DIY Home Gym Hacks So You Don't Spend Money On Expensive Exercise Classes


Can we all agree that exercise classes have gotten a bit ridiculous? Riding bikes in the dark, pretending to be a ballerina, pretending to be a stripper…they even have people swinging from the ceiling on ropes! Calm down everyone. Just thinking about it all makes me want to lie down. Most of the time I want to lie down. That's why I came up with an awesome list of DIY home gym hacks for exercise classes, so you don't have to wake up at 6 a.m. or spend half your year's rent just trying to work out.

Let's be honest, I'm just not that motivated to rumble before work. I don’t barre in my free time. I lie there. Down. I lie the F down. You can call it lazy, I say it’s recharging! And I happen to recharge on my back. There's nothing wrong with feeling like you get more out of taking a down day in bed than flipping a tire with a bunch of meatheads.

Accepting that fact can be really hard, but once you start listening to your body when it screams, "Bish, don't move!" you will reap the benefits of lazy lounging. But, if you're like me and still want to be up on what all the kids are doing, and relate and hold a conversation when your friends talk about how “Gina’s Buti class has changed their life,” then I have the solution for you. Here are some ways I incorporate trendy exercises into my lying down days:

DIY Hot Yoga

This is one I will never understand paying for. I don’t even like to sweat on my own, let alone watch and smell other people sweat. I understand the benefits of hot yoga, sure, as yoga instructor and wellness expert Maggie Giuffrida espouses, "Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your pulse rate and metabolism, allowing your blood vessels to become more flexible... This in turn makes circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs."

It all sounds well and good, but the idea of cramming myself into a small, sweaty room to just breathe in and out deeply while acting like I’m a tree? Not so much.

Wanna create the same warm feeling at home? Easy! Put on some sweats and do a series of yoga poses on the ground like cobra, locust, and half tortoise. You can also try and grab just your big toes and bring your chest down to your shins.

You’ll get the feel of the stretches without the BO of a stranger. DIY Hot Yoga complete.

DIY Soul Cycle

Everyone's thinking it, I'm just saying it: How is this different then spin class? Oooh, they turn the lights off, OK, I get it. (What?) But the instructor still shouts at you over club music, right? OK sounds like a blast! Sure, cycling in itself is a great workout. As the Harvard Health Letter says, it's aerobic, muscle-building, balance-improving, and bone-building, but I also always seem to hurt my hoo ha in the classes. So what does that tell you?

The sitting up sitting back down — I never know how to do it without slamming down on the bicycle and not being able to sit like a normal lady for a few days. So instead of shelling out loads of cash to be yelled at in the dark while not moving on a bike, try putting on a Spotify playlist with upbeat music, pump up the jams and do some bicycle style sit ups on the ground bringing your opposite elbow to knee while crunching your abs.

Oh and turn off the lights. DIY Soul Cycle complete.

DIY Rumble

For the fighter in us all! Rumble teaches you how to box so you can achieve that right hook you've always dreamed of. I like the idea of being able to take out aggression in a healthy way like boxing, but I could also just look up my friend from high school who married a billionaire and travels the world wearing great hats all the time, put a pillow over my face and scream while clenching my fists and probably feel just as good after.

Just kidding, boxing has tons of health benefits that Instagram stalking doesn't. As Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, tells Shape, “In addition to boosting strength and cardiorespiratory fitness, boxing improves a number of skill-related parameters of fitness, including balance, coordination, reactivity, and agility.”

So if I don't want to learn how to jab, cross, uppercut in a room full of people far better at it than I am, I put on the Rocky theme song and grab some dumbbells (anything heavy will really do). I start with my hands facing each other and resting on my chest, and bring one up above me at a time for an “air punch.”

Be careful not to drop the dumbbell on your face or you will look like you got into an actual boxing match. DIY Rumble complete.

DIY CrossFit

People who love CrossFit effing lurveeeee CrossFit, and people who don’t do CrossFit love to hate people who do CrossFit. I once drove by a CrossFit gym but read the sign as “croissants”… imagine my disappointment!

This workout is just so extra. I mean, when the hell am I ever going to be in a situation where there are two giant ropes that the world needs me to battle in order to survive? How about I lie across my bed in a different way and see if I can fit? JK!

CrossFit is a high-intensity workout, so even from the floor the exercises are gonna burn. According to fitness guru Dr. Axe, CrossFit can help your heart, breathing, "stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, [and] accuracy." So maybe it's worth a shot, eh?

Start with a modified hand stand pushup, where you're in push up position but inch your hands in closer to your feet so your butt is in the air like downward facing dog. When you go down to do a pushup, tap your head lightly to the floor.

Turn over to work your core after with an alt leg v-up where you start with your arms up over your head then lift your body off the ground to first meet your left leg, then your right leg and continue alternating.

Burn, burn, burn that core and the CrossFit haters! DIY Cross Fit complete.

DIY Pilates

I have tried Pilates and my body is against it! I was late for a class once and the only spot left in the room was up front and boy was everyone pissed that I was what they had to look at. I cannot bend the unbendable ring and look like a cat with a cat toy trying to keep it under control. My whole body wiggles when I pump my arms and it honestly looks like I need medical help more than it looks like I'm working out.

I know Pilates has a lot of benefits, as personal trainer and fitness writer K. Aleisha Fetters clarifies, "Pilates hits your core (or, in Pilates speak, your "powerhouse") unlike any other workout. In fact, after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (the muscle responsible for six-packs) by an average of 21 percent, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores."

But I still would rather “pump” up the volume on a Dawson's Creek marathon frankly. So as I feel all the feels hearing that opening to “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” I lie on my side and with my legs slightly bent, open and close them with my ankles together, then I switch it up and dive my knee down to touch the other knee, leaving my foot in the air and alternating with that foot coming down to touch heels as my knee goes up. Even for someone as uncoordinated as I am, this one is easy.

And it feels good to work my ass while I’m being a lazy ass. DIY Pilates complete.

Now you're all caught up on all the fun trendy workouts you can do at home, while lying down. Now go take a nap, you have earned it.

Welcome to No Sweat: an exhausted girl's guide to squeezing in fitness. This content package is for the woman who wants to find an exercise routine that doesn't feel like a chore. No Sweat isn't changing the shape of your body; it's about feeling stronger, happier, and more energetic. Because working out doesn't mean you have to break a sweat.