The 10 Best at Home Workouts and Exercises According to Trainers


Working out at home can be a great substitute for going to the gym. Sure, you won’t have access to the same range of machines and weights, but this doesn’t mean you can’t still get a decent workout including both cardio and strength training.

Some of the best home workouts are bodyweight exercises – those that use your body’s own weight as resistance against the muscles you’re working. You can mix these up with different routines and games to keep things fun.

So, to get you started, here are 10 of our top at-home workouts, including recommendations from some of our coaches.

The Top 10 at Home Workouts

1. Pushups

Never underestimate the power of the humble pushup. This exercise works a lot of muscle groups, including your chest, triceps, core, and anterior deltoids. Better yet, there are more advanced options that work different muscles, including:

·  Wide hand pushup

·  Diamond pushup

·  Pike pushup

·  Sphinx pushup

·  One-arm pushup

A major benefit of doing pushups is that they don’t require any extra equipment and can be adapted to all skill levels. In short, if you want one of the best arm and core workouts at home, pushups are a great place to start.

2. Dancing

Another hidden gem in the at-home workout regime is dancing. It doesn’t matter what moves you do – the point is to just throw some shapes and work up a sweat! You can burn 150 calories or more with a 30-minute dance, making it a great cardio option.

Again, you don’t need any equipment for this other than something that plays music. You could bring in some small weights for a bit of extra resistance, but this isn’t necessary at all.

3. Squats

Squats are a classic exercise for working your lower body and core. A bodyweight squat (also called an air squat) consists of the basic up-and-down motion without any additional weights or equipment. On its own, a squat works your core, glutes, front and back of your thighs, adductor, hip flexors and calves.

Air squats are decent for burning calories and, importantly, are low-impact. This makes them suitable for people of all abilities, as you don’t need to worry about jumping around or putting stress on your joints.

Once you’ve mastered the basic bodyweight squat, you can try some variations. These include:

Overhead Squat

As the name suggests, you hold something over your head while squatting. Typically, this is a medicine ball or kettlebell. It adds your upper back, shoulders and arms into the equation, giving you a great return on investment.

Jump Squat

This is a pretty self-explanatory one. The upper movement simply propels you into a small jump, which you then follow back into the squat position. Rather than targeting extra muscles, it adds an element of cardio into the basic squat.

However, it’s a higher impact exercise, so make sure you’re happy with the health of your knees, ankles and hips before you try it.

4. Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is an easy workout to use at home if you want to get your heart pumping. While it requires equipment, it’s literally a piece of rope. However, if you want to really take it back to basics, you can just air jump rope instead. This is where you mime the movement without using a rope.

There’s not much that needs to be said about jumping rope. It’s a great cardio exercise that can be adapted to suit your goals and ability. You can do high-intensity routines, casual jumping, or drills incorporating strength training.

Be aware that this is a higher impact exercise, though. Frequent jumping can stress your knees, hips and ankles, so wear supportive shoes and avoid overworking yourself.

5. Yoga

This is a bit of a catch-all option, but it’s worth considering for both cardio and strength training. Many yoga poses use bodyweight resistance, and it’s easy to build a routine suitable for your skill level. The best part is that yoga can help to improve your flexibility and also makes a great warm-up for other activities.

There are too many poses to list here, but some good starting moves are:

·  Cat-cow

·  Triangle pose

·  Bridge

·  Child’s pose

·  Cobra

·  Warrior pose

We recommend checking out some videos on yoga routines for beginners to figure out what sort of poses will work well for you. From there, build your own routine and add in more advanced moves as your flexibility and stamina increase.

6. Planks

Planks are often seen as a vicious core exercise, and for good reason. If you’ve ever tried to hold one for a long time, you’ll be more than familiar with the burn they can cause.

But it’s this burn that we want. Planks are great for your core, but they can also work your arms and legs. The basic plank sees you put your forearms on the floor, although you can rest on your hands instead.

Beginners should start on around 10 seconds and then work their way up to 60 seconds. You can switch it up with reps, too, or simply hold a plank for as long as possible. After mastering the basic move, consider trying:

·  Plank with leg lift

·  Plank with arm lift

Switch arms and legs in different reps and consider starting with shorter times until you build up your stamina.

