Whether you’re coming off a few months out of the gym or an entire pandemic (with its accompanying COVID-influenced weight gain), the best at-home workouts will help you drop weight, build muscle, and avoid those recurring monthly gym fees. So if you’re looking for a fresh fitness start, our compilation of strength and cardio moves for home workouts will help you get shredded in between your couch and coffee table.
Even if busting out of the house for a jog or bike ride is entirely possible, grabbing a few minutes for an at-home workout can be a secret weapon in any season. Easy home workouts can make you sweat and build muscle, with minimal equipment and a little know-how.
We’ve put together an easy at-home workout comprised of 15 strength and cardio moves that can be performed in your living room, in less than 30 minutes. Doing these exercises at home will tone your weak spots, get your blood flowing and heart pumping, and allow you to supervise (at least in theory) your kids nearby while you’re at it. String together the following in an order of your choosing and keep at it.
Easy At-Home Workouts to Build Core Strength
Sit-Ups. Basic, but effective. Lie on your back with knees bent, engage your abs to lift your shoulders from the ground and close to your thighs, hold for a second, and return to start. Aim for 20, and work your way up to 50 once you’re a pro. For maximum effect, do not tuck your feet under a chair or table for assistance.
Crunches. These bite-sized versions of the whole enchilada isolate smaller, deeper abdominal muscles in their motion. Lie on your back with knees bent, engage your abs to lift your shoulders to about 30 degrees from the ground, hold for a second, and return to start. Shoot for three sets of 20.
Bicycles. Lie on your back feet in the air, knees bent. Place your hands behind your head. Begin vigorously pumping your legs in the classic bicycle motion for one minute.
Planks. Hands down the best overall bodyweight toning move you can do. Rest on your elbows and toes, keeping your back and legs straight. Hold for one minute.
Lower Body At-Home Workouts
Squats. Back straight, feet slightly turned out. Drop your seat to knee height. Do two sets of 10. Advanced/Dad version: Do these with your kid on your back.
Lunges. This is the best quad toner in town. Start standing with your feet parallel. Take a big step forward with your right leg, landing with your knee bent and over your toes. Allow your back knee to drop down toward the floor while swinging your left arm forward for balance. Push off your right front foot to return to standing. Do two sets of 10 on each side.
Squat Jumps. Bend your knees as if you are going into the squat position, tucking your arms like a downhill skier. Spring off the floor and straighten your legs in the air, before landing in a squat once again. Advanced version: When you push off the floor into a jump, add a half-twist so you land facing the opposite direction. Do two sets of 10.
High Knees. Jog in place for one minute, lifting each knee as high as you can.
Bavarian Split Squats. It sounds hardcore, but it’s just a regular squat with one leg resting on a chair seat or low table behind you. Focus on keeping your weight over your forward leg, and don’t let your knee bend further than your toes. Two sets of 10 on each side.
Calf Raises. Face a wall and place your palms against it for balance and support. Rise up onto your toes and back down. Repeat 20 times. Advanced version: Let your kid ride piggyback for extra resistance.
Upper Body At-Home Workouts
Dips. Sit in a sturdy chair, hands holding the front edge of the seat. Push your butt forward until it is it suspended in front of the seat and your weight is being supported by your arms. Bend elbows and drop your hips toward the floor. Straighten. Do two sets of 10 dips.
Push-Ups. Drop and give us 20. Let your child sit on your butt for extra weight resistance.
Dead Lifts. A modified version of the gym classic, you’ll need a heavy, low-to-the-ground object for this, such as two gallon-size jugs of water, dumbbells, or a duffel bag filled with shoes. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, reach down and grab hold of the weighted object on the floor in front of you. Return to a vertical position. Lower down; raise back up. Do 20 times.
Cardio-Boosting Home Workouts
Jumping Jacks. Time to get your heart rate up. Making sure to raise your hands over your head each time, and keep the cardio going for at least one minute.
Burpees. Get from a perfect plank to a jump with the hands in the air and back again as fast as possible. Start with 10 and work up from there.
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