With new years always come new year’s resolutions, and a common one is to get healthy and exercise more.
It’s a popular time to join a gym or fitness club, but the unpredictable weather often makes it difficult to find the motivation to get off the couch and leave your apartment.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get fit without ever having to leave the house. And you don’t need to spend money on (or find the space for) a bunch of fancy equipment to do it.
We’ve put together a guide on how to exercise in a small apartment with little or no equipment. These workouts can be modified for all levels and won’t bother your roommates or neighbors.
With the ease of exercising right in your home, there’s no excuse not to get healthy in 2018.
Apartment Exercise Tips & Workouts
- Find an open area. You don’t need much space for most exercises, but choose a space where you won’t have to worry about knocking into furniture or decorations. Your living room is a good choice if you have a few feet in either direction to move. That also allows you to watch your favorite show while you do your exercises.
- Get some cardio. Cardio doesn’t have to mean getting on a treadmill or exercise bike for long periods of time. Cardio-based bodyweight exercises, such as lunges, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, tuck jumps, and burpees can be done in your apartment without any equipment, but they definitely get your heart racing. Only go as fast as you can without compromising form to avoid injury. Exercise at least 30 minutes most days per week to get the full cardio benefits. Use your phone to set timers for different sets of exercises. Watch the video below for a quiet, heart-pounding, low-impact 30 minute cardio workout.
- Strength train with everyday items. You can purchase a set of weights, but you don’t have to. Everyday items such as filled water bottles and soup cans can double as free weights. A large container of laundry detergent can be used in the place of a kettlebell. A laundry basket full of clothes is perfect for a deadlift, and heavy backpacks can be used for shoulder presses.
- Make use of what you have. Use lacrosse or tennis balls to roll out tight muscles and use for leg and thigh squeezes. Grab a step stool to stretch and strengthen calves, perform exercises such as box jumps and lunges and work on your balance. A broom is great for core-strengthening exercises.
- Exercise from your couch. Couches aren’t just for relaxation — you can use them for tricep dips too. You can also do incline pushups by lowering your chest toward the couch, holding and pushing yourself back up to the starting position. A sturdy chair or table can also be used for these exercises.
- Use a wall. Find an open wall to use for wall sits to work your glutes and legs, or strengthen your upper body and core by doing an L-shaped handstand against the wall.
- Use a door frame for isometric strengthening. A door frame can provide resistance for arm, leg and neck exercises.
- Do some yoga. Yoga is low-impact and combines flexibility, strength and cardio training and can be done from the comfort of your floor. You can grab a mat or towel, or just use the carpet for many stretches and poses. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of beginner yoga videos you can watch available on YouTube or through exercise apps. Sun salutations can be a great warmup or cooldown for more strenuous activity. Even gentle stretching can help you recover from your workouts and avoid injury.
- Get cleaning! Cleaning your apartment is a great cardio workout and helps keep your healthy. Mopping, vacuuming and scrubbing will get your blood pumping — and you’ll have the benefit of a clean apartment. You’re also more likely to get your security deposit back if you clean your apartment regularly, so stay clean and fit by doing a cleaning/exercise routine once a week.
Need a full routine to get started? Try this circuit workout, or check out Pinterest for more home workout plans.
Transform Your Apartment into a Gym
Yes, we said equipment wasn’t necessary. But a few key additions can make exercising in your apartment more comfortable, enjoyable and effective. Here are some items that can help you get the most out of your home workout:
- Get a good pair of sweat-proof workout headphones. Music makes exercising easier and more effective, but you can avoid bothering your neighbors with your workout playlist by investing in a quality pair of headphones. Choose a pair with bluetooth to avoid wires getting in the way of your exercises.
- Purchase resistance bands. As you get more accustomed to your workouts, you may feel the need to make them a bit more difficult. This is where adding resistance bands can be great. They take up very little room but can help you progressively increase the intensity of your workouts in a safe manner.
- Already have a bike in your apartment? Make it winter-ready by purchasing a bike trainer. Trainers turn your bike into an indoor exercise bike and easily collapse and be stored when not in use.
- Buy a small foam roller. These feel great on tight muscles, can be used for ab exercises and take up minimal space in your apartment. Or try a combination foam roller/water bottle to kill two birds with one stone.
- Get a water filter. Cold, fresh water on tap tastes that much better after a good workout.
- Stock up on protein. You’ll need quick fuel to recover if you’re working out hard. Protein powder takes up little space in your pantry and lasts a long time. Consider investing in a quality blender for post-workout smoothies.