4 simple, effective workouts that can replace going to the gym

These exercises help you get in touch with what’s real and beautiful: you.

My workout time is a filter that pulls out worries, stresses, fears and anxieties. The exercises in my book Total Teen and the ones I’ve designed for my adult clients are focused periods of movement—free from all distractions, including electronic devices. Using a device to play music is the one exception. You give your full attention to moving your body. You step into each workout knowing that you are entering a dedicated period of You Time. When you move with focus and and intention, it becomes a way of connecting deeply with yourself.

When approaching these exercises, you are free to go at your own pace. Explore the movements and work up to a max of 40 reps on each side. What matters is that you continue to try, and with each try, you make progress. In a world where you’re bombarded daily with filtered social media images and magazine covers of Photoshopped celebrities, it’s essential now, more than ever, to create a rock solid relationship with what’s real and what’s beautiful.

Double Dutch Flips

Optional equipment: 3-pound hand weights

1. Hold your arms out to your sides with your palms facing up.

2. Lift your working arm slightly and flip your palm to face down.

3. Return to starting position and repeat with opposite arm.

double dutch flips
This exercise is sure to tone your arms.Courtesy of Tracy Anderson

4. Repeat lifting both arms simultaneously and flipping your palms down. Return.

Fourth Position Kick

1. Sit in fourth position with your working leg back and your elbow bent into your waist, with your non-working hand on the floor

2. Kneel up onto your non-working knee and kick your working leg straight out to the side while reaching your working arm up.

3. Return to the sitting position and repeat.

You'll need: 1.5-pound ankle weights.

fourth position kick
Dust off your ballet memory to target your legs.Courtesy of Tracy Anderson


Cross Down Dog Plank

You’ll need: 1.5-pound ankle weights.

1. Kneel forward with both hands down and your working leg in attitude back.

2. Press your non-working leg to down dog plank position, extending your working leg to a crossed arabesque.

crossed down dog plank
Finish off the move by pulsing your leg just above the ground.Courtesy of Tracy Anderson

3. Kneel onto your non-working knee as your working leg returns to attitude, then tiny pulse that leg in attitude.

Side Plank

You’ll need: 1.5-pound ankle weights.

1. Get into a side plank balance with your non-working arm down, your working arm reaching up to the ceiling, and both legs straight and stacked.

2. Reach your working arm down toward the floor while pulling in your abdominals to maintain a stable side plank position.

3. Return your arm to the starting position, reaching to the ceiling, and repeat.

total teen cover
Tracy Anderson's book, Total Teen.Courtesy of Tracy Anderson

Tracy Anderson is a fitness pioneer with almost 20 years of experience. She has trained some of the world’s most famous celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna. Her book Total Teen is a body-positive health and fitness guide for young women. Anderson combines her signature strength and cardio workouts, simple recipes and motivational stories to inspire health and well-being in girls.