Learn the best workout plans, equipment, and beginner workout tips to guide you through working out at home. Fat loss, strength building, or general fitness, these tools will answer all of your questions about how to get fit at home.
- Huge Benefits Of Working Out At Home Instead Of The Gym
- The Best Home Gym Equipment For Beginners
- Beginner Workout Tips
- Working Out At Home To Lose Weight
- What To Do With Kids While Working Out At Home
- Bodyweight Training
- Bodyweight workouts
- Home Workouts To Lose Weight
- Home Workouts To Build Strength
- Other Resources To Help You Master Working Out At Home
- Common Questions About Working Out At Home
Huge Benefits Of Working Out At Home Instead Of The Gym
As a strength coach, most moms come to me wanting to start a fitness program but they’re just not sure how.
They’re busy, kids have activities, getting ready and leaving the house is a THING and they’re unsure of what to do at the gym when they get there.
Working out at home:
- Make scheduling practical
- Saves time
- Let’s you bond with your kids
- Makes it so you stay consistent.
Learn more about the benefits of home workouts but know this: working out at home is the BEST WAY to stay consistent.
Not having to leave the house means you can work out any time. This results in you being more consistent with your workouts and consistency = success.
The Best Home Gym Equipment For Beginners
If you’re new to working out at home there are a lot of options.
Though you can stick with using a variety of bodyweight exercises, eventually you’ll probably want to scale up.
The best home workout equipment is gear that you’ll use!
There’s little point to investing in a machine if you’ll never touch it. Instead, set up with the basics and master staying consistent.
The home gym equipment below is all great for beginners, small space, and cost-effective.
- A yoga or gym mat
- Resistance bands
- Mini loops
- 15 & 20 lbs dumbbells
- 25 lbs kettlebell
- TRX suspension straps
Each of these tools can be an asset to your training program. And you definitely don’t need it all.
But these are the best pieces of home workout equipment to get you started.
You can easily crush full-body workouts with a set of resistance bands or dumbbells (learn more about the benefits of training with just resistance bands)
You’ll want a yoga or gym mat for any floor.
A set of dumbbells or kettlebells will be a quick way to lose weight or build strength. You don’t need a full set but a few to get you started go a long way.
If you want a one-stop shop, TRX suspension straps are AMAZING because they allow you to use your body weight against you in a low-impact, rehab-safe way.
Learn more about the best home gym equipment for beginners and get yourself set up. In that blog post, I go into detail about the pros and cons of each piece of home gym equipment and help you select the best ones for your goals.
You can check out my own personal gym in this Gym Tour but know that you don’t need half of this (though I personally love it all haha).
Beginner Workout Tips
Instead of trying to implement all the things, use these beginner workout tips to get you started (and read up on this game plan about how to start working out if you’re brand new!).
Set realistic goals. Neither fat loss, muscle toning or strength-boosting happens overnight. Be practical about your timeline.
Don’t rush into a ton of volume. Set yourself up for consistency. Showing up for three workouts each week every week will give you better results that sometimes hitting five workouts. Plus, you’re going to be sore for the first little bit. High volume work will leave you discouraged.
Get active outside of your workouts. All movement matters so make sure you’re not just putting an effort into your home gym time.
Start slow and scale up. If you’re new to home workouts, jumping into a burpee challenge isn’t the way to go. Take the time to learn the foundational movements before anything else.
Stop thinking jumping exercises are the only way to boost intensity (in fact, here’s when you shouldn’t do jumping exercises). There are a lot of ways to scale your workouts, jumping isn’t crucial to results.
Be flexible. Life with kids or a baby is no joke. Your workouts will be chaotic or interrupted. It’s okay.
Have a plan. Bouncing around workout style to workout style leads to poor results. Go in with a plan and stick with it.
Here are some great fitness tips specific to new moms (like how to find time to work out!).
Like everything in life, there’s a learning curve. Go into it for the long haul.
How To Build A Workout Plan
To achieve fitness goals, you need to have a plan.
Below are the things you’ll need to include when making an exercise plan:
- How many times per week are you working out?
- What equipment do you have access to?
- How long will your workouts be?
- What kind of exercises will you be using?
- What kind of workout style do you prefer?
You can learn exactly how to development a workout program in four steps or, if you want a more “done for you approach” (or just don’t want to think!) you can grab a copy of the E-book “How To Get STRONG At Home”. A four-month home workout program to help you get strong without fancy equipment.
How Long Should Home Workouts Be?
This is the golden question. But the truth is: it doesn’t completely matter.
An average of 30-40 minutes a few times per week is an amazing start.
There is no “perfect time” that suddenly makes you fit. Soime of it depends on the way your body respons to the stimulus you’re using.
One thing is for sure: you definitely don’t need two sixty minute workouts per day 😛
Choosing A Workout Style
This is a tricky one for a lot of people.
I’m a huge fan of finding something you LOVE and effing rocking it. However, if you’re looking for something specific, you’ll need to gear towards that.
