You don't have to go to the gym to achieve optimal health and fitness. You just have to find the best home workout for you!
In 2020, we have had our lives disrupted on all fronts by the coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that fitness has to be moved to the back burner.
You can still maintain and improve your health and fitness by working out at home!
Fitness is absolutely necessary to maintain not just your physical health, but also your mental health. Exercise boosts mood by increasing endorphins and also enhances immunity.
Moderate exercise seems to have a beneficial effect on the immune function, which could protect against upper respiratory tract infections.
A recent review of numerous studies has found that regular exercise training has an overall anti-inflammatory effect and aids in immune regulation.
This is even more important during these uncertain times. Working out at home will keep your body and immune system strong and healthy even when your fitness center is closed.
Exercise and Improved Mental Health
If you are already active and working out on a regular basis, missed workouts are likely to have you feeling a bit down.
A disrupted workout schedule could even bring on depression or enhance anxiety.
Adding home workouts is a great way to keep your mood up even if you can’t get to the gym.
Many people use exercise as a way to combat anxiety and depression. This is another reason why home workouts are needed when you can’t get to your gym.
Regular exercise has been found to decrease both anxiety and depression.
These home workouts are a great way to add cardio, strength training, balance, and flexibility.
The Best Cardio/HIIT Home Workout
You can get one of the best home workouts by using high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to ramp up your cardio.
This workout requires zero equipment and can be done in the comfort of your living room!
With the warm-up and cool down, this home workout will take about 40-45 minutes.
If you are crunched for time, you can decrease the number of sets in each round, or pick two of the rounds to do instead of three.
The best warm-ups for home workouts should include dynamic stretches.
This will prime your muscles to perform at their highest level.
Perform each move for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. After the 20 second rest, go right to the next move.
- Begin with your knees slightly bent.
- Hold your hands in front of you, palms down with your fingertips together at chest height.
- Dip into a quarter squat and immediately explode upward.
- Drive the knees towards the chest, attempting to touch them to the palms of the hands.
- Land softly with slightly bent knees.
- Start in a standard pushup position.
- As you lower your body toward the floor, bring your right leg out to the side and try to touch your knee to your elbow.
- Return to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg.
- For this exercise, you start in a lunge position.
- Lower your back knee toward the ground in a lunge while keeping your front shin as vertical as possible.
- Do not let your knee track over your toe.
- Push explosively off the ground, jumping and switching the position of your legs while in mid-air.
- Land in the lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat, switching legs on each jump.
- Repeat three times. Rest for one full minute then move to round two.
Perform each move for 50 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Immediately go to the next move.
Burpees with Push-Ups
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and lower your body into a squat as you place your hands between your feet.
- Jump your feet back into the plank position.
- Do one push up.
- Then jump your feet back to your hands.
- Reach your arms overhead and jump up into the air.
- Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.
Tricep Dip to Toe Touch
- Using a chair or step, lower into a tricep dip.
- As you push up, straighten your right leg and reach your left hand towards your right toe.
- Lower your leg and repeat, alternating sides.
Side to Side Abs
- Start in a plank position.
- Hop both feet up to the right, trying to bring your knees to the outside of your right elbow.
- Hop back into a plank position, then bring your knees to the left elbow.
- Continue alternating sides.
- Repeat three times, then move to round three.
Perform each move for one minute, then rest 40 seconds.
- Start in a push-up position.
- Engage your abs, bring your right knee to your chest, then straighten it back to the starting position.
- Then bring your left leg to your chest and back again.
- Repeat this as quickly as possible for the 20 seconds.
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your butt.
- Clasp your hands in front of you.
- Lean slightly back without rounding your back.
- Twist slowly to the left, bringing the hands to your left side.
- Then rotate back to the right.
- Continue alternating sides.
- Make sure you are using your abs and not just swinging your arms.
- Do this with your feet on the ground, or hover your feet above the ground for an added challenge.
- This is basically just running in place, but try to bring your knees up to the level of your waist.
- Really engage your abdominals throughout the exercise.
- Repeat three times then cool down
Jog in place or walk around your home for a few minutes to get your heart rate back down towards a normal resting rate.
