As we all very much know, it isn’t possible to hit the gym right now. You can look at social media at any given part of the day and will probably find someone lamenting about how out of shape they’re getting in quarantine — or just feeling antsy by not moving around.
It’s bad enough that we’re stuck inside, but it’s downright unfair that some of us live in apartments without backyards or any sort of space that maybe feels available to move around in. In this kind of situation, it might feel like working out is impossible right now.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can keep your body in tip-top shape, with no exercise equipment needed. You don’t even need a substantial amount of space, either.
Let’s take a look at some unofficial Small Space/No Backyard Workout QuaRoutines!
Warming up is vital for preparing your body for an intensive workout. A good warm-up will involve some light to moderate cardiovascular exercise. This is done to gradually build up your heart rate and prepare your joints for action.
This video from Nicole Pearce shows exactly what to do in order to warm up in a smaller space.
If you already know a thing or two about warm-ups, here’s a generic warm-up routine you could follow:
- Hip extensions – 5 reps each side
- Hip rotations – 10 reps (5 reps for each leg)
- Forward leg swings – 20 reps (10 reps for each leg)
- Side leg swings – 20 reps (10 reps for each leg)
- Push-ups – 15 reps
- Jumping jacks – 20 reps
- Bodyweight squats – 15 reps
- Lunges – 10 reps (5 reps for each leg)
Along with your warm-up, you’ll need to take some time to stretch. There’s a reason why most animals stretch: it’s good for the body! Stretching keeps your muscles limber and flexible. That flexibility is vital for maintaining a good range of motion in your joints.
But what if you are about as flexible as a saltine cracker? PsycheTruth’s video on stretching for the “inflexible” is extremely helpful, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to stretching. You can do it!
Once stretching and warm-ups are out of the way, it’s time to start the workout itself. It’s all fairly basic but highly effective.
Let’s start with the first phase.
- Push-ups – 10 reps
- Walking lunges – 10 each leg
- Plank – 15 seconds
- Bodyweight squats – 20 reps
- Jumping jacks – 30 reps
- Dumbbell rows – 10 each arm
I know what you’re thinking. “Dumbell rows? I thought this was an equipment-free routine!” It is. It’s recommended to use a full water jug or something of similar weight with a handle to do your dumbbell rows. It’s honestly no different from using actual handheld dumbbells, just a little less graceful and visually appealing. But we’re in quarantine, so who cares?
After you’ve completed the first phase, it’s time to drink some water, take a breath and move on to the second phase:
- 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise
The recommended amount of cardio to reach per day is 30 minutes, in case you want to kick your cardio up a notch. Cardio may seem impossible in a small space, but it isn’t! Try these cardio methods for small spaces:
- Jumping jacks
- Running in place
- Single leg reach and jump
- Jump lunges
Once you’re finished with your cardio, it’s time for the last and most intense phase:
- Walking lunges – 20 reps (10 reps for each leg)
- Jump step-ups – 20 reps (10 reps for each leg)
- Overhead squats – 25 reps
- Bodyweight squats – 20 reps
- Incline push-ups – 15 reps
- Dips – 10 reps
- Regular push-ups – 10 reps
- Plank – 30 seconds
- Inverted rows – 10 reps
- Reverse crunches – 15 reps
For the incline push-ups, make sure that your feet on floor and your hands are on edge of your bed, desk or sturdy cabinet. Inverted rows can be done using a sturdy desk or cabinet as well. You can also do dips between two sturdy chairs or stools. Make sure to test the strength of whatever object you need to accomplish these before diving straight into your workout.
If the above workout routine is too intense for you, a good beginner option for getting in shape would be yoga.
While yoga itself isn’t an aerobic exercise, it can make you sweat if you keep it up and try more and more challenging poses. In fact, intensive yoga can have a lot of the same benefits for improving your overall health that aerobic exercise provides. It takes a ton of strength to be able to hold your body in difficult, balanced poses. And yoga is particularly great for quarantiners who don’t have any equipment or a small amount of space. You really don’t need anything but yourself to get started!
Check out SarahBethYoga’s video on starting yoga as a total beginner.
Times are tough for everyone right now, but your body doesn’t have to suffer from it. In many ways, taking some time to move can help you focus and clear your mind — which might be the strongest muscle of all!
Em Casalena is a queer sex positive writer and professional protective mom friend. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background header image via Unsplash here.