PORTLAND—Jennifer Smithers of Portland, Oregon, used to belong to a gym, in pre-pandemic times. But, like millions of women in this country, she left the workforce due to COVID. She was unable to keep up with the essential deadlines at her job working as an art director for a novelty sock company while nursing her infant and facilitating online school for her kindergartner.
“It all became too much,” Smithers says via a Zoom phone interview, explaining why she canceled her Equinox membership. Her living room behind her is strewn with toys, books, a Peloton, a weight bench, a Pilates reformer, a couch, a TV, an ergonomic desk currently being used as a drying rack for cloth diapers, and various bands and weights. Pilates balls of several sizes litter the carpet and her infant is currently pinned under a yoga block.
“As much as I would have loved to keep the gym membership, it was pointless to keep throwing money away on something I wasn’t using. Even with the extra cleaning and safety precautions, I wouldn’t go because it’s just not worth it without the eucalyptus towels or the Juice Press.”
So, what’s a mother to do? Fortunately, in the age of COVID, many exercise companies have pivoted to include online subscriptions.
“I started with a Barre membership,” Smithers says, showing us her makeshift ballet barre, the back of the baby’s crib, “because it requires very little gear.” All she needs for a workout is several resistance bands, a special branded ball, a barre, and some light hand weights, which she purchased on Amazon when demand for home fitness equipment was at an all-time high.
Smithers didn’t stop at the barre, though. “Then, a friend convinced me to hop on the Peloton bandwagon. Okay, so maybe we’re not actually friends, but I follow her on Instagram.”
“I love it. So inspiring. It cost more than our mortgage for the bike and that first month, but then it’s just the monthly fee, so it’s worth it for all the workout access as long as I do at least 30 classes per month. And I can watch recorded classes and do them when I’m up early with the baby.” So far, Jennifer has taken three classes, but she remains optimistic the Peloton will soon pay for itself.
From there, however, the obsession spiraled, perhaps out of control. Smithers is now paying for 15 different at-home workout subscriptions ranging from Pilates to Jazzercise. Tomorrow, she’s signed up for one virtual HIIT class, a yoga Zoom, and a Zoomba (that’s Zoom Zumba), all of which she plans to attend with her camera and mic off, in case she needs to dip out partway through—whether it be because one of her children starts crying or because her muscles do.
“You know what they say—the best workout is the one you enjoy doing,” she explains. “So I’m gonna keep trying to find it.”
Smithers says she doesn’t ever see herself returning to Equinox because it “just isn’t worth the money.”
“It’s hard to justify the expense now that I can do everything right here in my living room,” she says.
“Better to spend money on things I really can’t get anywhere else, instead of throwing money at convenience,” she adds, while using her most recent HelloFresh shipment as a plyo box.
Image: Logan Weaver / Unsplash
When quarantine first began, working from the couch felt like a much-needed break from the discomforts of office life. Nothing was more appealing than rolling out of bed, grabbing your laptop, and rolling straight back onto the couch. No shower, no shoes, no problem. However, the excitement of working from the couch can start to wane once the aches and pains of too much sitting start to set in. From your neck to your lower back to your hips, sitting on a soft surface with limited back support for a full work day is considerably less comfortable than it seems. And as it turns out, working from the couch for too long is bad for you, both physically and mentally. The good news? You don’t have to give up working from the couch completely just to get a bit more healthy.
Sitting all day can have a number of negative effects on the body, but sitting slumped on a couch can be even more detrimental. “Sitting allows your muscles to become extremely tight and dysfunctional, which will compromise your posture and increase your risk of pain and injury,” says Jeff Brannigan, Program Director at Stretch*d (a New York-based dynamic assisted stretching studio). Furthermore, Brannigan goes on to explain that “working from the couch makes it very easy to sit in a not-so-great position. Many people quickly begin to slouch or slide down the couch.”
