Author Topic: Home workouts in a small apartment  (Read 3605 times)

freya

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Home workouts in a small apartment
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:25:48 AM »
Does anyone have specific recommendations/experiences with working out at home, where there is limited space for exercise equipment?

I can't stand going to gyms and have always fallen off the wagon whenever I tried it, but have long done simple yoga routines at home and would love to get into home strength training for both time efficiency and improved weight loss (yoga doesn't help with this).  Late to the party I know, but I discovered fitness blender and am really enjoying the beginner level workouts.  I love that I can get that well worked out feeling from an amount of time less than the overhead cost of getting to the gym, getting changed in the locker room etc.

I have a pair of 2# dumbbells and a cabinet where I could stash similar sized equipment, but full barbell sets and similar gizmos are just not in the cards.




Canadian Ben

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 11:28:11 AM »
Reddit has a bodyweight fitness workout. It can be done anywhere

Lichen

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 01:54:59 PM »
Look up the New York Times scientific workout. It's bodyweight only and you need nothing more than a mat.

Nerdfitness.com also has quite a few free workouts, including some made for hotel rooms which should also be good in a small apartment.

swashbucklinstache

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 07:18:38 PM »
Bodyweight can be a great choice.

I live in 420 sq ft and have adjustable dumbbells, 0-70 pounds. I also have homemade squat stands, a barbell, a bench, and a small weight tree holding ~300 pounds. Overall when I put stuff away it takes up maybe 30 square feet or so. Barbell and bench go upright, stands are as wide as a home depot bucket each because the base of each stand is a home depot bucket filled with concrete, the weight tree is as wide as a 45 pound plate, 3 feet long, 3 feet tall. Adjustable dumbbells are as big as a 40 pound dumbbell or so.

I also suspect if I'm ever not living with just me here this won't fly so hot haha. Another consideration is if you have neighbors or people who live below you who won't appreciate the noise, plus you may want lots of renters insurance in case something goes through the floor. Or, you know, just do bodyweight exercises or join a gym.
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Wings5

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 09:22:04 PM »
You can always head outside, too. Running, pushups, dips on park benches. Any local playground area has tons of stuff you can use to get a good workout in.


westtoeast

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 05:15:30 AM »
Try fitnessblender.com

They have a wide range of videos and almost all can be done in a small space. You can sort videos by body part, weights/no weights, length, intensity, etc.

freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 07:12:20 AM »
I guess fitness goals matter also.  I have no desire to do triathlons or body sculpting.  I just want to maintain body condition to avoid aches & pains as well as creeping weight gain, despite a sedentary and very demanding (mentally & time-wise) job, in the most time-efficient way possible.  Basically I don't like doing fitness training and will only keep it up if I can see obvious benefits and if it doesn't interfere with my life too much.  I've blown way too much $$ and time on gyms but never saw any benefit.  I suspect there are a lot of silent people out there who are more like me than the gym/fitness enthusiasts - I admire you guys but I can't be like you.

I'm starting with fitness blender videos and doing a 20-30 minute session each morning.  I find their routines to be very effective in minimal time - perfect!  My idea is to alternate strength training with toning/flexibility.  Since I walk or bike everywhere (no car here in NYC), I figure I don't really need cardio sessions, which are the ones that might be problematic in an apartment with downstairs neighbors and would truly require going to a gym.


SimpleCycle

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 07:59:43 AM »
Darebee.com has a ton of bodyweight routines and challenges for various fitness levels.  I like the variety - there is both strength and cardio - and it is free!

If you want to change it up from bodyweight, resistance bands are very space efficient.  You can find lots online for that too.

LifeHappens

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 08:31:39 AM »
The 7 Minute Workout app is perfect for a quick, intense workout using your body weight and a chair. Also, don't forget you can incorporate small bits of cardio like climbing stairs as part of your daily routine. Every little bit helps.

MrsDinero

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 08:52:46 AM »
There are a lot of YouTube workout videos designed for at home or bodyweight. I find I need to workout along to a video when doing some routines because I just don't have the correct moves/sequence/posture memorized yet.
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Samuel

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 09:55:40 AM »
Kettlebell. And a pull up bar if you have room. Those plus body weight exercises done in a high intensity interval training (HIIT) format are all you need.


tralfamadorian

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 11:53:55 AM »
I know you said you've been doing yoga already but what kind? Ashtanga can be a great toning/moderate cardio workout.
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theflyingpenguin

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 07:05:04 PM »
Jump rope! Works great for travel too.
Sorry, downstairs neighbors.

