You no longer need an expensive fitness club membership or fancy gym machines to have a highly effective workout. The best workouts produce better results than the gym and can be done anywhere – your living room, backyard patio, or outdoors. Try these popular home exercise routines to firm your body.
Which of These Home Exercise Routines Will Be Your Favorite?
Home exercise routines can be so effective because the human body adapts to movement patterns surprisingly quickly – and doing the same old gym machines week after week can sometimes lead to a complacent metabolism.
Exercises that use your body’s weight for resistance will engage the primary muscle group on which you’re focused and the secondary, stabilizing muscles. This leads to a sweatier home exercise routine and a healthier physique.
The following workouts I consider to be among the best for sculpting muscle and burning calories.
The exercises can be modified to match any fitness level or gender. Plus, they can be done anywhere!
If you feel any sharp pains or dizziness, stop immediately. I encourage you to consult your medical doctor before significantly changing your home exercise routines.
Short on Time? Try This Classic Abdominal Series
This fundamental series of abdominal exercises require no extra stuff and has been done by Pilates enthusiasts for almost a century. It only takes a few minutes, yet – done correctly – it will toast your core muscles. A classic!
Do 20 repetitions (on each side), per exercise.
- Press the navel tightly to the ground. Hollow-out your abdomen.
- Remember to also press the rib cage down (especially those top two ribs).
- Flatten the lower abdominal plate (located above your pubic bone yet below your navel).
- Exhale each rep as you exert.
- Just because you’re crunching doesn’t mean your spine isn’t long. Keep some length in your spine and neck, even when contracting the muscle fibers of your abdomen – this will help you develop ab muscles that are taut and flat (instead of like a punching bag).
Want Shredded Abs and Firm Buttocks? Try this Core-and-Booty Workout
In this exercise routine, some movements require no equipment whatsoever, while I use tools for other movements.
However, be creative if you don’t have some of these toys in your closet or home gym area. Use substitutions (for example, instead of an ab roller, try doing a 1-minute plank).
In this workout, I use:
- ab roller
- long, thick resistance band
Most people today have core and glute muscles that are far too weak. These muscle groups are intended to be powerfully strong so that the pelvis centers correctly and the spine is aligned and protected.
Want to Train Your Whole Body Quickly? Try This Rooftop Workout
Experiment with these nine exercises during your next workout at home. Can be done in your backyard, patio, living room, driveway, or rooftop! I use:
- short, looped resistance band
- weighted ball
- jump rope
- long resistance band (unlooped)
If you don’t have a kettlebell – or dumbbell, or something heavy to safely hang on to – no problem. You can do the exercises without – simply do more repetitions.
Ensure you don’t skip the bent-over fly exercise where you pull the band apart. It improves your posture by strengthening the posterior deltoids – a muscle group that is too weak in most people, causing the dreaded “texting hunch.” Use small dumbbells or soup cans if you don’t have a band.
Want to Burn Maximum Calories? Try This Outdoor Workout
Consider this 11-exercise workout featuring higher intensity intervals to strengthen and firm your entire body as you burn more calories than most other exercise routines.
You’ll see me using hurdles and a speed ladder in the video. But you don’t need them. The exercises can be done just as easily without. The same goes for the long, looped band I use (to do the overhead squat press and upright rows).
However, the short, looped band (I use for deadlifts and single-arm rows) does come in handy. If you don’t have any short, looped resistance bands, I encourage you to purchase them online immediately. They are cheap, fun to use, and you can do a zillion different exercises with them.
Enjoy Circuit Training? Try This Full-Body Home Exercise Routine
Circuit training has the benefit of providing you with both strength-building and muscular endurance at the same time – because your heart rate stays elevated for a longer period than conventional weight training. This also improves your respiratory health and circulation.
Many people at the gym will do a set of an exercise, rest for three minutes while they check their phone for texts and Instagram, then repeat the set – then rest, repeat, then rest again, and finally move on to a different machine. With so much rest, it also makes it difficult to turn the workout into an aerobic session.
