How To Tone Up (And Take Inches Off) Without Spending A Dollar
We’re all about working on our fitness, but unlike Fergie Ferg, we’d rather be at home doing that rather than “up in the gym.” Plus all those classes and memberships can start to take a toll on the wallet and if that affects our beauty budget you better believe we’re going to find an alternative way to stay in shape without losing our coins. So we consulted a team of trainers and fitness gurus to teach us how to work out using the cheapest equipment possible – our own body. With the exception of a resistance band, which will set you back a whopping $10 or less at Target. Ready, set, sweat!
If you’re a pilates lover but can’t always break away from work to sneak in a reformer class, or just don’t want to leave your casa to work out, take a cue from Concierge Pilates founder Cara Simon and travel with resistance bands. Her series of at-home moves tighten and tone, and the best part is anyone can do them, no matter how in shape you are. P.S: If you’re in New York City, download their app and have one of their on-demand trainers come to your home, office, or hotel for the ultimate lazy girl class you can even do in your PJs. No judgment.
Arm, Shoulder, and Back Tips
1. Standing, place a stretchy band (buy on Amazon, $10) under your feet and hold the ends in your right and left hands.
2. Using the band’s resistance, extend your arms forward and pulse 10 times, then to the side 10 times, then towards your back 10 times.
3. Continue with 3 sets of these and your arm muscles will surely be on fire.
4. Once done, take the band above your head and stretch your entire body to the left and reverse the stretch to your right. Then place both your hands closer to the center of the band and place in front of your thighs. Extend the band overhead and all the way around towards your butt, to get that wonderful shoulder and back stretch. (Repeat 3 times and don’t forget to breathe.)
Body Tone Up
According to celebrity trainer Patrick McGrath, who hosts a series of Fuel Guru Workouts at W New York – Times Square, a great way to work out with little-to-no equipment is by playing with the strength and conditioning method of time under tension (TUT). “A normal exercise is usually done in a two count up and down, but with time under tension you can add intensity to any bodyweight exercises by extending the eccentric (stretch) and concentric (close) of the muscle fiber,” he explains. And if you’re like us and not exactly sure WTF that means, just follow McGrath’s easy instructions below.
1. Get in position to do a regular squat, but count to 4 going down (slowly), then hold the position and count to 4 again (slowly).
2. On the way up, count to 4 (slowly) and do 12 reps for 4 sets.
TUT PUSH UP:
1. Start in a plank position, (or modified with knees down) and extend elbows out 45 degrees away from the shoulder.
2. Bend in your elbow to a 90-degree angle (4 counts down) making sure to keep hips in line with shoulders.
3. Then slowly press away from the ground as you extend back up to your starting plank (4 counts up).
4. Do 12 times for 4 sets, with 60-second rest between sets.
Sweat It Out
Vince Sant, certified fitness trainer and co-founder of V Shred, has built an entire empire around the YouTube workout video, so if there’s anyone to show you how to bust a sweat in your hotel (or living) room – it’s him. Sant recommends getting your heart pumping for a few minutes with a combination of high knee taps, jumping jacks, phantom jump rope, or running in place and then you’ll feel energized and warmed up. Alternate these cardio breaks with the below moves for 10 minutes at a time and you’ll be feeling the burn.
1. Place your back against the wall and slide down to a 45-degree angle, keeping your knees and feet aligned.
2. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
1. Get into plank position, then pull one knee up and in toward your midsection.
2. Repeat the action with your other knee.
3. Continue alternating the movement with both knees, doing as many as you can for 1 to 2 minutes.
KNEE TO ELBOW TWISTS:
1. Stand with your back straight, your hands behind your head and feet hip-width apart.
2. Shift your weight into your right leg, engaging your core to bring your left leg up to hip-height, bending at the knee.
3. You want to be sure to squeeze your abs to twist your torso so that your right elbow comes to meet your left knee.
4. Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
5. Do 12 times for 4 sets, with 60-second rest between sets.
To see Vince in action, demo’ing a fast go-anywhere workout, click here.
Tone Like a Ballerina
Bergen Wheeler is the national director behind Exhale’s Innovation Lab – and app that lets you stream their on-demand classes anywhere, anytime – but one of her all-time favorite lazy-girl moves to get in shape involves the barre method. The good news? You don’t even need an actual bar to do it.
1. Standing in front of the back of a chair, couch, or desk, start in the “narrow v” position (which is 1stposition).
2. Make a plié by doing a full range motion from your hips to your heels, then come up halfway.
3. Do this 10 times and hold in between – while keeping proper form.
4. For a greater challenge, stand on your tiptoes while holding the move.
How do you like to stay in shape? Let us know in the comments below.