7 Slimming Exercises for Small Spaces

By:Ariba Khaliq, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Jan 31, 2015

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When it comes to exercising, we give all sorts of excuses from being tired to having a small space to exercise in. Here we solve the latter by bringing you 7 slimming exercises for small spaces.
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    "Alas, my room is pretty small to exercise!"

    We may invent innumerable stupid excuses for not working out and we use them liberally all the time. “I'm tired.” “My favourite show is on TV.” “I'm hungry.” “I really should reorganize my kitchen cabinets.” But when the weather is really nasty or you're super-busy or your place is very small to accommodate exercising equipments, you have a valid reason for forgoing exercise, right? Wrong. Here are 7 simple at-home workouts, many of which can be done in less than 20 minutes and wait-for-it, in smallest places. Come on, get going now!

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    Jumping Rope

    Jumping rope is amazing for your body. All you have to do is look at a boxer's tight, toned body to know it's a major fat-blaster. It will tone your upper and lower body at the same time, while quickly boosting your heart rate. By skipping rope, a 160-pound person can torch more than 350 calories in 30 minutes. Don't have the room to swing the rope? Try "ghost jumping," mimicking the movement without the actual rope. It is just as effective in keeping your heart rate up. Challenge your balance by jumping on one leg, double-dutch with the kids, or jump to the beat of your favourite songs.

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    Body-weight Workouts

    Don’t you have any barbells, dumbbells, or resistance bands? No problem. Your own body is the best piece of equipment you own. Just mix and match some basic moves like lunges, squats, mountain climbers, planks, and push-ups to get an amazing workout in a small space. Squats and lunges tone your legs and butt, and push-ups are great for your chest and arms. Planks and mountain climbers are fantastic for your abs. Aim to do 3 sets of 10 reps for each move. To boost your calorie burn, keep rests between each move no longer than 20 to 30 seconds. To amp calories even more, add a 1-minute cardio blast—like jumping jacks—between each set.

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    Kettlebells

    A kettlebell workout can be done in less than half the time of typical workouts and burns twice as many calories. How many calories are we talking? We are torching up to 20 per minute, according to a 2010 study, or up to 400 calories in a 20-minute session. Kettlebell exercises work so well because they give you a cardiovascular workout and a full-body strength workout at the same time. The basic kettlebell swing works every major muscle group and taxes your cardiovascular system at the same time. Even adding just two kettlebell workouts a week into your routine will transform your body.

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    Suspension Training

    Personal trainers and hard-bodied fitness types love these versatile nylon straps hook to any stable anchor. They can be hooked to your bedroom door or a sturdy pole or beam and allow you to use your own body weight as resistance for more than 100 different exercises. They're perfect for at-home exercisers because they require minimal space, weigh about 2 pounds, and can be rolled up and stashed in a drawer or closet between sweat sessions. Suspension strap moves require balance, so your abs are constantly engaged, working your body from head-to-toe. To up your calorie burn, move through a suspension circuit quickly, resting only for enough time to adjust strap length between moves.

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    Indoor Cycling

    When your excuses to not workout are “a small living room” and “an intention to catch up on your favourite TV show”, set up your bike in your living room. You can happily put up your favorite TV show or movie on the TV and pedal away. The most common set up is a rear-wheel trainer, which locks onto the bike's rear hub and elevates the back wheel a few inches off the ground. These devices use a resistance unit to simulate riding on a road. You'll also need a "trainer block" to elevate the front wheel so that your bike is level. Whatever you setup, expect to sweat: A 175-pound person burns between 159 calories to 476 calories in 30 minutes of cycling.

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  • 7

    Yoga

    We hope this option ruled out your excuse of a small space to workout in. If you have room to unroll a yoga mat, you have enough space for a challenging asana session. To make yoga a great calorie-burner, focus on repeating moves that engage your largest muscle groups and get your heart rate up. A few poses to try, in addition to the basic warrior I and II: Crescent lunge, chair pose, and extended side angle. Link them all by flowing through a vinyasa (lower from high plank to low plank, flow forward to upward facing dog, and then press back to downward facing dog).

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  • 8

    Barre Workout

    It has long been used by dancers to sculpt a lean, long body, and has become a staple in many exercise studios. These are ballet-derived exercises done using a stationary handrail, but you can do them with a chair, kitchen table, or even the back of your couch. Barre work strengthens your deepest ab muscles, pulling in your waist like a corset, while lifting your butt, trimming your thighs, and toning your arms. It also whips into shape your perfect-posture muscles, so you'll stand straighter.

    Image: Getty

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