Isometric (No Noise!) Workout

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)One of the most frequent requests I get when it comes to at-home workouts is for them to be quiet. Maybe you’re in an apartment unit on the fourth floor and want to respect your downstairs neighbor. Maybe you’ve got a little one at home taking a nap and want to squeeze in a workout without waking her. Whatever the reason, thuds and creaking floorboards from jumping around can be a nuisance and hindrance to working out at home. I ran into this problem all the time when I lived in an apartment building in the North End—I felt terrible working out before and after work because I knew it would bother the people below me (I did it anyway though because, well, I’m selfish).

So how do you exercise without the noise associated with moving your body? Well, you could simply not move it. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this! Today’s workout is a series of isometric holds. Your muscles will burn, and your neighbors/roommates will thank you.

This is also a great one to do if you’re trying to workout on a lunch break or another occasion when you don’t want to get drenched in sweat. No shower required after this workout (well, this is coming from someone who will use any excuse not to shower haha).

Isometric Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • A pair of 5-lb hand weights (optional—you can just use bodyweight)
  • Exercise mat

You’ll hold each position for 30 seconds and then move right onto the next without taking a break. After you’ve held each one for 30 seconds, do the same thing, holding each for 60 seconds. Once you’ve completed the 30-sec round and 60-sec round, take a one minute break. Repeat for a total of 3 times through (6 total rounds). This workout will take you just under 40 minutes to complete. If you’re short on time or a beginner, eliminate a round, going through twice instead of three times.

You can hold a pair of hand weights as you go through these for an added challenge or simply use your bodyweight. These are basic exercises, so I haven’t included written descriptions, but leave a comment should any questions arise!

  • Lunge (right foot forward)
  • Lunge (left foot forward)
  • Squat
  • Side Plank (right)
  • Side Plank (left)
  • Plank
  • Superman Hold
  • Lateral Raise Hold

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)

WEARING | leggings: c/o Ellie  (use code nicoleperr20 to get 20% off your first order!) // tank: Athleta

During the last 60-second rounds, I had to drop the weight during the superman hold. Oh man, it was brutal.

P.S. If you constantly find yourself with the workout noise issue, my number one recommendation is to invest in a kettlebell. KB swings are the BEST way to silently get cardio and strength benefits from an exercise. Your heart rate will rise and your muscles will burn, all while keeping your feet planted firmly (and quietly) on the ground.


Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

Quick Bodyweight Ab WorkoutToday’s ab workout is inspired by the megaformer class I teach at Btone. In Lagree Fitness, you work one muscle group at a time before moving onto the next, so when designing an ab sequence, you want to group ab exercises together, right oblique exercises together, and left oblique exercises together. You also stay on each ab exercise for 60 seconds (most of the time), which is what I’ve done here.

Ok, I guess those are pretty much the only similarities haha. Regardless, this workout is quick, challenging, and requires no equipment. You can pair it with cardio (maybe do it before or after a long run), or do it on its own when you’re short on time and want to fire up your core muscles. 

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll do each exercise for a minute before moving directly into the next (no resting between!). I used my Gymboss Interval Timer and set the “work” interval for 60 seconds and the “rest” interval for 0 seconds so that it would beep every minute, signaling me to switch exercises. The workout targets abs, right oblique, left oblique, abs, in that order. This workout will take you 13 minutes.

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

  • Plank
  • 1 Plank Jump 5 Plank Jacks: Start in a plank position. Jump both feet up towards your hands and then back into plank position. Jump feet out wide to the sides and back in (like a horizontal jumping jack) 5 times. Continue the sequence.
  • Knee Hug Full-Body Crunches:Start laying on your back, legs extended and hovering, arms outstretched overhead (shoulders lifted off ground, core engaged). Do a full body crunch, lifting your torso and crunching in your knees so that you can hug them. Extend back out, lowering onto back.
  • Boat Pose:If you practice yoga, you’re probably familiar with boat pose. Sit in a “V” pose with legs held straight up at about a 45-degree angle with the ground and arms out straight. If it’s too difficult to keep your legs straight, bend them at the knee for Half Boat Pose.
  • Side V Crunches RIGHT:Start laying on your side with bottom arm stretched outwards on the ground for support. Do a side crunch, lifting your legs up and crunching them in to meet your elbow and raised torso.
  • Side Plank RIGHT
  • Alternating Crossbody Knee Tucks: Start in a plank position. Bring your left knee to touch the right elbow, then your right knee to touch the left elbow. Make contact!
  • Side Plank LEFT
  • Side V Crunches LEFT
  • Boat Pose
  • Knee Hug Full-Body Crunches
  • 1 Plank Jump 5 Plank Jacks
  • Plank

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

WEARING | leggings: c/o Ellie  (use code nicoleperr20 to get 20% off your first order!) / tank: Lululemon

Can you get through the entire 13 minutes without taking a break? Let me know in the comments!


