How to maximize your home workouts in a small space.

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Get the most out of your workouts with our four ways to get fit at home or on the road. Elevate talked to Kathleen Trotter, a personal trainer and fitness writer in Toronto (kathleentrotter.com) to get the best tips that will ensure you maximize your space and never miss another workout again.

Before you start, avoid what Trotter calls “progression overload.” Know when you are overexerting your body and be mindful. “If you’re currently doing five jumping jacks, you don’t want to do a hundred,” she says. Listen to your body and set reasonable fitness goals so you can reach them safely. Minimizing a workout for your own safety will help you progress to your next fitness platform.

15 06 01 Workouts 11. Make the most of your floor space.

If yoga isn’t your forte, try tabata intervals: 20 seconds of intense work with 10 seconds of rest for five minutes straight. Trotter suggests jumping jacks, burpies, mountain climbers, alternating planks, high knees, or if you’ve got hardwood floors, gliders with towels to get that stretch and slide. If these exercises don’t suit your workout, switch it up. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. “The world is your fitness oyster,” says Trotter. If an exercise doesn’t fit your workout, research another and work it into your intervals. There are dozens of exercises online to make your workout fun and exciting.

2. Incorporate furniture into your workout.

Although it may seem like the furniture hinders your workout space, try using the bed or desk chair to your advantage instead. You can do quick step-ups and downs on a bed or chair for your glutes or slow them down and include a knee raise at the top. Use a low table or ottoman under your feet for pushups or hold a v-sit on a chair or sofa and rotate side to side.

“One of the key things is you want to make sure you work your upper back,” says Trotter. Because we spend so much time often sitting at work or in front of the TV, our upper back is often neglected, even in our workouts.

In a plank position with an ottoman a few inches on front of your hands, place one hand on top of the ottoman then the other next to it for this upper back stretch. Don’t forget to keep your core engaged and your torso stable. Reach your hands forward “as if you were flying,” Trotter says, and then return your hands to their starting position on the floor and repeat. 

3. Add weights for increased resistance. 

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Weights can make your workout easier or harder depending on the exercise and your body weight. Some great exercises with added resistance include squats and lunges with the weights by your side or above your shoulders. If you have a resistance band, wrap it around a stationary object and use it to row and exercise that hard-to-work upper back we mentioned. Trotter also suggests using weights for chest presses, bicep curls and push ups to maximize your workout.

4. Search youtube for free workout videos.

Youtube has tons of free workout videos that are easy to follow along to even with minimal space. Decide what fitness regimen works best for you then set up any necessary equipment while your video loads. Hit play and get ready to feel the burn! If you enjoy workout videos, try something out of your comfort zone next time and reap the benefits of a fun and motivating workout.