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Unread 10-26-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
eebee
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Equipment-free workout tips?

Hey guys!

I've decided I've gotta work a little harder at getting in shape for my dream cosplays (Ashelin and Carmelita, both of whom have some pretty sweet muscles). I've already changed my diet a lot - cut out sweets and soda, added in a lot of fruits, cutting down on drinking - and it's definitely helping (my mom even noticed the difference the last time I visited home, and it felt pretty good that it was that noticeable, because I hadn't told her I was trying to lose weight or anything!).

I started doing some cardio just to help keep myself active, but I have a congenital problem with the ligaments in my ankles, so it's hard for me to do more than a mile or two at a time, every other day or so - the impact starts to hurt something fierce. Lots of people on this forum support resistance training, which I'd love to do, but unfortunately, I have no money for a gym membership (absolutely no money, so please don't say 'you can find gym membership deals for cheap!').

I'd really love to tone up my muscles though, and to that end, I thought I'd ask all you knowledgeable people what sort of workouts I can do at home on the ultra-cheap which might mimic the kind of strength training I could do in a gym. I am in decent physical condition (I was an athlete most of my life, but have sort of let myself go the last couple years, whoops), and have a workout partner available if any of the suggested exercises need another person. I'd love any suggestions for gaining some strength/definition in my arms, core, shoulders, etc.

Thanks so much!
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Unread 10-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #2
EastCoastKing
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I'd suggest the old fashioned, Charles Atlas workout course. Its all calisthenics and stretching, and it works.
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Unread 10-27-2012, 08:33 PM   #3
eebee
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I'd never even heard of that! Thanks for the tip!
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Unread 10-28-2012, 02:48 AM   #4
Gabriel79a
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If you want to develop muscles, the long distance cardio (even a mile) needs to go. You will benefit much more from several shorter harder sprints. I like 300 meters or so and I do it up hill which is good if you can because it is much easier on the joints (like your ankles and my knee).

As for other exercises, the stables are lunges, squats (body weight or weighted if you can), pushups, pullups, and dips. Add in some abs (I love the plank) and you have a pretty good all around workout. Also check out Body Rock TV. They do some great stuff with little to no equipment. Good Luck!
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Unread 10-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #5
eebee
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thanks for the tips! Manhattan is pretty flat, but I can probably get some uphill sprints in around Central Park until it starts to snow.

Got my boyfriend to agree to start strength training with me today. When he gets up, I'll get some starting point pics, and probably use this board as a progress tracker for myself. =)
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Unread 11-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
Em1nAI
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Here's what I would suggest to start with. This is a full body circuit.

Go through these exercises one after the other with the minimal amount of rest between each exercise, this doesn't mean you have to rush the exercise itself, in fact form is important, just transition quickly. Then after the whole set of exercises, rest 1-2 minutes and repeat this 3 times.

5 minute warm up/stretching: light jog or similar to get the blood flowing and well warmed up

6 exercise circuit (x3):
Jump Squat 10-15 reps
Push Up 15-20 reps
Pull Up 10-15 reps
Walking Lunge 10-15 reps (each leg)
Dips (tricep) 10-15 reps
Inverted Pull Ups 10-15 reps

I'd suggest if you haven't done them already...look up a video on proper form so you're getting the most out of the workout.
a)On jump squats, the deeper you squat, and the more energetic your leap up into the air the better...and yes it gets harder on the last set to do that.
b)Either main way, on knees or toes. If you can...do a real push up (on toes) it'll do you more good in my opinion. To vary the difficulty if you desire even further...elevate your feet but keep your hands on the floor. Or if you can put you hands on some kind of block basically elevated off the floor, you can go deeper when going down. I love doing push ups this way personally.
c)Pull ups are tough, and are hard if you haven't done them (a lot of girls can't really even do them). But pull ups are an essential and fantastic way to work your back and arms primarily. If you can't do them have somebody hold your knees and help you up with each rep. Take your time. If you can only do 2 at at time...then do that 5 times. If you look up a video and it doesn't say, keep an arch in your back throughout the rep, or think of it as puffing your chest out. And for your grip. Grip doesn't matter wide (outside shoulder) or narrow (inside shoulder).
d)For lunges if you can hold something heavy in your hands it'll be better, but body weight ones are fine, again the deeper you lower you go the better.
e)Dips are great for those triceps and shoulders. There are two kinds of dips the kind where your body is upright (these done using a dip bar) and then tricep dips is when you put your hands on a bench or chair, put your legs out in front of you (on floor, or for more difficulty also elevated on chair or bench) and lower yourself down so your bum almost touches the floor. This is the one you should do. Go deep! Your elbow should ideally be bent 90 degrees when you are at the bottom, and I guarantee you will feel this exercise within the first six reps, my arms get nice and tight when I do these, even without a 45 pound plate in my lap.
f)You might not be able to do this one. (look up a video if you haven't heard of it) An inverse pull up is when you grab a bar or something that is closer to the ground, and you put your legs out in front of you and pull your chest up as close to the bar as possible. Sorta like an upside down push up of sorts...or is that downside up? hehe not sure. This is a good one for back as well if you can do it.

