It’s late in the evening, you’re in your PJs, a bowl of snacks in your lap, and the second or third episode of your new fav Netflix show is on.
Suddenly, your phone beeps and your fitness app reminds you that you’ve missed another day of working out. Well, no worries, you’ll start tomorrow or maybe on Monday.
Your car is broken so you can’t hit the gym in due time. Besides, you’re short on time this month and it’s been a while since you’ve been physically active.
Sounds familiar? It’s incredible how easy it is to avoid training, not to mention sticking to a weekly schedule of regular exercises.
Though you can always find excuses for couch-potato procrastinating, don’t forget that your home is a convenient place to start or keep up with your workout routine.
Not only that you’ll save money and time but you’ll also be surprised how little you need to make a home gym to enjoy- a pair of dumbells, a yoga mat, elastic bands, a chair and a fitness ball.
Actually, you may be surprised that for many workouts you need no equipment at all. Use your smartphone or computer to play a fitness video or a workout app and you are ready to hit the floor!
Here is a list of the top 10 exercises to do at home:
1. HIIT (High-Impact)
The perfect workouts to help you speed up weight loss. HIIT is the other name for a ‘High-Intensity Interval Training’, a type of training that efficiently burns fat and saves time through short intervals of exercise.
The HIIT sessions can last from 10- 45 minutes per session and they usually include running sprints, squat thrusts, side squat walks, mountain-climbers push-ups, burpees etc.
The main patter of performing this type of exercise includes an intense working out of 45 seconds followed by 15 seconds of rest.
According to researchers, short intensive physical activity with brief recovery breaks may shed extra pounds and reduce overall body weight.
To perform HIIT all you have to do is focus on alternating your pace and intensity. You can do it while doing cardio exercise at home or lifting weights. Perform it three days a week in 2 to 4 rounds per training.
No equipment needed.
2. HIIT (Low- Impact)
Though HIIT exercises are great fat- shredder and muscle builder, they may be hard on your joints and cause you pain in your back, ankles, and knees.
Trainers claim that high- intensity exercise doesn’t have to result in high- impact since you can work hard without putting a great impact on your body like running.
HIIT jumping exercises may be turned into low- impact bodyweight exercises that will still boost your heart rate, burn calories and work your entire body.
Complete a resistance circuit training to build strength and get an effective cardio workout. Perform each of these exercises for 45 sec and rest for 15 sec. Perform it three days a week in 2 to 4 rounds per training.
Barre is a ballet-inspired mash-up of yoga and Pilates exercises that will enhance your muscle flexibility and body strength. During each session, you will use your body weight accompanied by lightweights.
The Barre workouts are low-impact and require a higher mental focus to perform targeted movements, usually done in one-inch increments. These will increase elasticity in muscles and improve the strength and tone of your body .
When performed on a regular weekly basis, the barre can be quite effective, especially when combined with cardio and weightlifting training in your home exercise routine.
Do a mix of ballet squats moving up and down, followed by knee lift and glutes press, deep lunges, high planks with leg raise, clamshell, and leg develop. Add lightweights to enhance the effectiveness of workouts.
Equipment: yoga mat, a pair of light dumbbells.
Pilates workouts will sculpt, tighten, and tone your entire body while strengthening your core. It will also provide you good posture and balance.
The Pilates fitness method was invented at the beginning of the 20th century by Joseph Pilates who designed the movements for English vets to recover from injuries sustained during WWI.
Pilates provides a highly effective set of exercises that shape the legs, abs, arms and but and lean out each muscle group in the body. Most of the exercises are performed with no equipment or by adding lightweights.
According to researchers and therapists, Pilates may be a beneficial way to tackle low back pain and excess body weight. As a home workout, it requires replicating of mat sequences by using your body weight.
Exercises included are pilates curl, ball and regular roll-ups, leg kicks, shoulder bridges single and double leg stretch, crisscross and a combination of Pilates planks and push-ups.
Equipment: yoga mat, lightweight dumbbells.
5. Gym Ball Exercise
Gym balls, also called stability, Swiss, or exercise balls are a great piece of equipment to challenge your entire body. By adding a training with a gumball to your home workout routine, you will sculpt muscles but also increase balance and focus.
Easy to inflate and deflate and therefore store in the nooks of smaller homes, this workout element is a-must when setting up a home gym.
By using a gym ball, you’ll take a step forward to building functional strength, improve your posture, and support muscles that take over the performance of intense workouts such as presses or squats.
Most of the gym ball exercises are focused on regular or reverse crunches, squeezes, leg scissors, V-sits, and planks, and do not require any equipment but a yoga mat.
