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Home Workouts – Free ways to exercise

Yoga workout at homeWhether it is a cold winter, a hot summer or you just do not like to exercise outdoors a good selection of home workouts is vital if you are not a member of a gym.

OK, you do not actually need any equipment to get super fit at home. Just the clothes to exercise in is enough and the willpower to do it. But having some home gym equipment can really help you to structure you workouts better and stay focused.

Really you can take just one of the following options or combine any number, either way you should be able to get fit at home on a small budget.

Home Circuit Training and Calisthenics

Circuit training is possibly the best way to exercise at home. It has several advantages over other forms of exercise. You do not need much equipment, in fact you can do a good workout with no equipment. You work your entire body. It is a form of intensive interval training, which has been show to be the best way to get fit and lose weight.

Home Yoga Workouts


Yoga is entire health and fitness system. To really do well in yoga you need some lessons first to teach you the proper form and posture. Once you learn the basics though you can then exercise by yourself at home for free. One of the best forms of yoga for fitness is Ashtanga yoga, and Ashtanga workouts involve performing the Sun Salutation multiple times. This is a fantastic full body workout.

Exercise Machines for Your Home Gym

Buy some cardio machines quickly increases the cost of working out at home, but they are extremely helpful. There are really 4 options for home gym machines:

  • Cross Trainers / Elliptical Trainers. This provide one of the best full body workouts and are low impact. You can easily control speed and resistance.
  • Rowing machines. These have lost favor in recent years but do provide a great workout. Pushing with the legs and pulling with the upper body, you work the whole body. Speed and resistance is easy to adjust to make a workout challenging and safe.
  • Exercise Bikes. These work only the lower body, specifically the legs. If you enjoy spinning classes then an exercise bike can provide a good workout. They are often more compact that cross trainers and magnetic rowing machines. If you want to get super fit then follow the Chris Hoy training principals.
  • Treadmills. Treadmills are really a luxury home fitness item. If you are fit enough to run then you should make the effort to get outside. One of the disadvantages of a treadmill over a cross trainer is that it controls the speed at which you run, so if you get tired or need to stop quickly, you need to instruct the machine to slow down. This does make them slightly less safe to use as with rowers, cross trainers and bikes you control the speed and can stop immediately.

Weight Training at Home

Weight training is something that requires equipment, however you can do a very good workout with just one set of adjustable dumbbells.

However, to get the most out of weight training you really need to invest in some solid equipment as this will not only allow you to work to a higher level, but will be safer. A good solid bench which has a back rest that can be inclined to the vertical position will come in extremely useful.


For safety a power cage / power rack is essential, as this will allow you to perform squats, bench press and shoulder press without the need for safety spotter (i.e. a training partner). See here how easy it is to make a dip station if you have a power rack already. You can work to complete muscular failure without fear of doing serious damage when you accidentally drop a 100kg bar directly above your face or chest.

Running / Jogging from Home

It is never really too cold to go running, you just need to wrap up warm. If you legs are strong and healthy then running is a fantastic way to get fit at home. The only cost is a good pair of running shoes and some suitable clothes for all the seasons.

Each year many people join a commercial gym to help them get fit and lose weight. If you are dedicated to getting fit and staying fit, and especially if other members of your household are too, then it may not only be more convenient to workout at home, but cheaper too. Here we list the best home exercise routines and methods.

More like this in the Fitness section

  49 comments for “Home Workouts – Free ways to exercise

  1. breanna
    November 1, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    thanks you have really helped with all this information thanks

  2. MotleyHealth
    November 1, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    No problem! If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask.

  3. Kelsy
    January 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

    so yoga’s a good way to lose fat?

  4. MotleyHealth
    January 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Yes it is. Yoga can be performed quite intensively. The Ashtanga sun salutations are hard work, and after you have done 20 of them you will soon understand why yoga keep you fit!

  5. Michele
    September 27, 2011 at 6:51 am

    I am 41 yr old female. 2 yrs ago I had ACL total reconstruction of the knee. Since then I have gained 15lbs. My BMI is 27.5. I have gained weight in the mid section and need advise. I own an elliptical, stationary bike with moving arms, total gym, and a rowing machine. I have to get into shape. How much time on each machine do you recommend per day to drop 20 lbs?

  6. MotleyHealth
    September 27, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Hi Michele, hard to say really. If you plan to lose a pound a week then you need to created a calorie deficit of around 500 Calories a day. So, assuming that you are not gaining weight now and that you maintain your current diet, you need to exercise for around about (rough figure) 1 hour every day to burn an additional 500 Calories a day. You could do a little circuit using all of your machines, with 15 minutes on each. If you do not wish to exercise for 1 hour at a time then you could use the elliptical and rower in the morning then the bike and total gym in the evening, 30 minutes each time.

  7. rabya
    November 1, 2011 at 7:30 am

    hello i need to reduce my belly its actually after my delivery its not getting tight its very loose kind of plzz tell me wat to do need ur guidance .. u know m gone in depression coz i was soo slim before my pergancy and now ppl even dont recog nize me but now i had loose much weight but i cant my lower and upper part like bust plzz help me too reduce tell me any xcersize to reduce bust and belly :(

  8. MotleyHealth
    November 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Rabya, you need to get exercise, daily cardio with some bodyweight workouts. How long since you gave birth? Months or years?

  9. kalyani
    November 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

    i want to loose my fat

  10. MotleyHealth
    November 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Get moving then – start doing some of these workouts at home every day.

  11. Olga
    November 17, 2011 at 3:41 am

    what is the best workout then for toning up and losing some tummy fat? Yoga cannot be worth it can it? I can’t do push ups.