Then after the 3 circuits do a 5 minute cool down/stretching. And naturally drink water during this workout! If you have any more questions or need more clarity, feel free to ask!

~Em1nAI
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Unread 11-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
eebee
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Em1nAI: Thanks for the suggestions! I think I can do all of those except the pullups; my grip strength isn't quite good enough to use the doorframe, and my current budget doesn't allow for one of those doorway bars, but when it does, I'll get one and add those to my routine.

So far, I've been doing pushups, planks, and squats during my dedicated workout time, and I've found the Charles Atlas exercises really amazingly convenient to do on the train or for a few minutes at work, etc, and I can definitely feel them affecting my shoulders and posture.

thanks everyone for your help!
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Unread 11-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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There's also yoga.
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Unread 11-06-2012, 05:20 AM   #9
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plastic garden chairs are awesome for everything. You can use them for stretches, weights and cardio
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Unread 11-06-2012, 08:32 AM   #10
Slapthefatcat
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Basically what Gabriel said. Resistance bands are fairly cheap and are useful for adding resistance to normal bodyweight exercises.
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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:09 AM   #11
EastCoastKing
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Charles Atlas knew his stuff. A chair can indeed be a marvelous piece of equipment for a basic home workout-just ask Jack Lalanne. I have recently been looking into sliders myself; these are similar to the discs you would use to move heavy furniture, and they can allowe you to move your limbs in a smooth, nonstop motion-as well as work your muscles in ways that normal calisthenics do not. Might be worth tossing in for variety.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
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My favorite go to is http://www.youtube.com/user/ToneItUpcom. The Tone It Up Girls post free workout videos every Tuesday, with focus on building long lean muscles and I'd say 90 percent of the time it's without equipment. They also run a blog which is fun to follow, and they run fitness challenges twice a year for eight weeks a time that are guided day by day. The whole community from Tone It Up is super supportive and I myself have lost about 10 pounds following them. I highly recommend them as I've seen such great results!
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Unread 11-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #13
eebee
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Thanks for your tips, everyone! Luckily work is becoming slightly more easy to find, so while gym memberships are still way out, I might have a little cash to spare for a pullup bar and some resistance bands. =)
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Unread 11-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #14
kikamontanez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eebee View Post
Hey guys!

I've decided I've gotta work a little harder at getting in shape for my dream cosplays (Ashelin and Carmelita, both of whom have some pretty sweet muscles). I've already changed my diet a lot - cut out sweets and soda, added in a lot of fruits, cutting down on drinking - and it's definitely helping (my mom even noticed the difference the last time I visited home, and it felt pretty good that it was that noticeable, because I hadn't told her I was trying to lose weight or anything!).

I started doing some cardio just to help keep myself active, but I have a congenital problem with the ligaments in my ankles, so it's hard for me to do more than a mile or two at a time, every other day or so - the impact starts to hurt something fierce. Lots of people on this forum support resistance training, which I'd love to do, but unfortunately, I have no money for a gym membership (absolutely no money, so please don't say 'you can find gym membership deals for cheap!').

I'd really love to tone up my muscles though, and to that end, I thought I'd ask all you knowledgeable people what sort of workouts I can do at home on the ultra-cheap which might mimic the kind of strength training I could do in a gym. I am in decent physical condition (I was an athlete most of my life, but have sort of let myself go the last couple years, whoops), and have a workout partner available if any of the suggested exercises need another person. I'd love any suggestions for gaining some strength/definition in my arms, core, shoulders, etc.

Thanks so much!

There's actually a lot you can do. You can definitely go running. I go to the gym and go running and I actually prefer to go running. Just make sure if you decide to go walking/running that if you're going to walk, take long, striding steps and try to split your time between running and walking. Also, take the stairs EVERYWHERE. Escalators and elevators are your enemy! If you live in apartment complex, walk up and down the stairs all over the complex. It's truly a workout.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 08:48 PM   #15
eebee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikamontanez View Post
There's actually a lot you can do. You can definitely go running. I go to the gym and go running and I actually prefer to go running. Just make sure if you decide to go walking/running that if you're going to walk, take long, striding steps and try to split your time between running and walking. Also, take the stairs EVERYWHERE. Escalators and elevators are your enemy! If you live in apartment complex, walk up and down the stairs all over the complex. It's truly a workout.
Hahaha, I'm broke, my apartment building doesn't even have an elevator. Elevators are strictly for the wealthy in Manhattan.
I can't actually go running a whole lot because of joint problems in my ankles. I was looking at good tips for strength/muscle tone workouts, which all these great folks already helped me out with! =)
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