The quiet workout

Maybe I’m just drawn to the types of workouts that are more intense on the volume, but working out seems to be a pretty loud thing. Between the Zumba screaming, loud sighing/breathing in yoga and plyometric jumps, when I’m working out, you know.

Zumba  1 of 1 2

This is one of the huge reasons I haven’t been working out at home much.. there’s no way I’m waking up Liv.

When I think about at-home workouts, I vividly remember the days when I had an upstairs apartment and would worry about my downstairs neighbor hearing my jumping jacks.

For all of my fellow mamas with babies napping, or apartment/condo-dwellers, this workout is for you πŸ˜‰

Quiet workout1

The quiet workout:

Warm up first (try foam rolling, marches with high knees, then into a practice round of squats, pushups and lunges)

Repeat the following moves in a circuit, completing up to 3 sets of each move (for example, do 15 squats, then your 10 lunge kicks on each side, into kettlebell swings, all the way through the circuit, then repeat 1-2 times)

*As always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes. Honor your body and modify as necessary.

Quiet workout

Squats (15); regular bodyweight squat (sit BACK and down; make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes. If you want to make things more exciting, hold a flat weight or dumbbells)

Kettlebell/dumbbell swings (15); make sure that you use a heavy enough weight and “snap” your booty into place- like someone hit you on the bum with a ruler. This movement should drive from your hips and glutes. Watch this video for proper form.Β 

Lunge to front kick (10 on each side); step back into a wide lunge position and complete your lunge (watch your front knee and keep the weight in your heel). Then bring your back leg forward into a high kick, using your core to lift your leg. Repeat on the other side.

Pushups (as many as you can do in one minute; aim for 20); if you can, do at least one on your toes. From there, you can always drop to your knees, but remember to keep your hips in line with your body.

Plank (1 minute); here are some plank variations if you want to switch things up each time.

Hip raise (15 up and down; 30 second hold); you can use a stability ball for your bridge (and add in a hamstring roll if you’d like), or do it with knees bent and feet planted on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and thighs to raise your hips off the ground, then lower down without touching the floor.

Double crunches (15); or your favorite ab exercise (more ways to crunch are here).

Do you ever do quiet workouts? Whats your favorite silent exercise move? Mine is definitely the plank. I love to hate it, but it works so many muscles at the same time, especially the transverse abdominis, which helps pull your waist in like a corset.

If you try the workout, please let me know how it goes!



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  1. kristin on April 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Gina!
    Love all the workout tips and following your family. I was wondering if you have any advice for exercises that I can do that would replace squats and lunges? I have a bad knee and the rubbing of bone-on-bone when I squat or lunge is not worth it. My knee swells and is full of pain for days! I go to a plyometrics class once a week and she tends to put some squats and lunges in quite a bit. I’m usually pretty good at improvising, but could use some fresh ideas for substitutions. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on April 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      how do side leg lifts, hip extensions, and bridges feel?

      • kristin on April 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm

        I’ve only really ever had problems with squats and lunges. These sound like great ideas. Thank you!!!

        • Fitnessista on April 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

          perfect! glad that helped a little πŸ™‚

  2. Leigh-Ann on April 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    i live on the second floor in my apartment complex so this is totally for me! Thanks πŸ™‚
    Also, ROLL TIDE!…i go to the university of AL and just learned the pilot did too!

    • Fitnessista on April 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      roll tide! πŸ™‚

  3. Jeannie on April 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    This workout looks great …def will try.
    I know you teach classes at the resort so i was curious if the ppl who take ur classes are all guests or do they have memberships at the resort gym?
    Wondering if you are always meeting new ppl or same gym members. Random ques. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on April 10, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      we have a mix of the two: guests that come in and out, and homeowners/members who are regulars

      • Jeannie on April 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        That’s really cool to meet all the guests yet still get to know the regulars. Your job seems great!

        • Fitnessista on April 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

          yes, i’m very lucky <3 i love it.

  4. Karissa on April 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I am currently that girl in the upstairs apartment doing Insanity and Turbo Fire and trying to remind myself to BE QUIET when I’m jumping (not an easy thing for me, I’m not exactly graceful)! I’ll probably be using this even though I’m not a mama- I work out sometimes weird hours and try to avoid the puppy.