Plus, some body types respond better to certain workouts than others. For example:
- Running is awesome but it normally doesn’t get you super lean unless you’re already an ectomorph (born slender)
- Pilates is awesome but doesn’t have enough progressive overload to give great weight loss results
- Circuit training can definitely be geared towards weight loss and work well but it doesn’t build muscle
- Strength training helps immensely with weight loss and that “toned look”
So, my advice is the start by choosing a style you somewhat enjoy and then tweak as needed. The best results normally come from combining two styles.
Exercise Choice For Home Workouts
Choosing your exercises is a big factor in your programs. You need to sonsider:
Many people make the mistake of opting for traditional exercises like squats, push ups and crunches.
And though those exercises are great to an extent, you need more.
Begin by mastering the basics listed below. From there, place a lot of your focus on exercises that targhet the posterior chain, as they’ll be the ones to help reduce pain, carry kids easier and improve posture.
Also, make sure you have some glute work in there (learn more about why you NEED strong glutes).
And of course, focus on bigger movements instead of isolation work (think squats instead of leg extensions) to maximize your workout time.
Working Out At Home To Lose Weight
There is no best exercise to lose weight.
Weight loss is a multi-faceted approach and needs to be treated as such.
However, you can lose weight with home workouts.
Though many people opt for increasing intensity in their home workouts for weight loss, focus on strength first.
With a base foundation of strength, weight loss follows. Plus, with muscle on your body, your body will burn fat outside of your workouts too.
Which means, before going into anything too intense, master the basic compound exercises:
- Hip hinge (learn how to hip hinge)
- Lunges or split squats
Use a combination of strength building workouts with cardio vascular exercise or shorter, intense workouts.
You need the intensity (which can be done with resistance, pace, tempo, exercise choice etc) to stimulate weight loss. It needs to be more intense than your day to day activities to lose weight.
Which means, unless you’re focusing on keeping nutrition very intact, it’s difficult to lose weight using just lighter workouts like pilates and yoga.
Regardless of the style of workout you choose, for weight loss, strive to work out 4-5 days per week.
On your off days, you’ll want to focus on active recovery. Meaning, move your body!
Here are a few ways to be more active outside of your workouts.
An example of a week of fat loss workouts could look like:
Monday: Resistance Band Workout
Tuesday: HIIT Cardio Workout
Thursday: Dumbbell workout
Friday: Low Impact HIIT
Saturday: Resistance Band Workout
The trick to working out at home to lose weight is staying consistent. You need to show up day in and day out.
There’s no quick fix or master plan, it’s just hard work.
Check out the Fat Loss Workout Playlist for some examples.
Just because you’re planning to work out at home doesn’t mean it’ll be easy if your kiddos around, it can get pretty chaotic.
However, there are some easy solutions:
- Let them join
- Give them activities
- Make use of screen time
Let Your Kids Join In Your Home Workouts
This one is easily the most practical of the options because your kids are going to want to join in anyways. So, let them!
The truth is, it’s crazy working out with kids. But you make it work. You change diapers between sets, you laugh *a lot*, you sing on rest times. You make fitness fun.
Somedays it’s worse than others but after a while everyone somewhat learns the game plan.
That said, this is not a great option for you if you truly need your workouts to zone out. I love working out with my kids and showing them that exercise is fun, but it’s not peaceful by any means.
And half of my focus is definitely placed on them and not what I’m doing. But sometimes, it’s also the only option, so roll with it
Activities For Kids In The Gym
You can also try desginated activities for the gym. We’ve done this on occasion and it works pretty well.
For example, playdough was only played with while mama was doing a workout. Specific coloring books were used etc. it gives them something to look forward too and distracts them
The truth is, it’s crazy working out with kids. But you make it work. You change diapers between sets, you laugh *a lot*, you sing on rest times. You make fitness fun.
Learn the best tips (experienced mom of three here!) to entertain kids in the gym. Then, just dive in.
Learning how to maximize bodyweight training specific to your goals is crucial when working out at home.
The truth is, you need to master bodyweight exercises before anything else. So, make them a priority.
The secret to this is to: Learn to focus on engagement, activation, and contraction and not just going through the motions.
Bodyweight Training For Beginners
If your goal is to get back into the swing of working out then you need to start with the basics.
Considering this, choose practical bodyweight exercises (no jumping, no pistol squats etc) and focusing on form first, always.
The best bodyweight exercises for behinngers.
- Squats (and squat variations)
- Hip hinges (progress to a unilateral version)
- Lunges (and lunge variations)
- All at-home glute exercises
- Bulgarian split squats
- Reverse plank
- Step ups
- Inverted rows
Begin by using 8-12 repetitions of each exercise (you can go higher for glute work) and 2-3 sets.
You can choose bodyweight exercises and make them into a circuit (one right after another).
Many people love working up a good sweat in a short amount of time and these bodyweight workouts do just that!
