It happens: You run into traffic on the way to your go-to fitness class and by the time you make it there, you're too late to jump in. Alternatively, maybe you're trying to save a few bucks and suspended your ClassPass plan for the time being. Or there might be a slew of other reasons that getting into the gym or a group fitness class just isn't in the cards — but it doesn't have to mean you lose out on getting in a decent workout. In fact, with a few expert-approved home workout combinations, you won't have to set foot out of your house to break a sweat and feel the burn.
According to some of the best personal trainers in the business, you don't really need bulky equipment to get a good workout. Fitness methods like high intensity interval training, mat pilates, and yoga use your own body weight and the occasional low-key prop/accessory (resistance bands, ankle weights, gliders, and light dumbbells, for example) to work up a sweat and strengthen and tone your body effectively. Provided, of course, you have a few tricks of the trade in place.
So no matter your excuse for staying in — anything from traveling to just not being in the mood to be surrounded by strangers — you don't have to get off track with your fitness. A handful of trainers sounded off with their suggestions for easy combinations that you can totally do at home, and they might just be the solution you've been looking for.
For celebrity trainer and health coach Amy Rosoff Davis, at-home workouts aren't just the occasional necessity, they're actually enjoyable. "I love working out at home and I especially love them when I am short on time because I actually work smarter and more efficiently," she explains. "The more you are engaged and focused on your form the more you will get out of your workout!"
That said, combining pilates, dance, and yoga moves is her preferred style — and it tones the entire body. For her recommended combo, try these moves, each for 25 to 30 reps: three-legged dog to pigeon pose, side lunges, toe taps from supine (on back, face up) table top position, one-legged bridge pose with extended leg lowering and lifting (do these last two in three sets), plank pose with shoulder taps and foot taps (do this combo for 20 reps, four times), forearm plank with oblique twists, and kneeling push-up hydrants (lifting bent leg to the side from a tabletop position, then shifting forward into a pushup bringing the knee towards your bent elbow as you lower, then extending the leg back as you shift back to tabletop).
If you prefer a HIIT-inspired approach, follow the advice of Gianna Vassilakos, celebrity personal trainer and holistic nutrition coach, who suggests a 10-minute Tabata routine. "Sometimes the hardest part of any workout is the drive over,” she says. “Especially when you’re racing against the clock, every minute counts. Often times, you need minimal to zero pieces of equipment in order to get your heart rate pumping and sweat flowing." Here’s how to do it: Start with high knees, then burpees, plank jacks, and jump squats, doing each move for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest in between. Rest for two minutes and then repeat this entire circuit three times — you’ll be feeling it.
While Vassilakos’ recommended routine requires no equipment, prop-lovers might prefer a combination suggested by Micah Golden-Grant, M.Ed, NASM, founder of GoldenFitness LA. "You can get a world of work done with small, stowable, affordable equipment,” he explains. “My personal at-home favorites are resistance loops and bands. The loops are amazing for glute stabilization and toning if put around the knees or ankles for various exercises, or shoulder work if put around the wrists. Resistance bands with handles are wonderful for full body strength work for the upper and lower extremities.” According to Golden-Grant, you can use these props for at-home moves including bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral delt raises, overhead presses, squats, calf raises — to name a few.
Other at-home fitness enthusiasts might find they benefit from a little more direction, which is where virtual options can come in handy. Celebrity trainer Lacey Stone — who you’ve seen pop up frequently on Khloe Kardashian’s show Revenge Body — offers such digital workout. This service will give you some of the benefits of being in an actual class, but also allows you to practice from the privacy of your home — or any other space. In terms of what you can expect from her virtual training program, her favorite 20- to 30-minute leg/arm/core circuit might give you a good preview. For legs, she recommends three rounds, 45 seconds to one minute each of squats/jump squats, lunges/lunge jumps, lateral lunges (for inner thighs), and pulsing bridges (for glutes). For arms: push-ups, tricep dips, pike push-ups, bicep curls/shoulder press combos with resistance bands. And for core: plank holds, left and right side planks, toe taps, and bicycle crunches.
Erica Hood, trainer and creator of HoodFit also offers some guidance by way of her YouTube channel. "I'm a huge fan of doing at home workouts because I have so many clients across the US that I write programs for and Los Angeles clients who travel a lot," she explains. Hood, who is sure to include a blast of cardio in her digital workouts, recommends doing a circuit of 40 jumping jacks, 24 squat/kick combos on each side, 24 plank/knee crosses, 12 push-ups, and 24 bicycles crunches. Repeat as you like — starting off with even just a 10-minute routine.