The 8 Best At-Home Workout Routines: The Ultimate Guide for Training Without a Gym


So you want to start working out, but you don’t want to leave the house?

No problem! 

Our online coaches specialize in helping people get fit from home.

If you’re in a hurry, sign-up for our free weekly newsletter and we’ll send you PDFs of our “Work Out at Home” guides!



Let’s go over the 8 Best At-Home Workouts so you can start training today: no gym or equipment required!

A note on warming up and cooling down
Home Workout #1: Beginner Bodyweight (Start Here)
Home Workout #2: Advanced Bodyweight 
Home Workout #3: The 20-Min Hotel Routine
Home Workout #4: High-Intensity Interval Training 
Home Workout #5: Attack of the Angry Birds
Home Workout #6: Train like Batman
Home Workout #7: The PLP Progression
Home Workout #8: The Star Wars Workout!
Bonus No-Equipment Workout: The Playground Circuit
Can home workouts build muscle or help with weight loss?
How to build your own at-home workout

Let’s jump right in!

At Home Warm-ups and stretching routines

No matter which at-home workout you pick, I want you to start with one important thing:

Warm-up!

I cover why you should always warm up in an article found right here. It doesn’t have to be much though, give it about five minutes to get your muscles active and your heart rate up.

This will help you do exercises properly and help prevent injury. You can run in place, do air punches and kicks, or some jumping jacks.

Here is NF Senior Coach Staci (you might know her incredible story) showing you many beginner options you can use to warm up as well:

If you’re curious, here’s my personal (advanced) warm-up:

Advanced Warm-up Routine:

Jump rope: 2-3 minutes 
Jumping jacks: 25 reps
Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
Lunges: 5 reps each leg.
Hip extensions: 10 reps each side
Hip rotations: 5 each leg
Forward leg swings: 10 each leg
Side leg swings: 10 each leg
Push-ups: 10-20 reps
Spider-man steps: 10 reps

Our goal isn’t to tire you out, instead we want to warm you up.

That’s step one.

Completing your chosen at-home workout would be step two.

Below, you’ll find 8 sequences you can follow along with!

Home Workout #1: Beginner Bodyweight

This at-home routine, as we lay out in our Beginner Bodyweight Workout article, is as follows:

Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
Push-ups: 10 reps
Walking lunges: 10 each leg
Dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug or another weight): 10 each arm.
Plank: 15 seconds
Jumping Jacks: 30 reps

We also turned it into a fun infographic with superheroes, because that’s how we roll:

The above is what we call “circuit training,” with the objective being to run through the workout sequence once, then again, then again.

Note: Not a milk drinker?

If you don’t have milk in the house for the rows, find something of roughly the same weight with a good handle.

Also, if you want to download this Beginner Bodyweight Workout as a worksheet, you can do so when you sign up in the box below:

It’ll help you track your progress as you begin your training.

Home Workout #2: Advanced Bodyweight 

If the beginner at-home workout above is too easy for you, move on to our Advanced Bodyweight Workout

The Advanced Bodyweight Workout:

One-legged squats – 10 each side [warning: super-difficult, only attempt if you’re in good enough shape]
Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
Walking lunges: 20 reps (10 each leg)
Jump step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
Pull-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows]
Dips (between bar stools): 10 reps
Chin-ups: 10 reps [or inverted bodyweight rows with underhand grip]
Push-ups: 10 reps
Plank: 30 seconds

Not familiar with these moves? Check out the 21 Best Advanced Bodyweight Exercises for a full breakdown.

I warn you, the above sequence will hurt… in a good way. You should be proud if you can get through this three times.

Do you want to get as strong as possible so this workout ain’t no thang? 

Sign up in the box below to grab our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll teach you all of these advanced bodyweight exercises!

Home Workout #3: The 20-Min Hotel Routine

Sometimes, you just plain find yourself stuck in a hotel room. Maybe you can find the hotel gym, but I bet it’s terrible! It probably has 2 machines, a broken treadmill, and no free weights. 

Ugh.

Instead, how about a 20-min workout you can do in the room itself! Utilize the furniture to its full potential.

Hotel Workout Level 1:

Bodyweight squats: 20 reps
Incline push-ups: 15 reps (feet on floor, hands on edge of bed or desk)
One-arm luggage rows: 10 reps (each arm, use your suitcase as your weight)
Reverse crunches: 10 reps

Hotel Workout Level 2:

Overhead Squats: 25 reps
Push-Ups: 20 reps
Inverted Rows using the desk in your hotel room: 10 reps
Reverse Crunches: 15 reps

Set the alarm clock to 15 minutes from now and see how many circuits you can do!

Check out our full post on hotel circuits if you want Level 3!

We have a LOT of business travelers throughout the Rebellion! Learn how they stay fit on the road with the Nerd Fitness Starter Kit!

