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Last Updated on April 15, 2021

12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

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12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

Covid-19 has certainly made getting to the gym more difficult, but if we’re honest, it was difficult before, as well. Between tiring days at work, helping the kids with their homework, and maintaining a social life, where do you find time to squeeze in an hour or two at the gym? Sometimes, the only solution to maintaining your health and fitness rests on the best at home workout.

The good news is that it’s possible to train from home without any equipment and get fantastic results. As long as you’re pushing the body hard enough, you’re going to be fine. The bad news is that you may not know where to start.

There are a plethora of different training regimens out there, and it’s difficult to know which one is best for you, especially if you’re used to live classes or in-person workout programs.

This article will cover the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use for strength, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and mobility. There will be an exact breakdown of all the exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and instructions required to stay fit, healthy, and happy while on lockdown.

The following sessions are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts to accommodate any experience level. They are all bodyweight exercises that can be combined into a full body workout to build strength while working out at home.

A thorough warm-up is also included to ensure that you don’t get injured. Please check each workout before you perform it to make sure that the exercises and movements don’t cause you any pain from previous or pre-existing injuries.

If you need help getting into the habit of working out at home, you can try Lifehack’s free 30-Day Resistance Band Workout Challenge.

Read on to find the 12 best at-home workouts you can use to upgrade your strength, burn some calories, and improve your flexibility while training at home.

Warm-Up

Complete the warm-ups below for 5-6 minutes before each of the best at home workouts you’ll find below. Complete each exercise for a total of 15 seconds at a slow to moderate pace, and your body will be ready to jump into more intense exercises.

Repeat for 3-4 rounds, as this will help lubricate your joints, slowly elevate your heart rate, and get your body ready for exercise[1].

  • Exercise 1: Squats[2]

    • Exercise 2: Lunge[3]

      • Exercise 3: Leg Swings[4]

        • Exercise 4: Star Jumps[5]

          • Exercise 5: Push-ups[6]

            • Exercise 6: Squat Thrusts[7]

              Dynamic Stretches

              Complete the relevant dynamic stretches after your warm-up. For strength workouts, complete the stretches relevant to the session you’re about to partake in (e.g. upper body stretches before an upper-body workout).

              For HIIT workouts, complete both the lower body and upper body dynamic stretches. For mobility workouts, you don’t need to do these.

              Aim to do 15-20 reps on each side for 1 round.

              Upper Body Dynamic Stretches:

              • Exercise 1: Arm Swings

                • Exercise 2: Arm Circles[8]

                  • Exercise 3: External Shoulder Rotations[9]

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                    • Exercise 4: Torso Twists[10]

                      Lower Body Dynamic Stretches:

                      • Exercise 1: Step Throughs[11]

                        • Exercise 2: Lying Side Leg Swings[12]

                          • Exercise 3: Quadruped Kickbacks/Hip Circles[13]

                            • Exercise 4: Leg Swings (Front & Side)

                              Strength Workouts

                              1. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Beginner)

                              This is one of the best at home workouts if you’re a beginner looking to build upper-body strength. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                              For exercises 2-6, use two water bottles to mimic weights. For exercise 7, you can use the couch or a chair to support yourself.

                              • Exercise 1: Push-Ups — 2 sets, 5-10 reps

                                • Exercise 2: Bent-Over Row — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[14]

                                  • Exercise 3: Shoulder Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[15]

                                    • Exercise 4: Floor Chest Press — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[16]

                                      • Exercise 5: Lateral Raises — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[17]

                                        • Exercise 6: Bicep Curls — 2 sets, 12-15 reps[18]

                                          • Exercise 7: Triceps Dips — 2 sets, 12-15 reps[19]

                                            2. Abs Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                            This bodyweight workout is great for building muscle tone in your abs. Complete all exercises with 30 seconds rest between sets, and use a yoga mat if you have one.

