Health clubs are great places to get in shape and be exposed to different workouts, equipment and classes. But sometimes it can be challenging to get to the gym due to life’s many obligations or travel commitments. Rather than just suspend your fitness regimen, take advantage of no-gym workouts at home. These routines are typically simple and don’t require a lot of equipment – just simply some space to move. You can do them indoors or outside depending on the weather and your preference.

Of course, no-gym workouts can include going for a jog or bike ride, or following an exercise routine on DVD, online or on TV. If you’re looking for an efficient, total-body cardio and strength session, the circuit routine below is effective and quick. Use the timer on your mobile device, and add dumbbells to some exercises for more challenge.

Note that without the peer pressure of the gym with fitness instructors and other members in sight, you may be tempted to slack off. Don’t do it! Get the most out of no-gym workouts by putting in your best effort to maximize the return on this investment of time and energy.

Follow this combined cardio-strength routine:

  1. First, warm up for about three minutes, performing heel digs, toe taps, marches in place and forward and backward, step-touches, knee lifts, hamstring curls, and side leg lifts. Keep your upper body active with overhead presses, chest flies, horizontal rows, lateral raises, biceps curls and triceps press backs.
  2. Alternate one-minute intervals of cardio moves with strength exercises; complete one circuit and then repeat it once more. Try not rest within or between exercises:
    1. March, jog or run in place
    2. Squats – With your feet hip width-apart, push your hips back and down, as if you were sitting in a chair. Aim to get your thighs parallel to the floor. Hold weights for more intensity.
    3. Jumping jacks – Land lightly, and try to get your heels down.
    4. Lunges – Step forward, keeping your knee over your ankle and torso upright. Alternate legs, and hold dumbbells to work harder.
    5. Mountain climbers – With hands on the floor or a step, alternate pulling your knees to your chest quickly, keeping your hips low and stepping back lightly.
    6. Push-ups – On the knees or toes, keep your hands wide and your body in a straight line, engaging your core.
    7. Burpees — Hinge from the hips to touch your hands to the floor or a step, extend both legs back together, pull both knees to the chest and stand or jump up.
    8. Standing rows – Use dumbbells if you have them. Hinge forward from the hip with a flat back and extend and bend the arms with the elbows wide, squeezing the shoulder blades together.
    9. Skater lateral hops – Hop from right to left and back, hinged forward at the hip and reaching the opposite arm across the body.
    10. Dips — Seated on the floor, bend knees and drop hips down, bending elbows and keeping fingertips pointing forward.
    11. Jump rope – No jump rope is necessary; just pretend. You can add heel digs, one-foot hops and skipping.
    12. Biceps curls – Use dumbbells if you can. Anchor elbows at your waist, and extend and bend the arms in front of you with palms up in a slow, controlled motion.
  3. After completing the circuit twice, hold a plank on the hands or forearms for 30 seconds, then perform slow ab crunches for one minute. Gently stretch the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abs, chest and back for your final 90 seconds.

Congratulations! You did it!

Written by Octane Fitness