With the prospect of school and new routines looming large or already here, you might feel like you’re cramming for the test of days with less time and space for your fitness routine.

Don’t worry—you can’t fail, with the tips and workouts below. Whether you need to make sure your sweat session fits in with the kids’ studies or fits into the living room (because the patio furniture is moving back into the garage), we’ve got you covered.

Home room

First, need a few pointers on a new at-home workout space? Here are some ideas from pros at 24 Hour Fitness who’ve led virtual group training sessions and understand necessity is the mother of invention.

  • Emily Potratz, Fitness Manager, 24 Hour Fitness Richmond Sport, Richmond, California: Keeps a few veggie cans in her at-home gym bag, as small weights.
  • Annie Culotta, Fitness Manager, 24 Hour Fitness Hermosa Beach Super-Sport, Hermosa Beach, California: Takes one forward lunge, one reverse lunge and lateral lunges to the left and right to ensure her space is adequate.
  • Valerie Mundt, Fitness Manager, 24 Hour Fitness Galleria Sport, Houston, Texas: Turned her underused dining room into the family workout space (with the fam’s approval).
  • Francis Estrada, Fitness Manager, 24 Hour Fitness Van Ness Sport, San Francisco, California: Makes a towel do double duty for isometric exercises.

These three workouts add up to big benefits when you’re short on time and space.

Two dumbells + four moves = total-body strength

Compound movements strengthen major muscles as well as stabilizers required for transitions and balance. Add a warm-up and a cool-down and you’ve got the equation for an efficient workout.


Split the difference

This workout requires just one dumbbell for compound movements that make your sweat session efficient. And if you’re really short on time, you can do half of it in the morning and the other half in the evening (or the next day).


Four more moves add up to fighting shape

This no-equipment workout from an MMA competitor will raise your heart rate and rev your energy so you’re ready for a full day.