                                            • Exercise 1: Air Bike — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[20]

                                              • Exercise 2: Crunches — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[21]

                                                • Exercise 3: Russian Twists — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[22]
                                                  • Exercise 4: Bridges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[23]
                                                    • Exercise 5: Plank Shoulder Taps — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[24]

                                                      • Exercise 6: Flutter Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps (each leg)[25]

                                                        3. Leg Strength Workout (Beginner)

                                                        If you’re looking to add some strength to your legs, this is the best at home workout for that purpose. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. For exercises 3-4, you can use the sofa or a chair to support yourself.

                                                        • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[26]

                                                          • Exercise 2: Forward Standing Lunges — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[27]

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                                                            • Exercise 3: Bulgarian Split Squat — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[28]

                                                              • Exercise 4: Hip Thrusts — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[29]

                                                                • Exercise 5: Romanian Deadlift (Use two water bottles) — 2 sets, 8-10 reps[30]

                                                                  • Exercise 6: Standing Calf Raises — 2 sets, 12-15 reps[31]

                                                                    4. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                    For exercises 6-7, use two heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                    • Exercise 1: Vertical Wall Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[32]

                                                                      • Exercise 2: Pike Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit
                                                                      • Exercise 3: Towel Row — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[33]

                                                                        • Exercise 4: Plyometric Push-Ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[34]

                                                                          • Exercise 5: Triceps Extensions (from plank position) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[35]

                                                                            • Exercise 6: Bicep Hammer Curls — 3-4 sets, until limit[36]

                                                                              • Exercise 7: Triceps Kickbacks — 3-4 sets, until limit[37]

                                                                                5. Abs Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                If you need more core support and strength, this is the best at home workout for those who are already comfortable working out. Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

                                                                                With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                • Exercise 1: Jack Knife Sit ups — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[38]

                                                                                  • Exercise 2: Lying Leg Raises — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[39]

                                                                                    • Exercise 3: Plank Hand-to-Toe Touches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[40]

                                                                                      • Exercise 4: Cocoon Crunches — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[41]

                                                                                        • Exercise 5: Plank Knee-to-Elbow — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[42]

                                                                                          • Exercise 6: Side Plank Reach Through — 3-4 sets, until limit[43]

                                                                                            6. Leg Strength Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                            Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets. With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to your limit, or to your absolute limit (until you feel like you really can’t do more). This will dictate how many reps to do.

                                                                                            For exercises 4-6, use heavy water bottles if you don’t have weights available.

                                                                                            • Exercise 1: Pistol Squat — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[44]

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                                                                                              • Exercise 2: Bulgarian Jump Squat (use sofa) — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[45]

                                                                                                • Exercise 3: Jumping Lunges — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[46]

                                                                                                  • Exercise 4: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[47]
                                                                                                    • Exercise 5: Single-Leg Hip Thrusts — 3-4 sets, 1 rep before limit[48]
                                                                                                      • Exercise 6: Single-Leg Calf Raises — 3-4 sets, until limit[49]

                                                                                                        7. HIIT Workout (Beginner)

                                                                                                        This is the best at home workout for those who are new to HIIT training. Complete all exercises for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. Complete 4 rounds.

                                                                                                        • Exercise 1: Squat

                                                                                                          • Exercise 2: Toe Touches[50]

                                                                                                            • Exercise 3: Walk-Outs[51]

                                                                                                              • Exercise 4: Heel Flicks
                                                                                                              • Exercise 5: Plank[52]

                                                                                                                • Exercise 6: Jumping Jacks[53]
                                                                                                                  • Exercise 7: Mountain Climbers[54]

                                                                                                                    8. HIIT Workout (Intermediate)

                                                                                                                    Complete all exercises for 35 seconds of work with 25 seconds of rest. Complete 5-6 rounds.

                                                                                                                    • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks

                                                                                                                      • Exercise 2: Burpees[55]

                                                                                                                        • Exercise 3: Push-ups

                                                                                                                          • Exercise 4: High Knees[56]

                                                                                                                            • Exercise 5: Plank Ups[57]

                                                                                                                              • Exercise 6: Star-Jumps

                                                                                                                                • Exercise 7: Cross-Body Mountain Climbers[58]))

                                                                                                                                  9. HIIT Workout (Advanced)

                                                                                                                                  If you’ve already been doing HIIT training for a while, this is one of the best at home workouts to keep you going. Complete all exercises for 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest. Complete 7-8 rounds.

