12 Exercises that Don’t Require a Gym Membership

The first year of my marriage involved me gaining about 80 pounds and then struggling to lose my newly gained weight. Thanks to some pretty good metabolism, I had always been pretty thin before my marriage, but once that metabolism slowed down I was lost—and bigger than what I was used to being. I could no longer maintain the diet that I had grown accustomed to eating and my activity level wasn’t as consistent as it needed to be.

My first step to dropping the 80 pounds was to join a very expensive gym. I went to that gym for about a year and didn’t lose any weight at all. In fact, I gained additional weight. I worked hard in the weight room, but the exercises I was doing weren’t geared towards weight loss and it showed in the results. Eventually I gave up on the gym, decided to cancel my membership, and exercise on my own at home and outside. About half a year later, I was 80 pounds lighter.

Here are 12 exercises that don’t require a gym (and helped me lose 80 pounds):

  • 12 Exercise That Don’t Require a Gym Membership 1 of 13

    Click through to see 12 exercises that can be done without the use of a gym.

  • Local Track 2 of 13

    I loved going to the local track in the evening to do some conditioning. Full 100 meter sprints were brutal and burned quite a few calories. They are like the power lifting routines of the running world. 

    Photo Credit: Flickr

  • Exercise Bike 3 of 13

    I've put thousands of miles on my exercise bike. I bought a cheap recumbent bike similar to this one and I'd set it up in front of the TV every night and spend an hour burning calories. I would often play video games or watch football games while riding the bike.

    Purchase at Amazon for $229.00

  • Pull-up Bar 4 of 13

    If there is one piece of exercise equipment I would own over all others, it would be a pull-up bar. Many pull-up bars can be set up in a doorway within seconds for easy use, and they can be used for all kinds of beneficial exercises. There are few exercises that are more beneficial than a good ol' fashioned pull-up. Works the back muscles, the stomach muscles, and the bicep muscles, and the standard pull-up can be modified in many ways depending on strength and need.

    Purchase at Amazon for $29.99

  • The Hill 5 of 13

    Finding a park with a few hills was an easy way for me to get in some good exercise. I would regularly use a hill with a fairly steep slope that was about 20 yards high that I would run sprints up. I would sprint up the hill and jog down the hill. Once I got to the bottom of the hill, I would immediately turn around and sprint back to the top of the hill.

  • The Mountain 6 of 13

    For those who are really motivated, hiking a mountain is a great way to burn some calories all while being entertained by the scenery. After a while I even tried jogging a few mountains and that was one heck of a good workout. 

  • The Bleachers 7 of 13

    Running stairs is another great way of adding an extra burn to your cardio routine and to strengthen the legs at the same time. Most towns have stairs at their high school stadiums just waiting to be used in the evenings. I used to run the bleachers for 3o minutes at a time. Running up one row and over to the next row and down and so on until I reached the end of the bleachers, and then I'd circle and do it all over again.

    Photo Credit: Flickr

  • Football Field 8 of 13

    My favorite place to exercise when not at the gym is on a football field. It's set up for all kinds of good exercise routines. The lines on the field allow for measured sprints and variations of those sprints, and because they're measured, it's easy to see the progress that is being made. My favorite was the later with up downs at each line. I would sprint five yards and drop to the ground and get back up and run back to where I started where I'd drop to the ground again. Then I'd immediately sprint 10 yards and so on.

    Photo Credit: Flickr

  • Dumbbells 9 of 13

    Dumbbells are a must for those who don't go to the gym. They're relatively inexpensive and take up very little space. They can be used for bicep curls and for triceps extensions. They can also be used to work the back and the legs. One of my least favorite routines was to take the dumbbells to the football field where I would do walking lunges for a set distance of anywhere from 50 yards to 100 yards. That was my least favorite routine because it was really hard, but really effective.

    Photo Credit: Flickr

  • Rope Exercise 10 of 13

    Rope exercises are a great way to burn some calories and add some definition to the arms. All it requires is a hook fastened to a wall somewhere and a relatively inexpensive rope that can be threaded through the hook when needed. Once threaded through the hook, take both ends of the rope and slam the rope to the ground over and over again for timed intervals and challenge yourself to get a certain number of slams within each interval time frame.

    Photo Credit: Flickr

  • Yoga 11 of 13

    I'm tired of hearing guys tell me that yoga is for girls. Yoga is tough and I absolutely hated doing it, but once it was over with I usually felt better then I did following any other exercise routine. Plus, yoga can easily be done at home. Yoga instructors are available on DVDs and on TV to help you through yoga routines. 

  • The Heavy Bag 12 of 13

    Heavy bags are getting more and more popular. They're somewhat inexpensive and they can be hung almost anywhere and taken down again and stored with ease. Most of my friends have them set up in their garages. Hitting a heavy bag is a great way to give my arms and core a good workout.

    Photo Credit: Flickr

  • The Simple Jog 13 of 13

    Jogging is the easy go-to exercise. I jogged almost daily and I varied the location and surface from day to day. My favorite place to jog was around a soccer field at the local park. I didn't jog with any kind of purpose other than to burn calories, but there aren't many other exercises that can be done that burn calories as efficiently and as long as jogging.

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