Not having access to the gym doesn’t mean you have to put your workouts on hold. There are plenty of exercises that you can do at home that don’t require machines or equipment. Here are 10 cardio and strength exercises that can be done in a small space at home:
1. Squats: Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Slowly start to crouch, bending the hips and knees until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor and your chest is up. Press through the heels to return to a standing position. Keep your body weight in your heels when squatting to keep from injuring your knees.
2. Jumping jacks: Stand with your feet together and your hands down by your side. In one motion, jump both feet out to the side and raise your arms above your head. Immediately reverse that motion by jumping back to the starting position. Add speed as you improve your form.
3. Lunges: Stand with your hands on the hips and with your feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and slowly lower your body until the right knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Try stepping back into the lunge for a different variation.
4. Pushups: Lie on the floor facing down. Put your hands on the floor keeping them shoulder-width apart, while keeping your feet flexed at hip distance. Push yourself up, then bend the elbows until your chest reaches the floor. Make sure to keep your elbows tucked close to your body. Tighten your core as you do each pushup.
5. Mountain climbers: Start out with your hands and knees on the floor, Vring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keep your hands on the ground, core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind your body with the right knee forward. Now repeat! Again, add speed as you improve your form.
6. Running high knees: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Run in place, making sure to bring each knee up as high as you can, focusing on the lower abdominals.
7. Tricep dips: Grab a chair or a bench and have a seat. Next, grab the edge of the chair or bench with the heel of your hands and straighten the arms. Dip your lower body past your seat while bending your arms to a 90-degree angle. Then straighten your arms again while keeping your heels pushed towards the floor.
8. Burpees: Start in a low squat position with your hands touching the floor. Next, kick the feet back to a pushup position, complete one pushup, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back to complete the next pushup.
9. Crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and lift up your head and shoulders while engaging the core. Continue curling up until your upper back is off the floor. Hold briefly, then lower your torso back toward the floor slowly. Make sure to never pull on your neck while doing each crunch.
10. Planks: Lie face down with your forearms on the floor and your hands clasped together. Extend your legs behind your body and rise up on your toes. Keep your back straight, tighten the core and hold. Try to hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute. Remember to breathe. For an extra challenge, hold the plank while alternating leg lifts.
Stephanie Swearngin has been a nationally certified fitness professional since 2009.
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