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How do U… workout at home?

Inexpensive and easy tips to get you started working out at home.

It’s a long list—things that have changed in our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, that includes a gym routine. Some fitness facilities have closed permanently while others closed briefly but have reopened with new mask and sanitizing protocols. Still, not everyone feels comfortable returning to a gym as the virus continues to spread.

Luckily, you don’t need an extra room in the house, a Peloton or a Boflex to workout at home. With very minimal room and little to no equipment, you can easily transition your workout routine without leaving the house.

April Pavelka, fitness manager for Campus Recreation Services, shares some tips on getting started working out at home.


Finding the motivation, time, and energy to fit in your daily exercise can be tough, whether you’re working out at home or in a gym. Luckily, if you can’t fit in one full 30-minute workout routine, you can break it up into 10-minute “exercise snacks.” Research shows that even bouts of exercise as short as 10 minutes spaced out throughout the day can provide the same benefits as doing the same amount at once.

What could these exercise snacks be? Maybe walking your dog around the block one extra time in the morning, shoveling the snow from your driveway or completing one of our free 10-minute HIIT videos.

If you’re trying to get in the habit of exercise, I love the concept of habit stacking, where you pair a new habit with one that you have already established. This could look like completing 20 jumping jacks before you brush your teeth or doing 10 burpees right before you get in the shower. By adding a new habit immediately before or after an already established habit, you’re more likely to stick with your new habit.


Any space in your home can work for most exercise routines, as long as you have about 10 square feet around you. It might be helpful to have carpet, a rug or a yoga mat available to make any floor work like pushups and situps more comfortable. If you want to increase your options and change up your exercises, using any type of sturdy furniture (like your couch or a dining room chair) that is about knee high is helpful for exercises like Bulgarian split squats (we have a video of these on our TikTok account @uofucampusrecutah), pushups or even glute bridges.

Makeshift equipment

If you don’t have barbells or resistance bands, you can always use things you probably already have at home. This is what we recommend to our participants:

  • Soup cans or water bottles are great for an upper-body workout.
  • To increase your weight for lower body exercises, grab a milk jug or a laundry detergent jug.
  • You can even grab a backpack and fill it with books to change the weight between exercises.


If you’re needing some ideas of workouts or prefer to follow along with an instructor, you can find a lot of great videos online. I’d encourage everyone to check out the Campus Rec YouTube channel. We have several guided workout videos up there including our free HIIT Fridays that are great workouts that just take about 10 minutes.

We also offer a $45 on-demand fitness pass for faculty and staff of the U. You don’t have to have a Student Life Center membership and the pass gives you access to weekly workouts for the entire semester ranging from a five-minute running warmup, to 30-minute express yoga classes, to hour-long cardio dance classes. You can purchase the pass here.

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