Best At-Home Workouts Since COVID Closed Your Gym
Do you miss the gym? Do you live in a small space like an apartment and you don’t have room for good gym equipment? It can be frustrating when you want to get a good workout in but you’re limited in space, equipment, and time!
Lucky for you, at-home workouts can be seriously effective if you do them right. Sure, you may not get the same burn as 200-pound barbells, but you will get a solid workout in without the need to risk going outside.
Regardless of what you’re training, we’re here to keep you fit and ready for the next time you’re able to hit the gym. Keep reading for a few of our favorite at-home workouts for all over the body. You don’t need a gym to stay fit and active!
Cardio At-Home Workouts
At-home cardio workouts are some of the easiest to come by. You need to keep paying attention to your cardiovascular health despite the fact that gyms are closed. A good cardio routine will keep your heart healthy and your stamina up! It may also provide you with a much-needed mental health boost.
Here are some equipment-free cardio routines.
Jogging and Running
You can’t do this inside, but you can do it on trails with no one around (for safety reasons) or in a quiet neighborhood.
If you’re not used to running, you’re going to start slow. We’ve come up with a plan to get you started. If you’re more advanced you can feel free to move on to something more complicated, like hilly trail running.
First, start with short intervals of a slow jog. If you’re brand new, running for two minutes and then walking for two minutes is a great idea.
Once you’re comfortable with this, take a 2 to 1 approach. Run for 5 minutes and walk for 2 and a half minutes. Then go for 3 to 1.
Don’t be afraid to slow down or move backward on days where your stamina doesn’t feel as solid.
Kickboxing is great for your shoulders and abs, but it’s also great cardio as long as you move quickly. You don’t need a partner or a punching bag for a good kickboxing workout.
Follow these circuits and go through each one three to five times for a good workout. Make sure that you know the basic moves that you’re going to be working through and feel free to make modifications. This is a full-body workout if you do it right. You’ll be going through a 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off pattern.
- 2 Jabs, 2 crosses, switch stance (so your opposite foot is the leading or front foot)
- 2 uppercuts, 2 knees from the back leg, switch stance
- 2 jabs, 2 hooks, 1 knee from the back leg, switch stance
- 2 jabs, 1 cross, 1 push-kick, switch stance
- 2 uppercuts, 2 hooks, 1 side-kick, switch stance
- 3 jabs, 1 cross, 2 knees, switch stance
It should take you about 6 minutes to finish the circuits. Stop for water between and start them both over as many times as it takes to reach your edge.
The Upper Body
This brings us to the at-home upper body workouts. Doing arm workouts at home is easy regardless of your strength level. If you have dumbbells at home they’ll be helpful, but you can do some of this with no equipment and some with anything that you have on hand. We suggest canned food, milk jugs, and books.
For this workout, you don’t need anything but yourself and some floor space. You’ll be surprised at how little functional strength you have. You may end these circuits with your arms shaking!
Again, this is a circuit workout. You’re going to go for 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off, making each interval 1 minute. When you finish the circuits, take a short break and repeat.
- Pushups (you can stay on your knees if you need to)
- Single-arm wall pushups on the left side
- Single-arm wall pushups on the right side
- Walk downs: Walk your hands from a forward fold down to a plank and up again
- Shoulder slaps: In plank position, touch each shoulder with the opposite hand
- Arm circles forward and backward, switching direction in the middle
You should feel a good burn from this regardless of your fitness level. Bonus, you’ll be getting some core work in too!
Equipment (Or Household Object) Workout
You may be limited by the weights or objects that you have, but that’s okay.
For this one, instead of circuits, you’re going to be doing repeated intervals. Each set should be 10 to 12 repetitions depending on your ability. Take a 15-second rest in between sets and do each one twice before moving on to the next one. If you need more, repeat the whole routine again.
- Chest fly
- Overhead press
- Bent-over row
- Pushup to a single fly (switching arms each time. Keep weights near or under hands)
- Chest press
- Ventral raise to lateral raise
- Tricep dips
- Bent-over fly
This should be more than enough to burn out those muscles but feel free to either repeat each movement a third time before moving on or repeat the whole routine.
Core Workout at Home
Working out the core is so important. Not only can it give you those defined abdominal muscles that you’re looking for (as long as you eat well), but it also helps with balance and the other exercises that you want to do.
Keeping a strong core will keep you in better health as you age. You may have fewer mobility problems and you’ll be able to do more “fun things” like surfing and sports.
You don’t need any equipment for this workout but you’re welcome to add weights or heavy household objects if you feel the need.
This is another circuit workout. You’ll be going through a 45 seconds on, 10 seconds off pattern, and repeating the circuits 3 to 5 times. You’ll burn out earlier than you expect!
If you feel like giving yourself an extra challenge, hold a plank during your breaks.
- Flutter kicks
- Side plank pulses on the left
- Side plank pulses on the right
- Plank hip dips
- Back bow pulses
- Russian twists
- Bicycle crunches
- Toe-touch crunches
This might seem simple on paper, but by the time you’re at your final plank, you might find your abs shaking. You’ll definitely feel this tomorrow.
