If at any point you’ve said, “Self, you need to get in shape,” and then looked at the cost of a month at the gym and said, “Self, you also need to eat,” then my program of working out for almost free is for you.
Working out is really about moving
While it appears that no amount of exercise will prevent your desk job from slowly killing you, getting up and moving will improve your mental health and eventually your physical health. Walking, running and hiking are all practically free and easy starts to a workout routine. My favorite winter workout is dancing around my kitchen for an hour. My choreography to “Rolling in the Deep” is totally Mia Michaels approved.
Kicking it up a notch is good, too
Weight-training used to make me nervous until I signed up for a class at my local community center devoted to teaching us ladies how to use weights. While not strictly free, classes at your local community center are usually pretty affordable and can give you a routine to repeat at home without having to sign up for a gym membership.
The Internet is amazing
Bodyrock.tv: Zuzana is my favorite workout coach. I love her videos, posted almost daily, and all are very, very challenging. I feel like such a BAMF when I finish one of her workouts. If you’re a beginner, she always provides great modifications (I use them all the time because I am weak!). A lot of her workouts require an interval timer, but there are many online for free. Just google online interval timer.
Couch to 5K: I hate running with a passion, but earlier this year I decided that I would like to be able to run a respectable distance just in case the zombie apocalypse does come and running becomes essential for survival. The app for your iPod touch or iPhone costs just $2.99 and I have found it to be worth the small investment. I eventually did get through the entire thing, but realized that I hate running. Now I use some of the earlier workouts in the system as interval training.
Nike training club: This is a free app that organizes workouts for you. There are videos and instructions (minus the charm of Zuzana). You can also choose certain kinds of workouts, such as a more cardio-centered workout or a more resistance-centered workout.
Hulu: There are actually quite a few fitness videos on Hulu, all for free.
Netflix: With your Netflix account, you can stream workout videos or order DVDs.
The only things you really need to buy
are hand weights. You can pick up a few very cheaply at a garage sale or at your local big-box retailer. I have two 5 lb weights and I really don’t need more than that. I think they were 5 bucks each.
If a workout calls for a kettlebell or medicine ball, I just modify it to accommodate a hand weight. Chin-ups can be done at your local park during your walk. Dips can be done with a chair or using playground equipment.
A gym membership is expensive and if you can afford it, definitely invest for wintertime and super-hot summer days. But if a gym is just too much, then do what you can using my working-out-for-almost-free system.
What are your free workout tips?
6 replies on “Ladyguide: (Almost) Free Workouts”
This will sound cheesy, but 2 paper plates can give you a kick-ass workout, especially if you have carpeting. Just stand on them and skate around on your carpet. Move your legs forward and backward like a x-country skier, then side to side like and olympic speed skater. Works your entire lower body. You can do traveling lunges, too. Go in to plank position with your feet on the plates then work your abs by drawing your butt into the air (like a jackknife). Or, from plank position have your hands on the plates and slowly move your hands apart, then back together again. Really, the possibilities are endless!
Oh my god, that is genius! Genius I say! I am so going to do this. I think this could work in to my kitchen-dancing routine.
OMG, I LOVE kitchen dancing. My hubby always laughs at me cause I dance and do squats while wile I’m cooking.
I really can’t take all the credit… I’d seen ‘spot’ exercises using paper plates before, then one day I saw a commercial for Carpet Skates for kids that were really just furniture-mover-slider-thingys with velcro straps, and the whole thing kind of clicked for me.
I’ve heard such good things about bodyrock.tv but I have to admit I’m a little bit terrified by it! Your post makes me think I really should try it, though.
You should try it! The workouts are challenging, but what I like about her is that she’s totally okay with you going at your own pace. The vibe I get from her is just do what you can. She’s not like one of those crazy workout people who want you to be 110% right away. If you’re really worried, read the comments. I get so much support reading about people’s challenges or modifications to the workouts.
I am also a fan of bodyrock. I think her workouts are so awesome and they are very similar to the ones my friend pays an arm and a leg to have her trainer have her do…If you are cool with working out at home I highly recommend. I felt stronger after a week. The only downside is that sometimes the way she writes out the workouts can be confusing. I find ones that I like and save them to Evernote based on length of workouts.