                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 1: Jump Squats[59]

                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 2: Hand Release Burpees[60]

                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 3: Lateral Shoot Throughs[61]

                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 4: Tuck Jumps[62]

                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 5: Plank Toe Touches

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                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 6: Spiderman Push-Ups[63]

                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 7: Sprawls

                                                                                                                                                Mobility Workouts

                                                                                                                                                10. Upper Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper body.

                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 1: Cat-Cow[64]

                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 2: Upward Dog[65]
                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 3: Chest Release[66]

                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 4: Child’s Pose[67]

                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 5: Reach Through (15-20 seconds each side)[68]

                                                                                                                                                          11. Lower Body Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                          If you need more flexibility in your hips and legs, this is the best at home workout for you. Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total, and do 2-3 sets. Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

                                                                                                                                                          This workout will help improve flexibility in your lower body.

                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 1: Scorpion Kicks (15-20 seconds each side)[69]

                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 2: Seated Glute Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)[70]

                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 3: Lying Quad Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)[71]

                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 4: Lumbar Twist (15-20 seconds each side)[72]

                                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise 5: Standing Hamstring Stretch[73]

                                                                                                                                                                    • Exercise 6: Seated Hip Flexor Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)[74]

                                                                                                                                                                      12. Spinal Mobility Workout

                                                                                                                                                                      Complete each exercise for 10 reps total, and do 2-3 sets. This workout will help improve your posture, alleviate lower back pain, and increase your flexibility.

                                                                                                                                                                      It’s highly recommended if you’re an office worker that spends most of the day sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Exercise 1: Prone Back Extension[75]

                                                                                                                                                                        • Exercise 2: Tail Wag[76]

                                                                                                                                                                          • Exercise 3: Quadruped Side Bend[77]

                                                                                                                                                                            • Exercise 4: Seated Forward Fold[78]

                                                                                                                                                                              • Exercise 5: A-Frame to Squat[79]

                                                                                                                                                                                • Exercise 6: Side-Lying Rotations[80]

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Final Thoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                  These are the 12 best at home workouts that you can use to level up your body, torch some calories, and enhance your flexibility while at home. Give these a go, and you’ll be well on your way feeling fitter, healthier, and more productive after lockdown is over!

