Here’s an at-home, apartment friendly workout with no weights needed! When I’m on call as an RA and not allowed to leave my apartment, I like to stretch and/or workout at home to get moving, so here are some things I do!
It was a super bright morning, so hopefully you can still tell what I’m doing as a silhouette. The first video is a warm up/cardio, the second is core, the third is legs and glutes, and the third is arms and back!
I did 4 of each move for the videos just to keep them short, but try doing at least 8 or 16! If you have weights, they can be added for an additional challenge to many of these moves!
Start standing with your arms stretched overhead, and start to march, drawing your knees up toward your chest by engaging your core. Start to pull your arms down from the elbows, crossing your elbow across your chest toward your opposite knee while you lift the knee to meet it.This gets in some nice spinal twisting in addition to warming up your core, shoulders, and lats. If you are pregnant or have low back injuries, avoid twisting and continue the straight marches.
Raise both arms up overhead and bring your feet together in a parallel position. Sink down into a chair squat. Step one leg back behind you into a lunge position, keeping the majority of your weight on your front foot and keeping a bend in the front knee. Start pulling your elbows down again as you draw your back knee into your chest, and extend it back behind you. The deeper bend you keep in the front knee, the more you will work that quadricep muscle!
Bring your arms to prayer at your chest, and add a twist by rotating to bring the elbows toward your knee as you bring it in. Switch your lunge position and do the other side! I only demonstrate one side in this video just to keep it shorter.
Next, step both feet together and prepare for Around the World Lunges! Adding weights is a great option here for an added challenge, although if you do enough repetitions it is challenging without weights too!
Step your left foot in front into a front lunge, making sure you keep 90 degree angles in both your front and back knee. Your hips should be stacked under your shoulders (so you’re not leaning forward or backwards) and your knees should be in line with your heels and hips. You have to find the right distance to step forward so that your knee isn’t bending far over your toes because this can put extra strain on your knee. Step back together. Then step your left foot out to the left and bend the knee, shifting your weight onto the left leg into a side lunge. Keep your right leg straight if possible. Step back together, then step the left leg back into a reverse lunge, again keeping 90 degree angles in both legs. Step back together, and reverse - go to the side, then front, then around again. Make sure to do both sides!
Step your feet so they are a hips-width apart. Squat down low, keeping your shoulders and head up and the weight in your heels. As you stand up, shift the weight slightly to one side as you push the other leg straight out to the side. Squat again, and switch legs as you come up.
Then I did some burpees! I don’t usually do push ups at the bottom because I don’t like to, but I think officially burpees do have push ups at the bottom, but do whatever you want! It’s your workout! After your last burpee, hold in a plank and start to do alternating jumping low lunges. For a low-impact modification, just step instead of jumping.
Hold a plank for as long as you like! I always start my core workouts by holding a plank. Then draw one knee toward the same side elbow, then cross to the opposite elbow, then step it back into your plank. Repeat with the other leg. Really try to maintain your plank position here! When we add motion to planks, it’s really common and easy to start to pike your butt up in the air, but then you lose your core engagement! So just be conscious of your straight spine alignment - having a mirror can be helpful!
Next is another Around the World option! Lift one arm up, then that same side leg, then the opposite leg, then opposite arm. It may help to step the feet and hands slightly further apart for stability. When you do this move, try to minimize shifting your body weight to one side or the other. You have to shift a bit, but the less you shift, the more your core is working. Next, I did some mountain climbers.
Lower gently to your forearms for a low plank - try your best not to set your knees down and come out of your plank unless you really need a break! Make a fist with your right hand and bring it over to your left elbow, then shift your weight onto your right side to do a side plank. You can either stack your feet as I do, bring your top foot slightly in front of the bottom for more stability, or even set your bottom knee down like a kickstand if you need more support. Start to bump your hips up toward the ceiling while maintaining your nice straight plank alignment - shoulders and hips stacked one on top of the other, and bottom elbow under your shoulder. Next, reach your top arm up to the sky, then start to gradually twist your torso as you bring the arm down to “thread the needle” by reaching under and slightly behind your right side. You should feel a twist in your core.