Home Workout #4: High-Intensity Interval Training 

You don’t have to head to the gym to do High-Intensity Interval Training. You can do a complete routine right in your own home!

HIIT is just following a specific regimen where you vary your speeds and intensity throughout a shorter run, swim, bike, or row.

Unless you have a giant backyard, running at home might be tough.

But you know what doesn’t require a lot of room?

Burpees!

To complete a burpee:

Start standing up, then squat down and kick your legs out.
Do a push-up, bring your legs back in, and explode up into a jump.
For a HIIT workout, try to do 20 repetitions, then rest for two minutes.
Repeat until you hate yourself.

Check out our full guide on How to Start Interval Training for some more ideas on HIIT workouts.

You can also check out our post “The 20-Min HIIT Workout for Home” for another living-room-friendly interval routine!

Home Workout #5: Attack of the Angry Birds

The Angry Birds Workout is designed to be done when you have 5 or 10 minutes to kill.

Sort of like playing Angry Birds…

Here’s how The Angry Birds Workout Plan works: it’s deceptively simple – only four major movements.

Bodyweight squats
Push-ups
Pull-ups (or inverted rows)
Planks

If you don’t have time to run through the whole sequence, no problem!

Depending on how much time you have during the day, you can do your whole workout at once, or break up your training into four different sessions throughout the day (with each session being ONE of the exercises).

Here’s a sample day for your No-Equipment Workout:

Wake up, do 40 jumping jacks to warm up, and then do bodyweight squats.
At lunch, you grab your suitcase (if you’re at work, milk jug if you’re at home) and do inverted rows.
After work, you do another 50 jumping jacks and then do your push-ups.
After dinner, you do your planks while watching TV.

You could even split it up over two days if needed, but the goal would be to do it the whole sequence at once.

The main Angry Birds Workout article describes in detail Levels 1-6, but here’s Level 3 for you:

Bodyweight squats: 50 reps
Push-ups: 50 reps
Pull-ups: 10 reps
Planks: 3-minute hold

Once you’ve done the complete routine, you have my permission to whip out your phone and play the actual game!

Home Workout #6: Train like Batman

We love the Caped Crusader here at Nerd Fitness, so naturally we have The Batman Bodyweight Workout for you to try!

Bonus points if you somehow do this no-equipment workout in a cave, as that’s how Bruce Wayne would roll.[1]

This workout is separated into two days for you.

Here’s a video for the first day:

Batman No-Equipment Workout Day 1:

Rolling squat tuck-up jumps: 5 reps
Side to side push-ups: 5 reps
Modified headstand push-ups: 5 reps
Jump pull-up with tuck / Pull-up with Tuck-up: 5 reps
Handstands against wall: 8 seconds

Here’s a video for the second day:

Batman No-Equipment Workout Day 2:

‘180 Degree’ jump turns: 5 reps
Tuck front lever hold: 8 seconds
Tuck back lever hold: 8 seconds
Low frog hold: 8 seconds

This is a relatively advanced workout already, but if you want to progress to the next level, check out the main Batman Bodyweight Workout for tips on how to do just that.



Home Workout #7: The PLP Progression

The PLP is a progressive program in which you complete one additional rep of three exercises – Pull-Ups, Lunges, and Push-Ups – every day, for two months.

NOTE: This is NOT a beginner program, and should not be attempted unless you have been training consistently and can do multiple repetitions of pull-ups and push-ups with great form.

Like this perfect push-up:

And this perfect pull-up:

Here’s how the PLP Progression works:

Day 1:

Pull-ups: 10 reps
Push-ups: 10 reps
Lunges: 10 reps (each leg)

Day 2:

Pull-ups: 11 reps
Push-ups: 11 reps
Lunges: 11 reps (each leg)

Day 3:

Pull-ups: 12 reps
Push-ups: 12 reps
Lunges: 12 reps (each leg)

How long do you keep doing this?

As originally envisioned by Chad Waterbury, the PLP Workout lasts 60 days.[3]

Yeah…by the end of it you’ll be doing more than 50 pull-ups.

There are two versions:

If you can do 10 straight pull-ups: Start day 1 with 10 reps of each.
If you cannot do 10 straight pull-ups: Start day 1 with 1 rep of each.

Complete your required reps each day in as many sets as you need, whenever you need to. The goal is to do it in as few sets as possible, but enough so that you can complete each rep with proper form.

Want to learn more? Check out my results on the PLP Workout.

Home Workout #8: The Star Wars Workout!

Do you have access to a hallway that you can commandeer for a bit?

Then you can do our Star Wars Workout!

It’s designed to be done in a very small space, like your home’s hallway…or an escape pod.

The “Padawan” Level of this workout is:

30-second knee or feet front plank (3 Sets)
10 assisted squats or squats (3 Sets)
10 doorway rows (3 Sets)
A 60-second Farmer-carry (Farmer’s Walk) dumbbells (or milk jugs) (2 sets)
March in place for 3 minutes of intervals (6 sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
8 elevated or knee push-ups (4 sets)
60-second Doorway Leans (2 sets)

If you want to advance to the Jedi Knight or Master Levels, check out The Star Wars Workout, which will also offer you a full description of each move.

