When the weather is nice, it is easy to step outside and go for a walk, a bike ride or a swim. However, once the temperature drops, outdoor activities lose their appeal. To make sure your fitness level does not decrease over the winter, you must establish a fitness regimen that you can execute without leaving your home or apartment.
Judd NeSmith, BestReviews fitness expert, joins Gary Gelfand to discuss an exercise program that can keep you fit throughout the colder months, even if you have limited space in your home or apartment. NeSmith walks Gelfand through a five-exercise circuit that can be done three times in a row with a goal of 12 to 15 reps per exercise. “When you’re done, it’s about 15 to 20 minutes,” NeSmith said. “You did a full-body workout, you’re breaking a sweat, you’re burning fat, you’re building lean muscle and it’s cold outside — you’re inside getting really fit.”
While high-end exercise equipment is nice, not everyone has the room in their budget (or home) for a rowing machine, an exercise bicycle or a treadmill. But that's not necessarily a deal-breaker when it comes to staying fit throughout the winter. If you have some open space in your home or apartment, you can purchase a few pieces of affordable exercise equipment and build your own indoor home gym.
Circuit training is a combination of several exercises that target various parts of your body. When a professional like NeSmith creates a circuit for you, it can help you increase strength and endurance while supporting better heart health and promoting weight loss. Circuit training can also enhance your mood, and it is time efficient.
A hamstring curl engages your hamstrings and your glutes. It strengthens them, which can increase flexibility, improve lower body stability and reinforce hip and knee joints. To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your heels on top of a balance ball. Raise your hips and curl your heels in toward your buttock. Then, push them away, making sure never to let your hips drop.
A body saw is a progression of a plank. Start with your forearms flat on the floor and your toes on exercise sliders. By moving only the upper arms, pull your entire body back and forth in a sawing motion, being careful to keep your hips raised so they do not drop below the level of your shoulders. When done properly, this exercise can strengthen and tighten your core, giving you a rugged workout that also engages your glutes and upper back.
Use a resistance band with handles to execute a band-resistant squat. Place the middle of the band under your feet, and stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. While holding the band handles with your hands touching your shoulders, bend the knees to perform a squat motion. Perform 12 to 15 squats in a row, and you will feel the burn.
Alternatively, you could try a band walk, which requires a resistance band. To begin, wrap the band around your ankles and spread your feet to at least shoulder width — the further you spread your feet, the harder the exercise will be. Squat slightly at the knees, and maintain an upright posture as you walk 10 steps forward and 10 steps back. This exercise strengthens the glutes and hips and can improve posture while reducing hip and back pain.
Pushups are an excellent way to build upper body strength (triceps, shoulders and pectoral muscles). When performed with proper form, they can also engage the core to strengthen the lower back and abdominal muscles. The Perfect Fitness Pushup Handles allow your arms to be in a more natural position and reduce wrist strain during this exercise. “These handles really put your shoulder joint, wrist and elbow in a great position as you target your chest and your triceps and a lot of core,” NeSmith said.
A bent-over row with a kettlebell engages the upper body, the core and the lower body. It is important to work with an experienced trainer for this exercise to ensure your form is correct, you have support and you are using the right mechanics to prevent injury. To get a basic idea of how this exercise works, bend forward at your hips, keeping your back straight while slightly bending your knees. In a controlled manner, pull the kettlebell up to your chest and lower it.
If you want an alternative exercise featuring the kettlebell, try a goblet squat. A squat is an exercise that focuses mainly on the lower body (the quads and glutes). Performing a deep squat while holding a kettlebell at your chest means the squat will also engage your core and upper back to keep the kettlebell in place. It is important to work with an experienced trainer like NeSmith when performing this exercise to get the form and the mechanics correct.
This burst-resistant balance ball can be used with an exercise mat to perform hamstring curls. It is a medium size ball with a textured surface that supports up to 300 pounds.
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These pushup handles are specifically designed to reduce joint strain and engage more muscles to help sculpt your arms, chest, back, shoulders and abs. The ball-bearing system ensures a smooth rotation while you are exercising.
Instead of getting six different kettlebells, save space with this one. This kettlebell’s weight can be adjusted between 8 and 40 pounds via a dial to accommodate various strength levels and exercises.
The dual-side design means you can work out on either carpet or hard floors. Each slider is 7 inches in diameter, making it large enough to fit your hands or feet but small enough to be portable.
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Five resistance bands, two handles, two ankle straps, a door anchor and a storage bag are all included in this affordable set. Use one band or multiple to achieve a resistance weight range of 10 to 150 pounds.
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With this set of five bands, you get five different resistant levels that correspond to an approximate weight range: 0 to 5 pounds, 10 to 15 pounds, 15 to 20 pounds, 25 to 30 pounds and 30 to 40 pounds. A mesh bag is included with purchase, and the set is available in two color schemes.
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A fitness mat keeps you comfortable while working out and protects your floor from sweat. This mat comes with a carrying strap to make it easier to roll up and transport.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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