At-Home Workouts

Yes, you can get fit without stepping foot in a fitness club.

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on January 14, 2014
From the WebMD Archives

No time to get to the gym? Signing up for a membership isn't in the budget? Don't sweat it. You can get a good workout without setting foot in a fitness center.

"Working out shouldn't be a hassle," says David Kirsch, personal trainer and founder of the Madison Square Club in New York City, whose celebrity clients include Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, and Kerry Washington. "Being able to take your workout with you makes it more fun." Kirsch suggests three basic moves that can be done anytime and anywhere with zero equipment. Aim to complete the circuit at least four times per week.

Oblique Crunches

You'll tone your waistline with this move, which works the internal and external obliques, the muscles on the sides of your abs.

1. Lie on your right side with your knees bent.

2. Place your right arm on the floor in front of you and your left hand behind your head.

3. Keeping your knees together, raise your knees toward the ceiling as high as you can, bringing your left shoulder toward your knees.

4. Hold for 3 seconds.

5. Return to the starting position.

6. Do 15 reps.

7. Repeat the move on the opposite side.

Plié Toe Squats

In this twist on a traditional squat, you'll work your calves, thighs, and glutes. "It's a great move if you love to wear skirts and want sexy, toned legs," Kirsch says.

1. Stand with your feet a little more than hip-width apart, toes turned slightly out, and hands on your hips.

2. Keeping your spine straight, lower your body as if you were going to sit in a chair.

3. While you're lowering into the squat, lift your heels off the floor.

4. Hold 5 seconds.

5. Return to a standing position, keeping your heels lifted off the floor.

6. Do 15 reps.


"Traditional push-ups will never get old, [and] the option to do partial push-ups [on your knees] makes it a great move for anyone," Kirsch says. The tried-and-true move works triceps, shoulders, and chest muscles.

1. Get into the starting push-up position: hands shoulder-width apart, arms straight, balancing on the balls of your feet with your body in a straight line from shoulders to heels. If this is too hard, place your knees on the floor.

2. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest to the floor.

3. Push through your palms to raise your body back to the starting position.

4. Repeat 15 times.

Fitness Q&A

Q:"I'd like to find a workout partner to help keep me motivated. How do I make sure we have a routine that works for both of us?" -- Liz Saintsing, 34, artist, Lexington, N.C.

A: "A workout partner can make all the difference when it comes to motivation. Choose a workout partner with a similar health profile and a similar schedule. You can go to any exercise class together or take turns spotting during a weightlifting workout. Look for exercise groups or clubs that offer opportunities for people to pair up. Ask the staff at your gym whether they have a buddy program, or talk to a personal trainer about
starting a small group. One caveat: Try not to become too reliant on your partner because, as life happens, she may not be able to sustain the commitment." -- Joy Keller, certified personal trainer and executive editor of "IDEA Fitness Journal"

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Show Sources


David Kirsch, personal trainer; founder of the Madison Square Club, New York City.

Joy Keller, certified personal trainer and executive editor of "IDEA Fitness Journal."

Liz Saintsing, 34, artist, Lexington, N.C.

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