No Excuses: No-Equipment-Needed Workouts for Small Spaces

No Excuses: No-Equipment-Needed Workouts for Small Spaces

Adrienne Breaux
Jan 12, 2016

Though a gym membership is totally worth it for your health — sometimes for budget or time limitations you've got to try to figure out a way to workout at home (especially if you live in a location where the weather isn't always inviting). If you live in a small space you can get a good workout in. Try these ideas for working up a sweat and toning up in even tiny homes.

Running in place/jumping jacks

If you've got room to stand and at least a foot or two of clearance between your head and the ceiling, you've got room to run in place (and if you have arm clearance) jumping jacks. Running in place (particularly using high knees) can be a great cardio workout. Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with these moves — mix running or jumping as hard as you can for a challenging burst and then resting for short intervals. You'll have an effective workout in not a lot of time or space. This might be most appropriate if you live on the bottom floor of an apartment building, though.


Even if you don't have an entire room to turn into your meditation/yoga space, there's probably room to lay down a yoga mat somewhere in your space, from the floor on the side of your bed to perhaps in front of the sofa with the coffee table shoved out of the way.

→ I love this dorm room yoga video by Yoga With Adriene for a quick 30-minute small space yoga workout (Full disclosure, I know Adriene from when I lived in Austin and used to take her classes in person!)

Ab work

If you have room for a yoga mat, then you've got room to lay on the floor and do some ab workouts. There are TONS of ab videos on YouTube and the internet in all sorts of styles and time lengths to find one that fits your fitness personality. Also look into plank workouts, which can give you an ab workout without annoying any downstairs neighbors with loud movements.

Squats and lunges

Squats and lunges aren't just for your lower half, they can actually be a pretty good core workout and, if done quickly, can give you a small cardio benefit, too. They can help better your balance as well. As with abs, you can do a search for all sorts of videos online for squat and lunge workout videos.

→ I'm personally a big fan of Fitness Blender for short workout videos to do at home. I love their short squat and ab videos. They're really hard!

Body weight workouts

Maybe you've got a little bit of room to move around, but it's the fact that you don't want to have a ton of equipment to try and find room for in your small space? Then you might want to look into the wide array of body weight-only workouts (think push-ups and things mentioned above like squats and lunges).

→ One of my favorite examples is an oldie but a goodie: The New York Times' Scientific 7-Minute Workout. Do it fast enough to challenge yourself and repeat the whole set a few times and you'll get a surprisingly good workout.


Hey why not work up a bit of a sweat and end up with a cleaner home? Cleaning doesn't burn a TON of calories, but hey, it's better than just Netflixing. And it's the kind of workout that can be done in any size home (though I suppose the smaller your home the less of workout it is!).

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