7. Burpees

Burpees are another decent cardio exercise that gets your body working without the need for extra equipment. However, like jumping rope, it’s a higher impact exercise because it involves jumping.

Provided you’re comfortable with that, burpees are great for getting your whole body working. Of course, you’ll need to do them in a room with a high ceiling (or you might want to move outside).

8. Dead Bug

Dead bugs are a great beginner’s core workout. Unlike many other core exercises, you don’t need to flex or rotate your abdomen. Instead, dead bugs work your deep core muscles and spinal erectors, giving you better stability and posture.

The most important thing is to maintain good form, including keeping your back on the floor. If you find that difficult, just work one limb at a time until you’ve built up your core enough to maintain the correct position.

9. Stair Runs

If your home has stairs, running up and down them is an easy cardio exercise. There’s not much more to say about this – simply run up and down your stairs for a set time and repeat as often as you want.

10. High Knees

High knees are a low-impact cardio exercise. The process is pretty straightforward: you raise each leg to hip height, bent at the knee. Along with increasing your heart rate, high knees help to work your hip flexors, core, calves and quads.

Importantly, high knees are low impact. You can move up to a running pace if you want, but it’s perfectly fine to just do them slowly, taking care to put your foot down softly. You can also adapt the exercise by lifting your leg and stepping onto a higher surface (stepping high knees) or perform high knees with your back pressed against a wall (leaning high knees).

Do You Need Equipment for a Home Workout?

For beginner level workouts at home, there’s no need to buy equipment. There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that can help build muscle and improve flexibility. Granted, you won’t get the same kind of gains you would at a gym, but that’s fine.

However, if you plan to kick things up a notch, the following are inexpensive and readily available bits of kit:

·  Kettlebell. Typically heavier than a dumbbell, you’ll want to look at 24-32lbs.

·  Dumbbells. Standard weight training equipment – they can range from 2lbs. to as heavy as you want.

·  Pullup bar. This fits into a doorframe, allowing you to do pullups.

·  Yoga ball and mat.

·  Resistance band. Ideal for adding extra resistance to stretching exercises.

·  Jump rope.

·  Medicine ball.

·  Ankle and wrist weights. These are wraparound weights that allow you to keep your hands free or add extra resistance to your legs.

The bottom line is that this isn’t professional level gym equipment. Rather, it’s stuff that doesn’t cost loads and supplements standard bodyweight and cardio exercises.

Building Routines for Home Workouts

So, you’ve got an idea of the kind of exercises you can do at home. Now what? The next step is to build some routines to keep things interesting and add some variety into these standard exercises.

This is where some tips from our experts come in.


AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible, and here’s what Macros Inc. Coach Regina Havalova has to say:

“Pick some exercises. My favorites are lower body split squats, pushups, dead bugs and planks. Do AMRAP for 15 minutes, starting with 20 of each exercise. Decrease by 2 reps each round, so the second round is 18, the third, 16, and so on. Carry on until the 15 minutes are up.”

Luck of the Draw Reps

Alternatively, one of our Lead Fitness & Nutrition coaches Braden Ripley highlights one of his favorite rep games:

“One of the best home workouts is to pick 2-5 exercises and grab a deck of cards. Draw one, and whatever number is shown, do that many reps. Face cards are worth 10, and aces can be 1 or 11 depending on how brave you feel. Record how long it takes you and try to beat that next time. My go-tos for this game are pushups and bodyweight squats.”

Room-Based Reps

This one is great for days off or if you work from home. Lead Coach Melody Schoenfeld recommends:

“Put a piece of equipment – kettlebell, dumbbell, pullup bar, etc. – in different rooms. Alternatively, assign a bodyweight exercise to each room. Every time you pass through the room, do a set on that equipment or bang our 10 reps of your bodyweight movement. You can do it with daily events too: send an email, do 10 squats.”

Keeping it Fun

Use these recommendations as a way to keep your at-home workout fun and interesting. You can switch up the exercises as needed, or add more reps or decrease your allowed time. The point is to add variety to your home workout so things feel fresh every time.

This shouldn’t be difficult considering the sheer range of exercises suitable for use at home. The ones listed above are just a taste of what’s possible, so hopefully they’ll inspire you to find others that meet your goals.

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