Neighborhood News & Beacon Events

Home Workouts to Try in Your Apartment

15Apr

Looking to build the ultimate home gym in your apartment? Before you break the bank on expensive equipment or private training sessions, take a look at some of the workout styles you can try from the comfort of your Beacon apartment.

These three workouts build strength, get your blood pumping, and boost your metabolism with little equipment needed–or none at all! Just suit up in your favorite workout clothes, drink plenty of water, and don’t forget your warm-ups and cool-downs.

(P.S. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before starting a new workout routine!)



For the heart racer: HIIT

Difficulty: Moderate
Equipment Required: None!

The Basics: “HIIT” stands for high-intensity interval training. These popular workouts alternate between intervals of high-paced, sweat-building activity and intervals of rest and careful breathing.

The idea here is that these short bursts of intensity allow you to exert yourself at max effort–without pushing it too hard or for too long, the way many athletes get injured in the gym. The short periods of rest between intervals allow your body time to catch up, recover, and prepare for the next interval. It’s a great way to balance cardio with strength training, and keep yourself from taking on too much too fast.

What You Need To Know: One fun factor of HIIT workouts is that most of the exercises have entertaining names. You’ll hear common exercises like “burpees,” “butt kickers,” “pop squats,” and “skaters.”

For these apartment workouts, you’ll need to know:

  • Butt kickers: Jog in place, kicking your heels up high to touch your rear
  • Reverse lunge: From standing, step back and bend both knees to 90 degrees, then stand up to return to your starting position. Repeat by alternating sides.
  • Pop squat: From standing, jump and land in a deep squat, tapping the floor with one hand. Jump back to start.
  • Downward dog to toe tap: Starting in the yoga pose “downward dog,” lift one arm back to stretch your hand toward your toes and your head toward the front of your exercise space. Repeat by alternating hands.
  • Skaters: From standing, jump to the right, swinging your left leg behind as you land lightly on your right foot. To repeat, try the same “skating” motion in the other direction.
  • Front plank: We all know and love this one! Starting on all fours, raise yourself into “push-up position” and hold, building heat and strength in your arms, legs, and core.

For the suggested workouts below, you can find more detailed explanations (and how-to videos) of the exercises at this link. The full HIIT workout here is recommended for experienced HIIT athletes. If you’re just starting out, stick with just a few exercises, and be prepared to take more breaks.

The Workout:

  • Warm-up:
    • Jog in place for 60 seconds
    • 30 jumping jacks
    • 30 seconds jumping rope (or jumping in place)
  • Workout:
    • Beginner: 30 seconds’ exercise, 30 seconds’ rest
      • Butt kickers
      • Skaters
      • Front plank
    • Novice: 45 seconds’ exercise, 15 seconds’ rest
      • Butt kickers
      • Reverse lunge
      • Pop squat
      • Front plank
    • Expert: 45 seconds’ exercise, 15 seconds’ rest
      • Butt kickers
      • Reverse lunge
      • Pop squat
      • Downward dog to toe tap
      • Skaters
      • Front plank
  • Cooldown:
    • Gentle leg lunges
    • Arm circles
    • Gentle stretching, focusing on the legs and arms

For the strength trainer: Kettlebells

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Equipment Required: One kettlebell (two if you’re fancy)

The Basics:

One of the most versatile (and least expensive) pieces of exercise equipment out there is the kettlebell. This easy-to-use [weight] is made up of a circular metal or hard nylon weight connected to an easy-grip handle. Most kettlebell exercises (like the famous kettlebell swing) can be completed with just one kettlebell, but some people use two to get the full impact from certain exercises.

What You Need To Know:

If you’ve never used kettlebells before, start by finding kettlebells at a comfortable (and safe!) weight. The standard recommendation is 35 lbs (16 kg) for men and 26 lbs (12 kg) for women.

The core of kettlebell exercises is the kettlebell swing. To perform a swing, stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, plant your feet, and swing the kettlebell up to rib level, down between your legs, and back. Breathe in on the way up, and out on the way down.

Be careful to stick to your balance: many kettlebell enthusiasts choose to work out in flat shoes (like Converse) or no shoes at all to get that “flat foot” feeling. Posture is essential too, as good posture keeps your back muscles protected while you work out so many parts of your body at once.

The Workout:

  • Warm-up and cool down:
    • 10 arm circles (forward, then back)
    • 10 long lunges on each leg
    • 10 back twists to each side
    • 5 slow squats
  • Workout:
    • Beginners: 100 two-handed kettlebell swings
    • Novices: 100 two-handed kettlebell swings, 50 one-handed swings with each hand
    • Experts: 200 two-handed kettlebell swings, 50 one-handed swings with each hand

For the center seeker: Yoga

Difficulty: Easy to Expert, depending on the poses
Equipment Required: A yoga mat
Optional Equipment: Pillows, blankets, blocks, and straps to assist in poses

The Basics: Yoga is a great way to give the mind and spirit a break while giving the body a full workout. Although it’s often viewed as a “lighter pace” exercise meant for stretching and meditation, a dedicated yoga practice can work out just about every muscle in your body.

If you’ve never done yoga before, a great way to start is by following a free video tutorial. Many successful vloggers, like the yogi behind Yoga With Adriene, offer introductory video lessons for beginners. It’s a good idea to start here, to get an idea of the poses and the “flow” between them.

What You Need To Know:

For the suggested workouts below, we rely on the most common sequence of yoga poses: the Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation follows two Sequences (A and B): specifically, the versions of these sequences followed in vinyasa yoga.

Sequence A (or Surya Namaskara A), follows gentle poses starting in a standing position, working your way through a lowered plank, floor stretches, and back to standing in a sequential flow. Common poses include Downward Facing Dog, Warrior 1, and the Standing Forward Fold.

Sequence B (or Surya Namaskara B), typically follows Sequence A and adds in more advanced poses, like Chair Pose and Warrior 2. These poses build natural heat in the body, and can be done quickly to build cardio, or slowly to build endurance.

Almost all yoga practices end with Savasana, or Dead Man’s Pose, which involves lying flat on the floor with your body fully at rest, allowing your breath and heart rate to slow. At the end of a rigorous yoga practice, it’s a fantastic reward!

For a good idea of how the Sun Salutation works in sequence, check out this video.

The Workout:

  • Warm-up: Ocean breathing and gentle stretching, focusing on the legs, back, neck, and arms.
  • Workout:
    • Beginners: 5 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A)
    • Novices: 5 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A), 3 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence B), 3 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A)
    • Experts:
      • 5 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A),
      • 5 fast Sun Salutations (Sequence A),
      • 1 extended Sun Salutation (Sequence B),
      • (optional) 1-3 inversions of your choice
      • 3 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence B)
  • Cooldown: Savasana.

With simple workouts like these, you can turn a corner of your apartment living room into a home gym perfect for your morning workout. 

Here at The Beacon, Jersey City’s best apartment community, we believe in the power of endorphins and hard work. Whether you’re starting a gentle warm-up in your studio apartment, or enjoying gorgeous Statue of Liberty views after you finish your cool-down, you’ll find a home workout like no other at The Beacon apartments!

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