Sometimes, despite our very best intentions, we just can’t bring ourselves to go to the gym. It becomes especially hard in the winter when suddenly 50-degree weather feels warm (fake news) and the sky is a dismal gray until 4pm, when it’s pitch black. On a good day, I don’t want to go to the gym. But if I have to wade through dirty puddles of slush in the dead of night to get there, it’s absolutely not going to happen.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout in. I’m the type of person who has way too much energy if I don’t work out. When I got back to school after Thanksgiving, I was running down the halls singing Christmas carols at full volume because I had been cooped up on a plane all day. Case in point: I should’ve gone to the gym, but it was rainy and gross and I had just found out that I left the sunroof of my car open all Thanksgiving break and my car was filled with water. I’m such a responsible adult.
However, my friends are all gym whores so I was convinced to do some ~fun and quick~ workouts instead. I thought it was pretty stupid, especially because I was doing it in a sweater and UGGs (#athletic), but I’ve actually never felt so sore the next day. Guess all those bloggers are right when they say you can get a good workout at home in 15 minutes. We really can have it all! So I’ve rounded up a few workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home (but maybe put on some sneakers when you do these, unlike me).
My only qualification for giving these workouts is that I work out a lot and follow fitness bloggers on Instagram. But since that seems to be about the only qualification anyone needs to give fitness advice these days, you can obvs trust me.
This is especially fun if you do it with your friends. It’s nice because they can mock your form motivate you when you would rather die than continue planking. Pro tip: I always start with planking, because it sucks the most.
1 min plank: hopefully, you know what this is...
1 min side plank (30 secs on each side): ditto
50 crunches: To make sure your abs are doing the work (not your neck or your arms), try flexing your abs.
1 min of leg raises: Lay on your back, lift your shoulders slightly off the ground, and lift your legs.
1 min of Russian twists: Grab something heavy to hold as you twist side to side (I won’t judge you if it’s a Smirnoff bottle).
1 min of burpee + push-ups: Jump up, squat, do a push-up, repeat.
Repeat the circuit three times, or until you are tired and/or bored. Take breaks between each set to check Instagram catch your breath. This should last about 20 minutes in total.
Lower Body Workout
These exercises are good for your toning your butt and legs.
15 squats: Try to watch your form in the mirror. Sometimes I do these while brushing my teeth to entertain myself. Make sure that your knees don’t go over your feet and your back stays straight.
3 min of inner-thigh toning: If you have one of those yoga blocks, that would be helpful here. You can also just roll up a towel. Stand up, and put the block or towel between your legs. Then, tense your inner thighs around it. Go on your tippy-toes, and then back down. At first, it feels boring, but you’ll really hurt after a minute or so. Trust me on this.
1 min of lunges: Grab something heavy to maximize the workout—weights are ideal if you have them in your room, but a heavy book would work too.
2 min of butt raises: Lie on your back with your knees bent (the bridge position), then raise your butt and tense it. Hold for 15 seconds, then relax and collapse back onto the floor.
2 min of squat-kick combo: Do a squat, then side shuffle to one side, kick one leg out, side shuffle back to the center, squat, repeat on the other side.
Repeat twice for about a 20-minute workout.
You don’t need a treadmill to get some cardio in. Literally just do these exercises and you’ll get your heart rate going.
1 min of jumping jacks
1 min of pulsing lunges: Pulse for 15 secs, then switch legs
1 min of burpees
1 min of high knees: Just like you’d do in middle school gym class!
1 min of push-ups
2 min of sprinting up and down the hallway: If you have neighbors who won’t report you to your landlord.
Repeat four times for a 20-minute workout, or more if you want it to be longer. For a nice full workout, I’d recommend picking two or three of these so you can really make your entire body feel like it was run over by a truck the next day.
If all of this still seems confusing, I’d recommend downloading a fitness app. My favorite is 8-Fit because they have lots of different 10-15 minute workouts you can do anywhere without needing any equipment. You can download this app for free (though, of course, they’re going to try to convince you to spend more money on a meal plan that’s totally unnecessary). Each move comes with a video demonstrating it. They also play music the entire time so it’s #hype. There are also different levels so if you’re only comfortable doing the bare minimum instead of being a hardo, they got you. Or you could check out this list of fitness apps worth downloading here.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (5)
Every year, on December 31, just before the clock strikes midnight and you’re preparing to chug a bottle of champagne, you vow that this is the year you finally get in shape. Never mind that you’ll probably wake up tomorrow and completely forget WTF happened on NYE, let alone say “no” to that leftover Chinese take-out in your fridge. I know, because like, me too. Diet starts in 2019, amiright? But for those of you who believe that eighth time’s a charm, here are some fitness apps to help you get that New Year’s body. It’s time to use your phone for something other than cyber-stalking your ex and his new girlfriend.
