Whenever someone contacts me about in-home training, I am almost always asked the same question: do I need any equipment? And my answer is always the same: all you need is an open space, a comfortable outfit, and a mind and body ready to work. Sometimes there is a bit of surprise when I give prospective clients this answer, because when we think of "the gym" or personal training we think of machines, free weights, bands, bars, mats, benches, etc., and think that we need all of those things to get a great workout. Having all of these at my disposal is great and it makes my job a lot easier, but for my in-home clients and even other times when the gym is particularly busy or I don't have time to get there, I need to get creative without having access to any of the elements above. This is where body and space come into play, because all you really need for a great workout is your body and a small amount of open space.
Whether you are at home in your basement or loft, at a hotel with a narrow walking area between furniture or a busy gym after work, you can do everything you need to do just using your body weight. The best part? Body weight exercises are quick, efficient and, if performed correctly, really do work multiple body parts at the same time. The key is to keep yourself moving with some creative, high-intensity, total-body exercises to make it fun, and here are some sample workouts to get you going first thing in the morning or to relieve some stress after a long day. Each example below will have 4 exercises grouped in different ways, but feel free to mix and match however you like. My goal with each grouping was to hit as many body parts as possible to get the most bang for your buck, and all of these are perfect for those of you with little time and no equipment available. Each group should take you no more then 15 or 20 minutes, but you can always extend the number of reps or the amount of time, where applicable. So crank up the music and get ready to roll:
- Plyometric Push-Ups, Elbow Push-Ups, Squat Jumps and V-Sits. For this group, let's do a drop-set, meaning you will start with 15 reps of each exercise, descending to 14, 13, 12, 11, etc., until you reach 1 of each. The key here is to move quickly from each exercise to the next and try not to stop if you can.
- One-legged Push-Ups, Jumping Jacks, Leg Lifts, Side Planks with a Dip. For this group, let's do a ladder, meaning you will start with 1 rep of each exercise, ascending to 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., until you reach 15 of each. Just like the above, try to move quickly from one exercise to the next and don't stop. For the one-legged push-ups and the side planks with a dip, make sure you switch sides on each round.
- Spider Man Push-Ups, Plank Rotations, One-Legged Sit-Ups and Tuck Jumps. For this group, go back to the drop set from above but set the entire workout to a timer for 20 minutes. Follow the 15 reps descending down to 1, and then if you still have time on your timer, start again from the top. You'll be dripping with sweat and feeling great when your through.
- Burpee's, Calf Jumps, Elbow Plank climb to a Hand Plank, Mountain Climbers. For this group, go back to the ladder from above and also set the entire workout to a 20 minute timer. Follow the 1 rep ascending up to 15 for each and then start over again if you still have time at the end. Another sweaty one, but your heart rate will be sky high.
Not having time to workout will always be an easy excuse to not do it, but one of my jobs is to help my clients work around the excuse and provide ways to do what you need to do in the shortest possible amount of time. If you don't want to spend long hours in the gym or hate going there altogether, give a shot to a few of the pairings above and it'll be well worth setting aside those 15-20 minutes a day just for yourself.