There are many good reasons to train at home. Regardless of whether you appreciate the time savings or flexibility, or you simply (currently) have no other option than to train at home, here you will find the best fitness exercises for at home.
Right now, I can absolutely understand it when you find it difficult to motivate yourself to train in lockdown As soon as you deal with the possibilities, however, you will find that you can also work effectively on your fitness at home. This article should help you with that.
Of course, it is not that easy to determine the objectively best exercises for a home workout. After all, people are different and everyone has different goals and has different requirements. Therefore, the following list is an idea of the exercises that I think are a good foundation for an effective home workout for most people.
In addition, after presenting my personal favorites of fitness exercises for at home, I will also recommend a few articles from other bloggers, which could also be very interesting for you if you are looking for possibilities / inspiration for your training at home .
My selection of the best fitness exercises for at home
Since I don’t know how much home gym equipment you are equipped with, I limit myself to the basics of the exercises presented. So I preferred exercises that you can do without equipment. So you don’t need your own gym at home . Nevertheless, I would recommend everyone to get at least a few basics like a sling trainer and a chin-up bar * for their home training.
So you don’t need a barbell with heavy weights for this. If you do have one, I would like to refer you directly to my article about the classic basic exercises .
Now I wish you a lot of fun watching and trying out the following sports exercises for at home, with which everyone can effectively train their whole body in their own four walls even without a lot of equipment.
1) Different types of push-ups
When you’re thinking about what fitness exercises you can do at home, the first thing you’ll probably think of is the push-ups. The classic among the basic bodyweight exercises is an absolute classic for good reason and, in my opinion, belongs in every good training plan for strength training with your own body weight . With no other exercise without weights can you train your entire chest, arm and shoulder muscles so effectively.
Pushups are definitely one of the best fitness exercises for at home
However, many only know the classic push-ups. The possibilities of this exercise are much more diverse. In an article here on the blog I presented 22 different push-ups as part of a challenge. This gives you a lot of options to set individual priorities and increase the intensity.
These variants are sometimes really demanding and in combination with a few resistance bands * you can build muscle mass pretty well even at home without weights. So don’t underestimate the push-ups and instead include them in your training plan.
2) At least one type of pull-up
Those who train the chest or the front of the upper body should also train the back. To be honest, everyone should basically train their back. Many common complaints could be at least significantly reduced by regular back training. Ideally, the obligatory neck and back pain occur much later and less often. This also and especially applies to everyone who regularly works in the (home) office.
From my point of view, the best exercise to specifically strengthen the back muscles is clearly the pull-up. In fact, I think pull-ups are so effective that I list them among the most important complex basic exercises , which are usually exercises with the barbell. For this reason, pull-ups are always in my training plan in different variations. It doesn’t matter whether I train at home or in a gym.
A beautiful back can also delight – The best exercise for this: pull-ups
Depending on the goal and level of training, the pull-up training can be varied with different designs and grip variants. For example, you can also specifically challenge your biceps.
Don’t worry if you can’t do enough or no pull-ups yet. Anyone can learn pull-ups , there are tried and tested methods for this. You can also help here with a few resistance bands * and make yourself a little easier for the exercise.
3) Rowing for a strong and healthy back
Now I have announced that I will only present exercises that you can perform with no or only minimal equipment and then rowing comes in third place, an exercise that is usually more associated with dumbbell training. But in addition to the classic barbell row there are also training variants for which you do not need any weights.
In addition to pull-ups, I think rowing makes sense because the back muscles are extremely important from my point of view. It should be a focus of your training. By rowing you address these back muscles in a different way. Due to the targeted strengthening of the middle trapezoidal and rear shoulder muscles, rowing is one of the best fitness exercises for at home and anywhere else you want to train.
Here I am doing a rowing exercise with one Sling trainer.
There are actually a few variations on how you can do effective rowing exercises without weights. With a few resistance bands * and even with a towel it is possible to row.
My favorite is rowing with a sling trainer . In general, a sling trainer is a great training tool. That’s why it’s at the top of my list of basics for your fitness studio at home . The great thing is that you can use a sling trainer extremely versatile for your training. In addition, many models can be stowed away to save space and can also be used on the go.
I have tried a few sling trainers and my current recommendation is the sling trainer from Body Wisdom *. The reason is that it is very high quality and robust and yet extremely compact. So I don’t have to think about how I can still get it in my suitcase:
Through a cooperation with the manufacturer, my readers get a big discount of 33 on this sling trainer with the discount code “fitvolution” %. So you get the sling for 99 € and it is currently still available despite the current rush.