Bonus No-Equipment Workout: The Playground Circuit

Do you have a nearby playground? Why not work out there! If you have kids, you can do it together. Or let them ignore you.

I’ll give you a Level One workout, and a Level Two. Check out The 20-Minute Playground Workout for some Level Three exercises.

Playground Workout Level One:

Alternating step-ups: 20 reps (10 each leg)
Elevated push-ups: 10 reps
Swing rows: 10 reps
Assisted lunges: 8 reps each leg
Bent leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

Playground Workout Level Two:

Bench jumps: 10 reps
Lower incline push-ups: 10 reps
Body rows: 10 reps
Lunges: 8 reps each leg
Straight leg reverse crunches: 10 reps

After you’ve gone through a complete set three times, go down the slide!



Can Home Workouts Build Muscle or Help With Weight Loss?

Throughout our Online Coaching Program, we get two common questions for those wanting to train at home:

Can working out at home help me build muscle?
Can working out at home help me lose weight?

The answer to both of these: yep!

Let’s tackle them one by one.

#1) Can working out at home help me build muscle?

You can 100% build muscle mass at home.

Just ask out friend Jimmy here:

Read more on how Jimmy turned into Spider-Man from home!

The trick is to follow a progressive overload strategy, as Coach Jim outlines in this video:

With progressive overload, we want to make our workouts more and more challenging, thus putting additional strain on our muscles.

So to build muscle with home workouts, focus on:

Increasing your repetitions.
Decreasing your rest periods between exercises.
Performing more difficult variations (knee push-ups to push-ups).
Increasing your time under tension (by going slower).

That will help you build strength and muscle from your casa.

Next up:

#2) Can working out at home help me lose weight?

You can totally train at home for a successful weight loss strategy.

Again, we have a great example with one of our Online Coaching Clients, Sarah the Supermom:

The trick here is to couple your home workouts with adjustments to your nutrition.

We’re big believers that you can’t outrun your fork, so any successful weight loss plan will include a focus on building a healthy plate.

That will look something like this:

If you want some help on adjusting your nutrition, I’ve got two great resources for you:

The Nerd Fitness Guide to Healthy Eating. This massive resource will help you slowly adjust your nutrition, without forcing you to give up the food you love (yes, you can still eat pizza here and there). No more diets, instead we’ll work on building habits together.
Nerd Fitness Coaching. If you want to take it to the next level, one of our trained professionals can help you adjust your way of eating to help you reach your goals. No shame. No judgment. Just a like-minded nerd who will show you the way.




How to Build Your Own At-Home Workout

We just went over 8 workouts you can do at home (plus a workout you can do in a park).

You don’t have to stick to these though!

I have two resources to help you design your own no-equipment workout:

The 42 Best Bodyweight Exercises: This guide will teach you how to perform the best bodyweight exercises – no equipment required! Check it out if you are unfamiliar with any of the movements referenced in today’s guide.
How To Build Your Own Workout Routine: Once you’re comfortable with a handful of bodyweight exercises, use this guide to pull them all together into a full-body workout!

That should get you going on building a workout you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Want more? Alright, eager beaver, I got you.

We built THREE options for people just like you:

1) If you want step-by-step guidance, a custom workout program that levels up as you get stronger, and a coach to keep you accountable, check out our killer 1-on-1 coaching program:

2) If you want a daily prompt for doing workouts at home, check out NF Journey. Our fun habit-building app helps you exercise more frequently, eat healthier, and level up your life (literally).

Try your free trial right here:

3) Join the Rebellion! We need good people like you in our community, the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. 

Sign up in the box below to enlist and get our guide, Strength Training 101: Everything You Need to Know. It’ll help you start incorporating these bodyweight moves into your training.

Alright, your turn: I’d love to hear how your home training is going!

Which workout above did you try? Did you make one of your own?

Leave a comment below with your results or any questions you have on working out at home.

For the Rebellion!

-Steve

PS: If you were going to buy one piece of equipment to utilize in your home, a kettlebell would offer you a lot of versatility:

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Photo Sources: Home Sweet Home 2, good dog, The minifigures of this series are really beautiful, it’s a rap, my friend:), Ekaterina Minaeva © 123RF.com, Hotel Room, af8images © 123RF.com, Tithi Luadthong © 123RF.com, Vintage House Bicycle,

Footnotes    ( returns to text)
You probably don’t want to actually do this workout in a cave. Hitting your head on a stalactite wouldn’t be fun.
Check out Chad’s great post here.

The post The 8 Best At-Home Workout Routines: The Ultimate Guide for Training Without a Gym first appeared on Nerd Fitness.


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