Staying active is hugely important for both our physical and mental health. This quick 20-minute home workout is the perfect way to get moving without needing to find lots of extra time and can be done at home with no equipment necessary.
No Equipment Home Workout
Get fit, lose weight, improve your mental health. All in just 20 minutes!
30 seconds drop floor touch
30 seconds rest
30 seconds mountain climbers
30 seconds rest
30 seconds side steps with floor touch
30 seconds rest
30 seconds lunge kick through
30 seconds rest
30 sit up punch
30 seconds rest
Rest for 5 minutes then repeat!
Once the initial novelty has worn off, it can be hard to stay motivated when working out at home. Here are 5 top tips to help you maximise your workout time and get the best results with limited resources.
1. Change into activewear
It can be tempting to stay in your comfortably pyjamas all day and to even do your workout in them, but this won't help with motivation or with a good workout. Change into your activewear like you would when going for a run or to the gym so that there is a definite difference between rest time and workout time. Being comfortable and able to move freely will also improve the quality of your workout and will mean you won't be worried about working up too much of a sweat and ruining your comfy clothes!
2. Remove all distractions
When we're at the gym, we're able to just plug in our music, zone out the rest of the world, and get on with a great workout. Unfortunately, at home there might be any number of distractions from kids and pets to noisy neighbours or the temptation to have the TV on in the background. Eliminate as many distractions as you can so that you can focus on your workout and make the most of your exercise time.
3. Set a time and stick to it
When there is no clear line between your home space and your workout space, it can be easy to keep putting off your workout and finding other things to do. Set a specific time of day when you're going to work out and make sure you stick to it. If you're at home with a partner and children, let them know what time you intend to exercise so that they know not to bother you and allow you the time to get on with your training.
4. Choose your workout routine in advance
Making your workout up as you go along is never a good idea, even when going to the gym. By having a great workout routine already written down, you know that you'll have a meaningful workout and your time won't be wasted scrolling through your phone or thinking up the next exercise. It will also mean you're more likely to workout for longer and not give up after only a couple of exercises.
5. Have a dedicated space
One of the hardest things about being stuck indoors is that your home becomes your office, your canteen, your kids' school, and your gym. It can be difficult to get motivated to workout in your living room if this is a space you usually associate with relaxing at the end of the day, and it can become equally difficult to relax if you start associating certain spaces with educating your kids or working out.
Try to dedicate certain areas of your home for different chores and activities. Have a dedicated workout space away from where you usually relax. If you can't do this because you don't have enough space in your house, not to worry! There are ways around it, such as rolling out a yoga mat in your living room to turn it into your workout space, and then putting the yoga mat away again once you're done.
Whether you need to stay home to look after your children or just don't want to spend money on an expensive gym membership, there are plenty of options for you to workout at home.
Benefits of Exercising at Home
Money is one of the biggest factors when it comes to choosing a gym membership and prices can be anywhere from £20- £100 a month, that's £1,200 a year. Save your money and train at home, if you need more kit, the chances are it’s still going to work out cheaper.
Time is another major factor when it comes to training. Whilst having no time to go to the gym may seem like a valid excuse, everyone has time to go home. Training at home means you can fit exercise into your regime as and when the opportunity arrives, even if it's broken into multiple smaller workouts.
No waiting for kit
Queuing for kit at the gym can be frustrating and a busy gym can leave your heart rate dropping whilst you feel frustrated and unmotivated waiting for the machine you need next. Training at home guarantees no-one can slip in front of you onto your kit and your heart rate stays elevated throughout your training, as you switch from one move to the next seamlessly.
No watchful eyes
Sometimes going to the gym can get you more motivated, as you don’t want to be seen putting in a poor performance. Other times people can just be frankly, annoying. Whether it’s awkward moments where you catch someone's eye doing hip thrusters, or someone who just seems to be more interested in staring at you than in their own workout. Avoid all the annoying people and workout at home.
