Fitness Workouts

How to train in a cramped flat

Can't make the gym? These exercises won't irritate doorbell-happy neighbours

Published:
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The Bed-Of-Death One

It happens every year: the end of oversized knitwear season means it’s time to at least try working out, but three film-on-demand subscriptions don’t leave a lot of wiggle room in the budget, and circuits on your kitchen floor hold little appeal. What you need is a way to stay in shape in a tight space – and this is where you start. “Use your bed to add intensity and resistance,” says MobFit’s Mark Briant. “Do 30 seconds each of triceps dips, Bulgarian split squats, and slow mountain climbers, resting 30 seconds after each move. Repeat for 10 minutes.”

The Cheapo-Dumbbells One

Ah, the old Argos spinlocks. So ubiquitous that you’ve wondered, from time to time, whether they don’t just spontaneously generate in shared flats. Like they’re watching. Waiting. For…anyway, biceps curls are fine and all, but throw in a chair and baby, you’ve got yourself a workout! “Do 15 curls, 15 squats to the chair, 10 press-ups and 10 seated shoulder-presses,” says Aaptiv’s Rochelle Moncourtois. “Finish off with a one-minute plank, eight reverse lunges on each leg and 10 Russian twists with one dumbbell. Repeat two or three times.”

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The I-Regret-My-Bravado One  

Hoo boy, signing up for a Tough Mudder sounded great after two bottles of the old 9% IPA, didn’t it? High-fives and everything. One bracingly cold shower later and 14 miles of mud and “#teamwork” seems less appealing, but at least you can be the one manfully propping everyone up as they haul themselves over a muddy, muddy wall. “Do 45 seconds of press-ups, plank shoulder taps, and walk-out press-ups, with a 15 second break between each,” suggests Mila Lazar, head of HIIT at Another_Space. “Then do the same for squats, lunges and reverse leg lifts.” Repeat three times for a 20 minute circuit that covers crawling, hill-running… and yes, some crying.

The Pre-Bottomless-Brunch One

The moment you saw the sign, something lit up deep in your reptilian brain. £30 for all the eggs benedict and Bloody Marys I can inhale? Friendo, you have made a mista… wait, though. Think. Do a cheeky little circuit first, tear up those glycogen reserves, and that endless Hollandaise should taste all the sweeter. “Do 10 Spider-Man press-ups, lunges, ice-skaters, V-sits and bicycle crunches,” says Alex Crockford, creator of workouts for interactive app Fiit, “Rest for 30 seconds, and repeat five times to increase your conditioning and torch fat.” Garçon! More butter!

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The Post-Marvel-Movie Euphoria One

It’s surely only months before science puts a name to the quite specific sense of regret that comes from mainlining all three Captain Americas before remembering that you can’t even throw a decent punch – but in the meantime, stave it off with an MMA-inspired workout that’ll leave your beautiful face-bones mercifully unmarred. “Start with 20 jab-cross-sprawl combos,” says pro fighter Helen Harper. “Then 30 wrestler sit-outs on each side. Grab a cushion off the sofa and hold it between your knees for 40 sit-ups, punching it every time you sit up. Finish with 50 front teep kicks, and repeat once.” Medic!

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