How to Workout Without a Gym
Doing a workout without a gym has never been so easy! Even if you have a small space, and no equipment, you can enjoy the endorphin-high that comes from getting your heart rate up. Whether you have a few hand weights at home, or not, you can adapt most of the exercises you do at the gym for your home. With medical experts linking better physical health, mental health, and lower blood pressure to exercising, what are you waiting for? You’re just one at-home workout away from a better mood.
You’re only one workout away from a good mood.
Can working out at home be as effective as the gym?
Working out at home is a convenient and an effective way to exercise. The gym can be distracting – you may have found yourself mistakenly cooled off mid-workout as you got caught chatting with another gym member. Then, there’s the concern of wondering about the level of hygiene: can you get sick from the gym? Working out at home, you never have to wait for another user to vacate a machine, and you can get the best exercises for your muscles without the fancy, complex machines with cords and gears. Research has found time under tension workouts (performing the muscle contraction slower, with a slightly lower weight) can enhance your muscles endurance and strength. “Consistency is key,” notes Jamie Costello, MS, VP Sales & Fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa. Moving your body, in any way, helps gets you closer to your health goals.
Remember, nothing happens until you move.
Why bother working out if the gym is closed?
Sweating is good for you! Experts, including the Mayo clinic, say that regular exercise reduces the risk of high blood pressure, by making the heart stronger, pumping blood with less effort, and reducing the force on arteries. Exercise because you love your body! Even if the gym is closed, keep exercising. Middle aged and older adults, including those with cardiovascular disease and cancer, can gain substantial benefits from being more physically active, reported the British Medical Journal: being active could prevent 46% of deaths associated with physical inactivity. Sitting really is the new smoking – it’s important to move throughout the day. “Even if you worked out in the morning, it’s not a one-way ticket to sitting on the couch – go for a walk,” explains Jamie.
Go do something that makes you sweat.
How to workout without a gym at home
Sometimes getting to the gym just isn’t an option. Don’t let that deter you from being active. There are lots of fun and effective ways to workout without a gym that require little to no equipment. Turn on some of your favorite tunes, put on a good pair of running shoes, and start moving: march around, climb the stairs, squat, lunge, stretch, dance, step-up, plank, twist, or do some calf raises. Add some hand weights, which could be heavy cans or water bottles, to add some extra tension on your muscles. Got a tension band? That’s a great way to increase the work required to do these basic movements.
No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch.
What is the most effective home workout?
The most effective home workout includes stretching, cardiovascular conditioning, and strength training. These are the key focus points of the Pritikin Exercise Plan, designed by exercise physiologists and certified personal trainers. The best exercises to do at home for beginners are explained in detail by Jamie Costello in these videos.
8 of the Best Exercises to do at Home
There’s never been a better time to focus on your health and focus on making exercise a part of your every day. From the exercise experts at the Pritikin Center in Miami, Florida, here are 8 of the best exercises for beginners to do at home to stay fit:
*Special note for beginners: focus efforts on consistency and using the correct form. Gradually build up intensity objective over first 4-6 weeks. Good luck!
As with all exercise programs, when using our exercise videos or illustrations, you should workout at your own pace and ability. To reduce and avoid injury, you will want to check with your doctor before beginning any new fitness activities. By performing any of the following exercises, you are performing them at your own risk.
Home Equipment needed: Dumbbells (DB), Thera Band (TB), Stability Ball (SB), Bench and Floor Mat
1. SB Wall Squat (sit) / DB Squat
Glutes, quadriceps, core (stabilization)
2. Calf Raise / SL
Calves- gastrocs and soleus
3. DB Chest Press / SB Alt. SA
Pecs, anterior deltoids, triceps, core (stabilization)
4. 1 Arm DB Row Bench / SB
Lats, mid trapezius, rhomboids, biceps, core (stabilization)
5. 45 Degree Shoulder Raise/ SL
Anterior and medial deltoids
6. TB Reverse Fly / SL
Posterior deltoids, mid trapezius, rhomboids, triceps (stabilization)
7. Rotation Floor Crunch (no rotation) / SB
8. Prone Leg Raise / Bird Dog
Lower back, glutes, hamstrings, core (stabilization)
Becoming healthy is the best decision you’ll ever make.
What can I do instead of going to the gym?
Need more inspiration to get moving? If you’ve ever thought, “I hate exercise,” try thinking like a kid. Create an obstacle course and challenge a family member to try it with you. Set up fun stations and rotate between them every 30 seconds (skipping, frog jumps, bear walking an obstacle course) – it’s the sort of HITT (high intensity training) that can have you giggling. Better yet, many gyms, yoga studios, and apps offer video workouts you can do from home. Most videos require little equipment and can be done in small spaces. Your body was meant to move – whether its 20 minutes, or an hour, it counts!
The Best Way to Start a Safe and Effective Workout Routine
Not everyone exercises regularly, or at all. And even if you ARE exercising and consider yourself in good health, are you really? When was the last time you had an Exercise Tolerance Test, or sat with a physician prior to starting an exercise program? Most gyms do not offer these services, which may put you at risk of injury. Pritikin is the perfect place to implement a safe and effective workout routine, customized to your abilities and fitness level, all while under the care of board certified physicians, and the eyes of our team of exercise physiologists.
- Physical activity trajectories and mortality: population-based cohort study. BMJ 2019; 365: 12323.
- Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise. J Physiol 2012 Jan 15; 590(Pt 2): 351-362.