Regardless of your goals or experience level, you don’t need fancy gym equipment to get in a solid workout. Sure, it can be nice to have fun toys to play with. But all you need to gain strength, build muscle, get your heart rate up, or dip your toes into exercise is your own body.
Working out at home can be a formidable weapon, mainly if you utilize strategies like tempo training to increase your time under tension. Getting stronger in your own living space will involve disciplining your mind as much as your body, so consider meditating or doing some deep breathing before your home training session. These five home workouts can help you crush your fitness goals, whether you want to get stronger, build muscle, develop power, improve your cardio, or find a home workout for beginners.
Best Home Workouts
- At-Home Workout for Strength
- At-Home Workout for Muscle Growth
- At-Home Workout for Power
- At-Home Workout for Beginners
- At-Home Workout for Cardio
If you want to get stronger, it’s normal for your instinct to reach the heaviest weights possible. Heavy lifting, if your goal is to be strong, is going to be part of your training routine. That said, it’s completely possible to develop strength outside of a barbel-laden gym. This home workout for strength will help you reduce weak spots in your movement and make you a lot stronger at the same time.
Depending on your training experience, you can perform this workout up to three or even four times a week. Just make sure you’re sleeping enough and make recovery a priority. Rest for two minutes between sets to maximize each effort. In this case, it’s better to rest a little longer so you can eke out more efficient reps than to rest shorter and ultimately complete fewer reps.
- Pull-Up or Bedsheet/TRX Inverted Row: 3 x two reps short of failure, 3-1-2-1 tempo
- 1 ½ Rep Chair Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 x 15 per side
- Spider Push-Up: 3 x two reps short of failure per side
- Suitcase Deadlift*: 3 x 15 per side
- Push-Up: 3 x two reps shy of failure
- Bodyweight Squat: 4 x 30-second AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
*Literally load up a sturdy suitcase as heavy as you’d like, and perform these lifts with a firm grasp on the side handle
If you’re unsure on how to utilize tempo training, check out this handy guide.
When you think about what it takes to build muscle, your mind probably flows to images of people curling dumbbells and pressing kettlebells overhead. But free weights aren’t a requirement for packing on mass. When it comes to packing mass onto your frame, progressive overload is the most important factor. Weights are beneficial because it’s easier to simply pick up a heavier dumbbell than you used the week before. However, you can add additional stress to your muscles by adjusting your lifting tempo, shortening your rest time between sets, and increasing the number of reps you do each week.
Perform this workout two or three times a week. You might be able to increase that number to four if you are accustomed to a higher training frequency. Rest for at least 90 seconds between sets. Use that time to take long, slow breaths. This will help you remember the importance of breathing during tempo training.
- Pull-Up or Bedsheet/TRX Inverted Row: 4 x three reps short of failure, 3-1-2-1 tempo
- Plyo Push-Up: 4 x three reps short of failure
- 1 ½ Rep Chair Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 x 10 per side, 3-1-2-1 tempo
- Reverse Lunge: 3 x 15 per side, 3-1-2-1 tempo
- Chair Dip: 3 x two reps shy of failure, 3-1-2-1 tempo
- Push-Up: 4 x 30-second AMRAP
Barbell lifts and other weighted exercises are tremendously effective for developing power. But you can indeed develop power with just your body weight. As with all plyometric exercises, the goal is to land as softly as you can, with bent elbows and knees, to take it as easy as possible on your joints.
Even if you’re landing softly, power workouts don’t tend to be the quietest. If you live above neighbors, you can modify these exercises to not make such a bang on their ceiling. With the jump squat, for example, sink into the deepest part of the squat as slowly as possible. Then, explode up with a lot of force, but only allow your heels to actually leave the ground. Keep your knees on the ground with plyo push-ups so you can land softer with your hands. Of course, you can also take this workout outside (weather permitting).
You’ll still build power, just with less of a bang. You might want to double the rep schemes to compensate for the more constrained movements. Regardless of any modifications, rest as needed between sets.
- Jump Squat: 4 x 30-second AMRAP
- Plyo Push-Up: 4 x 30-second AMRAP
- Chair Step-Ups with Knee Drive: 4 x 15 per side
- Lateral Bound: 4 x 15 per side
- Broad Jump: 4 x 15
You don’t need lifting experience to become a successful athlete. You just need the willingness to take things slow, pay strict attention to your form, and listen to your body. If you can’t do a full push-up, there’s absolutely no shame in that — take your time and build up to it. Everyone’s body is different, and your job while working out at home is to learn more about your own body’s needs.
The keys to any workout are proper form and listening to your body. Those are really the only two things you need to get started with this beginner home workout. If once a week is what feels best for you, then perform this once a week. If you’d like to commit to two or even three times per week, then go for it.
