5 Ways to Work Out Without a Gym Membership
Staying active and living a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean that you have to join an expensive gym. There are plenty of ways to workout cheaply, or for free, that can still help you reach your fitness goals. Here are five ideas.
- Bodyweight Resistance Training
A lot of cities around the world are now adding outdoor gym equipment that you can use for free. If you have access to a pull-up bar, you can do different variations of pull-ups to work your shoulders, arms, and back, or you can do hanging leg raises to work your abs. Most playgrounds may have a bar you could use, or you can install one in a door frame at home cheaply.
Core exercises you can do anywhere include planks and crunches. To activate the deep muscles of your core, search for exercises that keep your back in a neutral position. Push-ups are a classic upper body exercise and a great cheap way to workout no matter where you are because there so many variations and you don't need any equipment.
- Skipping Rope
Skipping rope is a staple conditioning exercise for boxers and fighters because of it's excellent cardiovascular effects. All you need is a skipping rope to get started, and you can get your heart pumping in a few minutes. To keep from over-fatiguing the muscles in your lower legs, start with a short routine and work up to longer, more intense workout sessions. Also look for a soft surface that you can skip on like on grass or a rubber floor to reduce the impact on your knees.
- Hill Sprinting
There are loads of benefits of high-intensity interval training, but one of the most significant benefits is that HIIT training burns a ton of calories in a short amount of time. Hill runs are often incorporated into the training routines of track athletes to increase acceleration ability, but anybody who is looking for a time-efficient workout can do them.
When searching for a hill, aim for one that is around a 7% grade. Instead of getting out your protractor, find a treadmill and adjust it to 7% to feel how steep the hill should be.
Expect to get sore around your glutes after your first workout. To ease into your first training session, start with 6-8 runs about 10 seconds long each and slowly build up either the gradient of the hill, the total reps, or the duration of each run.
Swimming works the muscles in your back and shoulders as well as provides excellent cardiovascular benefits. Swimming can also be a great way to take the loading off of your joints if you run frequently. Start off with shorter distances, maybe 50m at a time (the length of an Olympic Pool) and work up to longer distances as you improve. You can also decrease your rest intervals to make your workout harder.
No matter where you live, there are ways to workout. Don't let a lack of facilities stop you in your quest for fitness.