  5. Kandi on April 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I agree…also have a bad knee and would love some substitutions for lunges and squats because. Know how effective they are.

  6. Molly Polk on April 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    This is perfect! We live on the top floor of a condo unit. I bet I bother the neighbors when I am jumping all around so this workout gets the job done without making the neighbors annoyed. Thanks!

  7. Sarah Jane on April 10, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    This is perfect timing! I usually work out at my apartment on Fridays, last week I was doing a zumba video and my neighbor from below came up and asked if I could be quieter, I felt really bad but he was really nice about. I will try this on Friday and hopefully it is better

  8. Emily on April 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I LOVE THIS! Everything I do in my apartment is accompanied by a “will my downstairs neighbors hear this?” thought, so working out at home is a rare event for me.

  9. Erin @ The Grass Skirt on April 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Ha! I love this. I remember trying to do jumping jacks quietly when I lived in my college apartment, and now that I have a baby, this workout is greatly appreciated.

  10. Emily on April 10, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    I actually really appreciate this! I have a roommate and sometimes my only option is to sneak a workout in first thing in the morning when she’s still sleeping. I’m constantly trying to come up with quieter routines so I’m definitely going to try this one!

  11. Janet on April 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Gina. How did you find time to fit in workouts postpartum? My baby is 4 weeks old and I’m physically ready to hit the gym but cant’ seem to find a time for consistent workouts?

    • Fitnessista on April 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      i waited about 6 weeks to get back into a semi-regular gym routine, but it was pretty sporadic based on how i was feeling. i was tired ALL the time, so sometimes sleep took priority over the gym at night. for a while, nighttime workouts was the only way to squeeze it in (because then tom was home and could stay with her), unless i did a quick dvd or naptime workout at home. it will get easily and better with time!

  12. Erin kl on April 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I never the days of worrying about neighbors in an apartment. These seem great for a hotel as well, thanks !

    • Erin kl on April 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      *I remember*

      Not sure what autocorrect was doing!

  13. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde on April 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Such a great idea – thanks for putting this together, Gina! I live in an apartment and worry about bugging my downstairs neighbor.

  14. Allison @ Train Eat Repeat on April 11, 2013 at 12:44 am

    very nice. I don’t ever need to be quiet, I live on the bottom floor so I can jump all I want since no one is underneath me, and I dont have a baby. but its good to keep in mind for the future, that it IS possible to get a great workout in, at home and not disturb anyone

  15. lucie on April 11, 2013 at 2:28 am

    Love this, thank you! I live in the first floor – normally I just do my workouts in the parc. But when it’s raining I got to stay home so this is perfect !

  16. Tory on April 11, 2013 at 7:50 am

    As an early morning exerciser I’m sure my downstairs neighbors hated me whenever I’d be doing plyos at 5:30 a.m. Now my loudest exercise is box jumps, because I do them onto an old toybox that houses my old CDs. Let’s just say 100+ lbs can rattle a lot of CDs.

  17. Marcie on April 11, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Thank you for posting this! I live in a small house and workouts when my son is sleeping can be tough. I just completed this workout while he was napping and it was a success! I also included some tricep exercises with weights. Sometimes I do some punching as well to up the heartrate.

  18. Nellie on April 11, 2013 at 9:08 am

    this is perfect for the gym when it’s busy. I always get self conscious trying to do my own circuits but this one looks ideal for not drawing too much attention to myself – I’m easily distracted by other people jumping around and don’t want to do the same.

  19. Greta on April 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I prefer to work out early in the morning, but when the weather is not suited for running outside, and the rest of the house (husband and upstairs neighbors) are still sleeping, this is perfect! I enjoy your workouts so much. I’m thinking about printing out my favorites and posting them on a board so that they’re right in front of me and I don’t waste time looking for them. No excuses. πŸ™‚

    Any suggestions on alternative moves for the bridge and double crunch without involving the ball? No room for a ball in my apartment.

    Thanks again, I love your blog!

  20. Sarah @ Yogi in Action on April 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Loud workouts are the best! I love to dance so anytime I can pump up the music and shake my booty- it’s a good time.

    I use to live in an apartment as well, and I’m pretty sure my neighbours hated me because no matter if I was doing the dishes, folding laundry or doing any other mundane chore- I had music going and was dancing around.

