Your Perfect No-Gym Workout
Under $50 Home Gym
Who says you need a gym's worth of fancy equipment to get in shape? Not us! For less than 50 bucks you can score enough gear for a total-body workout at home without sacrificing precious space.
The key: "Choose pieces that are not only effective, but also multifunctional," says George Vafiades, co-owner of As One gym in New York City.
Torch 250 calories
The five tools on Vafiades's shopping list target your entire body, while increasing strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Put them to use with the circuit, designed by Vafiades. It torches 250 calories, gets you stronger in two weeks and slimmer in four, and revs up your metabolism so you're burning calories long after you've finished exercising.
Do it at least three times a week, jumping rope 50 times between moves. (To warm up, do a few minutes' worth of squats, with arms overhead; to cool down, try stretches).
Resistance bands: Use these oversize rubber bands, which come in three resistance levels, to train your upper and lower body.
($40 for set of four; amazon.com)
Dumbbells: Transform your entire body—arms, legs, back, chest—with a single pair of dumbbells.
Stability ball: This orb puts the body in an unstable position, forcing you to use (and strengthen!) your core. Pair with dumbbells or resistance bands to up the intensity of exercises like the overhead press.
Back to basics
Gliding discs: These target the three C's: calisthenics, cardio, and core. Simply place them under your hands, feet, or knees during exercises to increase your range of motion. Moves like mountain climbers and lunges are instantly more challenging.
Jump rope: This playground staple scores big on the cardio scale (burning 100 calories in only 10 minutes); it's also an excellent toner.
Ab leg twist
core, hamstrings, shoulders
Lie faceup with stability ball between ankles; hold ends of a 5- to 8-lb dumbbell and position on your chest. Lift legs to 45 degrees; extend arms to ceiling.
Rotate legs to the right. Keep arms up and return legs to start; repeat on other side for 1 rep. Do 10.
Single leg hinge
triceps, glutes, quads
Knot band around doorknob. Holding band in right hand, step back; bend right knee to 90 degrees. Balance on left foot, hinge forward, and extend right leg back. Pull band to body.
Return to start. Do 8 reps per side.
hip flexors, chest
Lie on stability ball, feet on floor, a 5- to 8-lb dumbbell in each hand. Extend arms up. Lower arms to each side; stop at shoulder height.
Squeeze chest to bring arms back up. Do 10.
core, shoulders, hamstrings
Place band around wrists and ankles; form a straight-arm plank. Move left hand and right foot out 6 inches.
Return to start; repeat on opposite sides. That's 1 rep. Do 10.
Get into the "up" part of a push-up, disc under your right hand. Slide it to right, while lowering chest to floor; stop when elbows reach 90 degrees.
Return to start; repeat on left. This is 1 rep. Do 8.
Slide & press
quads, hamstrings, shoulders
Start in left lunge, with right foot on disc and 5- to 8-lb dumbbell in right hand. As you lift to standing, slide right leg toward left and curl dumbbell to chest. When right foot meets left, press dumbbell overhead.
Return to start. Do 3 sets of 6 reps per side.
Row to press
Sit on stability ball, band around hands, arms lifted to shoulder height. Pull arms in toward chest, palms tilting down, elbows out. Turn palms up and raise arms overhead until fully extended.
Return to start. Do 8 reps.
Don't forget cardio!
Jumping rope 50 times between exercise moves keeps the heart rate up and gets your body in fat-burning mode.
Worth it upgrade
Pros swear by foam rollers for relieving post-workout tensionóabove, the J/Fit 12-Inch Basic White Foam Roller ($20; amazon.com).
Do each move at right for 30-60 seconds or until you feel a release in your muscles.
Sit on the floor with foam roller under your rear. Cross right ankle over left knee, lean into your right glute, and knead with foam roller.
Repeat on left side.
Lie faceup on the floor with knees bent, hands behind head, foam roller positioned beneath your upper back; slowly roll up and down the spine.
Quads & outer thighs
Place left quad on foam roller, right leg bent and to the side, forearms on floor. Roll forward and backward from top of knee to hip.
Repeat on right side.