No Equipment Living Room Workout

by David Reavy
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No Equipment Living Room Workout

We live in Chicago, where the winter is cold, long and brutal, and finding the motivation to get outside or to the gym is difficult, to say the least.

But don’t you worry if you’re experiencing these circumstances right now; there are plenty of ways to get your sweat on right from your living room—no equipment needed. Your body provides you with everything you need to get an efficient, effective workout.

Bodyweight workouts are becoming increasingly popular this year. They’re great because they teach you how to control your body. If you don’t have control of your body before you throw weights into the mix, you could end up with an injury. Bodyweight exercises allow you to identify your weaknesses, helping direct what you should focus on during future workouts.

Translation: The winter can no longer be an excuse for inactivity.

So let’s get started with a total body workout you can do from the comfort of your own home.

The Living Room Circuit

Note: Before you start, make sure to do an activation warm-up to get your muscles prepared for activity. Activation exercises lengthen the commonly restricted muscles, getting them ready to work. If you don’t activate your muscles, you won’t get an effective workout. A few sets of squats and lunges should do the trick.

Station 1: Lower Body
Exercise: Lateral Step Downs
Target Muscles: Quadriceps and Glutes

lateral step downs1lateral step downs2

1. Use a stair, step stool or sturdy box to perform this exercise.

2. Stand directly next to the step, facing forward.

3. Step up with the foot closest to the step. Your other leg should now be off of the floor, even with the foot on the step.

4. Slowly lower your free foot back down towards the ground.

5. Repeat for 10-15 reps on each leg.

Station 2: Upper Body
Exercise: Downward Dog Push-Ups
Target Muscles: Lower Trapezius and Latissimus Dorsi

downward dog pushups1downdog pushups2

1. Begin in a downward facing dog position. Keep your palms out and back flat. Ideally, you should be able to draw a straight line from your glutes down through your arms.

2. Bend your arms until your head touches the ground (or as far as you can go).

3. Return to the starting position.

4. Repeat for 10-15 push-ups.

Station 3: Lower Body
Exercise: Step Ups to Step Downs
Target Muscles: Gluteus, Gluteus Minimus

step upsstep downs

1. Use a stair, step stool or sturdy box to perform this exercise.

2. Start with one leg up on the step. Push up through that leg until the opposite leg is up in a 90-degree angle. Keep the weight in your heel to engage your glutes.

3. Step back down onto the ground with the elevated leg.

4. Take the leg still on the step and move it back until you are in a lunge position.

5. Repeat for 10-15 reps on each leg.

Station 4: Core
Exercise: Sit-Ups (The right way)
Target Muscles: Abdominals

situps3situps4situp1situps2

1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent.

2. Place you hands behind the back of your head (more difficult) or in front of you (easier).

3. Pull yourself up towards your knees. Try and pull your heels towards your glutes without actually moving them. This creates a posterior pelvic tilt, which allows your abs to work.

4. Return to the starting position.

5. During this exercise, make sure to keep you shoulder blades down and back. Your chin should be tucked in.

6. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

Station 5: Cardio
Exercise: Jumping Jacks
Target Muscles: Entire Body

jumping jack1jumping jack2

1. Start in a standing position with one leg crossed over the other.

2. From this position, perform a jumping jack.

3. Return to the starting position

4. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

Complete this circuit three times. Keep a quick pace to keep your heart rate up without compromising form for speed.

Related

  • Stephanie Glenewinkel

    These are extremely helpful!

  • Michelle J

    I was working out on a regular basis then got injured. Herniated cervical discectomy. Now I’m having a difficult time with any strenuous activities. Any blogs or information on exercises that are low intensity that can be done in 20-30 minute intervals? Maybe some exercises throughout the day. Any articles that focus on this issue would be very helpful.

  • Savannah Johnston

    I wonder where other people find boxes sturdy enough to use for these exercises. I certainly don’t have any.