Getting in Shape without the Gym
Leave your gym bag in the cupboard and do these few effective exercises from home instead. photo credit: Gym Bag via photopin (license)

Though a gym membership can help you reach your fitness goals, you can get results that are just as good without spending all that time and money. With just a few simple exercises you can get a full body workout to help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals, whether you’re in the comfort of your own living room or in a hotel room away on a business trip or holiday. You could even get an online nutrition plan from a company like Superbody to make sure your eating is on the same track as your exercising.

So leave your gym bag in the cupboard and try these few excellent exercises. Getting in shape without the gym is possible!


Planks are widely known as one of the most effective but painful workout moves around, but don’t let that stop you! They are great at strengthening both your core and your back, and all you need to do them is a flat surface to rest your elbows and toes on. They’re a pretty simple exercise to do, but will have real benefits for your fitness levels and your waistline and if you stick with them you will see results pretty quickly.

To do a plank, get into a press-up position, bend your elbows and rest your body weight on your forearms (either palms flat to the floor, or fists clenched) and your toes, and engage your core by sucking your belly button inwards towards your spine.

Once your core is properly engaged you should be able to breathe and talk normally! It’s vital that you keep your body in a straight line from shoulders to ankles, like a plank of wood, otherwise you could damage your back, so no sticking your bottom in the air or dipping it to the ground.

Once you’re in the position, try holding it for 30 seconds to begin with – if you can’t make it to the full 30 then just hold the position as long as you can. Remember, quality is more important than quantity – as you get fitter, the time you can hold a plank will increase. I like to do these in sets of three with a one minute rest between each plank.

Burpees and Squat Jumps

Burpees and jump squats are dynamic and can form part of a high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine when alternated with a lower intensity exercise. They offer a fantastic cardio workout that only takes a few minutes.

Burpees help strengthen your entire body by working almost every muscle group in your body – if you do them right, they’re pretty much guaranteed to produce results.

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your side. Then lower into a squat position as if you’re sitting back onto a chair and put your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump your feet backwards and do a press-up, then jump forward again and go up into a squat, before jumping up and raising your hands over your head. Then repeat!

Jump squats are a great option if a full burpee is too much for you – simply squat then jump up out of the squat, and repeat. Remember to keep your abs tight to support and protect your back, keep your back straight and your knees soft to avoid damaging them. Breathe out on the way up and in on the way down.

There are lots of YouTube videos online to help you get the correct technique for each of these exercises. I promise, give these a go and stick with them for a couple of weeks and you’ll really start to see results….and all from the comfort of your own front room.

You can always check out You Tube for lots of various alternatives to shake up the intensity too.



**This is a collaborative post**




9 comments on “Getting in Shape Without the Gym”

  1. As always another good read Donna, and well done on getting Blog of the month from

    Regarding watching what you eat I have used successfully in the past and plan on starting again on Monday, to monitor my calorie intake.

    You can use it on a desktop or via an app on your phone. It really made me think about having that pack of crisps, and more times than not I ended up with a piece of fruit instead. You do however have to be self motivated and truthful to yourself, recording exactly what you eat and not missing out recording that chocolate bar. You’re only cheating yourself!

    It’s also good to look back on those days you didn’t meet your target and see what it was you had that put you over.
    Stu Russell recently posted…Post Pizza Hut PBMy Profile

    • Thanks Stu 🙂

      I’ve not heard of It sounds a useful app if you’re looking to change your eating habits. I like to think a good balance of healthy eating and exercise is the way forward, although sometimes that’s easier said than done. As someone who has a really sweet tooth, I say everything in moderation!

  2. Great article for a fuller body workout you can add calf raises on the stairs, tricep dips using two chairs, squats with a child on your back (they love it!!). Ha ha.

    Btw google a friend of mine Fiona Meade, she’s the Irish road champion and is currently racing in the US. Lovely girl and a huge talent!!
    Marcel from ByeMould recently posted…Drying clothes with the Unibond Aero 360My Profile

  3. This type of info is great for me as I head into the summer holidays. I love my gym but one of my girls is too old for the creche now – and it’s an expensive way to work out over the holidays. Instead I like to mix it up with some home workouts – and want to encourage the girls to be active too. I plan on morning runs around the park and little cycling excursions too!!!
    Vanessa Holburn recently posted…Camping – the healthy holiday!My Profile

    • Morning runs around the park and lots of little cycling excursions sound like a great way to spend the holidays. I’m hoping to incorporate lots of that too into our summer holidays…here’s hoping the weather is kind.

    • I’m so with you Rachel. As bizarre as it sounds, I quite enjoy planks…and I love how quickly you can see a difference from them. Burpees…well, I find them painful!

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