There’s no daylight when your alarm clock goes off, you’ve logged more miles than you’d like to count on the dreadmill, and — duh — it’s really cold out there.


It’s no surprise that any motivation to get outdoors and work up a sweat has gone the way of the groundhog and buried itself until spring. But don’t let the season be an excuse to stray from those resolutions and lose your workout mojo. We’ve rounded up our favorite calorie-busting workouts that can be done indoors to get through these final weeks of winter. And who knows — you might even find a workout you’ll want to do all year long.

1. Ride it out. 

So the idea of wiping out on black ice or feeling the cold breeze freeze your face while bike riding isn’t appealing? Spin class might be for you. These intense indoor cycling classes can burn up to hundreds of calories and keep bones strong. Interval-based rides will also strengthen the butt, thighs, calves, and even the core. No helmet necessary.

2. Lap it up.

It’s never too early to dig up that swimsuit. Head to your gym or community center’s indoor pool to get in a few solid swims before summer hits. This low-impact exercise lets athletes exercise longer without excess muscle strain, and might even beat yoga when it comes to improving breathing technique. Bonus: An improved mood, and a leaner physique to boot.

3. Resistance train. 

No need to venture outside — a gym isn’t required for these 50 bodyweight exercises, guaranteed to improve strength and endurance with just body resistance alone. Try this 30-minute workout, complete with high-intensity supersets, to get a heart-pumping resistance workout without any dumbbells, machines, or plates.

4. Hit a wall. 

An indoor rock climbing wall, that is. This non-traditional cardio workout really hits the mark for those who want to exercise their mental strength (what happens to my legs if my arms go here?). But it’s about physical prowess as well — scaling indoor walls will increase heart rates and torch up to 650 calories per hour. Not only does it work the arm muscles, it activates the legs, back, and shoulders as well. Cue the bragging rights once you’ve reach the top!

5. Lace up. 

Ice skating isn’t just for kids. If it’s too cold for outdoor skating to be fun, head to your local indoor rink to carve up the ice. Aside from being super fun, skating tones the legs, core, and butt, along with smaller, stabilizing muscles that assist with balance and coordination. At a moderate pace, ice skating also burns about 500 calories per hour (and that’s not counting those bonus points for jumps and spins!).

6. Just dance. 

Though barre-based workouts hit the States in the 70s, it wasn’t until the past few years that they skyrocketed in popularity — and with good reason. The ballet-inspired moves combine elements of yoga, Pilates, and weight training to lengthen and tone muscles. And guys, don’t be shy. While the moves generally use just bodyweight and the barre, you’ll be surprised at just how challenging the classes can be. No studios nearby? DVDs like Physique 57 Classic 56 Minute Full Body Workout or The Bar Method’s Change Your Body Workout can be great at-home alternatives (just substitute a chair for the barre).

7. Drop and give us 10. 

Still looking to kick-start those fitness goals? A boot camp workout might be the right fit. Inspired by military training, these booty-busting sessions combine strength training moves with high-intensity cardio to deliver a serious full-body workout. While many boot camps are conducted at local parks or track fields, many have indoor options, particularly in the winter. Before committing to a longer series, consider test-driving a boot camp-inspired class at your local gym or community center first.

8. Get your gloves up. 

Make like Rocky and get to a kick-butt boxing class. A few rounds in the ring provide a full-body workout as you duck, block, and throw punches. And because the moves focus on cardio and conditioning to keep stamina up in the ring, you’ll tone muscles rather than bulking up. The winning card: Technique is more important than experience, so it’s OK to be a newbie.

9. Zen out. 

Give your mind and body a workout with yoga. Believed to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue, yoga also improves strength and flexibility through a variety of asanas (or poses). It’s also an ideal indoor cross-training activity for more cardio-intense activities like running. From Vinyasa flow to hot and sweaty Bikram yoga, there’s a style to suit just about anyone’s needs and interests.

10. Slow your roll. 

Combining martial arts moves with slow motions and deep breathing techniques, tai chi is a low-impact exercise with its roots in ancient China. According to Chinese philosophy, tai chi helps balance yin and yang, opposing forces that need to be kept in check. Lucky for us, it has also been found to improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve balance. Get started at a class to learn proper forms before continuing practice on your own.

11. Carve the core. 

If you want to define your core and increase flexibility, strength training through Pilates is a great option. The moves, which can be modified to fit any fitness level, are designed to condition the body (with an emphasis on the core) and improve balance. Feeling a little more adventurous? Take your Pilates mat skills to the Reformer, a machine that will really put that strength, balance, and coordination to the test.

12. Jump on it. 

Unleash the kid in you and hop to the nearest trampoline. This bouncy childhood favorite is the latest fitness craze, and not just because it’s super fun. Just six minutes of cardio moves on a trampoline is the equivalent to running, oh, about a mile. And thanks to the trampoline’s low-impact cushioning, joints are protected as you jump up and down. Try a local trampoline class or visit a trampoline park like Sky Zone to bust a move.

13. Dodge balls. 

As in, play a game of dodgeball. A gym class favorite, the game is a fun way to get moving with a group of friends. It’s not all fun and games, though. Dodgeball delivers a surprisingly good cardio workout, moving in all planes of motion as you duck and fly over your opponent’s strikes. After a few vigorous games, you might find yourself more sore than expected — hopefully not from a ball to the forehead (ouch!).

14. Get fast and furious. 

If you haven’t tried plyometrics, get ready for an intense workout with seemingly simple moves. Plyometrics workouts incorporate explosive movements like tuck jumps, jumping jacks, and single-leg hops to improve cardio endurance and strength. Just remember: Our bodies adapt to challenging workouts faster than you’d think, so be sure to keep switching up that plyo routine. For a great at-home option, check out the Insanity Workouts.




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