Staying on top of your fitness game maybe challenging if you don’t have access to the gym or any equipment for that matter. You might even be asking yourself if it was even possible. Let us ease your mind by saying that yes, staying fit without any equipment is absolutely possible—and here’s how.
Cardio Doesn’t Have to Be Hardio
Experts agree how increasing your heart rate by doing a rhythmic activity for either long periods of time at a moderate pace (LISS, low-intensity steady-state cardio) or shorter bursts of energy (HIIT, high-intensity interval training) is a great calorie burner, metabolism booster, mood optimizer, and an overall great way to keep up with your fitness.
Although LISS may be a bit harder to do (unless you have a house with a huge yard you can run around), the majority of HIIT cardio exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home, and you don’t need to spend more than 20 min of your time!
We’re talking about exercises like:
- Jumping jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- Squat Jumps
- Jumping Lunges
- High Knees
- Kick Sits
- Lateral Bounds
- Toe Touch Sit-Ups
Performing these in 30-second intervals with 15-second breaks in between for 20 min is more than enough to activate your cardiovascular system and get your blood pumping, temperature rising, and put you in calorie-burning mode for several hours after.
Get Your Yoga On
The only “equipment” you’ll need for doing yoga at home is some sort of yoga mat or similar steady surface you can use for the time being. Avoid using towels as you can easily slip and risk getting injured.
Other than that, yoga is a 100% equipment-free workout, and all you’re truly using is your own body weight, toning and stretching all muscles. Yoga helps you improve your mobility and range of motion, strengthens your core and all muscle groups, and helps you build your balance, one pose at a time.
You can choose from a variety of on-demand apps like Motify or Alo Moves, as well as a bunch of free YouTube videos, and feel your body getting stronger and looser as your practice grows. Working on progressions and transitions from movement to movement will have you using muscles you never thought you had and developing strength in those areas that maybe completely neglected by your regular weight-lifting gym routine.
Pilates Is a Muscle Burner
There’s much more to pilates than the crazy-looking torture machine called the Reformer, and the majority of the old-school exercises can still be done without any equipment, and work just as well. Try this amazing inner-thigh burner or learn how easy your glutes can scream in just 15 min and feel your body get a great bodyweight workout.
Try out a different routine every day and challenge your muscles to new levels by increasing sets, reps, or second-intervals, and notice your fitness levels improve.
Barre Sans the Bar
Barre workouts took the world by storm as people started figuring out ways to channel their inner ballet dancer. Still, even though the name “barre” means there should be a bar involved, the majority of the exercises can be performed without it. What it actually means though, is that your abdominal muscles get the hardest workout of their lives, as they need to stabilize and control all of your movements.
Once again, there are tons of workouts you can challenge yourself with, lasting 30-45 minutes and requiring zero equipment and all of the hustle. From pulsing squats and a million different ab exercises, barre can seriously kick your butt and leave you feeling sore for days to come.
If, on the other hand, you do have some equipment lying around (resistance bands, small ball, pilates ball, or even a chair), you can do the same exercises and just elevate the intensity.
Mixing fun with cardio? Here comes Zumba, the Colombian workout so many people around the world fell in love with. Combining dance moves with toning exercises, Zumba aims to bring the fun to your workouts and make you feel amazing not just after it’s done, but also throughout each and every move you make.
You can browse through many free classes on YouTube, or join the Zumba community and get thousands of videos at your disposal. Dance your heart out and feel yourself getting stronger, quicker, and lighter on your feet with every class you take.
Although not specific workouts per se, there are a bunch of 300-, 500-, or 1000-rep challenges people have gotten creative with over the years, and they include a certain number of exercises being repeated for a certain number of times. For example, 100 squats, 100 push-ups, and 100 sit-ups in 20 rep intervals and 5 circuits.
The AMRAP version (as many reps as possible), which is usually accompanied by a timer, challenges you to complete the given exercise. In these types of challenges, you are actually fatiguing the muscle to a point where the burn is crazy, but the aftermath is feeling really really good.
They can also be pretty motivating, as you’ll be able to see your progress over time. When you’re just starting out, you might be accomplishing the 300-rep workout in 15 min, and one month from today, you might be doing it in 12. As always, consistency is key.
We’ve given you plenty ideas to try out, so all that’s left is putting on a pair of workout clothes and sweating it out.