                                                                                                                                                                                  More Workouts You Can Do at Home

                                                                                                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

                                                                                                                                                                                  Reference

                                                                                                                                                                                  [1] Fit: 5 REASONS WHY WARM UP EXERCISES ARE IMPORTANT
                                                                                                                                                                                  [2] Pars Health Clinic: Lower Back Pain From Squats: Why this Happens and How to Avoid it
                                                                                                                                                                                  [3] 200 Lunges: What is a Lunge?
                                                                                                                                                                                  [4] Anytime Fitness: Lower Body Wedding Workout 1
                                                                                                                                                                                  [5] The Frugal Exerciser: STAR JUMPS WORKOUT
                                                                                                                                                                                  [6] Australian Fitness Academy: HOW TO PUSH UP: PROPER BODYWEIGHT PUSH UP TECHNIQUE
                                                                                                                                                                                  [7] Popsugar Fitness: If You Hate Burpees, This Move Is Here to Save You
                                                                                                                                                                                  [8] Popsugar Fitness: This Is Your 10-Minute Cut Arms and Cut Abs Workout
                                                                                                                                                                                  [9] Athletics Weekly: Stretch: External rotation
                                                                                                                                                                                  [10] Flipping Heck: 5 Yoga Poses For Office Workers
                                                                                                                                                                                  [11] Men’s Health: Chris Hemsworth’s Functional Fitness Workout
                                                                                                                                                                                  [12] Pilates Can: Side Lying Single Leg Swings
                                                                                                                                                                                  [13] Julie Lohre’s Fitbody: Donkey Kickbacks
                                                                                                                                                                                  [14] Popsugar Fitness: The Beginner-Friendly Workout That Will Increase Your Fat Burn
                                                                                                                                                                                  [15] Man of Many: 10 Best Shoulder Exercises for Men
                                                                                                                                                                                  [16] Adam Kemp Fitness: Dumbbell Floor Press Benefits & How to Do the DB Floor Press
                                                                                                                                                                                  [17] Popsugar Fitness: Get Gorgeous Shoulders With These 14 Essential Exercises
                                                                                                                                                                                  [18] Cathe: Why You Should Vary Your Hand and Arm Position When You Do Bicep Curls
                                                                                                                                                                                  [19] Central Mass Physical Therapy & Wellness: Technique Tuesday: no more triceps dips!
                                                                                                                                                                                  [20] Women’s Health: How To Do Bicycle Crunches Without Killing Your Neck
                                                                                                                                                                                  [21] Get Healthy U: How To Do A Basic Crunch
                                                                                                                                                                                  [22] Women’s Health: How To Do A Russian Twist The Right Way
                                                                                                                                                                                  [23] Very Well Health: Hip Bridge Exercises for All Fitness Levels
                                                                                                                                                                                  [24] Popsugar Fitness: 35 Plank Variations That Will Strengthen and Tone Every Inch of Your Body
                                                                                                                                                                                  [25] Abdominales Verdaderos: Guía de Ejercicios 101: Las Flutter Kicks
                                                                                                                                                                                  [26] Shape: The Best Outer-Thigh Exercises and Cardio Workouts
                                                                                                                                                                                  [27] My Fitness Pal: The Difference Between Forward and Reverse Lunges
                                                                                                                                                                                  [28] Openfit: How to Do the Bulgarian Split Squat
                                                                                                                                                                                  [29] Glamour: Hip thrust: the MASTER exercise to shape the glutes
                                                                                                                                                                                  [30] Outlift: THE ROMANIAN DEADLIFT GUIDE
                                                                                                                                                                                  [31] Popsugar Fitness: 7 Important Exercises You’re Probably Neglecting
                                                                                                                                                                                  [32] The Health Science Journal: Wall Push Ups
                                                                                                                                                                                  [33] Strong Fitness Magazine: A Full-Body Workout You Can Do With a Towel
                                                                                                                                                                                  [34] NASM: THE SMALL-GROUP CIRCUIT WORKOUT
                                                                                                                                                                                  [35] Popsugar Fitness: Grab Your Dumbbells — These Exercises Will Tone, Shape, and Strengthen Your Arms
                                                                                                                                                                                  [36] Gym Junkies: Hammer Curls 101
                                                                                                                                                                                  [37] Julie Lohre’s Fitbody: Triceps Kick Backs
                                                                                                                                                                                  [38] Da God’s Fitness: Jackknife Sit-Up
                                                                                                                                                                                  [39] Coach: How To Do Leg Raises
                                                                                                                                                                                  [40] GymBeam: 47 THE BEST AND MADLY ENTERTAINING PLANK VARIATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [41] Bodybuilding: Cocoons
                                                                                                                                                                                  [42] Self: 11 Plank Exercises That Double as Cardio Moves
                                                                                                                                                                                  [43] Openfit: 6 Side Plank Variations That Will Clobber Your Core
                                                                                                                                                                                  [44] The Gymosaur: My favourite exercise #2: the pistol squat
                                                                                                                                                                                  [45] Get Strong: All About Bulgarian Split Squat Jumps Exercise
                                                                                                                                                                                  [46] Ideal Me: Jumping Alternating Lunges
                                                                                                                                                                                  [47] Openfit: How to Do the Single-Leg Deadlift
                                                                                                                                                                                  [48] Wynn Fitness: BEST GLUTE EXERCISES THAT AREN’T THE SQUAT: HIP THRUSTERS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [49] exer-pedia: ACTIVITY: CALF RAISE OFF STEP – SINGLE LEG ECCENTRIC
                                                                                                                                                                                  [50] Popsugar Fitness: Chisel Your Abs and Get a Strong Core With These 13 Moves Trainers Swear By