I also love doorframe pull-up bars. Be sure to measure your doorframe before buying, however.

expatartist

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 10:48:02 PM »
Great ideas here! My apartment's so small there's barely room for a yoga mat :(

tj

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 01:35:58 PM »
Reddit has a bodyweight fitness workout. It can be done anywhere

A Link could be helpful!

I'm assuming this is the one you are referring to?

https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine
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Canadian Ben

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 01:41:46 PM »
Googling Reddit and Bodyweight brings you to the page.

but yes
https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/


freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 05:39:02 PM »
The reddit routine looks great - will try that this weekend!  It's a long one and realistically I can't do it during the week.  The shorter ones from Fitness Blender are good for weekday mornings, and I'm really impressed at how carefully they are designed for maximum time-efficiency.

I'm planning to try a kettlebell workout with a fanny pack full of books before I decide whether to invest in those.  A doorframe pullup bar is a great idea.  I got one for my mother a long time ago so she could hang off it to give herself a traction treatment for back pain, but for some reason I never thought of getting one for myself.




KeeKat

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 07:16:03 AM »
Try fitnessblender.com

They have a wide range of videos and almost all can be done in a small space. You can sort videos by body part, weights/no weights, length, intensity, etc.

I second this! There are more than 500 videos for FREE. They are super personable and give just the right amount of motivation that really helps me push myself (which I find hard to do when working out outside of a class). They are real people who do the entire routine with you, not just walk around and point at their models (looking at you, Jillian Michaels!).

They also have a 'bored easily' series that doesn't repeat any of the same exercises in the routine.

RusticBohemian

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 09:24:58 PM »
I'm in a 482 sq ft condo and also have very limited room to workout - I do pretty well, given the space constraints.

I own one weight - a 70lb kettlebell. I store it on the bottom shelf of an ikea cabinet. Behind this cabinet, hidden from view pretty well, is a thick rubber mat, which is just smaller than the cabinet that hides it.

My nearly-daily workout is simple.

I start by putting the mat over the floor to protect it from being crushed by my kettlebell when I put it down between sets.

As I've gotten fitter, I've progressed from 100 two-handed 70# KB swings in 10 minutes, to 100 two-handed 70# KB swings in 5 minutes, and now to 100 one-handed 70# KB swings in 8 minutes. I plan to keep progressing. I also do Turkish Getups with the kettlebell - a few every workout. For the swings,  I use 25 second work intervals and rest intervals that get shortened by me every workout, making it harder every day.

This is nice because with a kettlebell weight heavy enough to challenge me, it's a strength workout. But it's also cardio, particularly when I compress my total workout times to under six minutes. At the five minute mark, I'd end the workout gasping for air, on my back for several minutes.

Other things I do regularly:

1) I have a "handstand wall," where I do handstands holds for time. Two minute holds, three minute rests. Repeated until exhaustion.
2) I have a pull up bar in my bedroom hallway, which I use several times a week.
3) I have a jumprope and walk outside to the condo pool to use it for double unders and singles.
4) I do burpees.
5) I go outside to a nearby park and do sprints.
6) I ride my bike for transport, which passively makes me fitter, especially because I need to ride up a big hill to get back to my condo from downtown.
7) I do partner acrobatics as a fun hobby, which has left me a lot stronger. It's also free.



« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 09:27:36 PM by RusticBohemian »

letired

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2018, 09:28:47 PM »
posting to follow!

freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2018, 08:41:10 AM »
Nice plan, RusticBohemian.  I tried a kettlebell workout using a gallon jug filled with water, and I couldn't believe how effective it was!  I just ordered an AmazonBasics cast iron 15# kettlebell.  Looks good and can't beat the price ($20).  Doorway pull-up bar next.

I tried the Reddit bodyweight routine, and didn't much care for it.  It over-works some muscles and under-works others, provides little in the way of flexibility, and puts a lot of strain on wrists & hands.  There was still a ton of useful information in there though, like the suggestion to do push-ups against a wall instead of knee pushups, and working up to pullups using a knotted bedsheet thrown over a door.   And I would like to try the handstand progression once I meet the requirements.

So trying this plan going forward:  3x/week strength training, alternating between kettlebell and bodyweight Fitnessblender videos, and yoga/flexibility routines on alternate days.  Cardio happens during my everyday walking and biking.  I can't stand indoor/gym cardio-specific routines and I'm much more likely to stick with this plan if I don't include them.  I'm already feeling the benefits of this:  no nagging back pain, better sleep, and even better mood in general and I'm getting more done at work.  All it takes is a half hour in the morning, who knew?  This NEVER happened when I was trying hard to be a good gym rat and doing stairmaster & treadmill regularly.  That just made me feel tired.  Really fascinating.