The problem? “Sitting in a compromised position drastically speeds up the onset of muscle dysfunction. You’re far more likely to feel muscle tightness, tension, and pain due to an increased likelihood of developing imbalance throughout the body.” In fact, in a 2018 study, the CDC went so far as to say that “high amounts of sedentary behavior and low levels of physical activity are associated with increased risk of premature mortality and some chronic diseases”. Yikes.
The good news is that even if you work in an industry that requires you to be sedentary for most of the day, small changes to your routine can make a big impact. Better yet, new work-from-home policies make it even easier to get up and move. Eve Lynn Chrust, a New York City-based fitness and yoga instructor (you can find her classes at Obé, SoulCycle, and Athleta) says that exercise doesn’t have to be something you force yourself to do at the end of a long work day. “Make it cumulative,” says Chrust. “If you do a little something every hour of the work day, by the end of the day you’ll have gotten more done than you might’ve expected.” Chrust says that a few exercises coupled with a few laps around your apartment every hour are enough to counteract some of the negative effects of working slumped down on the couch all day. Her advice? Set a timer on your phone to dedicate four (yes, just four) minutes of every hour to getting off the couch and moving. By the end of a standard work day, you’ll have already gotten a half hour workout in.
Here are some moves you should be doing to counteract the effects of sitting all day:
1. Walk It Out
The first one-minute move in your four-minute set? A lap around your house, a walk up and down a set of stairs or a stroll down the block! Chrust says, “there’s a mental component of getting off the couch. When you sit for too long, things can feel stagnant and repetitive and you tend to get stuck. Getting off the couch even for just a minute helps you to feel motivated, it gives you energy and might improve your focus.”
Chrust recommends doing 10 squats every hour to open your hips, stretch out your legs, and work your booty. “Doing just ten squats every hour throughout the workday is totally accessible, and by the end of an eight-hour work day you’ll have done 80 squats!” she says.
Next up is a one-minute plank. Planks are a favorite of most yogis, and with good reason. They’re an efficient way to work your entire core, front and back, says Chrust. “Abs are fundamental for posture. If you’re hunching on a couch all day, you need core strength to lengthen out your spine.”
4. Cat Cow
After you’ve completed the one-minute plank, move directly into a tabletop position, with your knees on the ground directly in line with your hips, and your hands on the ground directly in line with your shoulders. Flow through one minute of cat cow to create space in your spine, chest and neck, three spaces that are compromised when sitting on a couch for too long, says Chrust.
Images: GIPHY; Maryjoy Caballero / Unsplash
By now, most of us have probably tried at least a few home workouts. With gyms still closed in several states, the art of working out from the comfort of your own home is still essential. But can you still feel the burn with limited or no equipment? Incorporating plyometrics (aka plyos or jump training) can be an easy solution, but if you live in an apartment, that can also be a problem. Your neighbors probably won’t be too happy with you if it sounds like a herd of elephants is about to fall through their ceiling once a day.
The answer to all your problems is HILIT, or high intensity, low impact training. HILIT workouts use short intense bursts of activity followed by brief rest periods that never require jumping movements. You read that right: no jumping.
I’ve been an athlete my whole life and a personal trainer and fitness competitor for several years, and this is the method I’ve used during all of quarantine to maintain my fitness level. HILIT uses little to no equipment, increases your metabolism, and is also gentle on your joints. If you ask me, it’s a win-win-win. If you’re looking for a home workout that burns fat while toning your body, this is it! Here are a few moves you can do for a full at-home HILIT workout.
Low To High Wood Choppers
This is a dynamic exercise that works your obliques and shoulders. To begin, squat, twist your torso to the right, and hold your hands to the outside of your right leg. If you have a dumbbell at home, you can hold that as well. Exhale and swing your arms diagonally across your body so that you end with your arms above your left shoulder. Return back to your starting position to complete one rep. Continue the movement on this side for 30 seconds, then switch.
