The Gym-Free Workout
Get lean and fit without a gym or expensive fitness equipment.
When you see photos of stars like Kim Kardashian and Jessica Biel looking fabulous, do you think, “Sure, I could have a body like that if I could afford a personal trainer!” Well, we’ve found the no-excuses workout that will give you a killer body without the killer expense. California trainer Kristin Anderson created a workout that you can do in a small space, without going to a gym or buying fancy equipment. “I call this a body-by-you workout,” she says. “You are a portable gym, because using your body is a great weight. You don’t need equipment to use your body.”
Within the 20 to 40 minutes that most people have to work out, says Kristin, “there are five exercises that are crucial in getting the most out of your workout. If you do a minute of each of these exercises for 3-5 cycles, you’ll get an amazing full body workout by working all parts of your body. You’ll burn a ton of calories and you’ll keep burning calories for 24 hours afterward.”
For the body-by-you workout, Kristin says, you’ll need a space about the size of a yoga mat, or a 4 ft. x 4 ft. area to have plenty of room. You don’t need a mat unless you have a hard floor and are uncomfortable.
The Plank: This warm-up exercise is essentially a stationary push up position – your hands are on the floor, your arms are straight under your shoulders, legs are extended out behind you, stomach is pulled in. Says Kristin, “Everything should be tight and engaged in order to burn the most amounts of calories and to keep your body safe – there’s no extreme load in any joints. Hold yourself in this plank position, constantly checking the parts of your body to make sure every muscle is engaged and in the right position.” Kristin suggests holding this position for one minute or for as long as you feel comfortable.
The Push-up: If you don’t need a rest, says Kristin, “go directly into your push-ups.” Inhale as you bend your arms and lower your body to the ground, and exhale as you push yourself back up. “Hold your stomach really tight as you come down,” Kristin says, “and squeeze it again as you press up – this is what is going to protect your lower back. If you can’t do a push-up in the plank position, you will get the same workout by bending your knees so that they’re resting on the ground.” Avoid overworking yourself, but, Kristin suggests, “pick a number to do that will be a little bit hard for you.” If your back feels sore, stretch it by going into a yoga position called “child’s pose.” Sit back on your legs so that your buttocks are resting on them, bring your face down to the floor and stretch your arms, palms to the floor, in front of you.
The Squat: After the push-ups, stand up with your feet a little bit wider than hip-width distance, very slightly turned out. Keep your chest up and inhale as you lower down, reaching your butt out as if you’re about to sit down in a chair. Keeping your knees over your toes, go down to where your thighs are parallel to the ground. If you want to make the exercise more difficult, Kristin says, “reach your hands up to the sky, or keep them at your sides to make it easier. When you exhale, stand straight up, pushing into your heels – your chest shoots to the ceiling and your hips should come forward. This is one full squat.” She suggests aiming for 60 repetitions, or one minute.