The annoying thing about most home workouts, is they all seem to be designed to suit people with three storey mansions! What about those of us who live in more modest accommodation? Do we not also deserve a workout that suits our needs? In this article we will be going through a workout that is designed specifically for people living in flats!
Of course, if you are reading this and have a house … firstly, congratulations on getting your foot into the housing market! Secondly, you can still do this work out. It will work perfectly.
Do I need Equipment?
While owning a set of dumbbells or a kettlebell can be very useful, this workout is designed to be equipment-free. There are some exercises where it is possible to add some resistance, such as squats and lunges, so feel free to do so if you want.
How Much Space Do I Need?
You need enough space to lie down, if you can do that then you can perform any exercise. That works out to about 6ft by 3ft. Obviously, if you are smaller then you will require less space.
In this section, we will describe six exercises that you can perform in a flat. We will also mention how you can make them more difficult (if you are finding the program too easy). If applicable, we will also describe how to make the exercises easier.
Exercise #1 The Body Get Up
This exercise is fantastic as it is a lot of fun to perform, can be done at your own pace, and is surprisingly difficult to perform ten reps of! The only thing we will say is, be aware of your neighbours if you live above them. It may be quite loud if you are performing them fast, or if you have squeaky floorboards. You may also want to consider putting a mat down if you own one.
Stand fully upright with feet shoulder-width apart and hands by your sides. Then, as fast as you can lie down on your chest. Once you are fully on the ground, stand back up again. That is all there is to it. After one rep you may be wondering what the big deal is. Well, try ten reps in a row without resting. Not so easy now huh?
You can make this exercise easier by performing it at a slower pace. You can make it more difficult by performing fast, or by adding a jump once you stand back up again. As we pointed out earlier, please keep in mind how noisy that can be though!
Exercise #2 Split Squats
We love lunges, but they are not always practical in small spaces. They can also cause a lot of noise. Split squats require less space, are much quieter, and put a lot more tension on your thighs (which is a good thing).
Take a large step forward, raising your back heel off the ground as you do so. Drop your back knee, which should put your front thigh parallel to the ground. This is your starting position.
From this position, rise back up, while keeping your feet in place. Pause at the top, and then drop back down to the starting position. Rise and drop again and again until you have performed the requisite number of reps. Swap legs and repeat.
The only way to make this exercise easier is to cut down on the reps. You can make it harder by either holding a dumbbell or placing your back foot on a raised platform (like a chair or your couch).
Exercise #3 Push Ups
Yes, we know push ups are not exactly an outside the box exercise. But so what? There is a reason why they are universally used. Push ups are the best upper body exercise you can perform without equipment. They take up almost no space, and there are hundreds of ways to increase and decrease the difficulty.
Place both your hands shoulder-width apart and flat on the ground. Your hands should be pretty much underneath your shoulders. There should be a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Make sure that your hips are not dropping. Squeeze your abs tight.
Bend your elbows and lower your chest until it is almost touching the ground. You want your elbows to be quite close to your side (rather than out at a 90 degree angle). Once your chest is almost touching the ground, drive back upwards to the starting position. That is one push up.
You can make this exercise easier by dropping to your knees and raising your feet off the ground. This reduces the amount of bodyweight that you are pushing. You can make it easier still by placing your feet on the floor so that you are in a box position.
You can make the exercise harder by performing one-armed push ups, performing explosive push ups, or any of the other varieties of push up out there.
Exercise #4 Squats
The bodyweight squat is a fantastic exercise to learn as there are so many variations that you can learn afterwards. It is also excellent to build your leg and glute muscles, tone up your legs, and burn fat. Squats can also improve your mobility.
Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, and toes pointing outwards. Keep your heels on the floor throughout the movement. Squat down, imagining that you are about to sit on a small chair that is slightly too far backwards. Keep going until your thighs are around parallel to the floor. If your heels raise up, then use an actual chair to squat onto (this will help with your form).
Once your thighs are around parallel you want to pause, and then return to the starting position. Keep your chest pushed out and shoulders back throughout.
You can make the squat easier by sitting on a chair/box, this is a great way to teach someone with poor mobility how to perform the exercise without lifting their heels off the floor.
You can make the exercise more difficult by adding weight, performing squat jumps, or performing isometric squats (squat down until thighs are parallel and then hold that position).
Exercise #5 Glute Bridges
The glute bridge is a great exercise that can be done by anybody. All you need is enough space to lie down, and perhaps a mat to lie on (unless you have carpet or a rug).
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your core muscles, squeeze your glutes, and then push your hips up until there is a straight line from your knees down to your shoulders. Hold this position for a second, and then return to the starting position.
This exercise cannot really be made any easier, but it can be made more difficult by adding some resistance or by raising one foot off the floor.
Exercise #6 Lying Knee Raises
This exercise is a great ab exercise that does not take up much space and is fairly straightforward to perform.
Lie on your back in the sit up position. Hands by your ears as if you are trying to hear something. Feet flat on the floor, knees bent, abs tight. Now you need to bring your knees towards your chest. Pause when your knees get there, and then lower your feet back to the starting position.
Stop just before your feet touch the floor and then repeat the movement. You can make this exercise easier by touching the floor after each rep, and make it more difficult by straightening your legs out (so they are parallel to the ground) at the end of each rep.
Simple Workout You Can Do in Your Flat
Now let’s put all of these exercises into one workout. Remember, you can increase or lower the reps to make the workout easier or harder to do. You want your rest to be about 40-60 seconds between sets, and about three minutes between exercises.
- Body Get Ups 3 sets of 10 reps
- Split Squats 2 sets of 10 reps (each leg)
- Push Ups 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Squats 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- Glute Bridges 3 sets of 10 reps
- Lying Knee Raises 3 sets of 20 reps