Standing Supermans strengthen your upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Stand on one leg and extend both your arms out to the side as you bend forward. Let your raised leg stretch all the way behind you as you bring your back to a table-top position. Squeeze your glutes and pull yourself back to a standing position. Repeat the Superman on this side for 30 seconds.
Start in plank position, then bring your left knee up to your left elbow. While holding this position, do a push-up. Alternate your legs back and forth for 30 seconds. Iguana press-ups require more stabilization than traditional push-ups and are excellent for building core stability in addition to working out your chest.
Standing Knee Drive
Stand with your hands behind your head and forcefully drive each knee in towards your chest. For maximum results, move as quickly as you can for 30 seconds straight.
Reverse Plank Leg Lift
Begin by sitting on the ground with your legs bent and your arms behind you—your fingertips should be facing towards your toes. Push your butt up off the ground and begin raising one leg at a time up towards your chest. Keep your movements controlled, squeeze your abs at the top of each leg raise, and always keep your hips lifted.
Squat Hold To Calf Raise
Stand in sumo position (feet outside your hips and shoulders) and sit into a squat. Hold this position for 30 seconds while you raise your heels up and down off of the floor. You should keep your weight in the balls of your feet throughout the movement. Prepare to feel an intense burn in your thighs and calves!
Hip Bridge with Hamstring Curl
You’re going to need to wear a pair of socks for this one! Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet placed hip-width apart. Bridge your hips up into the air and slide your feet forward as far as you can without dropping your hips down. Then pull your feet back in towards your glutes and repeat the movement for 30 seconds. Don’t lower your hips for the entire 30 seconds.
Images: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash
I guess it took a global pandemic for me to finally realize that working out does indeed help your mood, energy level and overall mental well-being like those fitness influencers are always preaching. My stress and anxiety levels of late can only be compared to that of Harry Jowsey on Too Hot To Handle when he discovered he couldn’t bone Francesca on his own timeline, and really the only thing that’s helped me calm down (aside from vegging out to Netflix) has been working out. And no, I was not paid to say that. And yes, I’m aware of how insufferable I must seem now.
Fitness coaches and influencers can smell that we as a society have finally cracked and are ready to cash out on premium workouts from our own home. As a result, there’s more fitness content out there than ever before—which is making it hard to sniff out the workouts that are actually worth my time when I could otherwise be drinking, or cooking, or drinking. So, we’ve rounded out the top paid virtual workouts that are actually worth your money so we can all come out of this perhaps not with a newer, tighter ass; but definitely having tried our damndest to boost our serotonin levels and not get depressed.
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Solidcore “at home” is a live 20-person group class taken with an instructor via Zoom. Using sliders and weights (or whatever at-home substitution you prefer), the workout is intense but low impact, like Pilates or Barre. They offer 50-minute full-body classes or shorter, 30-minute “muscle-specific” classes.
HOUSEWORK was developed by Syd Miller as a full-body sculpting and conditioning class that combines Pilates and cardio circuits, and is set to upbeat music—so it’s basically just, like, a healthier alternative to LIV Miami, right? She’s teaching daily HOUSEWORK classes on Zoom.
JABS by Gina
$6 – $10/class
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LARGEST JABS CLASS IN HISTORY. . Tomorrow 7:30pm EST. “ABS AND JABS” $5 . I’m opening ONE THOUSAND spots. And there is NO WAY I can fill them on my own. Let’s see if together, we can bring together 1,000 people across the globe to Jab. . . The sign up link will be posted in my bio and swipe up on my story at 5pm EST TODAY! . Share this post on your story, tag a friend who you think needs to JAB, and thennnnnn SET YOUR ALARM ⏰
Per my Instagram feed, it’s clear JABS by Gina has a cult following that has expanded far beyond NYC since quarantine began. With many different formats, JABS combines HIIT training, kickboxing, and muscle isolation workouts. She’s teaching daily Zoom classes that run from 45-minutes to 1 hour each with some classes reaching a 250 and 1,000-person capacity.
