Swimming in the ocean, running our favorite trail, paddleboarding, kayaking, going to the archery range, yoga on the beach, and just taking a light jog through the park are all excellent workouts that are completely destroyed when the weather really goes to hell on a segway. If you’re like us, a snow day can suck all the fun out of your workout.
Assuming your house isn’t already outfitted with a nice treadmill, stationary bike, Bowflex, or professional-grade boxing ring complete with UFC coach, or you’re stuck in a hotel room, then your fitness choices become pretty limited. You can either give the day a miss and bingewatch Chef’s Table while mainlining Cherry Garcia ice cream, or you can get up off your pansy ass and find a way to get in a nice set of indoor workouts that don’t need much gear.
While we’re going to stick to option A, those of you who actually care about your physique can try these 13 exercises for inside cats.
Sex is good for the cardiovascular system, tones thighs and buttocks, and can slice through about 200 calories in every half-hour. Studies have revealed that orgasming during sex actually seems to burn even more calories than standard bumping of uglies, so feel free to take it to the limit. Ladies: Make sure you get yours.
Whip out a chair or get behind your sofa and start trying out these dance moves based on ballet routines. Barre stretches your body and uses a combination of yoga, Pilates, and dance to give you a surprisingly strenuous workout. There’s plenty of free video routines online, or you can pay to download a slightly more professional one. Guys, this uses lots of body weight action, so it would be a huge mistake to write it off just because it also might look pretty.
You can pick up a simple mat for almost nothing, or just lay down a couple of towels, because you’re damn sure going to sweat. You can crank up the thermostat for a hot Bikram yoga routine, go with a heavily Iyengar set of poses for strength, or align your chakras with a flowing Vinyasa. Not only does yoga tone muscles and help you flex, it has also been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and help with spiritual mindfulness. Oh, and you can always reach enlightenment, which is nice.
Tai Chi or Qigong
For another eastern tradition, you can slow things down with a little tai chi or Qigong. The gradual movements might not seem like they would be terribly difficult, but they’re surprisingly effective at loosening your body and helping you get centered. Soon you’ll feel the burn as the complete control needed forces your body to work with and against itself from moment to moment.
You might not have ever thought that kicking your own ass could be a serious fitness goal, but there’s a few shadowboxing workouts around that will leave you a puddle on the floor. Shadowboxing works on your foot and hand speed, agility, lightness, and keeps you ready to throw a punch. If you have a heavy bag hanging in your garage, feel free to hit that, but if not, a good light and a blank wall are all you need. Plus, then you can make shadow puppets.
If the word plyometrics (or plyo for short) is new to you, then now is the perfect time to give it a shot. Using a set of explosive jumps, hops, spins, and drops, you’ll quickly get all the benefits of running an obstacle course without ever leaving your living room. It’s fast and tough, and allows you to customize your routine to fit your body and the space available. It’s also quick and dirty, letting you be over and done in a little while, which means more time for napping. Insanity workouts are good for this, and crossfit incorporates aspects of it for those on that bandwagon.
Odds are pretty good you’ve seen how ripped and cut some of the convicts are when they come out of the joint. While they sometimes have access to weights, many of them have little more than a tiny cell for 23 hours out of the day. With all that time on their hands, they’ve had to get inventive about using their own weight to maximum effect. Burpees, push-ups, squats, and various lifts are included in this exercise sequence, but anything that makes you pick up your own weight falls into this category. You can also do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) working with your own heft.
You can go and find yourself a set of dumbbells, or you can get a pair of gallon jugs then fill them with water. Curl them again and again or do a whole arm and shoulder practice with a wide range of variance. If single gallons aren’t enough of a challenge, there’s 5-gallon options out there too. We even suggest turning on the TV while you try this out.
Favored by Navy SEALs, a group that is usually in passable condition, TRX does require you have a home suspension system specifically to keep you up off the ground. It’s also a body weight routine, just one that takes place in mid-air. It can work in conjunction with plyometrics, HIIT, and even yoga.
Rather than buying a whole stationary bike to do your home spin class, complete with mocking German leader, you should get a bike trainer. This turns any of your standard bicycles into an indoor workout. You set the resistance level and tension, so it can be as light or as tough as your level requires.
For a few bucks you can get yourself a jump rope that will keep you hopping for hours on end. While it might make you feel like a 9-year-old girl on the playground, ask yourself how many husky young ladies you see doing double-dutch. A weighted rope can add upper body elements to your skipping, and you can come up with a fun little chant as you hop your way slim.
It’s a challenge just to sit on one of these and gives you a mild core workout every second you do so, which means that even when just hanging out or doing some work you can be burning calories. It can also enhance your yoga routine, help you stretch out all your sore joints and back, and improve your balance. Inexpensive and easy to store, it’s hard to go wrong with a basic ball.
A little light dusting isn’t going to do much for your body, but we’d wager there’s a few serious cleaning projects you’ve been putting off. It’s time to get behind that armoire, vacuum under the bed and the couch, mop the tiles beneath the stove, and get the gunk lurking under that fridge. Moving around your furniture will tire you out and the cleaning itself can get pretty intense if you really go for broke and put some damn spit shine on it.