Finish with some easy static stretches that target both your upper and lower body.
The Best Strength Training Home Workout
You can do a great strength training workout at home utilizing your body weight, resistance bands, and/or dumbbells.
Start with dynamic stretches, similar to those done in the cardio home workout.
- Perform 12-15 squats.
- You can do these using your body weight, or can add resistance bands or hold dumbbells by your side to add a bit of a challenge.
- Aim for three sets of squats.
- Do 12-15 push-ups.
- If you cannot do these on your feet, modify the move and come down to your knees.
- Perform three sets.
- Aim for 8-10 front lunges with each leg.
- For bodyweight lunges, clasp your hands in front of you or let them hang by your side.
- Or you can make these harder by holding a 5-10 pound dumbbell in each hand.
Tricep Chair Dips
- Perform 12-15 chair dips.
- Keep your feet closer to you to make this move a little easier.
- You can also challenge yourself by extending your legs out and resting your heels as you dip down.
- Perform three sets.
- These are push-ups done in an inverted V position that target your shoulders rather than your chest.
- Perform 10-12 reps.
- Repeat for three sets.
- Try to hold a plank for as long as you can until your form fails.
- Aim for at least 15 seconds to start, then increase your time as you gain more core strength.
End the workout with static stretches that target both the upper and lower body.
Make sure to hit the muscles that you trained during your workout.
The Best Balance and Stretching Home Workout
You can improve your flexibility and balance with these top home exercises that can be easily done in the comfort of your living room.
These moves incorporate stretching and yoga to keep your muscles limber and strong.
- Stand upright and extend your right hand forward.
- Lower your right hand down onto your shin or ankle.
- You can even place your hand on the floor if you are more flexible.
- Reach your left fingertips toward the ceiling.
- Turn your head to look up to your left hand.
- Stay for five breaths, then repeat the pose with your left leg forward.
- Stand upright and shift your weight into your right foot while lifting your left foot off the floor.
- Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot high onto your inner right thigh.
- Take five to 10 breaths, then lower your left foot to the floor and repeat on the other side.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Your knees will be under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
- Keep your abs engaged and your back flat.
- Reach out with your right hand and extend your left leg out behind you.
- Then round your back and head and bring your right elbow and your left leg under your body to touch.
- This completes one rep. Repeat eight to 10 times on this side, then switch to the other side.
- Lie face down, with your hands by your shoulders as if you were doing a pushup.
- Push your torso up as far as possible or until your hips begin to come off the floor.
- Hold for five deep breaths then lower back down.
- Repeat one or two more times.
- Begin on your hands and knees.
- Inhale and lift your hips upward.
- Press your chest forward and allow your stomach to sink.
- Lift your head and relax your shoulders away from your ears.
- This is known as the cow pose.
- Then, to come into cat pose, round your spine and tuck in your tailbone while bringing your head toward the floor.
- Continue to alternate cow and cat pose five times for each.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Bring your body to the ground with your stomach between your thighs and your forehead to the floor.
- Stretch your arms in front of you with the palms toward the floor.
- Stay in this position as long as you like, but for at least five full breaths.
Importance of Balance and Stretching
Balance exercises and stretching are essential to increase flexibility, improve coordination, and will improve all of your other workouts.
And these are some of the easiest and best home workouts!
Plus, yoga-type exercises like the ones above also benefit mental health.
A 2018 study from the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that yoga has an effective role in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Maintain Your Fitness At Home
Although your gym may be closed, this doesn’t have to mean that your whole fitness routine has to be knocked off track.
The best home workout for you can be done at home and on your own time!
Continuing to focus on your health and fitness is just as important now as any other time.
Maintaining your strength and cardiovascular fitness will help keep your immunity up, ward off chronic diseases, and improve your mental health as well.
Looking for the Best Home Workout? Try the Fit Mother Project!
The Fit Mother Project is an excellent resource for guidance on exercise, health, and nutrition, whether you're a new mom, stay-at-home mom, working mom, or an empty-nester.
You can continue to have some of your best workouts at home even in the craziest of times.
And don’t forget you can also reach out to the excellent staff at the Fit Mother Project for guidance and motivation along the way!
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the best home workout.