Fueling your motor a) isn't cheap and b) isn’t great for the environment, so kill two birds with one stone and train at home instead. You can spend the extra time you saved driving throwing in a few extra sets to your workout instead.
If your gym doesn’t have a creche it can be hard to find someone to watch your children while you go workout. Working at home means you can workout and still play parent, granted you may have to stop every now and then, but it’s worth it. Your children seeing you staying active also encourages them to join in and move more, with obesity being such a huge risk in the UK it's great to encourage your kids and set the right example.
It's You vs You
We hear this all the time in gym motivational talks, but when it boils down to training at home, it really is you vs you. There’s no-one but you to answer to, so it’s time to really go for it. No one will see how sweaty you get so you can push that extra bit harder, knowing your showers only around the corner.
Training at home is more hygienic, providing your not a real mucky pup. Despite gyms being cleaned, the gym environment breeds germs. The perfect environment for bacteria to spread is the warm moist environment of the gym. The list of bacteria most gyms carry is longer than my arm, so we’re not going to go into it with too much detail. Just the sheer volume of people handling the same kit you are can lead to spreading bacteria. Even if your house is messy, at least it’s your mess.
Downsides to working out at home
Lack of Equipment
Its nice to have the variety of different equipment and when you first start you may not have much kit. Technically, most of it isn’t really needed, but it’s nice to shake things up every now and again. After training at home for a while, most people will find their collection grows and what started as a set of resistance bands soon becomes a set of resistance bands, a dumbbell tree, a chin up bar, a punchbag, a TRX ….
No One to motivate you
Some days even the best athletes lack motivation, it happens. Getting yourself to the gym can often be the hardest part, but once you're there you’ve got to do something with yourself or you’ll look lazy and the PT’s will soon be over to give you an extra earful of motivation. When your at home, there’s no-one but you and maybe the voice on a DVD to motivate you so it can be hard to get in the right mindset.
No spotter or trainer
Without a trainer or a spotter you are more susceptible to injury, from either executing the move wrong or lifting heavier than you can handle on your own. Having people around you can be really beneficial from a safety perspective, especially if you're lifting.
Lacks social aspect
We’re social creatures and training at home lacks the social aspect of going to the gym. If when you go to the gym you spend more time exercising your mouth than other muscles however, this could be a good thing!
Tips for working out at home
Working out at time is one of the biggest culprits for getting distracted during your workout. Zone in. From telephone calls to the front door to pets or children, home workouts are at risk of interruption. Your best bet is to remove all the distractions before you work out. Switch your phone to do not disturb, put your pets in another room and remove your children. Kidding. Just warn them what mummy/daddy is getting up to so that they know you’re busy, give them something which will keep them occupied for long enough for you to work out or let them join in.
Create adequate space
When you're short on time it can be easy to just try and get your workout in without clearing the room you actually need to move. If you can, try to dedicate a space as specifically your workout zone, this will make it more official, as well as avoid you kicking and breaking something. Make sure any equipment you have and might need is stored here. The last thing you want is to be hunting around for kit at the crucial moment.
Try to schedule your workout into the day, be more specific than just “when I get home from work”. Try more “I get home at 6, so I’m going to do some chores and then workout at 6.30pm”. Set an alarm for this time, so whatever you’re doing, you’ll get a reminder and be more likely to keep your workout date.
Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you should be working out in your PJs, especially if you're a woman. Training without support for your breasts can damage tissue. Wearing the right activewear supports your training and will enhance your efforts. Check out the Sundried collection.
Consistency is key
As with any form of training, the key to success is consistency. One home workout routine won’t make a difference, nor will one healthy meal. In order to get fit, you need to be consistent with your training, whether that’s at home or the gym. We are what we repeatedly do, so try to incorporate your workout into your routine so it becomes a natural habit.
Plan your workout in advance
Plan your workout in advance so you know what’s coming and aren't left guessing what to do next. Whether you're following a written routine, dvd or app make sure you know what moves are on the agenda so you don’t waste any time wondering, what’s next?
