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1 year ago
6 Super-Effective Exercises for Your Teeny-Tiny Apartment

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As it starts to get colder outside, it can be tough not to declare the weather a reason for avoiding exercise. But we’re here to tell you that you don't have to actually leave your home—or have any equipment or even much space in said home—to have yourself a fitness fest. We spoke with Melissa Paris, an NASM-certified personal trainer, who told us her favorite equipment-free moves that will only take up as much space as a yoga mat—and won't result in the broom treatment from your neighbors one floor down. Click through to check them out. Another excuse bites the dust.

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Single-Leg, Single-Arm Reach

Why It Rocks: This move is a great way to challenge your balance, says Paris. Plus, it works your glutes and hamstrings, she says.
How to Do It: Stand on your left leg and raise your right arm in front of you (A). Lower your torso and lift your right leg behind you until both are parallel to the floor (B). Contract your glutes and hamstrings to return to standing. 

MORE: 8 Swiss and Medicine Ball Moves You Should Be Doing

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Overhead Squat (with Towel)

Why It Rocks:  This exercise challenges your glutes and arms and takes up almost no space, says Paris. To get your heart really pumping (without jumping up and down and angering your neighbors), increase the speed at which you do the reps—while keeping the correct form, of course.
How to Do It: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Grab a rolled-up towel with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and raise it overhead (A). Squat down as far as possible without letting your knees jut out past your toes (B). That's one rep.

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Plank to Pushup

Why It Rocks: Both planks and pushups are total-body moves. When you pair them together, you get twice as much muscle-sculpting power, says Paris. To get the most out of this exercise, squeeze your butt and legs throughout the exercise.
How to Do It: Start to get in a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut (A). Press your body up into the top position of a pushup by extending your arms one at a time (B). Pause (C), then reverse the movement and return to your elbows. That's one rep.

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Bodyweight Lateral Lunge

Why It Rocks: This side-to-side movement is an often-overlooked but super-beneficial move that targets your glute medius, a hip muscle that can help fend off low back pain and other injuries when it's strong, says Paris. Plus, if you focus on squeezing your outstretched leg, you can strengthen your inner thighs, too.
How to Do It: Place your hands on your hips, pull your shoulders back, and stand as tall as you can (A). Lift your left foot and take a big step to your left as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your left knee (B). Pause, then quickly push yourself back to the starting position.

MORE: 4 Tips for How to Create a Workout Habit—Even If You Have Zero Willpower

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Single-Leg Isometric Wall Squat

Why It Rocks: This move only looks easy. Even though you're leaning against a wall, this move targets your glutes, core, quads, and hamstrings, says Paris.
How to Do It:  Stand with your back against a wall, your feet about two feet in front of you, hip-width apart. Bend your knees to lower you body until your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Extend your right leg out in front of you, shin parallel to the floor. Hold for one to two seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

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Side Plank

Why It Rocks: That plank to pushup move from before is awesome. Now add the side plank into your apartment workout routine to help you focus on and strengthen your obliques even further, says Paris. Plus, this move is great for developing overall core strength.
How to Do It: Lie on your left side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Hold as directed, then switch sides and repeat.

MORE: The Perfect Playlist for Pushing Your Body to Its Limit

Exercise how-tos adapted from Shape-Up Shortcuts, The Women's Health Big Book of 15-Minute Minute Workouts, and The Women's Health Big Book of Abs. For even more moves, get Shape-Up Shortcuts, The Women's Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts, and Women's Health Big Book of Abs today!

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