Is it even a millennial-focused workout article if I don’t mention Rumble? Rumble is a boxing/cardio workout, though their live workouts are only “Rumble-inspired”, so you won’t be experiencing the same exact setup, naturally. They are offering a mix of virtual classes that range from strength-training to cardio and boxing, as well as offer you the option for a weighted workout or to use your “bodyweight.”
Obé Fitness offers a wide range of online fitness videos under the four categories of Define (strength based classes), Sweat (cardio based classes), Flow (yoga and stretch classes), as well as pre- and postnatal classes, with each class being only 28 minutes. You can stream the workouts on your phone, computer, TV, or tablet. I also simply cannot help but be influenced by the extremely cute and bubbly-looking people on the Obé website, to whom I relate in no way at all. Maybe one day!
Barry’s Bootcamp is (normally) a guided workout spent partly on the treadmill running intervals, and partly on the center floor doing strength training workouts. Now, Barry’s is offering virtual, 35-minute classes in the following four categories: Bodyweight, Bands, Weights, and a few traditional Barry’s Treadmill & Weights classes. Knowing Barry’s, if the classes are only 35 minutes, then the workout is likely very intense. Stay safe out there, folks!
$1,495/Mirror (or $42/month)
Yes, $1,495 is a sharp increase from the $10 classes I’ve been listing, but rich people like to work out too. ‘The Mirror’, as they call it, is literally just that; but once you turn it on, up pops your own personal trainer! (I feel like that’s the beginning scene of a twisted Disney movie?). There are tens of thousands of workouts to choose from, plus The Mirror is extremely chic looking and I’ve heard rich people like that, too.
$2,245/bike (or $58/month)
The Peloton bike is another investment piece. It comes with a touchscreen tablet that offers guided workouts from an instructor, with workout options for on and off the bike. People who own Peloton bikes seem to post about them FREQUENTLY, so unless they’re only trying to justify spending so much money on a bike that doesn’t move, Peloton seems to be worth the hype. You can also virtually compete with other participants who own bikes (it’s almost like this company knew something before we did???).
Images: mr lee / Unsplash; solidcore, doyourumble, obe_fitness, getthemirror / Instagram
It’s finally come to the point where we can all agree it’s time to switch out of the tie-dye sweatshirt that we haven’t taken off all of quarantine (busted) and into the go-to workout outfit that might actually inspire movement, specifically, movement off the couch. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been binge watching the first season of Too Hot To Handle, snacking on yesterday’s banana bread, and telling yourself you’ll work out when you know it’s not gonna happen. In all honesty, a lot of the reason we aren’t motivated to work out is because we simply don’t know what to do. Thankfully, a lot of workout instructors are providing virtual classes that are easy to follow and help get you motivated. One of these instructors is Megan Roup, founder of The Sculpt Society, who’s given Betches readers her top four simple exercises to tone your butt. The best part? All these exercises can be done on your living room floor.
1. 90-Degree Angle Lift
On your elbow, cross your ankles and lift your leg to a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knee is behind your head and your abs are tight as you extend your leg up and down. You’ll do 24 reps of this first combo.
2. 90-Degree Angle Pulses
This step is the same position as set #1 but you will leave your leg up as you pulse it in the 90-degree angle up and down. Squeeze your glute each time and make sure your core is tight. You’ll do this for 24 reps as well.
3. Hydrant Extend Straight Back
For this exercise, you will extend your knee into your shoulder and push it back. By this step, you’ll definitely be feeling the work in your glute. Do this for 24 reps.
4. Straight Leg Pulses
For this final move, you will hold your leg straight behind your head and make tiny movements up and down. Your leg doesn’t have to be super high, just make sure to focus on squeezing your glutes and keeping your abs tight. Another 24 reps!
Megan suggests sequences these exercises together and repeating it 2-3 times through. Check out the video below to watch her demonstrate all the moves.