 

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2018, 08:52:49 AM »
I've done many workouts in tiny apartments over the years. If you like having a plan + free workouts, check out HASfit.com. My favorite online yoga site is yogisanonymous.com (subscription). I'm currently working through Mountain Tactical Institute's Bodyweight Foundation plan.

freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2018, 07:27:36 AM »
I got my 15 lb kettlebell and ran through fitnessblender's beginner workout this morning.  Great workout, but it was a little hard on my back even though I was paying serious attention to keeping my back straight and using my legs.  They put together a nice routine but I don't think it's a good option for starting out.  Plus I don't think the warmup is adequate.

I found a website that gives a lot of good information on proper form, how to warm up properly and how to get started on kettlebell exercises safely:

https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/beginners-guide-to-kettlebell-training/

and a page specifically for women:

https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/kettlebell-workouts-for-women/

Lots of good info here, and much better explanations on how not to get ahead of yourself and how to avoid injury.  Interestingly he incorporates bodyweight training along with the kettlebell work.

I also noticed something interesting that I can add to the pleasure of home workouts:  since doing exercising barefoot in my carpeted bedroom (wall to wall with a thick pad underneath), my feet are noticeably more resilient and the plantar fasciitis symptoms have magically disappeared.  That never happened in a gym where I always wore sneakers.  Another score for working out at home!

freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2018, 07:35:58 AM »
Just wanted to add an update.  Contrary to my earlier post, I am loving the Reddit bodyweight fitness recommended routine.  There is something captivating about the idea of a 50 year old regaining skills I had when I was 10 years old playing on monkey bars.

I started with just the parts I could handle and have been gradually adding in exercises as my capabilities increase.  I can now hold a plank for 45 seconds, do incline pushups and hold a foot supported L sit for 15 seconds.  This may sound unimpressive, but when I started, the plank was good for only about 10 seconds, I could only manage wall pushups, and I couldn't do the L sit at all.  I've never experienced instant gratification in an exercise routine before, and for the first time ever I'm really enjoying this!  I've even installed a pull-up bar and attached a pair of gymnastic rings to do rows. 

The one thing about the routine is that it's laser-focused on developing upper body strength, but ignores core and lower body.  Fitness blender videos and kettlebell swings are perfect for that.  I substitute kettlebell swings for the squats in the Reddit routine, and do those videos on weekends.  And I hang for a bit on the pullup bar every time I go past it.

So far, this program requires only a home gym outfit (and I do it barefoot), the pullup bar & rings, and a kettlebell.   Very doable even in a small apartment as long as there's a doorway for the pullup bar.  You can probably do without the rings, but I find them very helpful for rows which are a great antidote to computer hunchback posture issues.

LifeHappens

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2018, 09:02:43 AM »
Great update! Looks like you've found a good mix of activities for your goals.

jeninco

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2018, 12:28:24 PM »
That's awesome!

I've "enjoyed" the workouts on 12minuteathlete.com. after a while, I started sometimes using her workouts, and sometimes mixing and matching within the format. (It's ski season, so I tend to mix in lots'o'lunges.

I've also taken lots of pilates classes, so I sometimes mix in the pilates mat routine when I want more targeted core strength and stretching. The intermediate routine takes about 15-20 minutes for me (without the leg section, which I dislike).

I also do pull-ups and pushups 3 times/week. I find that as I get older, it's really easy to lose strength, and this helps. I'm also working on a free-standing handstand, so I also do wall handstands for time, and sometimes see how long I can balance off the wall. (I mean I start with my feet touching the wall, then get them off and see how the balancing goes, not that I can do any time at all of a freestanding handstand.)

freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2018, 07:13:44 AM »
Nice, Jeninco!  Your routine sounds very similar to the Reddit routine plus lower body/core plan.

And, I hear you on losing strength as you get older.  It happened very fast once I hit menopause.  A few years back, I injured my shoulder opening a stuck window, and was in pain for 2 years - finally completely went away thank goodness, but it was a wakeup call.  Not to mention an expensive medical adventure (MRI, physical therapy etc.)  I'm just so thrilled that regaining that lost strength doesn't require expensive gym memberships or massive home gym equipment setups.   My investment of ~$100 will do just fine for a long time to come.

Reader

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2018, 08:32:27 AM »
Posting to follow.
i do just a few bodyweight exercises at home
1. pushups
2. pullups
3. squats
4. hanging leg lifts
started with 2x5-10 of each and been slowly working my way towards 2x50 for pushups, squats and leg lifts and 2x10 for pullups.

burpees and skipping for cardio. trying to find a good mobility / stretching routine. any recommendations?

freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2018, 05:50:11 PM »
Fitness blender has lots of mobility/stretching videos.  I have my own personal yoga routine for that, been doing it in the AM for years which is probably why I felt brave enough to tackle a bodyweight training program at age 56.

