Fitness commercials may have led you to believe that you need a myriad of fancy equipment to get in shape. Sometimes, though, you’re left with no choice but to make do with the space right next to your bed. Maybe that gym membership you want is beyond your budget, or you’re out of town in a dingy hotel room with no access to a proper gym. No matter the circumstance, sometimes life can and will throw a curve ball towards your #fitnessgoals.
Luckily, according to The Upper Deck fitness coach Jan Rebong, getting fit without leaving your bedroom is actually possible.
“If you know how to train for your specific goals and learn to manipulate your body's leverage to make exercises easier or harder—you can train for just about anything from mobility, endurance, strength, and power using nothing but your own body's weight as resistance. At the end of the day, your body cannot tell the difference between a heavy load being lifted at the gym and a heavy bodyweight lift,” Rebong says.
While we’re all big fans of that kind of bedroom workout, that’s not the goal here. The aim is to get in great shape so you can eventually show off your, ahem, “home gym” to that special lady. Let’s get the bed rocking, shall we?
Stick to the basics but feel free to add more
Given your limited space and resources, Rebong recommends that you stick to the basics. “With limited space, it would be ideal to focus on compact movements that keep you moving in one plane of motion,” he says.
For building strength and/or muscular endurance, Rebong recommends exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, bridges, and leg raises. For cardio, fast movements like burpees, mountain climbers, and knee tucks work well even in a small space.
If you want to make the most out of your bedroom gym, Rebong says that you can add some equipment as long as it doesn’t take up a lot of space or make your room look like a sweat dungeon. Things like a door frame pull-up bar, ab roller, and push-up handles can add variety to your workouts.
Get creative with your workouts
Who says you need to go to a sports store to buy equipment? Aside from investing in exercise gear as you progress, you can also use items around your bedroom to make your workouts more challenging.
“You can use your bed to alter your leverage for push-ups by mounting your hands or legs on its surface. You can put your chair and desk (or bed) side-by-side to perform dips considering that they are of the same height,” Rebong advises.
You can also look around for items to use as makeshift weights. Water bottles and books might not weigh much at first, but they will if you perform enough bicep curls and shoulder raises with them.
Get fit where you sleep
The following is a sample bedroom workout from Rebong. He explains: “This workout will challenge just about all your basic movements and get you strong and conditioned without having to leave your room. Pick variations of the prescribed exercises that will make you struggle for the prescribed amount of reps but make sure that you maintain strict form!”
A1) Push-ups or Single-arm Variations x 8-10 reps
(Rest 45 seconds and proceed to A2.)
A2) Squats or Single-leg Variations x 8-10 reps 3 sets x 8-10 reps
(Rest 45 seconds and proceed to A3.)
A3) Pull-ups or More Difficult Variations x 8-10 reps 3 sets x 8-10 reps
(Rest 45 seconds and go back to A1. You will repeat this cycle for 3 rounds)
B1) Bridge x 12-15 reps
(Immediately proceed to B2)
B2) Leg Raise x 12-15 reps
(Rest 30 seconds and go back to B1. Repeat this cycle for 3 rounds.)
C1) Burpees x 30s as many reps as possible
(Immediately proceed to C2)
C2) Knee Tucks x 30 s as many reps as possible
(Rest 1 minute and go back to C1. Repeat this cycle for 6-8 rounds)