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if working out in your house is starting to get boring, stop what you’re doing and do this mini @thesculptsociety workout that @meganroup made for DSTers. known for her insanely hard but fun af class, this workout will leave you energized and sore at the same time. if you try it, tag @dietstartstomorrow and @meganroup in your stories and we’ll repost it. 💪🏼
If you’re in need of more at-home workouts during your quarantine, check out @meganroup and @thesculptsociety on Instagram for more tips. If you want to find out more about The Sculpt Society, download the app and enjoy a 14-day extended free trial. You’ll find many at-home workouts to complete with not a lot of equipment and availability to do each exercise in a small space.
Images: Megan Roup; dietstartstomorrow / Instagram
Admit it. Working from home sounded fun, at first. We were going to have so much time for self-improvement. There was no doubt we were going to work out daily, get that killer summer body, focus on skincare, get dressed, the whole nine yards.
But, here we are on what feels like day 500 of social distancing. Hair has not been brushed, pajamas have been on for three weeks straight, and working out has been replaced with “how many cookies can I eat before I pass out”.
Given that here in NY, the stay-at-home orders have been extended for another month, I decided it was extremely important I find new motivations to work out and give a sh*t about my health and wellness. How does one get motivated to workout aside from the obvious end goal and results?
Two words: cute clothes.
If you’re feeling uninspired, take a peek below at my current favorite workout brands and the pieces that motivate me the most. If these don’t get you off the couch, godspeed.
Gigi C Sport
I’ve always had a thing for pastel colors, because they compliment everyone. I mean it when I say there isn’t a single person that looks bad in a pale pink or soft blue. Gigi C Sport just launched their Spring 20 Active Collection, and I’m obsessed. If I was rich and fabulous, I would honestly purchase the entire collection, because that is how much I like it. I DO own the Eden top + Katrina legging set in Sky Blue (pastels, FTW), and I am proud to say I actively searched for online workout classes to put this look to use. I must also mention the Maxine Romper, which is like an 80s workout dream done right in 2020. I’ll stop rambling on, but yeah, this is currently my favorite activewear brand.
Gigi C Eden Top & Katrina Legging
If you’re like me, the thought of wearing a sports bra and leggings to a public gym is more terrifying than going on a date with Joe Exotic. That being said, I’ve always turned to sweatshirts and sweatpants for a workout. They need to be cute, obv, and although we are now working out in the comfort of our homes, I’m still rocking my sets from BrownDyedGirl. My absolute favorite is the Pastel Crew Set (pastels, FTW, again!), but they’re honestly all cute AF if you’re into tie-dye. Some noteworthy names can often be found rocking the sets, including Hannah B + Hannah G of Bachelor Nation, Danielle Bernstein of @weworewhat, and model Camille Kostek, just to name a few. If you prefer hoodies over crewnecks, my favorite is this grey set. A little birdie (aka Jordan Baker, the founder of BrownDyedGirl) also told me that a T-shirt and biker short sets are coming soon, SO I’ll definitely be snagging those to work out in.
BrownDyedGirl Pastel Crew Set
Aside from looking cute, I want to be the MOST comfortable when WOFH (not sure if this is a thing, but I’m making it a thing). Yummie leggings are great, because I can lounge in them for an hour while avoiding the workout, but also feel cozy once the workout commences. The Seamless Shaping Legging comes in five colors, and are my personal favorites (Grape Leaf is my color of choice), but browsing the site there are a ton of cute options, including a 4-Piece Legging Kit which covers all the bases and is a major bang for your buck.
Yummie Seamless Shaping Legging
Calling all the girls who take the front and center spot at every workout class: Terez is the brand for you. All of their matching sets are really cute, fit well, and come in the most fun colors and prints that are going to make you stand out, no matter where you position yourself. But during these times, since we obviously don’t have the people around us to motivate us in a class, putting on a brightly colored sports bra and legging set will give you the kick you need to get off the couch. I’m obsessed with literally all the active sets, but especially love Rainbow Haze Balayage Reversible Sports Bra and matching Tall Band Leggings because they make me feel like I’m at a rave, so like, perfect motivation to do that at-home dance cardio class.
