No Excuses: Gym-Free Exercise, Part II

Getting fit without paying a gym membership fee.

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In Part 1 of our At-Home workout series, we gave you a tough upper-body workout that allows you to tone your arms and shoulders while incorporating cardio, even if the only space you have is your dorm or hotel room. Let’s even out that workout with our Ultimate Bootcamp-inspired lower body workout.

The video provides proper form on each move, so please check it out before you begin the routine!

The Workout

Before beginning your workout, warm your body up. Jumping Jacks, front kicks, step-ups, touching toes-hips-shoulders-sky, even a light jog. Try to spend no less than 5 minutes getting loose and warm. Stretching is always a great addition to working out; make sure you’re warmed up before you do so.

The number of reps/sets we’ve listed may be tricky for you to accomplish when you first begin this program. However, if you can follow this plan two to three times per week, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you progress! Alternatively, if the numbers don’t quite challenge you to your maximum level, use the suggested modifications to increase the intensity of each exercise, as well as increasing the number of actual repetitions.

Chair Squats
12-15 reps per set.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly lower your hips to a chair or sofa.
  • Slowly raise yourself back up.
  • To increase intensity, avoid coming to a full rested position; just barely touch the seat before lifting back up.
  • Feel your weight shift back and down as you squat, not forward and down.

Single-Leg Lunge
12-15 reps per set.

  • Place one foot a full pace in front of you.
  • With hands on hips, slowly lower your hip downward towards the floor, and lift back up. Keep your upper body upright, shoulders back.
  • Be sure to avoid over-extending your front knee; refrain from letting your knee pass your toes.
  • To increase intensity, place your rear foot on a raised surface, such as a chair or step.

Single-Leg Deadlift
12-15 reps per set

  • Be sure to keep hips square with the floor.
  • Try to maintain a plank-like position throughout your body, lifting your leg slowly behind you .as you lower your upper body downward.
  • Alternate sides after 10 reps, or alternate right and left.

Cardio – Toe Taps
1, 3, or 5 min. increments.

  • Tap your toes, alternating feet, to the edge of a chair, step, or table.
  • The fitter you are, the higher the step.
  • Alternate sides.
  • To increase intensity, carry out your toe taps in a running motion, and/or raise your arms overhead.

When you’ve completed your cardio, repeat the entire set through 3 times. Then stretch, cool down, and have a great day … you’ve earned it!