There are two times in life: now and too late. Think about it. With all the things we juggle on a daily basis, from work to family to dry cleaning and grocery shopping and school events and social musts, the days of procrastinating are over. Who has the time, right? Or, in other words, “Do as much as you can as fast as you can as well as you can—otherwise, it’s too late.” A little dramatic, perhaps, but you get the idea. Whether we’re raising kids, building a career, or taking care of our bodies, we’re pressed for time, pressed for space, and pressed for energy. Sadly, exercise often takes up all three and thus becomes the first and easiest thing to drop from our to-do list.

But what if it didn’t? What if there were a way to work out without tapping into the very excuse you often use to NOT work out? Exercise no longer looks like a leisurely 60-minute parade around a big, fancy box gym. Today it’s more along the lines of making time rather than finding time, making space rather than finding space, etc. As a working mother of two, I have mastered the art of making my life and everything around me my gym. Besides doing little things along your way throughout your day — dropping paper clips and squatting down to pick up one at a time, doing push-offs from your kitchen counter, running clean laundry upstairs one item at a time—there are also complete workouts you can do literally anywhere.

Here’s an example of how I burn calories, build muscle, and tone up on the days I can’t get into a class or get to the gym. Now, before you roll your eyes and whisper some sort of grumble about how a workout isn’t a workout unless it takes place in a gym with a sports bra and sneakers, just try this.

I call it a Pyramid, and it can be done literally anywhere: in your bedroom, in front of your TV, in your hotel room… wherever you are. It requires ZERO equipment, ZERO dollars, ZERO space, and ZERO thinking (I do that part for you). It’s 10 exercises increasing in difficulty but decreasing in reps. It works almost every muscle in your body, along with cardio and core:

  • 100 jogs in place (cardio)
  • 90 jumping jacks (cardio, upper body)
  • 80 upper cuts (core, upper body)
  • 70 butt kickers (cardio, lower body)
  • 60 hip-ups (glutes)
  • 50 high knees (cardio, core)
  • 40 plank knee drops (core, shoulders)
  • 30 mountain climbers (cardio, upper body)
  • 20 crab toe touches (arms, glutes)
  • 10 burpees (everything)

If you can do the Pyramid one time through, that’s fantastic. If you can do it twice or even three times, even better. It takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to complete, so it can very easily fit into any time and space constraint you may have. Start slowly, build your way up, and enjoy! (Well, two out of three, at least.)

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