The next set of core work is done lying down, but that doesn’t mean we are resting! Lay flat on the ground. Exhale and contract your navel back into your spine so your lower back is pressing into the ground. SLOWLY (the slower you do this, the harder it is!) raise your legs up to the ceiling, stopping when they get above your hips. If straight legs is too much, you can add a slight bend in the knees or turn out your feet to release some tension in your hip flexors. Lower them back to a hover above the ground, and repeat. These are SO hard!
Next, lay back down with your legs straight out in front of you (they can be bent with feet flat on the floor for a modification), and bring your hands behind your head. As you exhale, reach one arm across the body towards the opposite leg. Switch.
For the final core work, I am demonstrating one of my go-to core moves: progressive crunches! I do 16 crunches in each position (but you can do 8, 4, etc - whatever works!): legs straight and flat on the floor, legs bent and feet flat, legs bent at 90 degrees in table top with knees over hips, and legs straight up to the sky. Then I finish with a hold with my legs and upper body hovering above the ground!
Start in a downward dog position, and raise one leg up, trying to keep it as straight as possible. Sorry my computer frame cut off my leg! But you get the idea I hope! Hold it high and contract your glute muscle to lift it a few inches higher and repeat. Switch legs. Then come to table top on your hands and knees with hips over knees. Bend your knee, then lift your leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Lift and lower the leg as if you were stamping the ceiling with the sole of your foot, initiating the movement from your glute. Next, combine this move with the “fire hydrant” and bring your leg to the side and pulse up, then back behind you and pulse up. Your knee should be kind of drawing a U shape as you alternate between working your gluteus medius (side glute) and maximus (back side of glute).
Next, lay on one side, supporting yourself with your lower forearm. Align your hips to stack right on top of each other and use your upper hand to stabilize yourself by pressing into the ground in front of you. Lift and lower your top leg, using muscle strength and not momentum. Then cross the top leg up and over the bottom, and start lifting and lowering the bottom leg, using your inner thigh muscles. For “clam”, bring your heels together with your knees bent and lift both feet off the ground so your legs make a diamond shape. Open and close your top knee, keeping your heels pressed together. Roll forward onto your stomach and bring your legs into a similar position for “frog legs”, with your heels pressed together and knees bent. However, make sure your tailbone is tucked under so your butt doesn’t stick up. Engage your glute muscles to float the knees off the floor (they may not go that high, and that’s ok!), and pulse them up from there. Finish with some hamstring curls by kicking your heels toward your butt.
Start with some good old-fashioned push ups! Then bring your hands in underneath your shoulder with fingers pointing forward for tricep push ups. Your elbows should graze your ribs as you lower your body down. Always feel free to take these push ups on your knees!
Return to a table top position, and float one leg up behind you and the opposite arm up in front of you. Avoid arching your back and try to keep your core engaged. Lift the arm and leg up by engaging your back muscles, and draw the knee and elbow together underneath your stomach. Then hold the leg and arm up and take small pulses.
Lower down to your belly, and bring your elbows out to the side in line with your shoulders for a goal post position. Lift your head, neck, shoulders, and chest slightly off the mat. Keep your neck in line with your spine to avoid straining it by looking up - your gaze should be down and slightly in front of you on the floor. Take little pulses up of your upper body while keeping the tops of your feet pressed into the mat, then do some lifting both the legs and upper body. Hold this lift, then draw your elbows back behind you, contracting your shoulder blades, then press them straight out in front of you as if you were Superman flying!
Sit up with your legs either straight in front of you or bent. Place your hands slightly behind your butt with your fingers pointing towards you for reverse tricep pushups. Bend and straighten your elbows. You can lift your hips off the ground for an added challenge - I didn’t demonstrate this, but it works with either bent or straight legs! To finish this weightless arm set, bring your arms straight out to either side of you in a T shape, and press the palms down toward the floor and back up, moving just a few inches. Try to do 16! Flip the palms to face forward and repeat pulses. Then take small circles in one direction, then reverse.
And you’re done! I hope you enjoyed this no props, at home workout! I am hoping to make more videos like this once I am settled in my new apartment in Chicago!