4) Squats for strong legs
An exercise that should not be missing in any training plan is the squat. There is hardly any other exercise that uses your entire muscles so much. This leg exercise is actually a full body exercise and a true calorie burning machine.
Almost everyone who has been training with weights for a while, however, will probably wonder whether squats without weights are really an effective fitness exercise for at home. As far as classic “air squats” are concerned, of course it depends very much on your level of training and your training goals. Personally, I can easily make 100 of them without getting out of breath. This is more like cardio than muscle building .
However, there are a lot of alternative ways of doing squats with your own body weight into an extremely demanding exercise. This is mainly about the gradual load distribution up to one-legged variants.
The back foot stabilizes during this Variant above all. It is almost as effective but much easier than the “real” one-legged squat variants of pistol squats and shrimp squats. This makes bodyweight split squats suitable for most advanced exercisers.
If that’s not challenging enough for you, you can also try the “real” one-legged squat variants. You can also stabilize yourself with your sling trainer, for example. I used to do this myself regularly. If I try today, I’ll quickly reach the limits of my possibilities:
In addition, the difficulty of each variant can be influenced by the use of resistance bands *. This also makes the transition between the variants easier for you. Otherwise the jump in performance can be quite large.
5) Kick-Backs or Manual Leg Curl
While the front of the thighs are more demanding when doing squats, you should also think about your back when doing fitness exercises at home. In comparison, this is underdeveloped in most people. A strong hamstring is important for balanced leg muscles and has a (especially preventive) effect against knee problems. Runners in particular should definitely train their hamstrings.
But what’s the best way to do it at home without weights?
With weights, I prefer to do the (Romanian) deadlift with the barbell, but that is difficult to emulate without weights. Fortunately, there are a few alternatives that you can do at home and on the go. The classic is the kick-back, which I do in the following picture.
Make sure that the movement comes from the hips and that you make your back as stiff as possible. If you don’t feel it in your butt and hamstrings after a few repetitions, however, you are doing it right.
If this is too easy for you, your resistance bands * will also help to make it a little harder. Although you should really first work on your technique. I do Romanian deadlifts on hypertrophy with up to 180 kilos and this exercise still makes my hamstrings burn.
6) Plank for the strong trunk
Last but not least, we want to do something for your core muscles. The exercise I’ve chosen for this is the plank. These and other isometric exercises don’t get enough attention in my opinion. They can be a valuable addition to your training.
If you do it right, the plank is not only your secret weapon if you want to train your abs effectively. It is important that your core is fully tense the whole time. If you let yourself sag on the plank, the training effect is not very good. Then you can probably do situps just as well.
Just hold the plank for as long as you can. If it doesn’t work, hold it for a few seconds longer. After that, you’ve earned a short break before repeating the whole thing. Do this four or five times at the end of your workout. If your abs aren’t burning now, you haven’t done it right.
Tips on good fitness exercises for at home on other blogs
They were my top fitness exercises for at home that you can do without weights. But as mentioned at the beginning, there is not one single correct answer to the question of the right sports exercises for everyone. For this reason
- Torsten has summarized some options for home workouts in the Corona crisis in an article on his endurance blog.
- Pat collected some tips from various experts on training in quarantine in an article on his blog 4yourfitness. By the way, with the discount code “fitvolution” you get a 15% discount on his bodyweight training program with lots of exercise instructions, videos and training plans. You can get it here *
- Pascal also introduces you to his personal favorite exercises for an effective home workout in an article on his blog Fit with Pascal.
- Triathlon expert Anke has come up with something especially for swimmers who (at the moment) cannot train in the swimming pool. In an article on MyGoal-Training, she makes some suggestions and gives tips on how to effectively bridge times without the opportunity to swim.
- Paula has come up with something for all friends of Challenges. On her blog Laufvernarrt she offers her readers a 30-day fitness challenge for at home.
Have fun and success with the fitness exercises for at home
Now that I have presented you with my top 6 fitness exercises for at home and suggested some other bloggers with great tips on this topic, you have surely recognized some possibilities for you. Perhaps you have already started putting together your own training plan. Otherwise you can of course download my free training plans for your training on the go and at home .
If you know what you have to do, but you find it difficult to motivate yourself to really pull it off, then take a look at the Sports motivation category here on the blog. At the moment, I can absolutely understand it if you are having a hard time motivating yourself to train in lockdown and would like to help you with a few tips.