Terez Rainbow Haze Balayage Reversible Sports Bra & Rainbow Haze Balayage Tall Band Leggings
If you’re channeling your inner zen during this time, I give you all the credit. I have been trying to do yoga daily, in hopes of feeling calm for at least 30 minutes of the day (yes, dramatic, I know). I turn to my Vapor Snakeskin Set for yoga because it still makes me feel like *that bitch* while shuffling between a mental breakdown and mountain pose. It’s all about balance, amiright? Alo also has THE coziest half zip hoodies, which I’ve been wearing during walks around the block (please practice safe social distancing when exiting the home!).
Alo Vapor Snakeskin Bra & High-Waist Short Set
I like All Access for a few reasons. One, the brand was founded in NYC, so it’s fun to support a local brand. Two, they allow me to channel my inner 80s workout video (I’m sensing a theme here). The Front Row Bra + Center Stage Leggings in Hot Coral are so funky and are sure to catch your neighbors’ attention (whether you want it or not). When I open my drawers, I’m instantly drawn to this set and it reminds me to put down the Kinder Bar (these have been my weird weakness throughout quarantine and I honestly can’t be stopped) and start the cardio.
All Access Front Row Bra & Center Stage Leggings
Year of Ours
I’m hot and cold with paisley print, but I am o b s e s s e d with this set from Year of Ours. The Bandana Bra + Leggings are so dang cute. I ordered the blue set, which is exclusive to Bandier, but they also have a red/white and black/white set on their own site here. I choose this set when I want to do cardio or something more active (not because it’s specifically designed for that, just because this print excites me).
Year of Ours Banana Bra & Leggings
Girlfriend Collective is a f*cking awesome brand who focuses on ethical manufacturing, celebrating diversity and beauty in all its forms, and sustainability—their clothing is made out of recycled materials. Don’t ask me how, but it works. And the result is simple, comfortable activewear you can feel good about buying. I’m looking to their high-rise bike shorts and accompanying sports bras, hoping that when the weather is warm enough to wear them, we will finally be allowed outside.
Girlfriend Collective Saguaro High-Rise Bike Shorts & Saguaro Paloma Bra
If you, like me, do a 40-minute workout and sweat so much that you are convinced you have some sort of disorder, Outdoor Voice’s TechSweat leggings are for you. The fabric is light and breathable and the waistband won’t slide down. Also the color blocking is so chic. Pair them with the Doing Things Bra, also made with TeachSweat™ fabric, and get ready to get gross.
Outdoor Voices Techsweat 7/8 Zoom Leggings & Doing Things Bra
Once I discovered Bandier, it was over for my wallet. They are not a designer, but a retailer that has tons of activewear brands, among them, Koral. From leggings to sweatshirts, tanks to sports bras, they have fashionable pieces that you can wear during the day on your Zoom calls to make your coworkers think you got dressed, and then during your workout.
Koral Aerate Netz Tank
This ethically-sourced activewear newcomer donates 10% of proceeds from every sale to charity—and you get to choose the charity (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Pink Ribbon Girls, Baby2Baby, Homes for Our Troops, Off The Street Club, or the Rezvan Foundation) when you check out. With a completely neutral color palette, those of you who wear all black will want to buy everything. Their hoodies and zip-ups look bad-ass, and I love the ballerina leggings, which have a chic tie detail at the bottom, are super comfortable, and won’t slide down during your HIIT live stream.
Proud Be Passionate Asymmetrical Tank
And with that being said, I wish us all luck. Let us have strength to say yes to Instagram live workout classes. We can get through this!