The trick is to commit to something you can stick to so that you can spend more time being proud of yourself for accomplishing what you set out to instead of beating yourself up for getting temporarily off course. Rest as needed between sets, but try to time yourself if that feels okay just to keep track of how you’re doing.
- Modified Push-Ups*: 3 x 5-10
- Reverse Snow Angel: 3 x 12
- Reverse Lunge: 3 x 10
- Superman: 3 x 12
- Low-Chair Bodyweight Squat**: 3 x 10
*Perform these with your hands braced against a wall or on the ground from your knees.
**Find a low, stable chair or stool and position yourself to sit back on it. Just when your butt is low enough to barely graze the chair, push yourself back to standing.
No traditional cardio equipment at home? No problem. Home workouts can be excellent ways of getting in your cardio training without even having to dig out your running shoes. You won’t need any equipment, but this is still a high-intensity workout. So make sure you’re listening to your body and drinking plenty of water.
You can perform this workout between two and four times a week, depending on your experience level and the quality of your recovery. Rest as needed between sets, but try to keep track of your rest time. Your goal, over the weeks, will be to gradually and naturally reduce the amount of time you feel you need to continue with quality reps. That will help you measure how much your endurance is improving.
- Jumping Lunge: 4 x 30-second AMRAP
- Reverse Snow Angels: 2 x 30 second
- Plyo Push-Up: 4 x 30-second AMRAP
- Inchworm: 3 x 8
- Lateral Bounds: 4 x 30-second AMRAP
- Sumo Squat with Punching: 4 x 45 seconds
Benefits of Home Workouts
You might typically think of home workouts as paltry replacements for getting to the gym. But working out at home is a pretty powerful training tool in its own right. It’ll force you out of your lifting comfort zone and bring benefits to your gains that will serve you well when you do decide to pick up a barbell again.
First and foremost, working out at home is convenient. You don’t need to commute to the gym or remember to pack your gear in your work bag. No more strategizing for how you can get the least sweaty so you can avoid gym showers on your way to the office. With your own shower a few feet away, you can work as hard as you’d like at home — and still be in time for your next meeting.
Fortify Mental Discipline
Although it might seem oxymoronic, it takes many lifters more mental discipline to train at home than it does to train in a gym. There’s a ritual of going to the gym, and many athletes find it comforting. But when you’re at home, it’s easier to be overcome by momentum and a lack of separation between relaxation and training time.
Because of this, it’s often easier for athletes to skimp on training when at home. But if you can create a routine and a dedicated space — it doesn’t have to be big — for working out at home, you’ll train your mind to believe that you can perform well any time, anywhere. That training mentality will serve you very well on the platform when it’s time to put on your lifting face.
Improve Coordination and Kinesthetic Awareness
When you’re training with only what you have around the home you’re bound to become more aware of your body. The chair you’re using for dips is stable, yes, but it’s also slightly tilted to one side. The suitcase you’re using for deadlifts is so bulky that you need to engage all your stabilizers to keep it from scraping your leg.
By training with uneven implements, you’ll be taking a leaf out of the Strongman book and truly engaging your whole body — and mind — in each exercise. You’ll have to figure out the best approaches for each lift, and it’s bound to improve your kinesthetic awareness and overall coordination. That will help when you’re back on the platform because the more coordinated and aware of your body you are, the cleaner your lifts will be. And cleaner lifts mean moving more weight.
How to Warm Up for Home Workouts
You’ll mostly be relying on your body weight for resistance during home workouts. It’s therefore pretty easy to dismiss the need for a thorough warm-up. “It’s not like I’m tossing three plates on the bar,” you may tell yourself. But just because you’re working out with your body weight doesn’t mean you’re not doing rigorous work — and you need to warm up accordingly.
You’ll help make your body more resilient against injury by warming up, and you’ll give yourself a more effective workout. For example, when you’re looking to go all-out with push-ups, activating your shoulders, waking up your lats, and pre-engaging your chest will all lubricate the movement to make you more efficient. And when you’re more efficient, you’re stronger and an overall better athlete.
Home Workout Warm-Up
- Cat-Cow: 3 x 10 breaths
- Forearm Plank: 3 x 20 seconds
- Inchworm With Hip Opener: 3 x 8 per side
- Lateral Lunges: 3 x 10 per side
- Bodyweight Squats: 3 x 15 per side, with a full pause at the bottom of each rep
- Down Dog to Up Dog Flow: 3 x 10 breaths
Whether you’re working out while traveling for the holidays or just trying to keep your program as simple and commute-free as possible, there are home workouts for you. Assess your goals and starting point, then get after it — because even if you’re used to hauling heavy weights, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from training at home.
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