Killer Gym Workouts You Can Replicate at Home
Maybe you're saving your pennies for a trip to Panama. Or maybe you're just tired of sharing the biceps machine with some sweaty guy who never towels off the equipment when he's done. Whatever the case, you've decided to say goodbye to your friendly neighborhood gym. But is it possible to kick your gym to the curb without kicking those killer workouts with it?
Fitness expert Kelly Kallbrier says there are definitely ways to work those muscles — and get in your cardio — from the comfort of your own pad. "Gyms are popular because they provide effective equipment and a motivational atmosphere," she says. "But you can find equipment that is just as effective around your home."
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Soup can curls. Who needs fancy dumbbells when you have a couple of cans of soup in the cupboard, says Kallbrier. Biceps curls, triceps curls and shoulder presses can all be done with cans of soup (or stew or beans or even dog food) instead of dumbbells. Just make sure you keep your form — and don't let yourself get distracted by the pictures on the labels.
- Coffee table dips. To work your triceps, place your hands behind you on a coffee table or any sturdy surface that is about three feet tall (chairs work well, too). Your booty should be in front of the chair or coffee table with your legs bent. Now, slowly lower yourself down and push yourself back up. Kallbrier recommends three sets of 15 dips for a good triceps workout.
- Pushups. Yes, they're hard, but they're also great for your shoulders, arms, chest and upper back — and they require absolutely no equipment whatsoever. It's just you and the floor. If you don't have the upper-body strength to do full-on pushups (i.e., with your legs extended and your weight on your hands and toes), keep your knees on the floor with your feet crossed at the ankles and go for a few sets of modified pushups. Still too hard? Try doing them vertically against a wall until you gain a bit of upper-body strength.
- Lunges. Another great exercise requiring no equipment (unless you want to use a couple of soup cans as hand weights), lunges work your abs, hips, glutes, thighs, hamstrings and more. "If you don't have enough room in your home to do walking lunges, you can do them in place," says Kallbrier. Just step forward with your right foot, lunge and then step back with your right foot. Alternate back and forth for a few minutes — or do three sets of 8-15 reps with each leg — for a great leg workout.
Granted, it's pretty easy to plug in the iPod, grab a magazine and knock out 20 minutes on the gym's elliptical trainer, but you can still get your heart rate up at home with a little imagination (and a bit of room). "To get your cardio fix, add 30 to 60 seconds of jumping jacks, jumping rope — with or without the jump rope — or in-place jogging between every strength set," says Kallbrier, who also suggests checking out her company, Wello, which connects people with personal trainers via live video.
Need more cardio ideas? Exercise specialist and certified nutritionist Isabel De Los Rios suggests putting together a cardio circuit that includes mock jump-roping, squat jumps, high knees (exaggerated knee lifts) and "side skaters." For best results, perform the exercises one after the other for 60 seconds, then rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the circuit.
"There is no limit to the exercises you can perform at home with little to zero equipment, says De Los Rios."Your body is the best exercise machine you have."