6 Exercises For a Full-Body Workout at Home
In a perfect world, you’d hit the gym on a regular basis. But let’s face it – sometimes life gets in the way. You may be a busy mom who wants to get in shape, but you are juggling a newborn and don’t have the luxury of working out at a gym. Or maybe you’re just starting off your workout routine and you’re not yet comfortable with the idea of going to the gym. Many people prefer to workout from home, and for many more, it might be the only option.
For these and many more reasons, squeezing in an at-home workout is a great way to stay in shape without ever stepping foot in a gym. As a certified strength and conditioning specialist, I’ve compiled a list of simple yet effective exercises to help you strengthen and tone at home. The best part is that you can complete all these exercises without any equipment!
Stay toned, trim, and in shape without ever stepping foot in a gym.
Here are 6 exercises that you can do at home without any equipment for a full-body workout:
1. The Push-Up
With your hands shoulder-width apart, squeeze your back and glutes and lower your chest to the ground. Be careful not to arch your upper or lower back throughout these motions. Maintaining active muscle engagement and keeping your backbody straight (as opposed to arching your spine) while doing a push-up engages your entire core which in turn burns more fat.
Do 3 sets of 10. If you want to target your triceps, add one rep of Chaturanga push-ups.
Too difficult? If you cannot hold your form while balancing on your feet, drop to your knees and follow the same motions above. Gradually build your strength by lifting one knee when you’re ready, and ultimately progressing to keeping both knees lifted.
Too easy, you say? Lift one foot off the ground, or try to clap your hands at the top of each push-up.
Still too easy for you? First off, you’re impressive! Second, go to a wall and lift into a handstand. Even further, try some handstand push-ups.
Pssst!! Want to learn how to handstand? Try this class Learning to Handstand
Learn how to do a proper push-up
2. The Squat
Squatting is arguably the best exercise for overall fitness. With feet shoulder-width distance apart, start the motion with your hips and squat as low as you can. Do not allow your upper body to move forward as you lower your bottom toward the floor.
Squats obviously target the glutes, but also the abs because when you squat in proper form, you start your motion by actively lowering your glutes, and then when you drop your hips, you activate your entire core to maintain balance. Do this for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Too difficult? Simply sit on a chair, engage your glutes, and stand up. Sit down, and repeat.
Too easy, you say? Raise one foot and balance it against the ankle or thigh of your other leg (think Tree Pose), and lift yourself up and down on the standing leg.
Still too easy for you? Make it ever harder by elevating your leg behind you like you would in Warrior 3. If that’s too easy, then kick your leg out in front of you, lower yourself down to the floor to a sit and then get back up (similar to a pistol squat). If you still need more of a challenge, try this on an unstable surface, such as the Pono Ola Balance board.
Learn how to do a proper squat
3. The Lunge
With your feet shoulder-width apart, take a large step forward and bend both knees to 90 degrees. Return to your original upright position and then step backwards until both knees are 90 degrees.
When doing a lunge, you are moving in two out of the three of your body’s unique planes. Guess what stabilizes you as you move through multiple planes? Your abs! You are also activating a ton of muscle and burning more fat. Repeat this 10 times on each leg for 3 sets.
Too difficult? Get into lunge position, but instead of coming back to standing between lunges, keep your feet in place. Now, simply move upward and downward. Then, switch legs.
Too easy, you say? Try adding on by stepping backwards at the end of every rep and then lowering yourself down.
Still too easy for you? Do a couple of up and down movements in the same place. If that is not enough of a challenge for you, use an unstable surface, such as the Strongboard Balance board.
Learn how to do a proper lunge
4. The Glute Bridge
While laying on your yoga mat, raise your hips and keep them in line with your feet. A glute bridge engages your core as you squeeze your abdominals and glutes at the top of your rep. Repeat this for 3 sets of 10.
Too difficult? Try to limit your range of motion and only go as high as you can.
Too easy, you say? Pick up one of your legs while you follow the same motions from above.
Still too easy for you? Hold every repetition for 5-10 seconds. If that’s still not enough for you, pick up your feet on an elevated surface such as a chair, couch, your bed or a balance board.
Learn how to do a proper Glute Bridge
5. The Dip
With an elevated surface behind you (like a chair or curb if you’re outside), place your hands on both sides, extend your legs out in front of you, and lower your body as low as you can, keeping your elbows hugged into your side body. Then lift up using just your arms and without the help of your legs.
In order to not sway, you will need to engage the large lateral muscles of your back, your side abs (obliques), and your abdominal muscles. Repeat this for 3 sets of 10.
Too difficult? If it’s too much, you can use your legs to help you – just keep your feet on the floor with your knees bent and repeat the same motions above.
Too easy, you say? Elevate your legs on a surface, such as a yoga block or a chair.
Learn how to do a proper Tricep Dip
6. The Sit-Up
Do not attempt to do a sit-up with your knees bent! Instead, lay on the floor or your mat with your legs outstretched in front of you, and raise your torso and reach toward your feet. This exercise will work on the entire range of motion of your abdominal muscles. Repeat this for 3 sets of 10.
Too difficult? Bend your knees and work your way up to straight leg sit-ups.
Too easy, you say? Raise your torso toward your feet and work your way to an upright, standing position. Then, gently reverse the position until you are laying flat, just as you would in savasana.
Still too easy for you? Keep those legs up, folding yourself in half and touch your toes. Then, hover those feet 6 inches from the ground and do some full sit-ups.
Learn how to do a proper Sit-up
The great thing about these exercises is that they can be adjusted for people of all fitness capabilities. You can continuously adjust and make these exercises more difficult to support your growing strength and need for additional challenges. Go through each of these movements 3 days a week to work out your entire body and strengthen your core. If you aren’t feeling sore from the circuit, pick up your frequency or reps.
When you make a promise to yourself to exercise and focus on your physical fitness, you make a resolution to be a better version of yourself. Instead of making excuses not to exercise or achieve the body of your dreams, find a way to succeed. Win everyday and accomplish things that you never thought were possible. You are awesome and you can do it!