You suddenly thought of losing weight and want to start your fitness journey, but you want to do it the lazy way.
You don’t want to leave your house, you want to be in the comfort of your own home.
Don’t worry, I am here to teach and guide you to start exercising, slow and steady like a sloth…
As a beginner, you surely be intimidated by the vast array of exercises that you can do at home.
Fret not! It is not necessary to go to a gym to workout. You can save your gym membership money for something else.
You can do these exercises at home without any equipment, and yes you can build a toned body, lose weight and burn fat.
There are plenty of exercise that you can do, but I will list mainly whole body exercises and core exercises as these are easy to learn.
As a beginner, it can be hard to workout at home because you don’t know what exercises you can do… Let’s get started!!
These are the 12 best and highly effective body weight exercises for beginners to workout at home without any equipment:
Squats is a great exercise to work your whole body, especially your lower limbs! Your core is also engaged and used throughout each repetitions.
Lunges is an alternative to squats and it work mainly your booty muscles and quadriceps muscles on one limb.
This exercise is to train mainly single-leg strength (unilateral).
3. Push Ups
Push ups – ahhh the most basic exercise to strengthen your upper limbs and upper body along with your core!
It basically work your whole body (including legs!!). For females, you can do the bent-knee push ups version.
Plank is an isometric (static) core exercise and it is a good exercise to strengthen your core.
Try it for a minute (if you can?) and feel the burn!! It burns more than eating chili…. Make sure your hips don’t sink!
5. Side Plank
Side plank is similar to plank but it targets the side abdominal muscles, your arm muscles and deltoid…
If you lack balance, try to spread your legs a bit. Your other arm can be extended or held at hips. – up to you! –
6. Side Plank Straight Arm Variation
Side plank straight arm variation, this may or may not be easier or harder for you.
You can try this variation or the standard side plank to suit your taste… Your other arm can be extended or held at hips. – up to you! –
7. Leg Raises
Leg raises is a core exercise which targets your hip flexors and lower abs muscles…
Try NOT TO touch the floor when your legs are coming downward and make sure your KNEES are straightened…
8. Crunches Hands Slide to Knee
Crunches Hands Slide to Knee is to strengthen your upper abs muscles and is the simplest way to know how much you need to “come up” during each repetition.
By the way, crunches is way better than sit ups.. Sit ups is extremely bad for your lower back and can cause lower back pain.
Bridges – ever wanted to make a bridge? – is a great exercise to work on your back muscles, booty muscles and hamstrings (posterior chain muscles).
10. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks is a high-impact exercise and it may or may not be suitable for you.
This exercise mainly work your cardio, and also your whole body muscles.
11. Side Jacks
Side jacks is a low-impact exercise and you can do this as an alternative to jumping jacks.
Superman mainly work your back muscles, booty muscles and hamstring muscles (posterior chain muscles).
It looks easy, but it isn’t. Because it won’t be easy to fly like superman.
So do I need to use a yoga mat or exercise mat while exercising?
A yoga or exercise mat is not necessary and is up to your own preference.
However, while doing the exercises and if it hurts your joints or bones, etc.. Then you should buy and use a yoga mat or exercise mat while exercising.
I recommend getting a thick exercise/yoga mat as it provides much better cushion compared to a thin mat.
Besides, it is crucial that you do any and every exercise(s) with proper technique and form to reduce the risk of pain and injuries!!
Simple Beginners Body Weight Workout & Exercise Routine at Home
So yeahhh finally you know what exercises you can do at home, but the problem now… You don’t have an exercise routine…
I know you are excited… Calm down!! Before you start any exercise routine, you MUST do a simple warm up session.
You need to warm up to get your muscles and body ready to exercise, this is crucial to prevent pain and injuries.
Here’s a 5 minute full body warm up video to get your body ready to start exercising:
So you are done with your warm up, now let’s get started with the exercise routine!
Simple Beginner Body Weight Exercise Routine
- Squats – 15 repetitions.
- Crunches – 8 repetitions.
- Lunges – 10 repetitions each leg.