Amazingly, the bodyweight exercises have improved mobility even more!  You know how you reach back to try to stick your arm in a backpack strap?  That had been a bit of a struggle, but today I went to do that and it was like a revelation, how much easier that is all of a sudden.  I give full credit to incline rows.  Those $28 wooden gymnastic rings (on Amazon, hung over the pullup bar) were worth every penny.  The bedsheet over the door is a good way to start, but the rings are way better.

Oh, and by the way...I can now hold a plank for 60 seconds.  Whoo hoo!





tyrannostache

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2018, 10:40:31 AM »
I'm going to put in a plug for two sites:

GMB fitness https://gmb.io/
and
BodyTribe fitness https://goo.gl/86xnzj

Though you have to pay to get to more advanced workout programming and instruction, GMB has some great free videos and an awesome free 1-week starter program. I've been using one of their bodyweight routines in between weightlifting sessions, and I really like it. It fits into my small house and busy life. I also like their philosophy--it's about physical autonomy.

The best thing about GMB, in my opinion, is that they really know their stuff in terms of FORM for mobility and strength. I have a strong education in fitness and weightlifting, and too many of the bodyweight videos I see either ignore form or teach poor form. (Heck, a lot of the personal trainers at my local gym do the same) Maybe I sound like a promo-bot, but I'm in no way affiliated with GMB--I just like what they do.

For fitness nerds, I strongly suggest checking out the youtube channel from Bodytribe Fitness. They really dig in to bodyweight movements, kettlebells, and other tools. They also have some great videos on the history of fitness that put our current approach to exercise in perspective. Also not affiliated, just a fan.

thelittlebird

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2018, 06:52:25 PM »
I have been doing this 30-day challenge of high-intensity interval training, bodyweight exercises that I really like and am definitely seeing results. Ultimately her goal is to get you to buy her products, but I'll probably just redo the 30-day challenge again when I finish, the emails include the workout circuits.

It's https://makefatcrychallenge.com/ I think the name is ridiculous and she's very sales-y but I have really enjoyed the workouts and definitely seeing results (and I actually don't do them every day, I do 2-4 workouts a week cause I'm healing from a back injury and can only do so much).

lexde

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2018, 05:13:21 AM »
I hate to say it, but Beachbody has a lot of good at-home workout programs.
Insanity, Core de Force, etc. are no-equipment needed. Things like P90X3 and 21 day fix require minimal equipment (few dumbbells, or use water bottles or canned goods or whatever instead).

freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2018, 07:34:04 AM »
Granted that there are a lot of great videos and programs out there, but the sheer number of them is making me wonder if all these websites are glamorizing (and making money on) some very basic, tried and true exercises that people have been using to stay fit for decades - even centuries.

The exercise programs I've checked out all revolve around push-ups, pull-ups, squats (which used to be called "deep knee bends"), and rows.  That said, I do appreciate the Youtube videos on how to perform these moves correctly and work up to them.   Other than that, I'm kind of in favor of keeping it simple, not to mention that I prefer not to increase my time-wasting avalanche of spam emails by registering for this and that on random websites.

Candace

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2018, 07:59:28 AM »
I have four different-sized kettlebells that I keep just barely under the bed. On their sides, they slide under there easily (carpeted floor), and slide back out easily. My husband and I use them during our 4x/week morning workouts. It's so great to do the workout just after getting up, because then it's done, there's no extra shower needed, and of course we're not at a gym. Since they're under the bed, they take up no extra space.


freya

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2018, 09:56:55 AM »
That's pretty much exactly what I do!  I love the commute time (0 seconds), dress code (i.e. none), showering at home instead of in a fungus-ridden, awkward gym locker room, and enjoying a nice civilized breakfast afterwards.   The kettlebell slides under my dresser, and the only other equipment I have is the pullup bar with rings hanging off it.

Sorry if I came off as snippy in my last post.  The websites linked are really excellent.  I just detest signing up for things and adding to the email spam avalanche, but that's just me.  I do keep a throwaway email for such things (sorry, Yahoo) but it's still a bit of a pain to go that route.

dcozad999

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Re: Home workouts in a small apartment
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2018, 12:06:59 PM »
I hate to say it, but Beachbody has a lot of good at-home workout programs.
Insanity, Core de Force, etc. are no-equipment needed. Things like P90X3 and 21 day fix require minimal equipment (few dumbbells, or use water bottles or canned goods or whatever instead).


Beachbody on Demand is less than $10/month and has most of their programs. I'm a fan. I know some people can create the workouts for themselves, but for most of us, it's good to have a well developed program that has everything mapped out for you.