Motivated to hit the gym but don’t want to wreck that amazing blowout? If you’ve ever come across times when you want to squeeze in that lunch time workout, but have an important presentation or dinner date later in the day, you’re not alone. Fortunately, we’ve come to learn that some of the best workouts don’t necessarily have to leave you drenched.
The trick to achieving an effective workout lies in the intensity, and it’s a common misconception to think that your engines need to be fully revved to reap the benefits. The sweat-free workouts that made the list might be a slower pace, but occasionally tweaking your workout intensity can help you gain a better understanding of your body while targeting specific muscle groups.
It also helps that they simultaneously improve flexibility and mobility, so you get a chance to stretch out that pesky ache from sitting at the desk all day. The best part? These sweat-free workouts help bring the focus back to perfecting that mind-body connection, which will surely leave you feeling refreshed for the rest of the day.
So if you don’t have the luxury of time — or a decent bathroom — to shower in, don’t fret; here are five workouts that will let you reap the benefits, sans the sweat.
Once exclusively used by athletes and therapists, these knot-attacking cylinders have caught onto the mainstream quickly over the past few years for being an effective and inexpensive way to improve flexibility and mobility. Also known as self-myofascial release, which is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness and trigger points, the foam roller is also an effective warm-up tool. To up the ante a notch, use it as an exercise tool; its unstable surface makes it a great total-body toning device.
Not solely reserved for the Pilates studio, these oversized rubber bands are great for getting your stretch on while toning muscles, especially when you’re tight on space. Resistance stretching uses tension on the muscle while it’s in the elongated position, which helps with strengthening your entire range of motion. If you’re planning on a quick workout during lunch, use the resistance band for squats, lateral raises and bent-over rows to get those sleepy muscles going again.
Even out frazzled nerves while getting toned? Sign us up. The benefits of yoga have been widely documented over the years, and deservedly so. The best part is you don’t have to be drenched in sweat by the end of practice to know that you had a good run. Even a simple sun salutation pose — a move which focuses on breathing and the mind-body connection — can affect your body physically.
Designed to lengthen and tone muscles, this ballet-inspired class uses balls, small weights and resistant bands for a seemingly harmless workout that will leave your body aching the next day. It effectively targets specific groups of muscles with small pulses of movement which guarantee that satisfying workout burn. Although you won’t be dripping in sweat, you’ll feel the workout getting more intense as you try to keep up for the entire duration.
The good news is you won’t have to move a muscle. The bad news is that it’ll hurt — a lot. You’ll know this if you’ve tried holding a plank before. Static moves build tendon and ligament strength, while helping the body learn the right form for the normal repetitive movement. You won’t require any equipment — only your own body weight — so it’s extremely convenient too.