Here’s The Ultimate Workout You Can Do In Your Tiny Apartment
Let’s be honest — once winter officially arrives and temperatures drop below freezing in the morning, the chances of you leaving your apartment for a gym workout or outdoor jog are slim to none. And as a certified yoga teacher and former personal trainer, I fully empathize with your struggle. These exact moments are when I turn to exercises I can do from the comfort of my perfectly heated home. They require far less willpower while proving just as effective at strengthening and toning the body.
The circuit workout below is one I swear by in the coldest, darkest months, and it’s ideal for virtually any apartment living situation. You only need a yoga mat’s worth of space to complete it, it avoids jumping movements to keep your downstairs neighbors happy and you don’t have to purchase any gym equipment to reap the benefits. Just your body weight will do.
Each circuit is designed with your entire body in mind, including one upper body move, one lower body move and one core move. Complete three cycles of the first circuit before moving onto the second and then the third. And do your best to perform the moves in the circuits in the order in which they’re listed. Now go tackle your frigid mornings like a boss.
Plié Squats: Stand with your feet wider than your hips, and turn your toes out at a 45-degree angle. Place your hands on your hips. Lower into a squat, keeping your knees tracking behind your toes and your back long and tall, and then return to standing to complete one rep. Repeat 15 times. Make it harder: rise up onto your toes for the plié squats, integrating calf raises in the movement.
Wide Push-Ups: Come into a plank position in your mat and widen your hands so that they reach just slightly beyond the width of your shoulders. Keep your core engaged as you lower your body down into a pushup, and then return to the top of the move to complete one rep. Repeat 10-15 times. Make it easier: lower your knees to your mat and keep your back long and strong as you perform a modified push-up.
Double Crunches: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on your mat and your hands behind our head with your elbows reaching wide. On your exhale, simultaneously lift your knees toward your center and your upper body toward your knees, forming a little ball in the middle of the crunch. Lower down the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat 15 times.
Alternating Curtsy Lunges: Stand on your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight onto your left foot, pick up your right foot and reach it toward the back left corner of your mat (if you’re facing a mirror, you should be able to see your right foot behind and to the outside of your left foot). Lower into the lunge, lift up and return your right foot to its starting position as you shift your weight onto your right foot and repeat the same motion on the other side to complete one rep. Repeat on both sides 15 times. Make it harder: add a standard squat in between alternating to each side.
Bodyweight Triceps Dips: Move into an inverted tabletop position on your mat with your feet flat and your fingers reaching toward your heels. Keeping your hips lifted, bend both elbows to lower in the triceps dip, keeping them parallel with the body rather than splaying out to the sides. Lift up and return to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat 15 times. Make it harder: alternate lifting one foot off the mat with each rep you complete so that you have to balance on three limbs instead of four.
Lower Abs Leg Raises: Lie on your back with your legs reached out long and your arms down by your sides with your hands placed palms down underneath your bum. Engage your core and left your shoulders and head slightly off the mat to achieve a C-curve spine. As you exhale, bend your knees in toward your chest. As you inhale, extend your legs straight so that they are hovering just above the mat. As you exhale, reach your legs straight up toward the ceiling so that they’re perpendicular to your torso. And inhale them back to the straight hovering position to complete one rep. Repeat 10-15 times.
Glute Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on your mat and your arms relaxed by your sides. Engage your glutes as you lift your hips straight up off your mat and toward the ceiling, creating a perfect line from your knees to your shoulders. Lower to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat 20 times. Make it harder: balance on your left leg as you perform a single bridge, keeping your right leg extended straight, and then repeat on the other side, alternating a total of 10 times on each leg.
Cobra Arm Raises: Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out straight in front of you. Engage your glutes and pull your legs together so they look like one long cobra tail, and keep the tops of your feet pressed into the mat. Engaging your lower back and shoulders, lift your upper body and arms up into the air, making a Superman “V” shape with your arms. Lower down to the mat. Slide your arms into a field goal position and lift the torso and arms again, and then lower down to the mat. That’s one rep. Repeat the combination 15 times.
Spiderman Planks: Move into a full plank position on your mat. Keep your hands, elbows and shoulders stacked in one line as you engage your core, glutes and legs. Maintaining your plank form, lift your right foot and bend your knee up and toward the outside of your right elbow, then bring it back into the starting position. Repeat on the left side. Then, lift your right foot and bend your knee up and toward the inside of your left elbow (beneath your torso), and then bring it back into the starting position. Repeat on the left side. That’s one rep. Repeat a total of 10 times.