Working out is more simple than we make it out to be. It doesn’t need to be some elaborate hour long gym session with machines and treadmills. Many people are overwhelmed with the amount of exercise options out there and don’t know where to start. All you need is a few exercises that work each group of muscles for a full body workout at home. I have 4 exercises for you as an example that also have modifications for anyone to do.
When choosing what exercises to do for a full body workout at home, there’s a few key things to include:
- Push exercises
- Pull exercises
- Upper body
- Lower body
- Core (abdominal and back)
- No equipment! Well I guess you’ll need a wall but who lives in a home without walls?
You basically need just a few exercises that move the whole body instead of many that only focus on one muscle. Wondering where all the crunches are at? Well, every one of these uses the core when stabilizing so that’s unnecessary. I will mention often to keep the “core engaged”, which in simple terms, means pull that belly button in and make the six pack appear. Or you can find out how here how to engage the core.
To try a more specific upper or lower body workout at home, try my Lean Lazy Arms and Lean Lazy Legs workouts.
How Much Exercise?
A beginner who has never done much exercising should start with whatever they can do and do it in the comfort of their home. Don’t feel bad or judge yourself. 8-10 of each of the exercises without any weight (use water bottles for the row exercise if you feel you need something) is a good starting point. Another set can be added if it feels good the next time, and then weight if needed.
You only need to do strength exercises about 3 times per week. On the other days, do something you enjoy like walking or biking. It’s a process that will get you to more advanced exercises and more sets and weight. It will come with time, but be patient to avoid injury and keep motivated. We are all still working to get there, none of us are perfect. Read more on Stop Trying To Lose Weight.
4 Exercises For A Full Body Workout At Home
Here are 4 exercises for a full body workout at home. Make sure you move a bit before you start so the muscles aren’t stiff and cold to prevent injury. See how to warm up here.
A push exercises for the lower body. Squats strengthen every part of the leg and the core.
- Start with feet hip-width apart
- Lower down like you are going to take a sit
- Make sure your knees don’t go ahead of the toes
- Keep your back straight and core engaged
- Don’t go down as low (but try for at least 45 degrees)
- Squat next to a wall, with back up against the wall and sliding down as far as you can
2. Push Up
Push ups are great for the whole body. They especially work the chest and core.
- Your hands should be in line with your chest and a few inches away
- The elbows are close to the body
- Lower down as far as comfortable while keeping core engaged
- Make sure your bottom isn’t in the air or your back is sagging (if it is, please do them on your knees first) I myself am not the best at them either!
- Go on your knees for push ups
- Use a wall for super easy push ups
A row exercise works the upper back or posture muscles. The core is also included while stabilizing during the lift. Find more posture exercises here.
- Make sure the back is straight with this exercise
- Bend over so there is room for arms to “row”
- Have a weight (or water bottle, anything) in each hand
- Start with arms hanging straight down
- Squeeze the shoulder blades together and bring the elbows straight up without shrugging shoulders, lower down
- Keep the core engaged
- Do this kneeling, one side at a time (see below)
- it may be easier to focus on one and not be standing up
- Keep the back straight and shoulders relaxed with the same movement
Lunges really get the rest of the legs and also the core at the same time.
- Start standing with feet hip-width apart
- Step the right leg forward and lower to about 90 degrees and raise back up, repeat
- Keep core engaged
To Modify Instead of Lunging
- Widen your stance to increase stability
- Use a wall (see below) – it does not involve any “lunge” movement and we call this exercise the “standing wall abduction”
- Stand parallel to a wall. Lift the inside leg up, bend at 90 degrees. Push against the wall and feel it in your outer hip. The standing leg is just for stability. Hold for 10 seconds. Make sure the core is engaged.
- Video demonstration
All done? Try some simple lower body stretches or even 5 of the best morning stretches to get those muscles loose!
I’d love to answer any questions about the exercises and find out how your first day went! Leave a comment below.
Fresh Moves: Do a full body workout at home by choosing 4 simple push and pull exercises for the upper and lower body.
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JennaJuly 10, 2017
great exercises and they are so resourceful!
Mindy VoetJuly 10, 2017
Thank you 🙂
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Sarah Harris | Makesmewander.comMay 15, 2017
Dang, you completely blew all my excuses out of the water. Who can’t do 4 exercise! OK, the guilt is getting me! (Plus I do love the feeling as I build strength!)
Mindy VoetMay 15, 2017
I know, only 4! It really only takes a few minutes!
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NoeliaMay 12, 2017
Great work outs.
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DaveMay 10, 2017
The real benefits of these is that they are all functional. Pulling, pushing, bending knees…strength based activities that are used for a multitude of tasks throughout the week. Personally, im at a stage where I am trying to alter my physique with intense gym sessions, but bodyweight exercises is where it all started.
As you’ve said Mindy, we are only competing with ourselves. Whatever struggles you may face, just look to do things better the next day. Before you know, you’ll be flying through. Took me years to realise this and when I did, that’s when I saw improvements.
Mindy VoetMay 10, 2017
You’re completely right. I’m glad it worked for you and you saw good improvement!
ashleyMay 10, 2017
such great exercises! i love workout you can easily do at home!
April KitchensMay 10, 2017
I love a good at home full body workout. I use videos on youtube, but sometimes it is easier to come up with my own workout routine.
Mindy VoetMay 10, 2017
I agree! The videos help with motivation but not always what we feel like doing!
IdrissMay 9, 2017
Great workout combo ! I do a similar body weight workout at home 🙂
DionnaMay 9, 2017
SQUAT! My favorite exercise on here..easy and total body workout in one fell swoop!
AnniMay 9, 2017
This is great! I pinned so I won’t forget. 🙂
MiniMay 9, 2017
Awesome article. I love the way you have explained each exercise stsp by step. Great
AmrMay 8, 2017
I know the 4 exercises but didn’t know that this can be a full body workout. Thank you for the valuable information.
BethanyMay 8, 2017
These are fabulous!! I am just getting back to my workout routines after my C section and it is such an uphill battle! Can’t wait for my body to bounce back but knowing I created a miracle and it will just take time!;) Cheers!
Mindy VoetMay 8, 2017
Thanks! Yes you did and it will come soon enough, just enjoy that sweet baby 🙂
SarahMay 8, 2017
You are absolutely right on all 4 of these! I do group classes at the Y because I need that motivation, but these are the main exercises that we do, just in different varieties.
Mindy VoetMay 8, 2017
That’s great to hear! It’s always more motivating to do it with others in a class, I agree on that.