6. Full-Body Workout
If you opt for a full-body workout at home, you will be saving time and still work on a wide array of muscle groups in your body.
Fitness gurus and experts recommend versatile sets and rotatory regimens of full-body workouts, however, most of these are tailored to increase motion, add strength and stamina, and increase endurance.
Each series starts with a warm-up and ends with a cooldown of 5- 15 minutes each, followed by a strength circuit and end with bodyweight or core-focused cardio circuit that will boost your heart rate.
According to research, full-body workouts train the body to move in a functional manner and thus memorize patterns of movement that you will perform in your daily life.
In general, a full-body workout is composed of exercises such as glute bridges, wood chop, squat to overhead press with dumbbells, v-ups, plank up-downs etc.
Equipment: a yoga mat and light to medium weight dumbbells.
7. Tabata Workout
Tabata workouts were invented by a Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and a group of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo .
Tabata training is highly popular and focused fat-burning exercises that last for 4 minutes. The Tabata workouts are of high-intensity intervals and affect both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
In general, Tabata workouts include burpees, lunges, jump rope, squat jacks, plank jacks, mountain climbers etc., and don’t require any equipment.
Doing a single set of Tabata workout of 4 minutes may increase your metabolism, and help you burn more fat than regular cardio exercises.
Pick a set of exercises, repeat 4 times in 4 minutes, or do just one set and complete 2 full series. Remember to push with maximum intensity for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds in between.
No equipment required.
8. Yoga Cardio
A blend of toning and cardio workouts with yoga movements.
Though yoga is scarcely associated with the intensity of cardio exercises, a harmonious combination of these two is possible and also a one that will effectively activate and tone your entire body.
Yoga cardio is an excellent way to burn calories, stretch out your muscles, and increase body strength.
A great mind-and-body exercise regimen that if included in your regular workout schedule, may contribute with a number of health benefits such as increased flexibility, decreased anxiety, lowered blood pressure etc.
This 15- minute workout structure includes 6 yoga exercises with 10 repetitions of each, followed by 30 seconds of bodyweight cardio intervals to increase heart rate and induce sweating.
This type of workout does not require any equipment except a yoga mat.
9. Upper Body and Lower Body Workouts
Having a strong upper body is significant to feel healthy and strong. In order to have strong and toned arms, back, chest and shoulders we recommend you focus on workouts that will activate the muscle groups of these parts of your body and make you feel energized and balanced.
Upper body workouts will improve your posture and improve your cardiovascular health. You don’t have to be an experienced athlete or bodybuilder to incorporate weight lifting and resistance exercises that will enhance your stamina and thus help you meet new challenges during a workout.
If you want to enhance the strength, tone, and define your lower body parts, opt for workouts that are specially designed for this area. Lower body workouts may be low or high impact and, therefore, include a combination of a variety of exercise regimens such as cardio, HIIT, Pilates, and even Barre movements.
Upper body training performed at home include plank tap and side planks, decline and incline push-ups (some of them with downward dog pose included), as well as exercises for your back, biceps, triceps, pectorals, and deltoids with the use of dumbbells or/ and elastic bands.
Lower body exercises include squats, lunges, glute bridges, single-leg deadlifts, thrusters, and good mornings as well as booty-targeted donkey-hits with or without adding an elastic band to increase resistance and intensity.
Though upper body exercises are closely associated with lifting weights, there are many sets and versions of these that you can do with no equipment, and by solely using your own body weight to add intensity.
In general, upper and lower body workouts requires a yoga mat and optional use of dumbbells, any chair/ bench you have at home, and/ or elastic resistance bands.
Cross-training is a whole-body workout that provides a complete body tune-up. It will strengthen your heart, muscles, and joints but it will also have a positive impact on your flexibility and balanced boy weight.
The variety of exercises incorporated in cross-trainings may help you lose fat and achieve the fitness level that you are aiming for.
Most of the cross-training workouts include aerobic as well as anaerobic fitness such as jogging, bicycling, rowing and sprinting. Also, they may include weight training and exercises for muscle endurance such as push-up and sit-ups.
All these exercises and they’re multiple paired variations can be performed in the comfort of your own home, with or without equipment.
For a start, focus on anaerobic cross-training to test your level of physical endurance and strength. Opt by searching for this type of exercise in some of the workout apps available on the internet.
Researchers have shown that aerobic fitness improves cardiovascular health and requires activation and engagement of a number of muscle groups which improves the stamina .
In general, you can combine your cross-training at home with other types of exercises or outdoor sports.
However, it is good to know that cross-trainings are task- specified workout which means that you may want to choose specific activities that target specific body areas until you achieve your result.