                                                                                                                                                                                  [51] Women’s Health Mag: How To Do a Walkout: There’s a Reason PTs Love Including Inchworm Exercises in Workouts
                                                                                                                                                                                  [52] SELF: How to Do a Plank With Proper Form
                                                                                                                                                                                  [53] Physical Culture Study: THE HISTORY OF THE JUMPING JACK
                                                                                                                                                                                  [54] Well + Good: To Nail Mountain Climbers, Repeat After Me: Planks but Make ’Em Cardio
                                                                                                                                                                                  [55] Experience Life: How to Do a Burpee
                                                                                                                                                                                  [56] Workout Trends: How to do High Knees ???
                                                                                                                                                                                  [57] Popsugar Fitness: The Best Cardio Exercises You Can Do Right in Your Living Room
                                                                                                                                                                                  [58] Milligan Movement: 5 MINUTE ABS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [59] Ideal Me: Jump Squats
                                                                                                                                                                                  [60] 24 Life: MASTER THIS MOVE: BURPEE
                                                                                                                                                                                  [61] Shape: The Advanced Bosu Ball HIIT Workout That’ll Make You Feel Like an Athlete
                                                                                                                                                                                  [62] Julie Lohre’s Fitbody: Tuck Jump
                                                                                                                                                                                  [63] Popsugar Fitness: The Intense Push-Up Variation That’ll Change the Way Your Abs Look
                                                                                                                                                                                  [64] Workout Trends: Yoga Poses: Cow Cat Back Stretch Pose
                                                                                                                                                                                  [65] Alo: PERFECT THE POSE: UPWARD FACING DOG
                                                                                                                                                                                  [66] VeryWell Fit: How to Do the Towel Chest Stretch
                                                                                                                                                                                  [67] Verywell Fit: How to Do Child’s Pose (Balasana) in Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [68] Kinfolk Wellness: FOAM ROLLER EXERCISES FOR SWIMMERS
                                                                                                                                                                                  [69] Sea Lark Chiropractic: Scorpion Stretch – Day 15 Movement Challenge 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                  [70] MapMyRun: 6 Stretches Every Cyclist Should Do
                                                                                                                                                                                  [71] VeryWell Fit: Quadricep Stretches
                                                                                                                                                                                  [72] VeryWell Health: Yoga Spinal Twist for Back Pain
                                                                                                                                                                                  [73] VeryWell Fit: How to Do Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana) in Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [74] Experience Life: Chair Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [75] Well + Good: 3 Back Extension Exercises That Whisk Away the Effects of Sitting at a Desk All Day
                                                                                                                                                                                  [76] GMB: Back Stretches – Daily Routine to Improve Spinal Mobility
                                                                                                                                                                                  [77] GMB: Back Stretches – Daily Routine to Improve Spinal Mobility
                                                                                                                                                                                  [78] VeryWell Fit: How to Do Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) in Yoga
                                                                                                                                                                                  [79] GMB: Back Stretches – Daily Routine to Improve Spinal Mobility
                                                                                                                                                                                  [80] VeryWell Health: Yoga Spinal Twist for Back Pain

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Oliver Anwar

                                                                                                                                                                                  Fitness Entrepreneur, Health Consultant & Qualified Nutrition Coach

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Last Updated on October 4, 2021

                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

                                                                                                                                                                                  With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

                                                                                                                                                                                  We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Total: 20 to 22 hours

                                                                                                                                                                                  Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

                                                                                                                                                                                  No equipment? No problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                  So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Quadruped Rocks
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Frog Stretch
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hip Prying
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Scapula Push-ups
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hindu push-ups

                                                                                                                                                                                  Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yoga

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Calisthenics

                                                                                                                                                                                  Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

                                                                                                                                                                                  You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Aerobic Exercise

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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                                                                                                                                                                                  5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

                                                                                                                                                                                  High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

                                                                                                                                                                                  Chipper 60

                                                                                                                                                                                  Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

                                                                                                                                                                                  If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

                                                                                                                                                                                  What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sleep

                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  “Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

                                                                                                                                                                                  Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stress

                                                                                                                                                                                  We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stimulants

                                                                                                                                                                                  Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Final Thoughts

                                                                                                                                                                                  Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Reference

                                                                                                                                                                                  [1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
                                                                                                                                                                                  [2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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