For people who have a home gym, working out can be simple, but for those of us used to training in a studio, we have to get a little creative. “If you’re home without any equipment, your body is your own machine! Work it,” says corrective exercise specialist Tatiana Lampa, ACSM CPT, NASM CES.
Certified Personal Trainer Rachael DeVaux, RD, CPT, PES, suggests grabbing anything that resembles dumbbells like: laundry detergent, bags of produce, or milk jugs, for your own makeshift gym. “Investing in some resistance bands from Amazon can offer a huge variety of different exercises as well,” she adds.
Tip: If you’re not used to working out at home, Elise Young, CPT, FMS, of Elise’s Body Shop, says it’s important to designate a spot in the house that feels like a good fit for some movement. “This is a stressful time and we must adjust to the place we are currently in. Lay out a mat or towel and make that your spot.”
Below, we’ve rounded up several of our trainers’ favorite at-home work out movements to try and incorporate into your routine. DeVaux suggests choosing six exercises, breaking them up into two circuits, and completing each exercise for 12-14 reps, three rounds through each circuit.
Legs and Glutes Workouts:
- Squats: Try air squats, side step squats, sumo squats, jump squats, and even weighted squats. You can even try holding a large bottle of detergent to get some added resistance with your squats, just make sure the lid is on tight.
- Lunges: Front lunges, back lunges, and even side-to-side lunges are an excellent exercise for targeting the large muscles of the lower body. For an advanced movement, try jump lunges to get your heart rate up.
- Glute bridge: This is a great bodyweight exercise to help warm-up the glutes and several muscles prior to incorporating more range of motion and any weights. You can enhance a glute bridge with resistance bands, and really make sure that you engage your core in addition to your glutes. Start with a regular glute bridge and work your way up to the single-leg bridge, which is very effective because it targets your hamstrings, glutes, and core.
- Step ups: Look for a durable box or sturdy bench to bang out some low-impact step ups. This move is great for balance, stabilization, and building strength. Hold some weights or detergent bottles on either side of the body for extra resistance.
- Wall sits: Turoff says this effective and simple exercise activates your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Try a 1:1 approach by working for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds, then repeating 3-4 times until you feel the burn.
Abs and Arms Workouts:
- Push-ups: A fantastic full-body workout, push-ups work almost every muscle with a huge emphasis on upper body and core strength. Even if you can’t do a regular one, consider dropping to your knees or doing them against a countertop to make the transition easier. Try DeVaux’s push-up progression here.
- Dips: “Couches and chairs are a great alternative to a bench and allow for a ton of different movements,” says Young. This makes for the perfect solution when doing dips to target the tricep muscles.
- Planks: Probably the most effective core workout, planks really do benefit the entire body and require a ton of stabilization throughout your core. Try planks on your forearms, and work up building strength in a side plank if possible.
- Shoulder taps: While you’re at it holding a strong plank, consider incorporating shoulder taps to build stability and strength. Shoulder taps work you transverse abdominals and obliques as well.
- Twists: Grab a weight or detergent bottle for added resistance, and pick your feet up off the floor for an even harder challenge.
Full Body Workouts:
- Burpees: This high-intensity, plyometric exercise is perfect for getting your heart rate up and is a fantastic finisher to any workout. Try doing burpees tabata style: push for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat four to eight times for a full-body endurance workout!
- Tuck jumps: This vertical jump involves a lot of intensity and raising your knees to your chest. Tuck jumps make for a great high intensity interval training movement.
- Mountain climbers: Build strength, endurance, and cardiovascular stamina with mountain climbers. Try them at different paces; go fast if you want to get your heart rate up, or slow down and engage your core for some awesome ab work.
- Superman hold: Turoff loves this full-body move as an effective way to build strength in the lower back, something that is often neglected when exercising. Try to hold for 15-30 seconds and keep working your way up to a minute.
Best Workout Apps:
If you’re in need of a more structured workout routine, an app might be the best way to go. Below, is a list of the best workout apps to download, according to the Good Housekeeping Wellness Lab:
- Beachbody On Demand
- Peloton Digital
- Nike Training Club
- Physique 57 OnDemand
- Tone It Up
- Pure Barre on Demand
- Daily Burn
- Asana Rebel
Other Exercise Ideas:
DeVaux has a Guide To The Good Life e-book with 16 programmed full-body workouts, plus delicious recipes and self-care tips. And Young offers a variety of little-to-no equipment workouts on her Instagram: @elisesbodyshop.
Also, Planet Fitness announced it will be hosting “Home Work-Ins” – a series of free fitness classes for everyone – that will be streamed live on Planet Fitness’ Facebook page daily at 7 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. CT). Classes will be led by Planet Fitness certified trainers, as well as special guests, like “The Biggest Loser” coach and fitness trainer Erica Lugo, among others. The virtual classes will be 20 minutes (or less) and won’t require any equipment.
For anyone who can’t participate live, each workout will also be available to view on both the Planet Fitness Facebook page and YouTube channel after the broadcast is over.