No Gym? No Problem!

girl-23809_1280No gym pass or membership? Women, try these exercises at home! (I do!)

A slim, toned body does not come from a gym. Sure, the equipment there helps keep you fit and lessens the boredom of working out when you don’t like exercise. Getting in shape without a gym pass is cheaper, though, and you can still look and feel like a million dollars. Here are just a few exercises for women without access to a gym. Always warm up with a walk around the block or running on the spot first.

Use Your Body Weight

Traditional exercises without machines are still the best, like pushups and squats. Kneel on the floor and extend your arms so your hands are under your shoulder blades. Lift your feet up over your bent knees and maintain a straight back. Lower yourself until your chin touches the ground, slowly down and slowly up. Repeat the move 8 times then stretch your arms and do 8 more pushups. When you feel stronger, straighten your legs behind you and do the same things. Try pulses: holding arms half-bent then pulsing up and down more quickly but without rising all the way up. Hold in plank position: 30 seconds, straight as a board. Make sure your bum doesn’t stick up or sag down. You’ll be working your entire body but especially upper arms, back and shoulders (if you do it right).

For squats, imagine sitting in a chair. Your legs are shoulder’s width apart. Keep your back straight as you extend your rear end towards an imaginary chair (don’t push the knees out). Hold your arms out in front of you while lowering your body and pull them back to your sides as you come up again. Slow, controlled movements with a tight bum will really work your heart as your bottom and thigh muscles are the biggest ones in your body.

Always hold in your core (the belt around your middle which includes abs) so as to protect your back. As you become confident, try pulse squats on one leg, the other slightly lifted so only the toes stay down for balance and support. Do eight reps on each side. Later, practice balance and gain more core strength by rising from a squat to stand straight on the balls of your feet, arms raised, before dropping once more into the squat position. Over time your bum will go lower, but aim for a knee-height and no lower to protect your knees.

Use a Chair

Pull out a chair and sit at the very edge. Plant palms beside your hips so fingers face forwards. Now scoot forward so your bum is off the chair and your arms keep you from falling. Slowly lower yourself until your elbows are directly behind you. Try three sets of eight repetitions, all of them slow and controlled. This is a move for triceps which are small muscles at the backs of your arms.

Free Weights

Buy handheld weights from a gym or department store. Start with two pounds and work up to ten-pound weights. If money is a problem, lift water bottles, books, or small bags of sugar. I’ve done this! 🙂