Note: If you want to see photos of my mother ballroom dancing then keep reading!
When I first went to school away from home, I became completely sedentary. I’ve never been good at most team sports, there was no karate studio nearby, and the gym was full of scary upperclassmen (or so it seemed when I was a freshman). In an attempt to get some exercise, I Googled “prison workouts” to see what I could do inside my closet-sized dorm room but none of them seemed very appealing to me.
By spring term I had worked up the guts to go to the school gym, but before that I relied solely on these four workouts!
The best part is that they’re not just for the dorm; anyone who’s stuck in a hotel room, apartment, or other small space (prison?) can do ’em – my mom often does these when she’s on location and doesn’t have access to/can’t be bothered to go to the gym!
1. Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred
Are you ready to get shredded????? Well personally I just wanted to stop being a sedentary lump but my mother did indeed use this in another one of her attempts to get ripped. (I’d like to take this opportunity to note that no matter how much exercise you do, you ain’t gonna get lean and mean unless you have an energy deficit. So cut down on the peanuts, Mommy!)
This 20 min workout is not going to make you expend as much energy (i.e., be as good a cardio sesh) as, say, running, swimming, or using a cardio machine at the gym, but it sure does make you feel like you worked hard!
All you need is a pair of dumbbells, however heavy you want, and either a yoga mat or a carpet/rug. For most exercises there’s a hard version and an easy version so no matter what level of fitness you are at, it won’t be too hard or too easy.
2. Jillian Michael’s Six Week Six Pack
Okay, before I talk about this video and the rest of the workouts I’d like to take a moment to be really preachy and annoying. Bear with me or skip the next paragraph.
You can’t spot reduce. You can’t spot reduce. You can build muscle in a particular part of your body by doing strength training that focuses on that area, but DOING CRUNCHES IS NOT GOING TO GET RID OF YOUR MUFFIN TOP. There, I said it. So even though I love these workouts, I’m really nitpicky about these things and I can’t stand it when they claim that exercising a certain part of your body will make you lose fat in that area. You lose fat throughout your body by maintaing an energy deficit. Okay, end of tirade against spot reduction myth.
Back to the video. This is another workout video from Jillian Michaels with a focus on abs. There’s special ab workouts as well as some cardio. You can find level one for free here.
My mother is really into dancing.
She also hates every single other form of exercise. Hates ’em all with a burning passion, I tell you. One day I decided to introduce her to zumba – it’s dancing but with extra cardio! She fell in love right away and now zumba is her go-to workout. She takes zumba classes at the local Y but when she’s shooting she uses the zumba videos that she bought from Amazon.
If you normally dislike exercise then you might like zumba! Honestly, who doesn’t like shaking it?
Above is the link to her dances.
Cassey Ho is kind of like Jillian Michaels, except peppier and nicer and Asian-er. There are tons and tons of free videos on Blogilates.com, and they’re all really fun! My personal favorites are the song challenges because they’re all pretty short (just the length of a pop song) so you can pick and choose which ones you want to do for your (strength training) workout.
There are soooo many different exercise videos on Blogilates so there’s lots of variety! My favorites include:
- What Makes You Booty-ful – oh God, the pain… hard to sit through a math exam after this.
- “Work Work” Ab Challenge – dear college admission officers, please note that I said “work work” and not “Work _____.”
- Gangnam Style Call Me Maybe Squat Mashup – really fun, not too hard, good for da glutes
- Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Butt – disclaimer: didn’t get a bombshell butt. Really fun though!
In addition to workout vids Blogilates also has lots of fun recipes and blog posts! I love the “Cheap Clean Eats” series, especially the banana egg pancakes – I usually do a variation with egg whites and half a scoop of Cellucor whey. I also love Aubernutter mug pancakes which are kinda sorta based on the banana egg recipe!