A Quiet Workout for an Upper-Flat Dweller


A Quiet Workout for an Upper-Flat Dweller

Jumping jacks ain’t it.

A woman balancing between the back of a chair and a table.Royal Rose Properties has a decent supply of flats — that is, duplexes where each floor is a different unit. And like any apartment-building landlords, we do get our fair share of complaints that the neighbor upstairs is training Clydesdales in their living rooms between midnight and 2AM most of the week. In our experience, calls like this are most often the result of the upstairs neighbor doing something perfectly reasonable like playing full-contact Monopoly or accidentally dropping a spoon every half-hour for all of Thursday night. We thought we’d reply by giving our upstairs tenants a quiet workout they can do any time they’re not too busy putting tap shoes on their dachshunds.

Warmup: Internal Isometrics

Contrary to last decade’s wisdom, modern trainers acknowledge that warmups don’t have to involve several minutes of jogging. A couple of minutes of deep-breathing isometrics — that is, clenching your entire body hard so that your muscles fight each other — drives oxygen into your muscles and loosens them up for a good workout. We suggest laying on your belly and then trying to touch your toes to the back of your head while you fold your arms backwards toward the same point. ‘Clench backwards’ as hard as you can for 60 seconds, relax for the same, and repeat. Three reps, and you’re warmed up!

Exercises 1 and 2: Sit-Downs

Stand up in a relaxed posture like you’re waiting to talk to the librarian. Then bend your knees and stick out your arms and ‘sit’ as far down as you can without falling on your butt. Pause for a full second, and stand up again. Repeat 15 times. Then, sit on the edge of something — bed, porch, car’s fender, whatever — and put your hands on it. Scoot your cheeks off of the edge, and lower yourself down, using your arms to hold most of your weight. Dip as low as you can, pause for 5 seconds, and push yourself back up using mostly your arms. Repeat 15 times, then take a 2-minute break.

Exercises 3 and 4: Sitting Down (For Reals)

Next, sit on the floor with your feet flat. PutĀ  your hands down next to your hips, then lift your rump off the floor, and get it as high up as you can without moving your hands or feet. Keep it up there for a slow count of 3, then lower back down and sit for a count of 5. Repeat 15 times, then lean back enough to pick up your feet (without losing your balance). Reach your arms out, grab each thumb in the other fist, and rotate your body so that your hands move first left, then right as far as they will go — keeping your feet still! One back-and-forth counts as one rep; do 15 reps and take a one-minute break.

Exercise 5: Ministry of Funny Walks

Now, stand up normally again, then slide one foot forward (without moving your back foot), keeping your knee directly over your foot, until your forward leg is as close to a right angle as you can manage. Hold this for a few seconds, than slide your feet back together and repeat with the other foot. Do 5 of these on each foot, then take a 30-second break.

To cool down, repeat the warmup exercise, and you’ve done it! A full-body quiet workout that takes no equipment, makes almost no noise, and can be done in less than 10 minutes. Stay healthy!

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