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Image: Form / Unsplash
If you’re smart, you’re spending your time at home, interacting with people as seldom as possible. I know that sounds a little dramatic… but like… it’s true. The only downside of sitting on your couch and not talking to people for days on end is that you might start to feel like if you don’t move your legs soon, they could fall off. But how are you supposed to get a workout in if your gym is closed and it’s too cold to run outside? (Or you just hate running, no matter how hard you try?) The answer is at-home workouts. If you’re itching for a way to move, now is the time to get into exercises you can do from your living room. So we linked with Katie Austin, the daughter of fitness legend Denise Austin and fitness influencer in her own right, who has worked on Amazon Live’s new fitness initiative “Get Fit” and appeared on Dr. Oz, The Today Show, and more. She’s given us her top 7 cardio ab moves that tone your abs while burning fat. This way, you get two workouts in one—toning and cardio. We love a workout that can do both.
Crunch To Straight Leg Toe Tap
This one’s a double move! Only one side at a time, bring your opposite elbow to knee, and then lower your leg. Before your leg hits the ground, bring it straight back up for an opposite hand to toe tap. Continue on one side for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
High Knee To Back Kick
In a ready stance position with your hands held up towards your face, bring your knee up towards your chest. As you lower it back down, balance through your core, and kick back with the same leg right behind you. Continue these two moves on one side for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Jumping Jack Crunches
Standing with your hands straight in the air, bounce to bring one elbow in toward your opposite knee. Shoot your arms straight back up, and bring the opposite elbow to the other knee. Keep repeating this in a fast-paced manner, like jumping jacks. Do this cardio move for 30 seconds.
Side Lunge With Cross Crunch
First, complete a side lunge with your hands behind your head. Make sure you are sitting back with that side lunge, and pushing off through your heel and glutes. As you push away out of the side lunge, bring that knee to your opposite elbow. Repeat this on one side for 30 seconds before switching sides.
I’m sure you’ve done bicycles before! But just in case you need a refresher, here’s what ya do: Lying on your back with your head and shoulders raised off the floor, bring each knee toward your chest, as you rotate your torso to bring your opposite elbow to tap your knee. You know what to do: continue for 30 seconds.
Squat and Box
Come into a squat position with your hands protecting your face. As you come up from the squat, punch across your body with force. Go back into a squat, and repeat boxing but with other arm. Continue for 30 seconds!
Start with your hand behind your head in side plank position, but with the knee closest to the floor resting on the ground. Bring your straight leg toward your same elbow, for a crunch. Continue on the same side for 30 seconds before switching.
Do the circuit as many times through as you can until laughing causes you extreme agony.
If you need more at-home cardio and ab workouts, head to KatieAustin.tv/videos for over 120 at-home workout videos, and follow Katie on Instagram for more tips.
Katie Austin is a fitness personality, entrepreneur, and sports host. After being a Division I lacrosse player at USC, she decided to follow in her mom, Denise Austin’s fitness footsteps. Katie’s grown her workout brand to over half a million social media followers, an app, online program, and more.
She has been featured on shows such as the Today Show, Rachael Ray, The Doctors, On Air with Ryan Seacrest and more. She was named one of the top ten Instagram’s to follow by Seventeen Magazine.
On top of her fitness brand, she co-hosted a show on Fox Sports West for 2 years, hosted at the Super Bowl, NBA awards, and more. She was just honored on Create + Cultivate’s Top 100 Women in Digital List.
Images: fizkes / Shutterstock.com; Courtesy of Katie Austin (7)
One of the hardest things for me is trying to fit in a workout when I’m super busy. Or I just like, don’t feel like it. It’s easy to cut out a workout because you simply don’t feel like you have enough time. HOWEVER. An easy way to streamline this process is by working out at home. That way, you can do it even if you only have 30 minutes, when you get home from work, first thing in the morning, whatever you want without wasting any more time. So if you’re trying to find what you can do that won’t take up a ton of space in your teensy, closet-sized apartment, here are some things you should have on hand.
