The gym is an expensive and overcrowded facility that won’t necessarily help you reach your fitness goals. You can easily complete gym-free workouts from the comfort of your home or in the great outdoors, where you can be more in control of your environment.
At-home workouts, however, do require a little creativity and extra effort so they don’t become stale or monotonous. Here are some ways you can keep your gym-free workouts exciting and take them to the next level:
An upbeat soundtrack to accompany your exercise routine, be it cardio or plyometrics, will keep you focused and motivated to push through the most strenuous parts of your workout. Spotify offers a number of playlists that are specifically geared toward fitness, including an EDM mix, hip-hop compilation and Top 40 pop songs. The Spotify app can be downloaded to your smartphone, so you’ll have your fitness jams anytime and anywhere.
Make sure you have a smartphone that accommodates the fast and varied movement of your workouts with a cord-free earbud system. The iPhone 7 has enhanced, cordless earpods that won’t limit your range of motion. The iPhone 7’s capabilities go beyond its audio accessories, as it features the Siri system which lets you control your music and find your favorite songs through hands-free voice commands.
Ditch the pricey personal trainer and opt for an inexpensive fitness app with guided workouts and fitness tracking systems. Sweat With Kayla is an internationally renowned app that is geared towards women’s fitness, though is popular with both women and men. Users of the app can complete 28-minute resistance workouts that are modeled by Kayla and categorized by muscle areas like Abs and Arms, Legs and Full Body. The app keeps track of your completed workouts and will increase in difficulty every week. The exercises require minimal equipment, as most of the movements rely on your own bodyweight for resistance. Beyond Sweat With Kayla, there are a variety of smartphone fitness apps — geared toward Yoga, Dance, and High Intensity workouts — that will help you manage your exercise routine and introduce you to new, fun ways to challenge your body.
Many gym-goers feel tied to their exercise facility because they assume the high volume and variation of equipment is imperative. But this is not true; you really don’t need many forms of equipment for high impact and effective body building. The most important pieces of equipment are dumbbells, a jump rope, a pull-up bar and a padded mat. Choose dumbbells that let you add and remove weight, as the varied resistance will make them more versatile and suited for arm exercises, sit-ups, lunges and squats. Jump ropes are a great alternative to a treadmill as they will quickly increase your heart rate and give you a solid cardio workout. You can integrate a pull-up bar into any room within your home, as there are models designed to conveniently fit between door jambs. If you don’t want to spend money on your own pull-up bar, you can use outdoor monkey bars at your local park for your chin-ups and dips.
If your home has limited space and is too cramped for your preferred exercises, don’t settle for the crowded gym, instead take your workout outdoors. If you live in the city, a nearby park will likely have a sufficient amount of space for your workout. If you have access to hiking trails, the mountains or the water, you can incorporate recreational activities into your fitness regimen. For example, you can rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboard through REI or another outdoor recreation retailer and spend a few hours paddling around in the water. Paddling will engage both your arms and your core, and also immerse you in the beauty of nature for an effective and fun workout.