    My favourite silent workout would be anything wtih abs- I love the burn!

  21. Nina @ Too Hottie For That Body on April 11, 2013 at 9:34 am

    LOL people have no idea the painstaking measures a woman will take to insure she doesn’t wake up her baby. Every time I avoid the creaky spot on the floor outside of her room I can envision her as a teenager doing the same sneaky moves as me hoping I sleep like a baby.

  22. Rachel on April 11, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I love how you are wearing a different outfit in everyone of the pics! Haha I bet it saves a lot of time since you already have the photos from past workouts!

    Even without a baby, this looks like at home workout.. i live in a trailer and jumping up and down may equal going through the floor, so we try to avoid things like jump-squats indoors! Thanks for posting!

  23. Alexandra on April 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Is it bad if I close my office door and do this right now? haha Thanks for the great workout, Gina!

  24. Heidi on April 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

    This is awesome! The ninja workout πŸ˜‰ I, too, used to live in an apartment and would totally stress about people hearing me!

  25. Melissa @TryingtoHeal on April 11, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Great workout Gina. I wish I had thought of a circuit like this when I was staying in hotels all the time…I always felt so loud when I was doing my plyo jumps and pounding on the ground…on the 3rd or 4th floor!

  26. Vesna Fit Missy on April 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Awesome workout!!

  27. Britta on April 11, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I tried Zumba for the first time yesterday, and all I could think about was, “I wonder want Gina’s classes are like compared to this one” – I am not sure I love it…yet, but I think I need to give it another shot for sure πŸ˜‰

  28. Solveig on April 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Perfect! I’m def doing this this afternoon! I live on the third floor in an apt building and the one time I did Insanity in my apartment, the guy below me banged on his ceiling until I stopped. :p

  29. Elizabeth Grace on April 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    This is great! With small children nap time is a great time to work out. And being quiet during nap time is of the utmost importance! Thanks

  30. Emily on April 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Haha, this is brilliant! In college I tried to time riding my bike trainer when the downstairs neighbors were out. Bike trainers are LOUD. Anyway, I had the music cranked and the trainer going, all rocking out and everything, and I didn’t hear them knocking. Because they were indeed home studying for exams when I thought they were out. Oops!

    They also called the cops on us once when my husband was play-chasing me around the apartment and I was screaming “get away from me!” during a boozy Friday night poker night with friends. But that’s another story. (Note to self: when a cop knocks on the door, do not respond with “It’s open, you f***er!”) Good times.

    Anyway, this will be great for naptime!

  31. Eli on April 12, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Love a quiet workout! I always worried I would wake up the flat below with my burpees at 5am! Love that the workout doesn’t have to be easy to be quiet! πŸ™‚

  32. Lauren on April 12, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Wow !!! This is an awesome workout !! I did 2 rounds in 22 mins.
    I love a quick workout I can do if I’m time crunched.

  33. Greta on April 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Did 3 rounds of the quiet workout this morning. Pushups and plank were the most difficult, but they made me sweat. Loved it!

  34. Erica on April 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Thanks Gina, this was the first workout of yours I tried… and I loved it! A great compliment to running πŸ˜€

  35. Hannah J on April 15, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Awesome workout! I’m in a 2nd floor apartment and feel awful when I make noise even though no one has complained. I did this yesterday and didn’t have to feel nervous about making the neighbors mad. Keep the quiet workouts coming! THANKS!!!

  36. Caitlyn on November 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Just tried this and I LOVE it!! There is so much going on in my house sometimes I can only workout in my bedroom which is above my dads office so this is great for me!

  37. In Home Personal Trainer Glendale on November 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I love it. As a personal Trainer I love to learn different workouts and “the quiet workout” caught my eye. I like to workout in silence!!

  38. Ali on September 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Gina, this workout is great! Do you have any similar types of workouts for people in upstairs apartments or could you recommend good (and quiet!) workout videos? I love Jillian but the jumping is too loud. Sometimes I don’t want to leave the house (or just want to get something in really quick) but I live on the fifth floor. I don’t really want the neighbors calling the courtesy officer on me! πŸ˜€

    • Fitnessista on September 2, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      what about something like piyo? that seems like it would be low impact but you’d still get a great workout

      • Ali on September 2, 2014 at 1:04 pm

        Thank you! I will check this out!

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