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No Excuse Exercise Guide

Because of the drastic affects of COVID-19, most of us are subject to staying inside all day. Beyond being personally quarantined, most businesses (including gyms) have been forced to close down.  And while we may be stuck at home, there is still hope of maintaining a healthy body.

Most gyms are closed, so this means most of us will not be able to use free weights. Before freaking out (like I did), keep in mind that we can all stay in shape without a gym. In fact, this is an opportunity for us to break the monotony of gym routines, sweaty people, and loud humans that grunt unnecessarily. 

At home workout

Body Weight Exercises

Body weight exercises are an excellent way to burn calories and build muscle. Below are some examples of exercises you should be practicing. 

1. Push-Ups

Push-ups are a staple of plenty workout programs, at the gym or not. And because push ups require only arms and a floor, anyone can do push-ups, anytime. 

Man preforming push ups

2. Air Squat

The air squat is an amazing way to tone your butt, hamstrings, and quads (without gym equipment). And it’s as simple and straight forward as you might expect. Just imagine you are squatting to poop (except without the toilet and excrement), and coming back up after finishing the poo. 

3. Plank

Planks are a great way to tone your shoulders and chest, while building a strong core. Because this exercise is fundamentally a resistance exercise (holding body weight against gravity), you are building muscle while burning calories. 

4. Crunches

Simple crunches, whether having an object hold or feet or without resistance, can build strong ab muscles and burn calories.

5. Jumping Jacks

A form of stationary cardio, jumping jacks can elicit an immediate calorie burning pump, and without equipment. In fact, 8-16 calories are burned per minute of jumping jacks…

6. Lunges

Lunges are a basic form of squats, but done individually. This means that each leg will get an equal amount of force, creating a balanced lower physique. Lunges can be done in one stationary place, or down the hallway.

7. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a bitch. But, being the bitch that they are, they burn a ton of calories. If you are unfamiliar with mountain climbers, it is essentially getting into a push-up position and bringing each leg (or knee) towards your face, one leg at a time. It’s like running in a stationary place, while holding a push-up. 

8.  Burpees

Another high calorie burning, awfully painful exercise, the Burpee is well known for burning calories. It’s simply the act of starting in a standing position (Some people choose to jog in place) and dropping immediately to a push-up position. Then immediately getting back to your feet. Burpees are not fun, but they work. 

Sample Body Weight Routine

Each set will be done back to back, with a half minute break in between. You will repeat each total set 5 times and then move onto the next one.

Set 1

10 Push-ups

20 Burpees

20 Jumping Jacks

*Rest 30 seconds 

Repeat 5 times

Set 2

1 Minute Plank

20 Mountain Climbers

*Rest 30 seconds

Repeat 5 times

Set 3

30 Lunges 

30 Air Squats

30 Crunches

*Rest 30 seconds

Repeat 5 times

Stretching Exercises

Stretching burns fewer calories than typical workouts. However, it has many benefits to our body and workout routines. By stretching, we allow our muscles to contract evenly, avoid injury, and maintain comfort in our joints and muscles. Below are some simple stretching exercises you need to practice today.

1. Toe Touch

Toe touching is extremely easy to understand. You simply stand up straight, with your body square, and slowly bring your hands to touch your toes.

Toe Touch stretch

2. Butterfly Stretch

Sit on the floor with your feet touching and your knees out wide. Hold onto your ankles or feet and slowly move towards the floor. Feel the pain!

Butterfly stretch

3. Hip Flexor 

Kneel on one knee in a lunge stance and stretch your body forward. Make sure to squeeze your butt, hold tight, and enjoy the stretch! 

Hip flexor Stretch

4. Standing Shoulder 

For this, you will need to stand up, bring one arm across your body and push towards your face with the opposite arm.

Shoulder stretch

5. Seated Side Stretch

Begin in a seated position and slow bring your arm to the opposite side of your body (above your head).

6. Standing Quad Stretch

Stand straight up and grab one ankle from the back and bring it towards your booty. 

standing quad stretch

7. Chest and shoulder stretch

While standing, put both arms behind your back and conjoin your hands. Imagine that you are being arrested and handcuffed by a policeman. You will then bring your arms and hands towards the ceiling. 

shoulder stretch

8. Side Stretch 

While standing, simply bring one side of your body towards the floor. It’s important to maintain balance and do this exercise slowly.

side stretch

At Home Cardio

Cardio does not require gym equipment, or any large amount of free space. In fact, you can do most forms of cardio in stationary positions. Below are some cool forms of stationary cardio that will get your blood running, burn calories, and create immediate weight loss!

1. High Knees

Get in a neutral jogging position, put your hands in front of you (as straight as you can) and bring each knee to touch your hands individually. Repeat the process.

2. Butt Kick

Start by slowly jogging and bring each foot towards your butt individually. Ideally, you are literally trying to kick your butt. 

3. Squat Jump

In a squat jump, you will start in a squatting position and jump as high as you can, land on your feet and immediately get back into the squat. 

4. Stationary Sprints 

For stationary sprints, you will just maintain your position while sprinting in place. Just imagine Forrest Gump, while on a long run, when he stops at a light before crossing the street. 

5. Shadow Boxing

Shadow boxing is great for professional fighters and normal folks who want to burn calories without leaving their room. Simply imagine being in a ring and let your hands fly. 

6. Quick Squats

Quick squats are just air squats, but done at a faster pace. Just stand straight and preform a squat, but do it as fast as you can.

7. Wall Sits

Wall sits can be brutal. Especially when done for long periods of time. So, find a wall, get in a squat position, and enjoy the pain!

8. Side Planks

To get into a side plank, you will start at the regular plank position, and slowly turn onto one arm. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and rotate to the other side. Make sure to keep your core tight and focus on you technique!

Cleaning and The Calories Burned

When you decide to clean your house, it is probably not to burn calories. But, because cleaning requires an exertion of energy, we burn calories doing so. In fact, depending upon your weight and intensity, you can burn up to 200 calories in an hour of cleaning!