Comes at a price: Motivation. With the fridge, your tv and sofa all within walking distance, it can be hard to find the motivation to really go for it. You have to stay motivated or your gym equipment will gather dust and become nothing more than extra clutter in your home.
Staying fit and active in winter takes a lot of motivation and it can be easy to succumb to hibernation mode and comfort food. Try this heart-pumping winter metcon workout to keep your fitness up this festive period.
Related: What Is A Metcon Workout?
Winter Metcon Workout
EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute | 10 minutes total |
- 5 burpees
- 15 kettlebell swings (men use 16kg, women use 10kg)
- 5 inch worms
- 10 press ups
- 10 jumping squats
- 20 mountain climbers
- 10 push press (men use 10kg medicine ball, women use 5kg)
- 20 stiff legged deadlifts (men use 12kg dumbbells, women use 8kg)
- 10 jumping lunges
- 10 star jumps
Rest for 5 minutes
AMRAP: As Many Reps As Possible | 5 minutes total |
- Jumping lunges – 60 seconds
- Clean and press – 90 seconds – 50% of your 1RM
- Deadlifts – 90 seconds – 70% of your 1RM
- Overhead press – 60 seconds –50% of your 1RM
You don't need weights to get great results as body weight exercises can be hugely effective. Add these 5 bodyweight exercises to your workout routine to boost the burn and ramp up your results.
1. Lunge Kickthrough
If you want to torch your legs without doing squats, this is the move for you. This exercise will target every muscle in your legs from the glutes to the calves and can even target your core if you do it correctly.
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Step back into a lunge on one leg, making sure you bend the knee at a 90 degree angle and keep your chest proud. Using your arms for balance, bring that leg forward and instead of placing it back on the floor, kick it in front of you. Really squeeze your glutes as you kick and then step straight back into a lunge on the same leg. This will also test your balance! Complete 10 reps on one leg and then swap to the other.
2. Two-Footed Jumps
Not only will this exercise tone your legs, it will increase your power and therefore help your sports performance. This is a full body exercise utilising your arms, core, and legs to achieve the best result. It will also work your cardiovascular system and help to improve your lung capacity and VO2 max.
Mark your starting point with something; this can be anything from a jacket to a towel to a water bottle, anything you have nearby. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Slightly bend your knees and draw your arms behind you. Jump forward with both feet as explosively as you can. Once you land, shuffle back to your marked starting point. Jump as far as you can and try to beat it each time.
3. Pull Ups
This is a classic exercise that will be found in all good strength training routines and is well-loved by those who do callisthenics, CrossFit, and free running. This is an upper body move and will target your lats and shoulders mainly with a little of the core being hit too.
Place your hands wider than shoulder width on a bar and dangle your body so that your feet don't touch the ground. Pull your entire body weight up until your chin goes over the bar. Pull your elbows in and tighten your lats. Breathe out as you pull up to assist in the movement. If you cannot complete this move unassisted, have a friend hold your legs to help you or use a resistance band.
4. Plank Get Ups
This is a killer exercise which is perfect at the end of your workout. It will target your shoulders, triceps, core, and chest. It is a mix between the classic plank hold and push ups and will really test your strength both physically and mentally.
Start in a push up position with your wrists under your shoulders and your feet slightly wider than hip width. Lower yourself down onto your forearms one arm at a time, then push yourself back up onto your hands, again one hand at a time. Keep your core squeezed tight and don't rock your hips as you move. Complete as many reps as you can in 30, 45, or 60 seconds.
5. Back Extensions
The posterior chain refers to the muscles down the back of your body, from your hamstrings to your glutes and into your back. This is a really important set of muscles to work as they will help keep your posture correct and can often be neglected during a workout. Back extensions are the perfect way to really target your posterior chain and help to tone your legs and butt as well as reducing back pain.
Start by laying on the floor face down with your fingers by your temples. Keeping your eyes looking at the floor and your elbows high, lift the upper part of your body off the floor. It will feel quite tough and you might not be able to move very far, but really squeeze through your back and glutes. Take the reps slowly and really focus on every movement.