No gym? No excuse.
If you can’t get to a gym or don’t own a garage you can retrofit, don’t feel down.
In fact, here’s some motivation for getting jacked in cramped spaces:
Feel better? Good.
You don’t need access to 1600 square feet to build your body into a peak specimen.
From the “comfort” of your tiny apartment, you can easily hit all of the major muscles — back, chest, legs — as well as work the minors.
So let’s start from the top and take it to the bottom with 4 exercises you can use to help create your ideal body in cramped spaces.
1. Push Ups
With so many push-up variations, it’s easy to target your traps, shoulders, and chest.
For traps and shoulders, find a wall, make a handstand, and start pumping.
If you can’t use a wall yet, an easy variation is the Pike push-up.
To target the shoulders, even more, try Dead-Stop push-ups.
And finally, you know this one.
To hit your chest, just use regular old push-ups. For maximum muscle hypertrophy, maximize time under tension. That means slow and controlled reps. Try performing 1 set of 10 reps, spending 10 seconds on the way up. You’ll definitely feel your chest pumping.
A lot of lifters underestimate the power of push-ups because they have access to a bench press. Don’t sleep on them, though. You can build a dense chest using only bodyweight and time.
2. Kettlebell Swings
You can spend all day doing crunches and sit-ups to strengthen your core, but if you want to get real results kettlebell swings are your best friend.
Think of it like compound lifting without deadlifts mixed with circuit training without running — your neighbors will thank you.
I’d recommend starting on the lighter side — kettlebell swings have been known to blow backs out — and make sure you respect form. Don’t swing wildly.
If you want to iron out imbalances that come from two-handed training, implement kettlebell snatches into your workout.
Kettlebells have gotten a bad reputation because of their popularity in Crossfit routines. Performed correctly, they not only build muscles but cardio as well.
The most difficult muscle group to target at home is the back.
In your tiny apartment, you don’t have access to platforms for deadlifts or machines for back extensions. It sucks.
But here’s the great thing! You don’t need to load a lot of weight on your back to get it ripped.
One simple exercise and a variation to get you started:
Supermans are great for your lower back (and core).
And to hit your mid back, use “lateral” Supermans.
While it’s difficult to add weights to these exercises, time under tension can build some serious formidable muscle.
4. Kettlebell Squats
What do you and a lot of gym rats have in common?
And while you may be working out in a tiny apartment, there’s no excuse.
The kettlebells you were using for swings can be used for squats. Make sure you have the hip mobility and ankle flexibility before attempting these at home.
And just like kettlebell snatches, use kettlebell lunges to iron out any imbalances.
There is no magical formula or neat tricks for squats. Everyone hates leg day for a reason but it’s gotta be done.
I’ll leave you with these words of caution:
At the gym, you have access to people and power racks. At home, you have neither. So make sure your squat form is on point because if you pinch, tweak, or pop something, no one’s coming to save you.
Don’t let a small apartment be your excuse not to get fit.
If you can keep in shape “out of the gym”, when you’re ready to get in there and lift some serious weight, you’ll be a lot better off.
Stay healthy, gentlemen.