Sworkit hit it big on Shark Tank when Mark Cuban invested $1.5 million in the company. At one point the app was free, but now they’re charging $29.99 a quarter or $79.99 a year. They may sound like greedy f*cks, but they’re actually the cheapest option of the paid apps on this list. Sworkit has a bunch of fans, averaging an impressive five stars on the App Store. With the price you pay, you get access to a trainer who can answer all your burning fitness questions. That’s kinda cool if you’re lonely and bored of bugging Siri or the personal trainer you’re hooking up with. Also, Sworkit utilizes only bodyweight moves (no equipment) so you can literally do their workouts anywhere. That means if you’re looking for an app to use in the gym, you have better options. In order to utilize all the equipment, keep reading.
MoveWith is like having a personal fitness class right on your phone. A lot of the most popular trainers from boutique studios around the country are coaches on this app. Basically, you get a similar workout for a fraction of the price and in the comfort of your own home or gym. The workouts range from yoga to HIIT to weightlifting to guided meditation. They even have life talks, so clearly the variety is insane. You can choose which body parts you feel like working on, and the amount of time you have to work out. The trainers’ voiceovers also make it sound like they’re right there with you, yelling in your ear. Very realistic and motivating for those of us who need to feel a little fear to get moving. Depending on the class you choose, you might need some gym equipment. This app isn’t free, though, and will cost you $12.99/month or $95.99/year.
DailyBurn is not good for commitment-phobes. Instead of starting a workout, the app makes you start programs that last 8 weeks *nervous laughter*. I’m here for a good time, not a long time. But for those of you who need that kind of structure, this app is for you. Each program also comes with its own nutrition guidelines and meal plan to make sure you really see the results. The thought of all this commitment and cooking is giving me hives, low-key, so let’s wrap this up. Once again, this app is not free and will cost you $19.95/month.
4. Nike Training Club
Finally, a free app. Thanks, Nike! Although, I really do spend way too much money on your shoes anyway. I’ll consider this just a mild favor from you to me. This app allows you to pick individual workouts or set a plan that is tailored to your goals. You can choose if you want to do no equipment or full equipment workouts. All that is cool and whatever, but the main reason I am downloading this app is because it lets you workout alongside side Nike sponsored athletes. That means celebrities like Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, Michael B. Jordan, and Cristiano Ronaldo will be sweating it out with you. This is like the ultimate workout porn. If self-love can’t get me to exercise, then the thought of Michael B. Jordan’s abs f*cking can.
Do I know how to pronounce the name of this app? No. Do I use it? Semi-regularly. My ex-boyfriend introduced me to Jefit, and to this day I maintain that it is the only positive thing to come out of that year-long nightmare. But I’ll save the details for my therapist. If you want to tone up but are too afraid to venture into the weight machines section of the gym, Jefit is the app for you. You can search basically any machine in existence and it will explain how to use it with written instructions and an accompanying gif. It also does the same for many free weight exercises, if you’ve ever wanted, for instance, to learn how to do a barbell deadlift without breaking your lower back. It also has preset workouts for each muscle group (think abs day, chest and triceps day, etc.). And the best part: it’s free. Download Jefit and you just might be posting memes about “when you skip leg day” in no time. Change your name to Tyler, effective immediately.
Okay, MyFitnessPal is so popular that I had to include it on the list, but this app’s main function isn’t even really about exercise. It is a virtual food diary so you can stay on top of your intake. If you purchase the premium version, you can also add in your exercise so that it can calculate your expenditure. The forums and message boards give you that community feel if you’re into chatting with random strangers on the internet (and honestly… strangers on the forum board are way quicker to congratulate you on losing two pounds than your bestie over there putting out wine and a cheese plates). There are no exercises or workout plans for you here, though, so maybe use this with another one of the apps above to really stay on top of things.
Images: Nathan Cowley/Pexels; Giphy (2)