking your feet underneath one to stay stable.) Then, cross your arms over your chest and keep your neck flat by looking up at the ceiling. Try to do 50 sit-ups in a row. (Works: Abs)
– Counter Top Hamstring Curls: Extend your arms to reach out to a counter top so that your back is parallel to the ground and you are looking down. Then, curl your leg in half so that your toes point to the ceiling and your quads are parallel to the ground. Raise and lower your leg up-and-down several inches, 30 times per leg. You should feel the burn in your glutes and hamstrings. For a variation, try raising your leg out to the side instead of straight up to target the hips. Photo: BarMethod.com (Works: Hamstrings and Butt)
– Door Frame Stretch: Keep your legs hip-width apart and raise your left hand over your head and alongside the edge of your door frame. Try to reach all the way up to the top of the frame; if you can't, simply reach as high as you can. Take a small step forward while keeping your arm straight. You will feel a tremendous stretch through the front muscles of your shoulder. Repeat on the other side. (Works: Anterior Shoulder Muscles)
– Chair Tricep Dips: Sit on a chair or bench and put your hands slightly under your hips. Lift your body up so that your arms are nearly straight, but not locked. Bend your elbows 90-degrees and lower your hips down, keeping them close to the chair. Repeat 20 times. (Works: Triceps)
DIY CARDIO PRODUCT SET
– Jump rope: Have a few extra electrical cords lying around the house? Turn them into a jump rope! Jump for 10 minutes each day to burn at least 100 calories. (Works: Total Body, Cardio)
– Skaters: Grab a couple of cans of soup or vegetables and place them four feet apart. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and jump off your left leg to the right side, landing on your right foot. Cross your left leg behind you as you land and reach your left arm across your body to the soup or vegetable can in the same motion. Repeat on the opposite side, and continue to alternate back and forth for one minute. You should be feeling the burn by then if you are doing them right! Photo: Exercise.com (Works: Lower body, Balance, Cardio)
– DIY Aerobic Step: Use a couple of old phone books, or if you don't have any of those (are those still around?), layer many old books that you no longer want anymore so that you have a stack at least 4 inches tall. To extend the length, make an equal stack and glue together or bind with shipping tape. Cover with any non-slip covering, like an old towel, piece of clothing, or piece of rubber. Now, hope over your new step side-to-side while only keeping one leg on it at a time. Be sure to squat slightly with your outermost foot once on each side. Do this for a minute without stopping. Photo: Exercise.com (Works: Lower Body, Cardio)
– DIY Dumbbell Press: Grab two large bottles of water (or two jugs of milk, if you are feeling up for a challenge) and place into each hand. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and your back flat. Using one arm at a time, raise the bottle directly over your head, keeping your palms facing in. As your arm becomes fully extended above your head, rotate your wrist so that your palm faces in front of you. Now, rotate back to palms inside and bring the bottle back down to the starting position. Do 20 reps per arm. Mix it up by trying other types of dumbbell exercises, like tricep presses or a milk jug bench press. (Works: Shoulders)
Mix and match these exercises however you want to get a full body workout at home with your time maximized and no money spent. Please remember that these are only suggestions. Be sure to consult a trainer if you aren't sure you are performing the exercise correctly or have any injuries.
How do you get fit at home? Leave us your tips in the comments below.