Fight Holiday Flab with These 3 Apartment Gym Workout Ideas

Don’t let a lack of a squat rack get between you and your #gains. Like hotel gyms, many apartment fitness centers only offer a few necessities like treadmills and dumbbells, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great workout! Warm-up to these apartment gym workout ideas to get the endorphins running without having to pay for a fitness membership!

Apartment Gym Workout Idea #1: HIIT the Cardio Machines

Being short on time and cardio machine options is not an excuse to skip your workout! A workout timer and a treadmill or elliptical are all it takes to break a serious sweat in less than thirty minutes.

To maximize your workout and rev up your metabolism, do some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on your cardio machine of choice. During HIIT, you’ll alternate between short, intense bursts of exercise at your maximum effort and longer, active recovery periods at a lower effort. This type of training can help lower blood pressure and accelerate fat loss, notes Healthline.

Ready to HIIT the treadmill? Use a workout timer like HIIT Clock to keep track of your intervals and alert you when it’s time to switch from high to low-intensity activity. During your “all-out” bursts, sprint at your fastest or power walk at an incline. Then, use the recovery periods to bring your heart rate back down with slower-paced movements at a lower resistance.

Here’s a template of a HIIT cardio machine workout to try on your next visit to your property’s fitness center.

Time (Minutes) Suggested Intensity Perceived Effort
0:00-5:00 Jog or Moderate Climb Low
5:00-5:20 Sprint or Hard Climb High
5:20-6:00 Walking Recovery or Moderate Climb Moderate
6:00-6:20 Sprint or Hard Climb High
6:20-7:00 Walking Recovery or Moderate Climb Moderate
7:00-7:20 Sprint or Hard Climb High
7:20-8:00 Walking Recovery or Moderate Climb Moderate
8:00-8:20 Sprint or Hard Climb High
8:20-9:00 Walking Recovery or Moderate Climb Moderate
9:00-9:20 Sprint or Hard Climb High
9:20-15 Slow Jog or Moderate Climb Low (Cool Down)

You can do this 20-seconds on, 40-seconds off interval workout for as little or as long as you’d like. Just make sure to start with a warm-up and give yourself time to stretch at the end. Always remember to listen to your body and focus on “perceived” effort rather than sprinting or climbing as intensely as your legs can go.

Apartment Gym Workout #2: Plyometrics

No matter how cramped or poorly equipped your apartment fitness center is, you can get a great workout with just an ab mat and your own body weight. Roll out a yoga mat and try doing as many rounds of the following workout as you can!

Repetitions Exercise Demo Video
20 (total) Mountain Climbers Mountain Climbers by Howcast
10 Reverse Lunges Reverse Lunges by Puregym
10 Jump Squats Jump Squats by Livestrong
10 Push-Ups Push-Up Modifications by SELF
10 Burpees Burpees for Beginners by Bowflex
30 seconds Plank How to Plank by Bowflex
10 (each side) Russian Twists How to Do Russian Twists by Wikihow

If you want to feel a little extra burn, incorporate a set of dumbbells to the reverse lunges and Russian twists. Once you’re done with a couple of rounds of the plyometric workout above, step on your favorite cardio machine for a bit of low-intensity aerobic activity — such as watching Netflix on the elliptical or listening to your favorite podcast while walking on the treadmill.

Apartment Gym Workout #3: Get Smart about Dumbbells

Although many online muscle-building workouts involve barbells and squat racks, you can still work those biceps in your bare-bones apartment fitness center. A pair of dumbbells and a little bit of know-how can help! Here are a few dumbbell-only weight exercises to help you plan a workout program:

Dumbbell Exercises for Arms:

  • Bicep curl to overhead press
  • Overhead tricep extension

Dumbbell Exercises for Back:

  • Reverse fly
  • Dumbbell row

Dumbbell Exercises for Legs:

  • Sumo squats
  • Walking lunges

Dumbbell Exercises for Core:

  • Wood-chops
  • Single-leg deadlifts

For a full-body apartment gym workout, try doing 15 repetitions of each exercise for two rounds or more. Prioritize doing each movement with proper form rather than heavier weights. Lastly, if you’re not sure how to perform a particular move, a quick internet search for “how to perform __” will help you get it right.

Let Us Do The Heavy Lifting for You

Finding the perfect apartment is a workout in itself. From figuring out how much rent you can afford to helping you determine which properties have the amenities you need (such as a 24/7 fitness center) — ApartmentSearch can help. Find an apartment complex with a gym near you today.