Leg Workouts at Home
Legs are tricky. Many of us who work out our legs frequently do so with heavier weights. When you’re at home, you don’t have the heavy barbells and leg press machines that help you achieve your goals.
While these workouts may not utilize those weights, you will still feel a burn. You may also gain functional strength and a better form while you’re at it so you’re ready to get back to the gym in better shape than ever.
Again, we suggest using any available equipment for some of these exercises. Dumbbells are great, but so are schoolbooks, jarred and canned food, or anything else that can add an extra challenge. We’ll also provide an equipment-free version.
Consider doing these exercises in front of a mirror to make sure that your form is correct. Poor form can result in injuries.
You don’t need anything but yourself for this workout, but feel free to add weights or bands if you have them. This is a mix of strength, cardio, and pilates movements that should give your legs and glutes a healthy burn despite the lack of additional weight.
It’s a circuit workout, but you may only want to repeat it twice. You’ll be going 45 seconds on, 10 seconds off. The squat jumps might seem intense, but they’ll keep your heart rate up throughout the routine.
- Reverse lunges, switching sides every time
- Squat jumps
- Curtsy lunges, switching sides each time
- Static squat hold
- Squat jumps
- Bulgarian split squats (you do need a chair for this)
- Static lunge pulses on the left
- Static lunge pulses on the right
- Squat jumps
- Kneeling rear leg raises on the right
- Kneeling rear leg raises on the left
- Bridge thrusts
This is meant to burn your legs out as well as possible without equipment. It’s a longer routine, but your legs are durable. Be prepared to feel sore tomorrow!
Like with the upper body, this workout is going to go in sets of 2 with each set having 10 to 12 repetitions. You can repeat when you’re finished if you feel that it’s necessary. Whether you’re doing this with dumbbells, heavy books, or anything else, be sure to keep good form.
- Basic squats
- Goblet squats
- Basic deadlifts
- Weighted squat jumps
- Single leg deadlift on the right
- Single leg deadlift on the left
- Clean and press, switching sides between repetitions
- Weighted hip thrusts
- Weighted curtsy lunges, switching sides between repetitions
This routine should target all parts of your legs. It may not feel like much at first, but you will feel it in the morning if you challenge yourself.
Yoga at Home
Many people underestimate yoga as an exercise and avoid it. Yoga is popular because it works. It enhances mindfulness, sleep, flexibility, and strength. You may not be lifting heavy weights, but you will support your body weight.
An ideal yoga routine is dependent on the individual, and it often requires visual aids in order for people to get the hang of it without injuring themselves. For this reason, we won’t type out routines here.
Rather, we’ll direct you to a good yoga resource where you can find videos to follow along with and suit your needs.
You’ll be surprised at how much your functional strength, balance, and flexibility all increase when you’re doing a routine yoga practice.
Apartment-Friendly (No-Noise) Workout
Some of us are stuck at home in our upstairs apartments. Heavy workouts aren’t good for our downstairs neighbors. They make too much noise!
You can still get a good workout in without becoming an upstairs menace. Here’s one of our favorite upstairs no-noise workout routines that will keep you quiet while raising that heart rate.
These exercises are also lower-impact than some of the others on the list, but you can make modifications if you need to.
This is another circuit-style workout, but there’s only one long circuit. Repeat it a minimum of 3 times. Feel free to add weights where applicable. You’ll be working on a 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off pattern but feel free to take breaks if you need them.
- Mountain climbers
- Squats-to-lunges, switching sides every repetition
- Kneel to prisoner squats
- Walk-down to pushups
- Squick side lunges, switching sides every repetition
Get that burn without your neighbors being bothered. These are quick enough moves with long intervals, meaning that you should have an elevated heart rate despite the lack of jumping around.
High-Intensity Cardio Indoors
While running can be high-intensity, some of us don’t want to go outside at all and we’re still looking for a good sweat. No problem!
While these may not be as high-intensity as the workouts you can do at the gym, they will tire you out. Again, this is in a single-circuit format. Repeat it 3 to 5 times. Push yourself, but know your limits.
This is another one that’s going to burn out your legs, so it’s best to space it out. If you’re going at your full intensity you should only be able to do it for 30 to 40 seconds. Start with 40 and go from there and take a 20-second break in between.
- Squat jumps
- High knee taps
- Plank hip dips
- Jumping jacks
- Jumping lunges, switching sides every repetition
The plank hip dips here offer you a bit of a break in between those leg-heavy movements, but you’ll still feel it. This one isn’t apartment-friendly, so be warned if you have downstairs neighbors!
You Don’t Need The Gym to Get a Good Workout!
At-home workouts are a great way to feel the burn while you’re waiting for the gyms to open back up. It won’t be quite the same, but you’ll maintain your muscle and work on your cardiovascular health and flexibility all while gaining functional strength.
Don’t knock at-home workouts before you try them!
If you want to supplement your workouts and boost your recovery so you can keep reaching your goals, we’ve got you covered. Visit our shop to check out our awesome supplements and exercise aids to keep you strong and ready to work.