Likewise, these workouts are more fast-paced than when you're just starting out and *could* include some jumping.
The biggest thing to remember is that your form comes first. If you're rushing through the workout to keep yourself breathless but getting sloppy in your squats- your workout is ineffective. Form comes first every single time.
These bodyweight workouts tend to be more interval-based (think circuit or HIIT training, EMOM's etc).
An easy way to create your own bodyweight circuit is to choose 5-6 exercises (a blend of upper body and lower body exercises) and alternate them. Perform them back to back without rest until the end of the set.
While many advertised fat loss workouts do include jumping, it is not only not necessary but also not always a good choice. Furthermore, for moms especially you need to be strong before you begin jumping otherwise there can be issues with the knees as well as the pelvic floor.
Learning to use your bodyweight against you is a great way to not only challenge yourself but also get fit at home.
Below are a few reader-favorites in terms of no-equipment workouts:
Home Workouts To Lose Weight
When it comes to workouts for weight loss you’ll want a variety of home workouts that target strength as well as more intense workouts like HIIT sessions.
You can look at the fat loss workout section on my home workouts page.
Or, use the workouts below and create a routine with 4 workouts to perform each week.
- 20 minute HIIT workout
- No equipment interval workout
- Mini cardio interval session
- 10 minute EMOM
- 16 Minute Total Body EMOM
Home Workouts To Build Strength
In my experience, when you focus on strength, the body comp stuff tends to follow suit and there’s less mental stress over the whole thing.
This doesn’t mean you need to start picking up super heavy weights!
Strength training can encompass a variety of home workout equipment.
The trick is using external resistance and progressing your exercises/workouts (making them harder in some way).
If you’re brand new to any kind of strength training, learn the five best tips to get started.
Again, I have a lot of follow along workouts you can choose from to improve your strength.
The biggest thing with building strength is to make each and every repetition count. Focus on form and learn control while increasing your resistance.
- Strength training workout at home
- Resistance band strength workout
- 1 dumbbell workout
- Trx workout
- DB strength workouts
- Kettlebell workouts
- Dumbbell leg workout
At-Home Cardio workouts
If you’re looking to make your workouts more cardio based you can rock:
Other Resources To Help You Master Working Out At Home
- What are combo exercises and how to use them to maximize your goals
- How and why to warm up
- Learn how to hip hinge
- Exercises to boost knee strength
- How paused reps can help you achieve your goals
- Benefits of deadlifting
- 5 movements you NEED to be strong in
- Ab exercises to avoid as a new mom
- Ab exercises better than sit ups
- Glute training 101: everything you need to know
- Crucial postpartum exercises
- Tabatas and how to use them
- Using a fitbit to achieve your goals
- Tips to boost workout motivation
- 3 muscles to stretch after a workout
- How to progress your planks
Common Questions About Working Out At Home
You don’t need a lot of gym equipment to see results! The most effective equipment is the ones you’ll use. Keep it simple and get started with resistance bands, mini loops, dumbbells, kettlebells, or TRX suspension straps before purchasing anything too costly.
You can get a total-body workout in at home with a variety of equipment. You will want a bit of space and a mat to work on though. From there, resistance bands, mini loops, dumbbells, kettlebells, or TRX suspension straps are the best home gym equipment tools to get started with.
Yes! You’ll want to strive to work out 4-5 times per week and make sure to move your body on your non-workout days. Aim to perform a combination of strength-based workouts with resistance bands or dumbbells in addition to some cardio or higher intensity workouts. Find a blend of workouts that you enjoy and stay consistent to them. It’s showing up every day for your goals that will help you lose weight at home.
Much of weight loss will depend on your nutritional intake as well. However, a good start is to strive for four 30-40 minute workouts per week. In addition to that, ensure that on your “off” days you’re still active (go for walks, play with your kids etc). Every bit of movement matters and adds up.
The five best bodyweight exercises (assuming you don’t have access to a bar to perform an inverted row or pull up) are: squats, lunges, push ups, hip thrusts, and deadbugs.
So long as you learn to properly engage the muscles and scale your workouts accordingly you can get ripped with any exercise. To get fit using just your bodyweight you need to continuously up the intensity of your workouts with volume, time under tension or progress the exercise itself (squats to single leg squats). Staying consistent to training without weight can result in a very lean physique.
Working out at home can be just as effective as working out at the gym or taking a class so long as you follow a sound workout plan. In fact, home workouts offer more flexibility and often lead to greater consistency.
Make sure to set up a dedicated space for your home workouts and have a plan. Schedule your workouts in like anything else and commit to showing up. Use a variety of no-equipment or minimal equipment workouts and aim to be active with them 3-4 times per week.
Make sure you have a space to work out as well as a plan. Start slowly and scale your way up. Not only will this help you mentally prepare for workouts and stay consistent but it will allow your muscles to get sued to the stimulus as well. Like anything else, work on mastering the foundational movements first and then start to branch out and challenge yourself.