Even though Lookout Hollow offers a great private fitness center with free weights for residents, sometimes you feel like doing your own thing. And sometimes the weather doesn’t permit an outdoor workout, either. What’s an apartment dweller to do?
High-impact workouts (basically, anything that involves running or jumping) are best left for the outdoors or the gym.
But there are plenty of low-impact exercises you can do in your apartment, and low impact doesn’t have to mean low intensity. You can still get your sweat on in your own space with these seven workout moves. Do them as a circuit for a simple and effective at-home workout.
Planks are one of the best strengthening bodyweight exercises. To keep your form on point, remember to keep your elbows under your shoulders, your arms shoulder width apart, and your core and glutes engaged. Lift your chest, relax your shoulders, and don’t let your hips droop. You can either bend or fully extend your arms. Breathe through the pose as long as you can (20 seconds is a good goal to start with).
Try shadow boxing without bouncing your feet. Place your feet in a boxing stance—right foot forward and left foot slightly back. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes, and rotate through a jab, cross, hook, and uppercut. This is a great way to get some quiet cardio in and to warm up for the rest of your workout.
Similarly, effective to a traditional plank, the side plank hold works your posterior abdominal wall, which is important for preventing back pain. Start out by lying on your side with your feet stacked. Rest on a bent elbow directly under your shoulder. While tightening your core and glute muscles, lift your torso and hips off the ground. Hold and breathe as long as you can (try 30 seconds), then repeat on the opposite side.
Keep your left foot on the ground while reaching in front of you with your right arm. Bend your torso forward while lifting your right leg, until both your arm and leg are parallel to the ground. Tighten your hamstrings and your glutes as you return to a standing position. Then repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
Start in a seated position with your legs bent in front of you. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, and move your feet hip distance apart. Keep your shoulders down and back, and make sure your ankles are lined up underneath your knees. Keep your chest lifted and your core engaged. Lift your hips off the ground, then bend your elbows and lower your body almost all the way back down. Lift again using only your arm muscles. Repeat.
Here’s a way to do lunges without a constant (possibly noisy) stepping motion. Begin in a lunge position with your right knee over your ankle, then place your left foot at a slight, extended diagonal behind you. Dip down as if you’re curtsying, making sure your right knee doesn’t travel forward over your toes. Repeat several reps on that side before switching to the opposite side.
This is an excellent bodyweight exercise for increasing the intensity of your workout. To make squats more difficult, just increase your speed and/or number of reps. Make sure your feet are a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and your toes are pointing out slightly. While squatting, keep your back straight, core engaged, and don’t let your knees extend ove