“No-Rest” Tabata Workout with Isometric Holds

"No-Rest" Tabata Workout with Isometric HoldsDisclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

Gooooooood morning! I know the Monday after Fourth of July weekend is, well, the worst, but I’ve got an awesome, no-frills bodyweight workout for you today, and there’s nothing like a good sweat to brighten your mood. Actually, I take that back—there’s nothing like a good sweat and a new workout outfit to brighten your mood…

Target(R) C9 activewearI recently got the opportunity to try out a couple pieces from the Target® C9 activewear collection, and decided on the Run Short with Knit Waistband and Sporty Layered Run Tank. They come in lots of color options, and I went with a fun, printed combo.

Especially now that it’s a million degrees outside with this good ol’ New England humidity, the shorts are perfect. The waistband is wide and comfortable; there’s a little key pocket attached to the inside lining; the material is lightweight; and there’s a built-in brief, which I always like. I still wear underwear with it, but I find that the built-in helps keep the shorts in place and prevents them from riding up as I run (adjusting your shorts every few steps is the worst!).

The tank is great, too! The built-in bra is supportive enough to do high-intensity workouts and run (if you’re using this as a buying guide, keep in mind I have a small-ish chest), and the cut is really flattering. I love the bra-with-flowy-tank-attached look, so this was right up my alley.

The best part, as with all apparel from Target®, is the price! You can get both items for about $40. The only downside to affordability is that I’ll run into Target® for paper towels and leave with like four new outfits, a couple DVDs, a new bath mat…oops. Anyone else have that problem? :)

Alright now that you’ve got something to wear, let’s do today’s workout…

“No-Rest” Tabata Workout with Isometric Holds

In a traditional tabata workout, you complete 20 seconds of work and then get 10 seconds of rest. Today, we’re swapping out the rest period with an isometric hold. This is a great workout to do when you’re traveling or don’t have any equipment at your disposal—you need very little space and nothing but your bodyweight.

Equipment I Used:

  • Gymboss Interval Timer
  • Exercise mat

You’ll stay on each exercise for 4 minutes, using tabata intervals: 8 rounds of 20 seconds of movement and 10 seconds of holding. Once you’ve completed all 8 rounds, you’ll do the same thing for the next exercise. As an example, for the first exercise, you’d do jump squats for 20 seconds then hold a deep squat for 10 and then go right back into jumping, and so on and so on.

"No-Rest" Tabata Workout with Isometric Holds

  • Jump Squats / Hold Squat: Feet about shoulder width apart, squat down, sending hips back and booty down (don’t let your knees shoot out farther than your toes). Explosively jump straight up, swinging your arms back for momentum. Land softly back in that deep squat position. For the isometric, hold your squat. If you’re advanced, you can hold a set of dumbbells while you do this. If you’re a newbie or you have knee issues, take out the jump: just squat up and down and then hold it down.
  • Push Ups / Hold Lowered Push Up: Shoulders aligned over wrists, do push ups either from your toes or knees (I made it through the first two rounds on my feet, then dropped down to my knees). For the isometric, hold the lowered push up, elbows bent, and chest as close to the ground as you can get it.
  • Bridge Hip Thrusters / Hold Bridge: Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on ground. We’re working your booty here. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing those glutes. Lower back down, but not all the way—you never want to let your butt come to rest on the ground. For the isometric, thrust those hips high up towards the ceiling and hold ‘em there.
  • Mountain Climbers / Hold Plank: In a plank position, drive one knee forward, then the other, in a sort of horizontal running position. These should be quick! For the isometric, hold a plank position. If your wrists start to bother you, come onto your forearms for an elbow plank.
  • Leg Lifts / Hold Hover: Lay on your back, hands under your bum for support if needed (you want your lower back to stay glued to the ground as you do this—if you find it lifting up, placing your hands under your butt will help). Lift legs straight up, perpendicular to the ground and then lower them to where they’re hovering about 6” off the floor. For the isometric, hold that lowered, hovering position.

If you try this workout, leave a comment telling me the section that was hardest for you. Pushups definitely won that distinction for me! I tried to do “real” pushups, but after two rounds of those holds had to switch to my knees—and still struggled.

And if the pushups and mountain climbers in this workout aren’t enough to get your shoulders burning, check out this 5-minute video from Target® and POPSUGAR: