When you have a cramped schedule it is hard to get your daily dose of exercise in the gym. As such, we start neglecting our fitness. The best solution to this problem is to create a home workout routine.
You can incorporate as many exercises in your own workout routine as much as you please. You can do push-ups and planks without tools or use the elliptical trainer for a complete full body workout. It is up to you how you style your workout routine keeping your fitness needs and goals in mind.
In this article, I will provide the best workout routines at home with and without the use of any tools or machines. These workout routines are flexible and thus you can adjust them based on your need and level of fitness. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s explore the best workout routines together.
Best Workout Routine at Home without Equipment
If you are a beginner at working out, it is best to start out with an easy workout regime to increase the intensity of the exercises with time. The following workout routine has been created keeping that in mind.
You can complete the following at-home workout routine using no equipment in around 15 minutes. Do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise with a 30 to 60 seconds break in between. Repeat the circuit twice.
Lunges will strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and quads. Moreover, it will also improve your mobility. As a beginner, you should start off with stationary lunges and then move on to walking or jumping lunges. Jumping lunges will increase your overall strength and burn the most calories.
Lunges are pretty simple. All you have to do is stretch one leg in front of the other. Make sure the foot in the front is lying flat on the ground and the foot behind is barely touching the ground. Then bend your knee till the thigh of your front foot is parallel to the floor.
Return to the straightened position by pushing yourself up with your front foot. Repeat this stationary lunge 10 to 15 times, then do the same with the other leg. After you have mastered the stationary lunge in a week or two, level up to the walking lunge.
You just have to add a step forward and back to the stationary lunge to complete a walking lunge. First, keep your feet together. Then step forward by lunging with one leg. Straighten up and then repeat with the other leg. In the case of a jumping lunge, this forward step should be replaced with a jump.
The bridge is a simple exercise that will engage your posterior and core muscles. As a beginner, you should start off your workout routine with a simple bridge. But after a few weeks try incorporating the single-leg bridge into your work out regime.
Lie down on your back while keeping your knees bent. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground. Then extend your arms and lay them by your sides with your palms lying flat on the floor.
Now, lift your hips off the ground until it is fully extended. Tighten your core and squeeze your glutes while raising your hips to do the bridge. Then relax your core and lower your hips back to the starting position. Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times.
To take any exercise to the next level, all you have to do is turn it into a single-leg exercise. So turn your simple bridge into a single-leg exercise to increase the intensity and burn more calories.
All you have to do to complete a single leg bridge is lift one leg off the ground and keep it extended while keeping the other bent down to the ground.
Relax back to the starting position and repeat the same move on the alternate foot. Make sure you do the same number of single-leg bridges on both legs.
Squats are a basic exercise for strengthening your core and leg. Moreover, it also develops your mobility and makes your daily activities easier to do.
If you are a beginner unsure of your form, then you can do your squat with a chair. That way you can master the proper form of a squat. Later on, you can amp up intensity with regular or overhead squats.
At first, stand straight with your back to the chair and toes slightly pointed out. Then bend your knees, hinging your hips and lowering your back till your bottom slightly touches the chair. Keep your arms stretched out in front of you, parallel to the floor while doing this. Then get back to the previous straightened position by pushing up through your feet.
Repeat the squat 10 to 15 times with a chair. You should remove the chair when you have mastered the form. Repeat the same motion by hinging your hips after removing the chair. This way you can master the regular squat without a chair.
If you want to challenge yourself, try doing overhead squats after mastering the regular one. Instead of extending your hands in front of you, extend your hands over your head while squatting up and down. The overhead squat will ensure that your upper body’s range of motion and mobility is also challenged alongside your lower body.
Push-up is the most basic workout move in the book. But it is also quite tough. That’s why slowly build up your strength with a knee push-up then move onto regular ones.
A Knee push-up is a beginner push-up. All you have to do is lie on the floor, face front and lift yourself up with your arms like in a high plank position. Keep your knees attached to the ground.
You need to maintain a straight position from your head to your knees. Bend your elbows down and lift up to complete one push-up. Bend your elbows at a 45° angle. Repeat this 10 to 15 times.
A regular push-up is more challenging and requires more strength. Instead of putting pressure on your knees, focus more on your core while pushing up. Keep your knees off the ground and maintain a high plank position. Push up and down to complete the standard push-up.
After you have mastered both the knee and standard push-up, you should try doing push-ups by lifting on one leg. This is an advanced push-up only incorporating one-legged push-ups on your workout routine after you have mastered the standard push up.
5. Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are a targeted ab exercise that strengthens the core. It is a fairly simple and beginner-level exercise.
The first thing you have to do is lie on your back with your bent hand behind your head. Then raise your legs in a tabletop position. Lift your left elbow to your right knee and crunch up. Your left leg should be extended straight during this move.
Release the crunch and bring your right leg back to its original position. Switch legs, bend your left knee towards your raised right elbow and crunch again. Keep your right leg straightened during this move.
Repeat the elbow to knee crunch alternating between opposite limbs 10 to 15 times. Speed up your movement when you have mastered the bicycle crunch and increased your stamina.
6. Side Plank with Hip Abduction
Planks are diverse. You can incorporate different types of the plank in your workout regime to target different parts of your body. For example, the side plank with hip abduction is a hip-targeting exercise. It will strengthen your hip muscles along with your core and arms.
A side plank is a bit tough for a beginner. So, you can start off the side plank with hip abduction by lying on your side. At first, lie down on your right side leaning on your elbow. Keep your legs straight on the ground.
Raise your left leg up while maintaining your position. Make sure your hips don’t raise or open up in the process. Hold the position for a while and return to the previous position. Repeat the motion 10 to 15 times.
Switch sides, lie on your left side and raise your right leg. Repeat the up and down position the same number of times you did it on the other leg. After you have mastered the side plank with hip abduction while lying down, move onto the kneeling side plank with hip abduction.
Instead of lying down on your side completely, use your knees to hold up your body while lying down on your side. This is a kneeling side plank. Then raise your leg like the regular hip abduction. Extend your arms upward during the hip abduction to engage your core. Repeat the kneeling side plank hip abduction on both sides.
The end goal of the lying and kneeling side plank with hip abduction is to build up strength and mobility to perform regular side planks with hip abduction. There is nothing but your elbow and toes supporting your body while doing this side plank, making it so much more intense. All you have to do is assume the position of a side plank and raise a leg then repeat.
7. Bird Dog
A simple full-body workout you can incorporate into your beginner workout routine is a bird dog. You need to maintain your stability and balance to master the bird dog. When you have mastered the standard bird dog you can move onto the advanced bird dog.
Let’s start with the standard bird dog. All you have to do is get down on all fours. Make sure that your arms are directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Then, relax your neck before simultaneously extending your right arm and left leg.
Hold your stance for a few seconds then get down on your fours again. Repeat the same move with your left arm and leg. Keep on repeating this move by alternating the hands and legs as many times as you can.
After you have mastered the standard bird dog workout over a few weeks, you should move on to the advanced ones. Instead of going down on your fours, you should assume a high plank position to complete the advanced bird dog. While maintaining the bird dog stance, make sure your spine is straight.
Best Workout Routine at Home with Equipment
Even if you are a beginner, you can incorporate simple tools into your at-home workout routine. Dumbbells, resistance bands and elliptical machines or even a chair will help you become fit without pushing you too hard as gym equipment may do. Moreover, you can also build your resistance, strength and muscles with these.
All you will need to complete the following at-home workout routine is a pair of 2-kg dumbbells, a resistant band and an elliptical machine. Hence, the following workout routine is simple but intense. The good thing is you can control the intensity of the workout by choosing the amount of time and reps you want to do.
But if you want to improve you should slowly increase the number of reps and the amount of time you work out. For example, in the beginning, you only workout for 30 minutes, later increase the number of reps and workout for 60 minutes. Now, let’s get into the workout,
- Elliptical Workout Routine
If you are consistent with your workout, investing in an elliptical machine can change your life. 20 minutes on the elliptical machine can work as a warm-up before your actual routine. Again 20 minutes on the elliptical machine depending on the intensity can turn into a full-fledged workout routine.
Designate 20 minutes of your day for working out on the elliptical trainer. Slowly warm up in your first 5-minutes of your workout. Start pedaling and select the manual program on the elliptical monitor to control the pace of your own workout. At first, choose an intensity level that keeps you at a walking pace on the elliptical.
After you have warmed up, elevate the ramps one to four times to increase the intensity. For the next 3-minutes paddle faster on the elliptical but make sure the intensity is at a level in which you can carry on a conversation. When the 3-minutes are over, increase the resistance so that you are paddling slightly faster than last time. Continue paddling at this pace for the next 2-minutes.
Decrease the resistance down to the previous 3-minute workout, when you could paddle fast while holding a conversation.3-minutes later, again increase your resistance and paddle faster for 2- minutes. Cool down in the last 5-minutes by paddling at a slow pace.
A 20-minute workout on the elliptical trainer while increasing and decreasing the resistance, can work as a warm-up before your later exercises but also be a stand-alone workout routine. If you are looking for a more intense workout while maintaining the beginner level, you should move onto other exercises after a 60 seconds break.
- Bicep Curls
If you are not used to working out with dumbbells, start using the one with the lowest weight. For bicep curls, it is best to start with 2-Kg dumbbells for each hand. Bicep curls with dumbbells are great for building muscles and toning your arms.
Start your bicep curl by standing, keeping your feet a hip distance apart. While holding one dumbbell in each hand, maintain a good posture. Make sure your elbows are lying at your sides.
Extend your forearms straight in front of your body while holding the dumbbells. Then bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Hold the stance for a few seconds and squeeze the biceps.
Return to the starting stance by slowly releasing the curl. Repeat the bicep curl 9 more times. Do 2-3 sets of the bicep curls at once after you have gotten used to the weights. After a few weeks or months increase the weight of your dumbbells.