Resistance bands are so easy to use, super versatile, easy to store, and the best part, really cheap. This band is only $10! You can do tons of workouts with it that are just as good as strength training with weights, as well as increase your flexibility. Just wrap it around anything or step on it for resistance and boom, instant gym! And when you’re done using it, you can just fold it up and toss it literally anywhere because it’s so compact. I think most at-home workout equipment is such a scam (like, why buy a $400 squat machine when you just can just squat with your body? I don’t understand?) and usually way overpriced, but a resistance band is a have-t0-have. If you’re unsure of ways to use your resistance band, you can even buy a poster full of workout ideas, not to mention the one million Youtube videos available for free to give you ideas.
I used to be so obsessed with yoga, but because of my recent health issues, I’m not allowed to go to a public gym right now. Yoga studios in general are very expensive (at least in LA!) and you often pay per class instead of just a monthly membership. Enter: yoga cards. You just shuffle them up, pick a card, and there’s your new yoga teacher. It’s especially awesome for people who already know the basics but just are not sure what to do when working out at home without an instructor. Plus, you’ll be doing a new “class” every time since the cards will be in a different order, and you can do as much or as little as you want.
There are so many workouts you can do with just a tiny weights set. The cool thing about having a set of dumbbells is that you get strength training and cardio at the same time if you do a circuit system. If you don’t know where to start, check out YouTube, or there are posters and cards for these also. Plus, this particular set is cute enough to sit out in the open without taking up half your apartment or being a total eyesore.
Les Mills On Demand
My friends all swear by Les Mills classes, and while tons of gyms do their classes, they also have really good at-home instructional videos. They have all kinds of strength building, cardio, barre, and even yoga classes, and it’s only $14.99 a month. In addition, their classes are between 15-55 minutes so if you’re really short on time, you can still fit a workout in. You can stream them on any device too, including your phone. This is perfect for the unmotivated, or the idiot who doesn’t really know what they’re doing (hi). *Disclaimer: I don’t know if they’re doing Les Mills in the GIF, I just like the dog.
Okay, a Fitbit isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s cheaper than paying for a gym for the rest of your life that you never set foot in. We take for granted one of the easiest ways to incorporate exercise without going to the gym, and that, my friend, is walking. It is free. But if you don’t walk or move enough, it may be time to invest in a Fitbit (or Apple Watch, or whatever wearable tech you want). Having a Fitbit can motivate you to just move more in general, and anything can be exercise as long as it puts you closer to getting those 10,000 steps. Putting away laundry, cleaning your apartment, taking the stairs—all of it counts toward your steps for the day and will help to get you off your ass. Of course, you could just do this without the Fitbit, but it’s nice to actually see exactly how much progress you make.
You definitely need a yoga mat to exercise at home, and not just for yoga. A yoga mat provides extra cushion for your weird, textured vinyl apartment floor for you to do tons of different exercises, like abs, pilates, and your pre- and post-workout stretching. It also makes you feel more in the zone for working out, as opposed to lying on your rug while your dog tries to make out with you. Like, I am ~*exercising*~ now, dog kisses need to wait.
This one can be kind of annoying to store, but exercise balls are SO cheap, and you can always deflate it and stick it in a closet before The Queen (your mom) visits. You can do a ton of exercises with just the ball, particularly abs and core stuff. And, as an added bonus, it’s way better for you and your body to use an exercise ball in lieu of a chair for studying or working out at home.
This is great in addition to or even instead of a dumbbells purchase. Kettlebells are awesome because they’re pretty compact and you can do a lot with them. Hold one (or even two) to squat and get a Kim K ass without the surgery, use them to up your leg workouts, and to tone your arms. Plus, you can just up your reps when it starts to be too easy and replace it with a heavier weight when you’re strong enough, instead of storing an entire set. And they’re really inexpensive! See how you can use them here.
Images: Amazon (5); Giphy (2)
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