30-DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
Getting on the fitness track doesn't always require a gym membership. When you don't have time to hit the gym, or you just rather stay in but don't want to skip workouts, here's some exercises you can do at home with minimal equipment. Let's begin!
When it comes to exercises you can do at home, bodyweight exercises are the go-to. Just starting out? Beginner bodyweight workouts at home are simple to follow, in fact, because they don't require any equipment, bodyweight movements are perfect not only for home but for workouts during your travels too. Do them anywhere anytime, no excuses to skip workouts.
Bodyweight strength training need no introduction, but to make things super simple for you, we will give you only three exercises: push-ups, squats, and pull-ups. Doing only these three exercises will hit almost all muscle groups in your body and develop a nice physique (even if you fail to go to the gym).
The pushup is the king of all bodyweight exercises and the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to (bodyweight) training. This movement is timeless and a staple of many good workouts, in or outside the gym.
Pushups primarily target your chest muscles. But, besides pecs, they heavily engage triceps, shoulders and especially front delts. But, to do a correct pushup, your whole body needs to stay rigid, which is why this exercise activates all major pushing and stability muscles in your upper body.
Pushups are incredibly flexible, and you can do dozens of variations of them just by changing arm position, or by elevating your feet. The general rule is that it will get increasingly difficult if you raise your feet. Also, if you put your hands narrow, you will activate triceps more, while keeping them wide hits chest harder. Play around, and see what works for you.
If you have bad wrists, you might consider exercising on push-up bars. These will not only spare your achy wrists but will also make the exercise more challenging, as you go deeper, targeting pecs even more.
Barbell squats are the king of gym leg training, but no bodyweight workout can go without squats too, at least if you are interested in having a balanced physique. In other words, if you want to avoid chicken legs, you better include some bodyweight squats into your routine!
Squats primarily target your quads, but also glutes and other muscles of your lower body. Here, your legs should be slightly wider than shoulder-width, toes slightly pointing outward. You should initiate the movement with your knees, dropping deep, while trying to keep your chest up. You can either cross your arms behind your head or keep them straight in front of your chest.
To make squats more interesting, introduce isometric holds, keeping the bottom position for 10-30 seconds on every tenth rep. Or, you can do the opposite, doing a jump squat after every ten reps. But, because squats are hard to do, you will find them challenging even if you just do the regular version over and over again.
Pullups are the staple of bodyweight back training and are one of the greatest tests of strength. If you can pull your body over your bar, you are strong. If you can do it ten times with proper form, you are one badass individual!
You will need a pull-up bar, or a horizontal tree branch (tip: get a pull-up bar!) to perform this exercise. This is still a bodyweight exercise because external resistance isn't used. If you can't do a single pullup, you might find this exercise demoralizing. Don't worry, there's a solution—start doing negative pull-ups first.
Jump to the bar or use a chair to lift yourself to the top position (the bar should be at your chest level). Then, slowly lower yourself down. That will help you build up strength, helping you practice pullups with good form. You can also hang a band around your knees to assist in making the movement a little easier.
As for variations, place your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width holding the bar with an overhand grip. This will activate your lats and other back muscles more and is harder for most people. Or, do chin-ups where your arms are narrower, holding the bar underhand. This will activate your biceps more, and are easier than regular pull-ups. Just make sure to lock the elbows, going through the full range of motion.
First things first—no matter how much you train your abs, you will never reveal them unless you get your diet right, and body fat percentage low. That being said, core training is still valuable, as it stabilizes your spine, and prevents injuries. Here are some core exercises you can do anywhere, as long as you have an exercise mat, or a thick carpet under you:
Planks are a great way to train your core as they engage both your abdominal muscles and lower back erectors, but also obliques if you do side planks.
They are simple to perform, you just need to keep your body in a straight line, with only your toes and your elbows contacting the ground. Hold that position with your core braced, and that’s it. If it is too easy, try moving your hands forward and hold yourself on your palms, not elbows. You can also elevate your feet, or put them on a stability exercise ball. Another option is to hold your elbows on the ball, which will make it even harder on your core.
To work your side, all you need is to rotate yourself, holding your weight over one elbow while maintaining the lift in hips and keeping the back straight. Once you complete the exercise, switch sides, and repeat.
Crunches and situps are the old-school proven method of training abs. Everyone knows how to do them, and they need no introduction. Just lie on your back, bend your knees, lifting your head and chest towards the ceiling.
To hit obliques, rotate your torso, touching your left knee to right elbow, and vice versa. For lower abs, do reverse crunches. Lie on the floor with your legs straight, and slowly raise and lower them, without letting them touch the floor.
You can also try using a great classic ab wheel roller to perform bodyweight training. This simple piece of equipment will push your abs to the next level. It will take some practice and serious muscle soreness before you become comfortable using it.
Just remember this is an ab exercise, engage from your core and keep torso rigid, maintaining the same arch throughout the movement. Avoid flexing and extending your hips.
While doing pullups, squats and pushups won't turn you into a hulk, it is just enough to start building your perfect Greek God physique. Of course, if you have some equipment at home, you can make this workout even better. Gym equipment is much more affordable than it used to be, so there’s no reason why you shouldn't get a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells for quick exercises you can do at home.
We want to hear from you, let us know in the comments what your favorite form of home training is!