1. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are an amazing cardio warmup. They not only get your heart pumping but they make sure blood flows to your arms and legs, setting you up for any type of home workout afterward. Jumping jacks before and after a workout are a great way to warm up and cool down.
2. Core Workout
There are so many great ways to work the core from home. Crunches, sit-ups and planks are the most popular. The key to successfully working your core from home is to make sure you’re not straining your back. Make sure it’s the abdominal muscles and not the muscles of the lower back that are primarily engaged in these workouts, and always make sure to use good form.
3. Wall Sit
The wall sit is notorious for looking so easy but causing such a burn. The great thing about a wall sit is it can be done at all fitness levels—just stay in the “seated” position for as long as you can! To do a wall sit, find an open vertical wall space and bend your knees as though you are sitting in a chair. Keep your back flat against the wall and feel the burn in your thighs.
Push-ups are such a great addition to your home workout because there are so many variations. For beginners, try them with knees on the ground or in an unmoving plank position. To add a little variation to the chest muscles worked, experiment with keeping hands farther apart or closer together. For advanced difficulty, try diamond pushups—keeping thumbs and pointer fingers touching to make the hands into a diamond shape—try push-ups with legs up on a slanted surface, or try clapping between push-ups for added cardio.
Squats are some of the most classic home workout exercises. There are many different varieties of squats you can try from home—deep squats, side squats, frog squats, and squat kickbacks are just a few of the versatile options for squats you can look into trying. Add difficulty to squats with weights of any kind, or even heavy objects in the home like stacks of books! Just make sure to keep your back straight and always lift from your legs.
- Chair Step-Ups
For people who don’t have stairs to step up, chair step-ups are a great in place workout to get the blood flowing and build muscles in the thighs and glutes. Using a stable chair or table, experiment with different step heights and find one that’s just right for your fitness level.
Lunges can be a great strength training exercise to try from home, and they can also be the ideal warmup for a runner or cyclist. They get the blood flowing to the legs and can be done in all directions. Try a “lunge matrix”—lunge to the side, forward, and diagonal—to work all parts of the leg muscles.
- Floor Bicycles
Floor bicycles are one of the best ways to work your core. To do, lie on your back with your arms under your head and extend one leg while the other is bent. Then, as through turning the pedals on a bicycle, circle one leg to the opposite position. Do these as fast as you can and you should feel the burn in your abs.
- High Knees
High knees are some of the toughest cardio you can do from home without any equipment. 30 sec of high knees as quickly as possible can qualify as a high-intensity workout from home! A few sets of those and your heart will be racing. High knees can also be a great warmup for runners and cyclists.
- Calf raises
Calf raises help work some of the lower leg muscles that often get neglected, and they can help prevent ankle injuries from other activities like running. To do, simply raise your body weight up onto your toes and back down again. For added difficulty, try holding hand weights, a solid weight like a barbell/kettlebell, or heavy objects like a stack of books while doing calf raises.