Woman planking at home workout

Home Workouts for Adults

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Exercising at home instead of the gym can be a challenge but it can also be very rewarding. Follow these at home workouts to feel more active and learn tips to make your home workout as effective as possible.

If you’re spending more time at home, you may find that regular exercise is a challenge. Even if your gym or athletic club is closed, you can still break a sweat at home by starting a home workout routine that doesn’t require expensive machines or equipment. Home workout routines give you the freedom of exercising wherever you want and allow you to set your own pace and find what works best for your fitness goals.

We’ve highlighted different workouts and exercises you can try from the comfort of your home that don’t require exercise equipment, and some tips for staying active and feeling healthy even when stuck indoors.

Home Workout for Beginners

If you want to start exercising at home but never have before, it’s best to start with workouts designed for beginners. These workouts are less intense and allow for more opportunities to rest but will still work your body and help build muscle strength and endurance.

Great workouts for beginners are often comprised of bodyweight exercises. These exercises work your entire body by using multiple muscle groups, and by doing so, you’ll burn more calories than other exercises like jogging.

This beginner bodyweight workout from Nerd Fitness (Opens in a new tab) features six exercises that work different muscle groups and require no or minimal equipment.

  • 20 Bodyweight squats. Standing up straight with your feet shoulder’s width apart, bend your knee as if you’re sitting on a chair. When your hips line up with your knees, stand up straight again and repeat.
  • 10 Push-ups. Lying face down on the ground with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, push up with your arms until they are straight and supporting your weight. Lower your body until your chest, nose or chin touches the ground and repeat. If this is too difficult, keep your knees on the ground while pushing up.
  • 10 Walking lunges. Standing up with your feet together, step forward with your right leg and lower your hips by bending your knees at a 90-degree angle. Do not touch the ground with your left knee. With your left leg, push forward so you are standing once again and repeat with the right leg.
  • 10 Dumbbell rows. This exercise requires a dumbbell, but a gallon of milk or similarly weighted object with a handle can be used instead. Placing your right knee and right hand on a bench or couch, pick up the dumbbell off the ground with your left hand and pull it straight back. After performing the exercise 10 times with your left arm, change your position to do the exercise 10 times with your right arm.
  • 15 Second plank. Lying down with facing the ground, get on your elbows and toes and push your body up in the air. Form a straight line with your body, tighten your core and hold this position for 15 seconds.
  • 30 Jumping jacks. Standing up, jump in the air so that your hands are above your head as your legs spread shoulder-width apart. Bring your arms down to your sides and repeat.

It’s recommended you do each exercise in succession without a break, but take one if needed. Try to do this workout twice — and if you’re up for a challenge — three times in a row for an intense 20-minute workout. If it’s the right workout for you, try doing this routine two or three times a week with at least a one day break in between.

Advanced Home Workout

If you’re really up for a challenge, you can modify the beginner bodyweight workout to be more intense by adding a couple exercises to the routine.

  • 20 Jump step-ups. Place your left foot on the second step from the bottom of your staircase with your right foot at the bottom of the stairs. In a single explosive movement, bring your right foot to the second step and your left foot down to where your right foot was and repeat.
  • 10 Dips. This exercise requires two equal level surfaces with space between them to fit your body. This could be two bar stools or even a countertop and table. Place your hands on the two surfaces and suspend your body off the ground. Slowly lower yourself down and then back up. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

Home Ab Workout

Ab workouts are one of the most popular at home workouts out there. All you need is a floor and you’re good to go! Strengthen your core and sculpt that six pack with this home ab workout comprised of popular ab exercises.

  • 15 Bicycle crunches. Lying on your back with your hands behind your head, raise your legs so your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Bring your right elbow to your left knee while extending your right leg. Repeat by alternating with your left elbow and right knee.
  • 10 Leg lifts. Lying faceup, extend your legs and keep your hands at your side. Slowly lift your legs up into the air towards your face. If possible, stop when your legs are vertical and slowly bring them back towards the ground.
  • 15 Ankle taps. Lie flat with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Lift your shoulders off the ground and alternate tapping the outside of your left ankle with your left hand and same for the right.
  • 10 Reverse crunches. Lying on your back with your hands at your sides, lift your legs at a 45-degree angle. Pull your knees into your chest until your hips are off the ground. Do so by pushing down into your arms and engaging your core. Repeat for 10 reps.
  • 15 Second side planks. Lay on your side with your forearm on the ground and the rest of your body extended in a straight line. Lift your hips off the floor by engaging your core and hold for 15 seconds. Place your free hand on your hip for greater balance.

Tips for At-Home Fitness

Working out at home can help you feel healthier and more active, even during periods of rest. Keep these tips in mind to make your home workout as effective as possible.

Get enough sleep. A good night of sleep is a key part of recovering after a workout. Try to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night to give your muscles the rest they need after a workout.

Eat healthy. A balanced diet is a great way to maintain energy throughout the day and not feel exhausted after a workout. If you’re focused on building strength, consider eating more foods high in protein like eggs and chicken breasts to build lean muscle.

Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water at home is just as important as at the gym. The general rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, but consider having a water bottle at the ready for whenever you’re thirsty.

Don’t forget to stretch. Make stretching part of your daily routine. This will keep your muscles loose and may help prevent cramping. Consider stretching as soon as you get up in the morning and before your workout routine.

Ask for help. If possible, reach out to a friend or family member for support and to spot you as you work out. You can even ask a family member if they want to exercise with you to make the time fly.

Exercising at home isn’t always easy, but if you make the time it can be a very rewarding endeavor. Be consistent, find a workout that’s best for you and keep working on meeting your personal fitness goals.

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