No gym, no problem


Nowadays some of us are finding it harder and harder to make time for fitness. Between school, work, kids, and whatever else might be filling up your schedules, you find it difficult to find downtime let alone making time to go to the gym. Sometimes when we finally get to the gym, we find it can be irritating. Whether it’s built up frustrations from the long day you had or there are too many people and the machines you want are all taken there’s always something making you go back to the locker room, get your things, and head home. This isn’t always the case but many of us have found ourselves in this situation before and don’t know what to do. The truth is you can still get a killer workout at home and have it be effective.

Sometimes, it’s just more convenient to workout at home. Make sure you find a space in your home (or go outside) where you have plenty of room and a flat surface. You might want a mat and feel free to use dumbbells, kettlebells, ankle weights, or any weight of your choice. Be sure to warm up before any type of activity whether it’s a quick jog around the block, five minutes of jump rope, or even just jogging in place, something to get your heart rate up and your muscles warm. Some of the following exercises are my go to for my at home workouts. I typically do three rounds of each exercise with a 30 second rest in between. You can choose any body weight workouts to do at home and, again, you can always up the intensity by adding weights of your choice. Remember to stretch after you work out and drink plenty of water.

Lunges are always a go to for me. I like warming up with lunges because it helps warm up my legs without running or any type of jumping. Remember to keep your front knee over your ankle and don’t let that knee go past your toes. Keep your belly lifted and core engaged. You can keep your hands on your hips or again, if you’re using dumbbells, keep your weights down at your sides. Back straight and shoulders back. I typically do 20 reps on each side and take a 30 second rest in between and then move on to my next exercise.

Once the whole round is complete you can start over and begin again until you complete all 3 cycles. You can take any variation of reps and sets just be sure to listen to your body.

Straight leg sit ups are my next favorite. Start by lying flat on your back, hands can be behind your head but remember to keep your elbows out. Utilizing your core, press your lower back into the floor, and press your belly button in. With your core engaged make your way up to your seated position sitting up nice and tall then gently roll back down to your starting position. I like keeping my legs straight because it helps keep me in one place. Sometimes if I have my feet on the floor I tend to push myself back and I begin sliding all over the place. Having your legs straight or bent is up to you. Also, feel free to add in a dumbbell if you need added weight.

Planks are always included in my home workouts. Whether I’m moving through a yoga flow or doing some HIIT in the living room, I always include a plank. Planks are a great go to since they engage the entire body. They work your arms, core, legs, and back. Three sets of 1 minute planks are a good start but feel free to challenge yourself on the time. Remember you can also perform a plank on your forearms if you have any wrist issues.

Lastly, Toe Taps are one of my favorite abdominal exercises. Lying on your back with your legs in the air start with your arms overhead (or feel free to keep your hands reaching up to the celling.) Next, engage your core and lifting your shoulder blades off the floor try to reach for your toes. It’s important to lift your shoulders off the floor so you are working your core muscles and it’s okay if you can’t reach your feet. Again, I try to do three sets of 20 reps with a 30 second rest in between but feel free to add reps.

Overall, working out at home doesn’t have to be boring. You can get a good high intensity workout in the comfort of your own home it all depends on the amount of effort you put in.

Cassie McIntyre is a NASM certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutritional coach. She works at LA Fitness.