Getting a great workout at home with zero equipment

September 6, 2016

One of the keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is doing things that are enjoyable. For most people, that does not include waking up early to go to the gym or finding time to get there after a hard day's work. The answer: Workout at home!

With little to zero equipment you can achieve a solid sweat while being just a few steps from your own shower. What you do need is an open space, a stopwatch or clock, and some creativity. And if you're like me you also need music.

The American College of Sports Medicine suggests at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, that's about 30 minutes five times per week. However, there are researchers that suggest even 10 minutes of exercise, three times per week is enough to produce the same health benefits seen in individuals exercising for 45 minutes - And any amount of exercise is better than none! So, whether you have 10 minutes or 60, this is my favorite circuit to do at home. Going through it once will take about 6 minutes - I aim for three times when I train plus a minute or two of warmup and cooldown, followed by a few minutes of stretching.

Each exercise is timed. As you improve your fitness, you'll be able to do more. For now just focus on maintaining good form for 30 seconds on each exercise and rest interval.

Exercise Instruction
Pushups Get into a pushup position with hands directly under your shoulders. Slowly lower yourself to the floor and just before your chest touches the floor, push yourself up quickly.
Rest
Squat jumps Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Imagine a bar at the front of your hips pushing your hips and butt back, as if to sit in a chair. Slowly lower yourself as low as you can an explosively jump up, trying to have your feet leave the ground. Land on the balls of your feet, slowly reset to a starting position and repeat.
Rest
Plank Lower yourself into the pushup position as described above. Widen your feet for more balance. With a neutral spine, tuck your butt and flex your core. Hold the position and remember to breathe.
Rest
Russian Twists Turn over and sit on a mat. With your heels on the mat and knees bent, slowly lean your torso back so that an angle of about 100 degrees (think beach chair) is created between your abs and thighs. Press your palms together or hold a ball and press your hands to your chest so elbows point outward. Keeping your back straight, slowly try to touch your elbow to the ground on the closest side and alternate in a fluid movement so you begin to twist from side to side. Note that you do not need to touch your elbow to the floor, go as far as you can.
Rest
Lunges Stand up with feet together at about hip-width apart and lunge with your right foot forward and lower your left knee so it touches or is just above the ground. As your right foot moves forward, drive your left arm up to provide stability. Continue by alternating sides.
Rest
Pro agility This is my favorite exercise to end on because it allows you to "empty the tanks" before finishing up. It's called the pro agility drill and work like this: Sprint 5 yards, turn and sprint 10 yards back the direction you came, turn and sprint another 5 yards back the direction you came, and sprint another 5 yards before starting over. Do this as many times as possible in 30 seconds while maintaining good form - if you have to jog it, jog it.
Rest 60-90 seconds

You can either stop here or continue by restarting the circuit for as many times as you want. Paramount is maintaining good form throughout all exercises. Also, if you are new to exercise or have health concerns, speak with a physician before trying circuit training. You may be able to participate with some modifications.

In good health,

Francesco

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