Go big and stay home! You don’t need a gym membership to stay fit and get in shape. Whether you’re working on cardio or sticking to strength training, here are 5 easy workouts to help you lose weight and build muscle in the comfort of your own home.
First thing’s first, let’s talk about motivation. It might be hard to get off the couch and take a break from the tv and internet for a while, which is why it’s best to schedule your workouts, just like you would if you were going to a gym. Make an appointment with yourself at the same time each day (or week) so you can get in the groove and maintain accountability for your sweat sessions.
Our at-home workout sessions are full of compound bodyweight exercises that require no equipment! Compound bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, planks, and more use a lot of muscles and joints and help you build a ton of strength. If you’re interested in exercising for weight loss, remember a healthy diet is also important, as well as other factors like your sleep schedule, stress levels, and more.
Whether you’re exercising for weight loss, or you’re trying to tone up and build muscle, we’ve got a few easy workouts you can do at home so you can avoid the crowds. Just remember to start with a light warm-up to get your body moving and finish it off with some stretching at the end (your limbs and muscles will thank you for that!).
- Squats and Lunges
- Circuit Training
Of course, you can create your own circuits and workout routines with these exercises in them for a full body workout. Feel free to also look up more routines and workout videos online to help you reach more of your goals. To get you started exercising in the comfort of your own home, here are 5 easy workouts for both men and women.
Pro Tip: Remember to add variety to your workout and change up your exercises or reps frequently (but not too frequently). Limited equipment at home might mean you have fewer exercises to choose from, but it doesn’t mean you have to do the same workout every day. Give your muscles a break and create a schedule that allows you to focus on different muscle groups in order to keep it fresh.
1. Squats and Lunges
Build that booty! But really…squats and lunges do wonders for strengthening and toning your legs and glutes! Strengthening the large muscle groups in your legs (calves, hamstrings, and glutes) can also speed up your metabolism, which is great if you’re trying to lose weight! These are easy exercises you can do anywhere!
How to do Squats:
To do a squat, stand straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Lower down, as if sitting in a chair position while tightening your stomach muscles (be careful not to lean over your feet!). Stand back up and repeat.
How to do Lunges:
To do a lunge, first make sure to keep your upper body straight, your shoulders back and relaxed, and your chin up. It helps to pick something, such as a point on a wall or object, to stare at in front of you so you don’t keep looking down. Next, step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle, and do the same with the other leg, switching back and forth (make sure your knee doesn’t lean over your toe).
Workout: Do 3 sets of 10 squats or lunges with about 1 minute of rest in between. You can work your way up to doing something like 5 sets of 20 squats or lunges (while holding heavy dumbbells).
Pro Tip: Add a resistance band or do a wall sit for more of a challenge. You will build even stronger legs!
Remember the ones you hated when you were little? That’s what we’re talking about here. Push-ups are another easy workout that can help you build strength of muscles that are often undertrained. Not only do they strengthen your upper body, but they also strengthen your thighs, obliques and core muscles, making them an awesome at-home workout!
Pro Tip: When doing a push-up, make sure you keep your elbows tucked close to your sides at about 45-degree angle to prevent any injuries. You can also use a push-up bar to take some strain off your wrists.
Workout: If you’re not used to push-ups start out by doing 5. Once you’ve mastered 10 perfect push-ups, add more reps and more variations for a challenge! You can elevate your feet or even do diamond push-ups or clapping push-ups to really get your heart rate up.
3. Crunches and Sit-Ups
Do a set of crunches when you wake up in the morning, before you go to sleep at night, in your office, at the park, or anywhere you want so you can get in a quick ab workout.
How to do a Crunch:
To do a crunch, start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor. Let your hands cradle your head with your elbows bent and away from your ears. Next, exhale and draw your belly button in towards your spine and lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Pause and inhale as you lower your head and shoulders back down.
Remember to keep your feet, lower back, and tailbone on the floor as you do more crunches and continue the exercise.
Workout: Start by doing 3 sets of 20-30 reps and add that into your ab routine. You can also do variations of crunches like the reverse crunch, bicycle crunch, vertical leg crunch, and more to reach your ultimate ab goals!
Pro Tip: It’s important to remember that crunches only work a small group of ab muscles. So if you want to further tone your abs and burn fat, you must combine crunches with cardio and other strength building exercises (like the ones on this list!).
Another bodyweight exercise, planks are one of the best exercises you can do for core conditioning!
How to do a Plank:
Planks are fairly similar to being stuck in a push-up position, but without moving your body up and down.
To do a standard plank (high plank), simply get into a push-up position with your hands and toes on the floor, your elbows under your shoulders, and your wrists in line with your elbows. Make sure your body is in a straight line. Try to hold it for at least 30 seconds. You should feel your muscles working and your core tightening!
Pull your bellybutton in and make sure your back doesn’t arch or dip. This is a core and body exercise that works a number of muscles in your body, so make sure you’re using them and doing it correctly (your body should essentially look like a straight line).
Workout: Once you’ve got a plank down for 30 seconds, rack it up to a 1 minute! Add different variations of planks for an all-around core blast like low planks, side planks, and even reverse planks.
5. Circuit Training
Circuit training is found to be much more effective than traditional cardio for burning body fat and losing weight all over the body. These are high-intensity weight loss exercises and should be worked into your routine. Exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, crunches, and planks can all be a part of your at-home circuit. Add in some jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees and any other bodyweight exercise to get your heart rate up for a more complete workout.
An exercise “circuit” is one completion of all prescribed exercises in a program. Although we don’t have a set recommended “program” for you to use, we encourage you to do what’s best for you and your body and create an exercise program that works for you!
Because circuit training involves a full body workout, you want to keep your rest periods short so you can appropriately push your body. The rest periods between sets should be between 45 and 60 seconds, while the rest period between full circuits can be around 90.
Pro Tip: The last set of each exercise should be brutally hard to finish! Full circuits should be completed 3 times for maximum benefits.
You see, you don’t need to fork over money for a gym membership to lose weight and build muscle. If these bodyweight exercises aren’t for you, you can also do other at-home workouts like yoga, pilates, and more. Just don’t forget to stretch and warm-up before any type of exercise in order to prevent injuries! Create a balanced workout program that works for you and workout 2-3 times a week. After getting into a routine, you will surely see results.