Get Fit for Free
Summer’s coming, and there are fewer and fewer days when I can hide under sweaters and pants. Soon, warm weather will be here and it’ll be time for tank tops, shorts and bathing suits. It’s time to get my booty in gear – literally – with some serious workouts. Paying my taxes left me short on cash (thanks Uncle Sam), so I’m turning to my old standby of free workouts ‘til I can head back to the gym.
The best way to tone your body without the cost of any additional equipment is to do exercises that focus on using your own body weight for resistance. My go-to workout routine involving these exercises is ten reps each of squats, push-ups, lunges, dips, crunches and burpees, in that order. You work your arms, legs and core and after 5 sets, you’ve done 50 of each – quite an accomplishment! To change up your routine, explore different public use spaces for your workouts. I even included some Los Angeles-specific spots for you to check out if you live in the area.
Of course, you can always seek out some public-use equipment, like workout stations that are commonly found in public parks. You can find bars for pull-ups, benches for step-ups and crunches and a variety of other simple equipment. The best part is, these stations often have signs and instructions indicating how to do the exercises.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area, you could head to the Santa Monica or Culver City Stairs and maybe spot a celebrity breaking a sweat! If not, that’s ok, head to your local high school football stadium for some booty-blastin’. Run the stairs for cardio or do slower, walking lunges for definition.
Local Running and Hiking Trials
Stairs or not, running is a great way to achieve a major calorie burn and work almost every muscle in your body. Lots of cities have great running paths, and if you’re up for a more physically demanding workout, you could try trail running through a park. In the LA area, check out Runyon Canyon, Will Rogers Park, Temescal Canyon, and Paseo Miramar for great hiking or trail running options. If you're looking for something flatter, there's always the beach! Check out raceplace.com for running and recreational activities in your area.
If you’re not quite ready to head outside, there are a ton of free workout videos and resources online. Clear some space in front of your computer and look up a number of videos to follow along with at home. Many of these videos require no equipment, but if they do, there’s usually good instruction about how to use household items to make do with what’s available. Tricep dips on a kitchen chair, why not? You can find videos like this on ExerciseTV.tv, workoutz.com and fitnessmagazine.com. Many fitness magazine websites (like Mens and Womens Health) also offer tutorials with pictures or videos.
Workouts In Your Community
If you don’t think you’ll be able to tackle exercising without some direction, look around your community for free workouts. Often times, sporting goods stores will offer free workout classes - Lululemon does this. Sometimes yoga studios will do free sessions in a local park for anyone who wants to join. You can even check around and see if any gyms or boot camps are offering free sessions to people interested in joining. Findmygym.com and gymticket.com both offer a tool to seek out free gym passes.
Free Gym Passes
24 Hour Fitness offers a free seven day trial that can be printed from their website. Bodies in Motion, Equinox, LA Fitness, and Spectrum offer a 3 day VIP guest pass. The YMCA offers a free 7 guest day pass to new members. Why not try a new gym pass each week!
No matter what you choose to do, get out there and move! You’ll feel better and be one step closer to a rockin’ bod.
For those of you who have some money to put towards a fitter you, keep an eye out for upcoming articles on Cheap Fitness Options and Spendy Yet Successful Workouts. And don’t forget to share your favorite workout tips (free or not) in the comments!