Maybe the hubbub of the holiday season makes it hard to get to a spin class. Perhaps the commotion of daily life leaves you little time for a jog. Should you throw in the towel?
Absolutely not. You can exercise in the privacy of your home with a little creativity. Use household objects to complete a fitness routine, encompassing both strength and cardiovascular movements. You can even use props to improve your flexibility. Here’s how.
1. A Wall
If you have a home, you have a wall. You can get an upper and lower body workout using this prop. Work your upper body by performing wall squats. Extend your hands out and place them on the wall. Keep them level with your chest as you lean forward, bending your elbows.
You can also work your lower body. Perform wall squats by bending your knees and pushing your hips into the wall behind you. Keep your ankles aligned with your knees. Hold this position until your thighs start screaming. Push yourself to hold the pose for a few seconds longer each day.
Do you live in a two-or-more-story home? If so, you have the perfect cardiovascular equipment — which you probably already know if you carry heavy laundry around!
To elevate your heart rate, walk up and down your stairwell. If you’re feeling energetic, you can run or skip. Mix things up with intervals — run up one flight, walk the next. You can also perform calf raises and glute squeezes, holding on to the rail for balance.
3. A Broom Handle
You don’t need a mobility bar if you have a broom. Spread your hands wide on the handle and stretch it over your head. You’ll feel your chest and lats expand as you reach.
You can use this object for balance, too. You’ll enjoy more stability when you perform the lord of the dance yoga pose. Plus, you’ll get a fantastic core workout.
4. Coffee Table
Is your living room too small to fit a weight bench? No problem! You can recreate the workout with a sturdy coffee table or ottoman long enough to support your spine.
Grab two soup cans for hand weights, and lay back on your chosen item. Center the containers over your chest and push up to perform a bench press. You can work your triceps from this position, too. With your arms extended upward, bend your elbows, bringing the cans parallel to your ears. Squeeze the back of your arms as you return them upright.
5. A Doorknob
If you have a doorknob and a fitness band, you can work your lats and traps. With the door closed, tie the center of the band around the knob. You can vary your grip on the band from overhand to underhand to work out different muscle groups.
6. Milk Jugs
You can use milk or laundry jugs as hand weights. Save the empty containers and fill them with water or sand. To perform deltoid raises, place one vessel in each hand with your thumbs pointing up toward the ceiling. Imagine you’re trying to hold the contents inside as you lift.
You can perform kettlebell-style swings with milk or laundry jugs, too. Spread your feet wider and keep your knees slightly bent. Hold the container in both hands in front of you. Swing the vessel between your legs, then hoist it to the level of your mid-chest, arms out. This compound movement works your full body while elevating your heart rate.
7. A Folding Chair
You can perform single-leg lunges and triceps dips with the help of a folding chair. If you don’t have a Bingo hall version, a dining room or kitchen chair will do. For dips, place your palms on the chair and extend your body past the edge of the seat. Bend your elbows to lower yourself gently, then straighten.
For single-leg lunges, support one foot on the seat. Step forward with the other leg. When you bend your leg at a 90-degree angle, keep your ankle aligned with your knee. You don’t have to make the movement big to feel the burn.
8. A Towel
Towels make the perfect slider over linoleum or tile floors. You can perform challenging mountain climbers by getting down into a push-up position. Slide your feet forward, one at a time, toward your hands. For an added abdominal workout, pull both legs forward at once. This movement blasts your lower tummy, a problem area for many women.
Get your workout in — even when you skip the gym!
You don’t need to head to the gym to get your sweat going. With a few simple at-home exercises in mind, you can get a total body workout in the privacy of your living room!