We are right smack in the season of busy-ness. Holiday shopping, cooking, events, and travel. Regular schedules are nearly out the window at times. School break may be coming, kids will be home…also a big schedule changer! So what do you do when you’ve got limited time, maybe unable to leave home, or little to no equipment…..but the day is drawing to a close and you haven’t gotten a workout in? What to do? No home gym, no worries! Here’s my top 5 totally-at-home-doable workouts!
Before you dive right into one of these, I’d suggest a brief warmup and some stretching. Both of these are key to preventing injury or strain during a workout. And ALWAYS listen to your body, if something hurts, don’t do it!
- “Deck o’ cards”– find a set of playing cards. Pick four exercises that you can do in your house or in the yard. Some good examples would be squats, lunges, pushups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, burpees, chair dips…you get the idea). Assign each card suit (diamonds, clubs, hearts, spades) an exercise. Designate all aces to serve as a one minute rest period. Set a timer for an allotted time (8-10 minutes is a good start). Once your timer starts, you’ll flip over your first card and do the number displayed of the exercises designated by the card’s suit, with 15 reps assigned to face cards. For example, if I flip over a 9 of clubs, and I had chosen burpees for clubs, then I would do 9 burpees. Immediately flip the next card, continuing through this until the allowed time has expired.
- 2. “Death by…..”-all you need here is a timer or stopwatch to count up. Choose 2 exercises like burpees and squats. Set the timer. Start with 2 of each exercise to complete during the first minute, resting until the clock reads one minute. Then begin the exercises again, increasing by 2 reps each round, resting until the clock reads two minutes. Continue this way until you can no longer complete the designated reps in one minute.
- “Annie”– This happens to be one of my very favorite workouts and is also one of the famous CrossFit girls. You’ll need a jump rope for this one and a timer. Goal is to compete 50, 40, 30, 20, then 10 of both double unders and sit-ups. If you don’t have the hang of double unders (which is passing the rope under your feet twice instead of once when jumping) then just do two times the number of single unders. You can also toughen this one by adding a 400m or 1/4 mile run in between each round. This one is always fun!
- “Tabata Style”-this is a type of interval workout. Objective here is to work for 20 seconds at max effort, then rest for 10, repeating the work and rest for a minimum of 8 rounds. Once again, you can pick from a variety of movements according to what muscle groups you’d like to work. Keep count, score your reps so you can track how you are doing. There’s also some fun tabata music out there that will count out loud for you in the song! These are always a favorite at my box!
- “Maximum rounds”– pick 2-3 exercises and designate how many reps you want to do of each. Than set a timer for 10-12 minutes. Objective here is to complete as many rounds as possible during the allotted time. I might pick 5 squats, 10 pushups, and 15 sit-ups as the movements I’d like to do in each round. So then its just going back through those three exercises as many times as I can until time runs out.
Once you finish, give yourself some time to cool down. Walk around for a few minutes, then stretch or do some mobility work. This is the most optimal time for foam rolling or release techniques because your muscles are still warm!
The key to staying on track during this busy time is being prepared. Keep some workouts like these handy so that if you just can’t make it to the gym or out on that trail to run, you’ve got a backup plan. I know that fitness is always more fun with friends, but sometimes we just can’t keep to those normal schedules. Having a few go-to workouts you can do almost anywhere will make you feel much better by still putting some work in! -m