How to Work Out in Small Spaces
No gym is no excuse. Even the tiniest room of your home is big enough for this 7-move routine.
Nothing messes with your workout mojo like suddenly finding yourself unable to get to your favorite gym. Whatever the reason, the inability to take the classes you love or use the equipment you’re familiar with can throw your workout plans for a loop.
But with a little creativity and flexibility, it’s possible to get in a solid workout even in the tiniest bedroom or den on the planet. The no-equipment, 30-minute workout here is designed to accommodate small spaces, limited schedules and minimal tolerance for complicated moves that sound really cool on paper and prove impossible to replicate IRL.
The key here is efficiency: Slip on your joggers or shorts, get it done and get on with your day. Now let’s get moving.
What it works: Lungs, heart, biceps
How to: You know the drill—feet apart, hands overhead. Feet together, hands by side.
Make it harder: Hold a water bottle, book or other weighted object in each hand.
How many: 20 reps, 3 sets
What it works: Biceps, triceps, abdominal muscles
How to: Face a wall or mirror, using your shadow or reflection as your “opponent.” Bend knees, engage your core, and start throwing punches. No worries if you haven’t taken boxing class—the goal is to stay in motion, not to look like Rocky.
Make it harder: Bend deeper into a squat and start adding a leg kick every two or three punches.
How many: 3-minute rounds, 3 times
Leg Circles + Kick Backs
What it works: Glutes, lower back muscles, hamstrings
How to: Start on all fours. Stretch one leg behind you; hold for once count, then make small circles with your extended leg for 10 seconds. Lower back to all fours. Repeat on opposite side.
Make it harder: Add a straight-leg kick back, reaching the leg high toward the ceiling and engaging muscles in your lower back and butt. Hold each kick for 30 seconds.
How many: 10 reps of circles + 3 kick-back holds on each side, 2 sets
What it works: Triceps, chest, abdominal muscles, back
How to: Depending on hand placement during a pushup, you work different muscles. For this exercise, start with hands wide apart (wider than your shoulders). Next, do pushups with hands directly below shoulders. For the final set, place hands side-by-side.
Make it harder: During the middle set (hands below shoulders), engage your core and when you are at the “top” of the pushup (arms straight), twist your torso to the right, raising your right arm and leg into the air in a “star” position. Hold one count, then lower into a pushup. At the top of the next pushup, twist left and repeat on opposite side.
How many: 10 reps per hand position
What it works: Upper and lower back, glutes, shoulders
How to: Lie on your stomach, legs straight and arms extended above your head. Squeeze your glutes and pull shoulder blades together as your raise your feet and arms a few inches off the floor. Hold three seconds and release.
Make it harder: While arms and feet off the floor, bend your elbows and pull arms and shoulders down and back, like a lat pulldown. Return to extended position and release.
How many: 15 reps, 3 sets
What it works: Glutes, quads
How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Take a giant step forward with your right leg. Bend right knee until thigh is parallel to floor and knee is over foot. Push through your right foot to return to standing. Repeat on opposite side.
Make it harder: Bend elbows and lace your fingers behind your head, creating a balance challenge.
How many: 10 reps on both sides, 2 sets
What it works: Glutes, quads, core, calves
How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Bend knees and sink back as if you were sitting in a chair. Lower until thighs are parallel to floor, knees over toes. Return to standing.
Make it harder: From the deepest point of the squat, engage your glutes and core and explode straight up into the air. Land softly and repeat.
How many: 15 reps, 3 sets
The beauty of these moves is their simplicity: You’ve probably done some version of all of them before and they’ve stood the test of time because they work. They’ll also likely make you a little sore, so be sure to stretch out and consider treating yourself to a massage once you’ve finished.