- Plank – 15 seconds hold.
- Bridges – 10 repetitions.
- Push Ups – 8 repetitions.
- Jumping Jacks OR Side Jacks – 20 jumps.
You will be doing these exercises for at least three circuits.
Meaning you will do each exercises in succession without any rest in between – yup, brutal and tough.
Note: If you are unable to complete three circuits, you can either take a short break or just stop completely.
By doing circuit training, you can build muscles, burn fats, lose weight faster and improve your cardio.
So how often should I be doing this beginner body weight workout?
You can do this 3-4 days a week, do it on every alternate days and not consecutive days.
This is to allow your body to rest and recover. For your information, you don’t build muscles when you are exercising, you build muscles when you are resting.
So how long should I be doing this beginner body weight workout?
Keep doing this workout 3-4 days per week for the next 4-6 weeks. You will eventually see huge fitness improvements over time.
Slowly but surely!
Don’t forget to write down your progress and your feelings once you complete each circuit training.
This is important to gauge your progress by comparing the current week’s progress with the previous week’s progress.
Try to make use of your household items to add resistance to your workout or exercise routine
Even without any equipment, your household items can be very useful as it can be used as “weights”.
Note: With added resistance, you need to take extra precaution.
If possible, don’t add any resistance until you are able to do the circuit routine stated above, at least five times.
For example, here’s a video on how you can exercise with a 5 kg or 10 kg rice pack:
Heck man… You can even use your chair regardless of its weight to train your forearms.
Here is an example of how I work my forearm with my house chair:
It looks easy until you try it! Lift up the chair above ground by using your wrist only and hold it for 30 seconds, feel the burn!!
Yesssss it burnssssss… But your forearms will be stronger over time and you will eventually need a heavier chair.
If you are feeling strong, you can try doing exercise variations
Haaaa! This one might be tricky for you as you are still getting used to the nature of exercise and knowing the exercises that you can do.
But I will keep it short and concise for you to understand. Exercise variations basically means it is a slightly different way of doing your usual exercise.
For example, the variations of squat are quarter squat, full squat and single leg squat (pistol squat)…
Quarter squat (hips above knee):
Half squat (hips aligned with knee):
Full squat (hips below knee):
Pistol squat (not easy!!):
To give you a heads up, the exercise variations may or may not make the exercise harder for you. Besides, exercise variations targets and engages different muscles..
I personally like to do the pistol squats, it is extremely challenging, but it can be done with sufficient training.
As a beginner, you should start doing with quarter squats first then gradually progress to half squats and then full squats…
At least get the feel of exercising first, otherwise you will be discouraged to keep exercising.
Get creative on doing the exercises with household items
Exercises that you can do are not only limited by what you can find in Google or YouTube. If you get creative, you will be able to do more variation of exercises.
With two water bottles on hand as your weights, you can do straight arm lateral raises, straight arm front raises, biceps curl, and many more!
Whatever household items you decide to use, don’t use anything that can harm/hurt yourself in the process. Safety should be your top priority!
The importance of good nutrition
Regardless of how much body weight workout you did, you gotta eat a proper and nutritious diet.
In fact, you should be eating a proper and nutritious diet even before starting any exercise or workout routine.
No matter how much you workout, the big bulk of your progress is from your diet.
To lose weight and burn fat is 85% diet and 15% exercise. These could be the reasons why you didn’t lose weight.
You can have the best exercise or training program and doing it for months and years, but see no results…
To see continuous and long-lasting weight loss results, you MUST eat a balanced nutrition diet.
What should I eat?
- Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits.
- Lots of lean meat, fish, chicken, etc…
- Potatoes, peanuts, beans, legumes, seeds, etc…
- Eat wholemeal and natural foods where possible.
What foods should I avoid?
- Any sugar foods, e.g., chocolate, cakes, donuts, etc…
- Any sugar drinks, e.g., bubble tea, soda, carbonated drink, etc…
- Fried foods, e.g., fried chicken, nuggets, french fries, etc…
- Alcohol…. <- reduce to minimum if you can’t avoid it.