A home exercise circuit-training routine, on the other hand, is one completion of all prescribed exercises (done consecutively, without rest) for that particular circuit:
- After completing a station, you move quickly to the next exercise station in that circuit instead of resting.
- For example, a typical circuit has 4 exercises done consecutively – with a two-minute break in between, before repeating the circuit again. A workout can include 4 circuits, with 4 exercises within each – for a total of 16 exercises in under an hour.
With the following full-body circuit-training routine, you complete each exercise within the circuit without a break – then rest for 2 minutes. Repeat the entire circuit. Rest another 2 minutes. Then finish the final and third circuit. Again, please remember to modify the intensity to match your own fitness level and unique circumstances.
Try putting 3 to 4 exercises into each circuit.
By the way, those rotating push-up handles I use in some exercises are entirely optional. You can do the movements just as effectively without them.
Don’t worry about having fancy dumbbells. If you have only one pair of light dumbbells, that’s great – just do extra reps.
You’ll notice that the final circuit of shoulder openers is designed to keep your rotator cuffs and shoulder girdle mobile and healthy.
Want a Strong Upper Body? Try This Torso Exercise Routine
Here’s an exercise routine you can do at home to develop your upper body. All you need is something to lift – dumbbells, kettlebells, water jugs, whatever – as long as it adds resistance and is safe to move around. Also, if you have a pull-up bar at home and some adjustable bench, that can be helpful.
If the weight feels too light, do more reps.
Or, better yet, play with the tempo.
Try holding a peak contraction for a few moments before slowly releasing to the return position – it’s as if you’re trying to lengthen the muscle while it’s being contracted. This is called negative eccentric training and produces serious results, even when the weight you’re using is very light.
Tight Hips? Try This Post-Workout Cool Down
This short mobility series helps you squat and move more freely.
It looks easy but can be a bit uncomfortable at first – because our hips become stiff from so much sitting.
Remember, a healthy spine is stacked upon a centered pelvis, but a perfectly placed pelvis happens because the surrounding muscles are both powerful and supple. They have to be both.
- When sitting up, sit as tall as you can – as if there’s a string coming out the top of your head that is pulling you to the ceiling.
- Be patient. Sometimes you think you’re relaxing your outer thighs, but then after a few moments, they relax still further.
- If any of the movements or stretches cause pain in a knee, then reposition yourself slightly until you find a place that is pain-free.
More Helpful Home Exercise Routines
But wait, there’s more! If you want additional options, try any of the following home exercise routines:
Form and Focus Are Everything When Doing Home Exercise Routines
Compared to a commercial gym, an at-home workout usually involves less weight being lifted – and that means you have an opportunity to make up for the lack of heavier weight by emphasizing your form and focus instead.
I can watch somebody exercise and perceive quickly whether they have the mindset of an athlete or a standard civilian.
Civilians tend to train their arms more than their legs and their chest muscles more than their back muscles.
A civilian impersonates a movement from the outside-in, making shapes and using only momentum and music to get themselves going.
On the other hand, someone with an athlete’s mindset can also direct their awareness from the inside out. They ask:
- Where do I feel this?
- Am I creating a deep enough contraction at the moment-of-truth?
- How’s my breathing?
- Are my abs pulled in and my glutes engaged?
- Are my knees slightly soft or tightly locked?
- How can I use tempo and negative contractions to make this more interesting and effective?
- Am I training my body symmetrically?
The Silver & Strong Course to Augment Your Home Exercise Routines
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The course involves tracking calories, macros, and inflammation (in a strategic sequence) and removing particular anti-inflammatory foods (again, in a specific sequence).
Once you achieve your target weight, you can experiment with implementing a once-a-week Cheat Day, during which you can have your favorite “offending” foods.
Through the course, you’ll discover the fulfillment and joy of living the anti-inflammatory lifestyle:
- Get lean strength and high energy.
- Develop supple joints and better posture.
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- Reduce visceral fat deposits around the waistline.
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