A gym membership is great for a lot of reasons, but it’s not a pre-requisite to get the lean, fit body you want. For every exercise done using the latest, state-of-the-art equipment at the gym, there is an equally effective alternative you can do at home. This fat-frying circuit is proof.
Try this total-body workout at the gym, and then check out how a few simple tweaks allow you to do a similar sculpting routine at home. So whether you’re tight on time, traveling, or just not a fan of fitness centers, you can still fit in a total-body toning session. No excuses!
How it works: Whether you choose the gym or home routine, complete one set of the prescribed number of reps for each exercise, moving from one move to the next with little or no rest in between. Complete the full circuit 2-3 times total, 3-4 days per week (alternating this workout with your favorite cardio activity for best results).
SHOP ALL STRENGTH TRAINING EQUIPMENT
At the Gym: BOSU Split Pushups to Side Plank
Works: You whole body
How to do it: Get into pushup position with one hand on the floor and one hand on the center of the flat side of the BOSU. Perform a pushup, and then move into a side plank by lifting the arm that is on the BOSU to the ceiling, pivoting on the balls of your feet to rotate through your torso. Look up to your hand. Rotate back into your starting pushup position. That’s one rep. Try to do up to 10 reps in a row on each side.
You can make this move harder by keeping your feet together for your pushup and plank positions. To make it easier, do a modified pushup and then extend your legs out wide for the side plank.
At-home alternative: Dumbbell split pushups to side plank (Click through to the end to see the full at-home routine.)
At the Gym: BOSU Switch Jumps
How to do it: Flip the BOSU® over so that the rounded side is up (BOSU stands for “both sides up” and you’ll get even better results with it by utilizing both sides). Get into a forward lunge position with your right foot on the center of the dome (look for the small circle in the middle as the target on which to place your foot) and your left foot on the floor behind you. Bend your knees and bring your left arm in front of you, then push off the dome and the floor, jumping up into the air and then switching legs, so that you land in a lunge with your left foot on top of the dome and your right leg on the floor, with your right arm in front of you. That’s one rep. Try to do 20 switch jumps in a row without stopping.
If the jump is too intense, you can quickly step in and out of your lunge position in the same way, switching your legs and arms each time. Add speed (without losing form) to make it more challenging.
At-home alternative: Scissor split lunges
At the Gym: Lunge Box Step-Ups
Works: Legs, butt
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand facing a sturdy, high box or step. Step your right foot onto the box, bring your left leg further behind you on the floor in preparation for a lunge. Bend both knees and lower into a lunge position. As you come up out of your lunge, stand all the way onto your right leg, stepping up onto the box, and tap your left foot on the box. Bring your left leg behind you and lower back to your start position. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on the right leg, 15 reps on the left leg.
You can make this easier by doing the lunge without added weight. To make it harder, lift your knee (instead of tapping your toe) as you step onto the box.
At-home alternative: Reverse lunge and knee-ups
At the Gym: Box Jumps
How to do it: Time to spike your heart rate again! Start standing facing your box or step, with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower into a squat position, and then jump off the floor, landing on top of the box. Quickly jump back off the box and land in a squat with your feet on the floor. That’s one rep. Try to work up to 15 jumps in a row without rest.
If jumping up and down is too tough, you can step quickly on and off the box, or jump up and then step down, as you build up your endurance.
At-home alternative: Rotating squat jumps
At the Gym: Single-Arm Cable Press and Step
Works: Abs, back, chest
How to do it: Using a cable machine with a handle grip, bring the anchor of the cable so that it lines up with the midline of your chest. Select your weight (start lighter and add weight if you need more), and then grab the handle with your right hand and face away from the anchor. Brace your abs in tight to your spine and take a wide step forward with your left foot as you press your right arm out in front of your chest. Keep your abs engaged as you step your left foot back to your right and bend your right arm back into your body, resisting the weight of the cable as you return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps with the right arm, and then switch sides for 15 more reps.
Adjust your weight to make this move more or less difficult.
At-home alternative: Single-arm press and step
At the Gym: Single-Arm Cable Bow-and-Arrow Pull
Works: Back, legs
How to do it: Right after you finish your cable press set, turn in to face the cable anchor. Start with your feet together, holding the grip with your left hand with both arms extended out in front of your chest, palms facing in. Take a wide step back with your left leg, turning your knee and toes slightly outwards, bending your left knee over your toes and extending your right leg (your right foot remains on the floor) as you pull the cable back with your left arm, bending your left elbow back at shoulder level, reaching your right arm forward (as if you were aiming a real bow and arrow). Step your foot back in and bring your arm back in front of you, resisting the weight of the cable as you return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on one side, 15 on the other.
Adjust your weight to make this move more or less difficult.
At-home alternative: Band bow-and-arrow pull
At the Gym: Body Blade
How to do it: Grab a body blade for this fun cardio burst that gets your heart pumping and engages your core. Start standing with your feet together, holding the blade horizontally, with both hands at the center grip, palms facing out. Start shaking it, and try to get the ends to move back and forth as quickly as you can. Do this for 1 full minute (you can keep it in front of your chest or try reaching it high and low as you continue to make it oscillate).
If your gym doesn’t have body blades available, grab a resistance band and try the at-home band squat jacks option instead.