Gym memberships can be costly, you often have to commit to a contract, and just getting in and out of the gym can take as long as your actual workout. But for quick, inexpensive, and effective workouts, you really only need to walk as far as your own living room.
- Wall Push-UpsTarget muscle group: chest/biceps
8-12 reps/3 setsFind a blank space on your wall. Place your hands on the wall at about armpits distance. Plant your feet firmly far away from the wall so that your body is comfortably angled away from the wall. Lower your body toward the wall until you’re just a few inches away. As you get stronger switch to a table and then chair.
- Wall SitTarget muscle group: quads/hamstrings
1 minute/3 setsPlace your feet shoulder width apart and place your back flat up against the wall. Slide your body down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold that position one minute. Increase your held position 20 seconds with each set. For a greater challenge hold a weighted object or a dumbbell or try lifting one leg parallel to ground. Stability ball can also be used as in the photo.
- Jumping LungesTarget muscle group: quads/hamstrings/gluts
10 reps each leg/2-3 setsStart in a lunge position with one leg forward, the thigh parallel to the ground and the knee even with the ankle. The back leg should be a few feet behind with just the ball of the foot on the ground. Lower your back leg almost to the floor, keeping your front knee parallel to the ankle, and thrust your arms up (bent at the elbows) to propel yourself up. Switch your legs in the air and land with the other foot forward in a lunge position.
- Frog LeapsTarget muscle group: quads/calves
5 leaps/3 setsFind a space in your house with a long corridor; a hallway usually works well. Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and thrust your arms back with the squat and leap forward 3-4 feet, landing with both feet at the same time, same distance apart.
- Kick BacksTarget muscle group: hamstrings/gluts
10 lifts each leg/3 setsGet down on all fours with your arms shoulder-width apart and your legs about hip-width apart. Lift one leg back and up keeping the same position with the knee bent. Lift slowly and repeat on both legs.
- Push-Up HoldTarget muscle group: abdominals
Repeat intermittently throughout the work outGet in a push-up position but lower down to the elbows instead of the hands. Hold this position for one minute. To increase the intensity rock forward with shoulders moving past the line of elbows and back throughout the hold.
- Squats with Arm RaisesTarget muscle group: quads and gluts/shoulders
10-12 reps/3 setsPlace feet a little more than shoulder-width apart with feet slightly turned out. Hold a light-weight dumbbell or other equally heavy object (a large can of beans or large book) to your chest. As you lower your bottom toward the floor (keeping your knees parallel with your ankles) also lower the heavy object. When you raise your legs back up to a full upright position, raise the object above your head.
- Leg Raises and ExtensionTarget muscle group: abdominals
20 setsLay down on the ground with feet on the ground and knees up. Extend your legs straight up toward the ceiling. Raise your bottom off the ground contracting your abs. Lower your bottom back down, bend your knees to your chest and extend your legs straight out just slightly above the ground. This is one set.
- Stair ClimbersTarget muscle group: hamstrings/calves
3-minute intervalsFind a ledge, a set of stairs or a sturdy chair and climb for two minutes straight, alternating legs. To work a different muscle group try stepping sideways.
- Chair DipsTarget muscle group: triceps
10-12 reps/3 setsFind a sturdy chair with a flat chair bottom. Place our hands on the edge of the chair facing the same way as the chair. Place your legs shoulder-width apart, knees bent, quads parallel to the floor. Lower your body down so your triceps are parallel with the ground. Raise back up.
- Jump RopeTarget muscle group: calves/quads and hamstrings
100 jumps/3 setsEven if you don’t have an actual rope you can repeat the motions as fast as you can.
- Shadow BoxingTarget muscle group: complete arm
3-minute intervalsPick a focal point on the wall. Make a fist and bend both arms so that your fists are close together in and in front of your face. Stand lightly on the balls of your feet hopping from one foot to the next jabbing quickly in two-punch sets (alternating arms) toward the visual focal point. Rotate around the focal point as you hop.
- Pilates 100Target muscle group: abdominalsLay on the floor on your back. Extend your legs out to a 45-degree angle. Hold there and raise your head and arms up straight about four inches above the ground. Start pumping your arms in short rapid pumps 100 times.