Best Workouts At Home for All Fitness Levels
Cabin fevered, month after month, we’ve waited for gyms and even outdoor areas to re-open.
Many refused to get discouraged. They devised good effective workouts at home. Some saw chances to better themselves, capitalizing on extra free time to get in shape for the first time in years or for the first time ever.
In weathering a pandemic, getting and staying in shape, or mastering a sport, it’s about the motivation to overcome struggles and work with what you’ve got.
So whether you get stuck at home or don’t want to pay for a gym membership, you can be strong and healthy knowing good workouts to do at home. It just takes drive and some creativity.
Workout Level: How to Know if You are a Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced?
Working is a great activity to schedule in everyday. If you’re a beginner, make sure to take it easy and learn the exercises. Here’s a quick guide to gauge your fitness level.
- You’ve never or seldom worked out beyond P.E.
- You played sports growing up, you’ve attended the gym, but you haven’t worked out for a long time
- You were a serious or semi-serious athlete growing up
- You’ve consistently worked out at least a couple of times per week
- You’ve been a committed athlete most of your life
- You work out intensely most days
Here's a quick table of exercises for all skill levels.
Hands to Forearms Planks
Weighted Calf Raises
Calf Raise Variations
Modified Russian Twist
Weighted Russian Twist
Seven Tips Before You Start
- Be safe. Mind health problems or previous injuries. If something feels wrong, stop. Use proper form.
- One step at a time. Find a challenging intensity level that doesn’t force you to give up. Incrementally adjust difficulty to break a sweat without breaking your will.
- Be deliberate. Track reps, time, and weight to ramp it up at a manageable rate.
- Be consistent. Have the discipline to stick with it. Commit to a workout routine at least three times a week.
- Fuel up. Hydrate and eat an appropriate amount of nutritious foods.
Wear the right gear. Comfortable clothes and sneakers must accommodate movement. It’s not too tight but not too loose and stays put without excess fabric in the way. That’s why Excel Women’s Workout Shorts from Goal Five make ideal workout shorts.
- Have fun. Enjoy pushing yourself. Get together with a workout buddy. Start your favorite music, show, or podcast, and go for it.
At-Home Workout Exercises for Beginners
Get used to the movements and form, but it shouldn’t feel too easy. Slightly modify and alternate exercises to feel like work.
Time: Aim for 3-5 minutes repeating each exercise before moving on to the next one.
Reps: Repeat until your muscles fatigue. If you’re doing tons of reps without feeling anything, make that exercise harder with modifications or weight.
Rest: Break for one to two minutes between sets of reps. More reps = shorter break.
Squats work thighs, butt muscles, and core to tone up belly fat. Start with a chair to learn the motion until strength and balance develop.
How to Perform Chair Squat?
Pull up a chair.
- Stand in front of the chair, feet shoulder-width apart.
- Torso upright, arms forward, don’t extend your knees past your toes as you sit.
- Push down into your heels and use your butt muscles to stand. Repeat
2. Modified Push-Ups
Push-ups strengthen the arms, shoulders, chest, and core.
How to Perform Modified Push-Ups?
- Find a floor or sturdy wall. Place a yoga mat or a folded towel to cushion your knees and hands on a hard floor.
- Support yourself on your knees, hands shoulder-width apart on the floor or yoga mat. Alternately, stand slightly further than arms-length away from the wall, leaning hands on the wall at shoulder height, shoulder-width apart.
- Maintain a straight line from back to knees or back to ankles, bending elbows at a 45-degree angle with your torso.
3. Skipping Rope
Jumping rope is excellent cardio. It gets your heart and lungs going for a full-body workout that burns calories and belly fat, developing endurance, coordination, and strength.
How to Skip Rope?
- Have the right size jump rope, appropriate footwear, and space to swing the rope.
- Hold the rope with hands down at hip level. Wrists should be equal distance from your hips, just a few inches.
- Keep feet close together, knees slightly bent, head and chest up, shoulders and elbows down, using only wrist motion to rotate the rope.
- Jump softly on the midsoles of your feet, getting two inches or less off the ground.
- Don’t put elbows or shoulders into it. Minimize foot and knee movement.
Planks engage the whole body and activate the core.
How to Perform Planks?
- Put a yoga mat or a towel under your forearms on a hard floor.
- Support yourself on toes and forearms, maintaining a straight line from back to heels. Don’t let your hips fall.
- Try to hold for at least thirty seconds at once.
5. Calf Raises
Too many people neglect their calves. Don’t overlook these important muscles.
How to Perform Calf Raises?
- Wear supportive footwear. Optionally have weights or stand-in objects on hand.
- Stand up straight, planting feet flat, hip-width apart, toes forward.
- Use calves to push up onto the balls of your feet, hold, then descend gently onto flat feet.
- This may feel easy. If so, hold modest weight at your sides.
Intermediate At-Home Workout Exercises
You’re familiar with the best fitness exercises to do at home, or you’ve mastered the beginner versions, and you’re ready to keep things interesting.
Log minutes, reps, and weight. Vary those factors and keep challenging yourself. Take one to two-minute breathers between sets.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold your arms out in front.
- Carefully bend your knees to lower yourself into a sitting position. At the lowest point, your knees should be close to a right angle, not jutting out past your toes.
- Exert your strength down through your legs into your heels to stand back up in a steady motion.
2. Standard Push-Up
- Support yourself with toes and hands on the floor or yoga mat, arms straight. Take a plank position, staying straight from your shoulders and back down to your heels.
- Bend your elbows, keeping that straight line.
- Re-straighten your arms, pushing the floor away to come up.
3. Skipping Rope
Find novel ways to skip rope and keep it exciting and sweat-inducing.