- Bend Over Rows
Bend over rows target your shoulders and back muscles. You can do bend-over rows with both barbells and dumbbells. But if you are not used to doing bent over rows with weights, it’s best to start off with dumbbells. Either way, your shoulders and back muscles will get a good workout.
At first, assume the proper stance of a bent row. Slightly bend your knees and stand with shoulders apart from one foot to another. Keep your palms facing your body while you hold a dumbbell in each hand.
Bend over at a 45° angle and lower your chest to the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Breathe in and tighten your core. Exhale, tighten your shoulder muscles and lift the dumbbells back up towards your ribs. Make sure your back is straight during the whole process.
While you are lifting the dumbbells, make sure it does not go higher than your shoulders. You are only raising it halfway to your ribs, parallel to your shoulders. After the initial stance, do not move your lower body or squat down while you are lifting up the dumbbells.
Hold the dumbbells for a second or two when you lift them up to your ribs. Then inhale again and slowly lower the dumbbells. Keep your knees bent throughout the whole exercise. Repeat the bend row with dumbbells 10 to 12 times.
- Banded Side Step-Out Squat
Resistance bands strengthen, stretch and stabilize muscles when used during an exercise. In the case of a banded side step-out squat, use a loop resistance band. This resistance band is specifically made to strengthen the legs and hips while improving stability.
First, wrap your resistance band right below your knees. Keep your legs shoulder-length apart and slightly bend your knees. Make sure to keep your chest straight while bending your knees. Clasp your hands together and place them in front of your chest.
Slowly take a big step to the side with your right foot, then bend your knees some more and squat. Tighten your glutes and push back from your heels to get back to the initial stance. Then take a pause for a few seconds and repeat the side step-out squat.
The resistance band will make sure you do not lose your footing or get injured. After completing the side step-out squat on your right side, switch sides and do it on your left side. Like this, complete 10 reps on each side.
- Banded Glute Bridge
The banded glute bridge is not much different from the regular bridge. The main difference is that a resistance band is worn around the thighs while working out. Moreover, due to the addition of the resistant band, the bridge becomes more challenging and effective.
People engage their glutes, core and back muscles during the regular bridge. But while performing the banded glute bridge, more secondary muscles are engaged, plus all the muscles are targeted accurately.
The moves of a banded glute bridge are the same as the regular one. First, you have to select a resistance band based on your fitness level. As a beginner, it is better if you choose a band that is less resistant than the others. Because the more resistant a resistance band is the more challenging and intense the workout becomes.
Anyways, after choosing and wearing the resistant band around your thighs, lie down on the ground. The resistance band should be placed right above your knees. Then, assume a table-top position. That is, keep your back straight to the ground while maintaining a right-angled position with your knees.
Tighten your core and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips towards the ceiling. Hold the stance for a few seconds. Then slowly release and relax your hips. Complete 10 to 15 reps of the banded glute bridge daily to see and feel changes in your fitness journey.
5 Things to Keep in Mind Before You Start Working Out
If you want to plan out the best workout routine, you mustn’t jump in headfirst without keeping some things in mind. Here are the things you need to consider before choosing a workout routine:
- Gauge your Current Fitness
The first thing you need to assess before choosing a workout routine is how healthy and fit you are at present. For example, if you have arthritis or cardiovascular diseases you should steer clear from high impact aerobics.
Similarly, if you are super unfit, you should choose a workout routine with easy-to-do exercises and focus more on building stamina.
- Set Achievable and Practical Goals
Goals keep you motivated throughout the workout routine. You may set the goal of losing 20 pounds in a certain period or increase your strength and stamina to run in a marathon or hike a mountain.
Whatever is the case, make sure your goals are attainable and practical lest you end up disappointed and heartbroken.
- Stay Hydrated and Control Diet
You will need to adjust your diet with your workout. You need a proper diet including protein, carbs, vitamins and fibres to make sure you grow and recover quickly. You also need to stop eating junk or processed food and stay hydrated.
You will lose a lot of water and important electrolytes while working out by sweating, thus you must drink water during and after your it.
- Fitness is a Life-Long Journey
You may work out to reach a certain goal, but the end goal is to be healthy and lead the best life possible.
Hence, working out is not temporary. You have to be consistent with it and make it a part of your lifestyle. You need to understand that you will not always be motivated to work out and that it can be painful but you still have to push yourself to lead a better life.
- Know When to Quit
Your body sends you signals to warn you that it is time to stop working out and take some time off. While starting off a workout regime, sore muscles and fatigue are pretty common.
But if you get fevers and dizziness, that is a warning sign that you need to stop and take a rest or change your workout routine. If you experience, muscle cramps, chest pain, cold sweats or arrhythmia stop exercising immediately.
You do not need to go to the gym to stay healthy and fit. Bodyweight and strength can be improved at home with no equipment. All you have to do is choose a workout routine, start working out and be consistent. There are various routines that do or do not require tools. So, which one you choose may depend on your budget.
Different workout routines work best for different people. So, it is important to determine your body goals before designing your workout regime. You need to find the best workout routine at home for yourself. Having said that, I hope the workout routines I provided in this article helped you in some way or form. Thanks for reading and best of luck to you.