- Use good technique, arms loosely by your sides, a couple inches from your hips. Use only wrists to swing the rope, and keep mostly still from head to toe. Feet are close together, only clearing the ground an inch or two.
- Instead of jumping off both feet when the rope passes under, have only your right foot on the ground, lift-off for the rope to go by, then land on your left foot. Repeat and increase speed.
4. Hands to Forearms Plank
- Assume plank position, forearms on the floor, holding a straight line.
- Reposition so your left hand is on the floor, arm straight, then do the same with your right arm/hand. Hold your body straight like you’re about to do a push-up
- Go back down onto forearms one at a time, etc.
5. Weighted Calf Raises
- Have weights, kettlebells, resistance bands, or other household objects handy.
- Stand, holding weights at your sides. Or, hold the middle of your resistance band down with your toes, and hold the ends taut at your sides.
- Lift onto your toes, come down slowly, and repeat.
Advanced At-Home Workout Exercises
You breeze through beginner and intermediate stuff, so get on the next level. At this point, tracking reps and weight progression is essential to staying at the top of your game.
- Weighted Squat
- Squat with dumbbells or kettlebells at your sides.
- Try overhead squats, with arms overhead to fortify balance and stability. Then try overhead squats plus weight.
- Modify squats into thrusters, holding weights at your shoulders in the squat position and lifting them overhead as you stand.
- Push-Up Variations
- Do weighted push-ups, drawing a resistance band across your back and holding it against the floor or yoga mat.
- Elevated push-ups add difficulty by putting your feet up on a step, chair, or yoga ball.
- Spider push-ups have you alternately touch knees to sides as you lower into each push-up.
- For diamond push-ups, put hands together, forming a diamond with your pointer fingers and thumbs. Try burpees. Finish your push-up jumping your feet to your hands, then jump up while raising arms overhead. Drop back down for another push-up, and so on.
- Skipping Rope
- Learn the boxer step, side-swing, cross-over, and double-under.
- Plank Variations
- Side plank is when you face the wall with your body in a straight line, one forearm on the ground, and the top arm flat against your body.
- Do two-point planks. Start in a straight-arm plank, then raise your right arm and left leg. Return to plank, raise left arm and right leg, then repeat.
- A star plank will give your core a run for its money if you need to tone some belly fat. Start in a straight-arm plank, then walk your hands and feet out into an X shape and hold as long as you can handle.
- Calf Raise Variations
- Precede your calf raises with a step-up. Add weight or reps.
- Lift one foot and do calf raises one side at a time.
- For donkey calf raises, find a step and something to hold onto for support. Stand halfway on the step on the balls of your feet with heels off the edge. Flex your ankles to lower your heels below the edge. Lift up into the calf raise and slowly come back down.
Bonus: Great Ab Exercise to Do at Home: Russian Twists
Russian twists strengthen your core/abdominal muscles for tone instead of belly fat . They even get to the obliques, which can be tricky to target.
- Start slow. Sit on the ground with feet flat on the floor or yoga mat or legs straight out in front and back straight.
- Eventually, balance with only your bottom touching the floor. The torso and thighs form a V shape lifting feet off the floor, keeping the knees partially bent and back straight.
- Balancing or sitting, clasp your hands together.
- Use abdominal muscles to twist your torso to the right, return to face forward, twist to the left, return to forward again, and repeat.
- Sit in that V shape with a straight back, feet lifted, and knees somewhat bent.
- Hold a medicine ball or makeshift medicine ball in front of you, using your abdominal muscles to twist from side to side carefully.
- Add more weight.
- Speed up.
Bonus: Great Leg Exercise to Do at Home
- Take a split stance, legs hip-width apart, forming a triangle with the floor. Start with the left leg in front, foot flat on the floor. Your right leg goes behind you, on your right toes.
- Bend both knees until your left leg is parallel with the floor. Your left knee doesn’t extend past the left toes.
- Press down into the left foot, using butt muscles to push yourself up, and repeat.
- Reverse leg positions.
- If you have space, alternate legs in a walking motion.
- Stand, carefully step the left leg forward into a lunge, then return to standing.
- Step the left leg to the side into a half-squat, with right leg straight, foot flat on the floor. Go back to standing. This is a lateral lunge.
- Step that left leg behind you into a lunge for a reverse lunge.
- Repeat the motions, stepping with the right leg while the left leg stays put. This cycle is ‘clock lunges.’
- Add weight to stationary, walking, or clock lunges.
FAQs About Working Out at Home
Can you do strength training without equipment?
It sounds too good to be true, but you really can build muscle just through bodyweight exercises.
Do home workouts really work?
Home equipment helps. But it’s easy to find the best fitness routines at home with little to no equipment. Bodyweight reps like simple push-ups can build comparable muscle and strength to low-level bench-pressing.
Where is the best place to workout at home?
Find or make space, especially if you’re jumping, skipping rope, or otherwise moving around a lot, maybe a basement or outside. Do floor exercises on carpeting if possible.
When is the best time to do home workouts?
What’s convenient for you? Find time in your schedule when you’ll easily maintain a regular workout routine, morning, afternoon, or night.
What’s your favorite at-home workout?
Did we cover any of your go-to’s? Did we give you ideas for modifying what you do at the gym?
Hopefully, you feel equipped to work out at home at any fitness level. You can accomplish a lot from the comfort of your home.
Let us know how your home workouts go by tagging us on Instagram at @goalfive!
Speaking of comfort, check out our collection of workout clothes for women. From tanks and tees to shorts and pants, they’re soft, fit just right, and have room for you to transcend your comfort zone during workouts.
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