  12. MotleyHealth
    November 17, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Really you need to combine some cardio with the bodyweight workouts. Yoga can be excellent, especially styles such as Ashtanga which involve a lot of intensive transitions. as for push ups – you can do push ups, you just need to practice and get stronger. Start on your knees and build up strength slowly.

  13. Vivien
    November 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Hey, I delivered 14 months ago. I had a C-sec so my belly is really getting loose actually the id part of my body.
    What do I do? I really want to get slim again!
    Kindly advise.

  14. MotleyHealth
    November 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Vivien, you need to start working on your fitness with daily exercise, including cardio (jogging, cycling, swimming), bodyweight training and some strength training. Plus ensure that you are eating a healthy diet.

  15. Mickie
    January 30, 2012 at 4:54 am

    I wanted to lose my stomach, whats the correct way to exercise with my stomach in right?

  16. MotleyHealth
    January 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Mickie, not sure what you mean. Just exercise often and to a high intensity. No need to concentrate on your stomach.

  17. nilu
    February 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

    hi im 25 yrs old female my weight is 80 kg..i buy new manual treadmill how much i have to run to loose weight & stomach plzz reply me as fast as u can help me plzz.

  18. MotleyHealth
    February 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Nilu, start easy and work up to a daily run of around 45 minutes.

  19. Rohanna
    February 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Hello, I had my daughter 2years ago, my stomach stretched so much and has not gone back still looks like I’m 5months preg, I have been doin 60min exercise a day, 40 min cardio strength in morn, mon and fri, 20 min cardio tue and thur sat and sun, 20 min strength wed then 20mins bike each night good eating but still not lost anything not even a lb!! Help plz

  20. eve
    February 6, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Hi, I had a natural birth 10months ago. My stomach is more flab than fat. I have a gravity strider at home but as a fulltime single mom its hard to get out. Have been calorie counting for 3 weeks and nothings happened. Any ideas on what I can do?

  21. joe
    February 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    i delivered a baby three months ago… i weighed 60kgs before pregnancy and gained 20kgs during pregnancy. i am a veggie…and made sure i didn’t bing on junk during my pregnancy… i breast feed my son… i desperately want to lose wgt… please help……

  22. Jasmine
    February 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I have PT test coming up and I am horrible at the 2mile run. What techniques can I use to make it through without walking?

  23. MotleyHealth
    February 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Jasmine, just run every day.

  24. MotleyHealth
    February 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Joe, you need to get active and ensure your diet is healthy. Breastfeeding is a good reason to eat a healthy diet and it is not a reason to avoid exercise.

  25. MotleyHealth
    February 6, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Hi Eve, firstly, tell us more about the calorie counting – if nothing happened then you must have been doing something wrong. Even if you were only eating 500 Calories a day less than you need you should have lost 3 pounds in 3 weeks. You need to get into the habit of exercising at home. Bodyweight workouts, circuit training, kettlebells, walking – they are all effective forms of exercise which you can do with children in the house, especially after children have gone to bed.

  26. MotleyHealth
    February 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Hi Rohanna, how long have you been doing this? 60 minutes exercise a day is good. However, you do not mention your diet – are you eating less but healthier food? Fitness takes time, it is the best way to get in shape, but you have to be prepared to work hard every day.

  27. joe
    February 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    hi there joe again… my diet includes rice… vegetables, and milk… please tell me what kind of exercises will help me reduce weight ?

  28. Rohanna
    February 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    HelLo I am coming into my 4th week of this now, I train hard as I really really want to loose my belly, my thighs and bum, my diet I have done simple changes going to low gi like brown bread, oatsbix for breakfast toast for lunch then a dinner with some veg etc, some days get real busy so only 2meals a day, but I eat roughly 1000 calories a day with the odd treat, cut back on tea as that made me bloated, always have drink water and now green tea, so I am baffled still weigh the exact same! Can u help plz?

  29. Rohanna
    February 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I don’t eat a great deal of fruit which I no I should buy too much triggers off my migraines, but I am kept in my toes all day too with looking after a 2yr old and doin the school run 1/2mile a day, so please help I want this belly gone but can’t work out how too and in losing hope now!

  30. MotleyHealth
    February 9, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Hi Joe, any exercise will help you lose weight. The more you do, the more it helps.

  31. MotleyHealth
    February 9, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Hi Rohanna, just keep working on it. Focus on your fitness. Are you fitter and stronger? If yes, you are making progress and will be in a better position to lose weight. If not, you need to start increasing your workouts.

  32. MotleyHealth
    February 9, 2012 at 12:23 am

    How many minutes a day are you exercising to the point that you are sweating and out of breath?

  33. Rohanna
    February 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Thank u and yes I do feel fitter more energy so it must be doing something! I’ll just keep at it! Thanks for the advice

  34. kathy
    April 4, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Will the yoga you mentioned really work for making the tummy tighter

  35. MotleyHealth
    April 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Yes Kathy, yoga can work. Like any exercise you have to push yourself hard ad also combine it with healthy eating. Once you have done 10 sun salutations you will soon realise that yoga is now all about meditating on soft cushions.

  36. Leyah
    April 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I bought the diet solution that contained what to eat and how to work out on each day (didn’t even finish the 1st course yet), but looks promising, im already seeing some change :)

  37. tanae
    April 23, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Ia m trying to loose weight but i have a knee problem that’s keeping me from running and being on it that long. Is there anyway i could exercise without futher damaging my knee.

  38. MotleyHealth
    April 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Hi Tanae, possible options include using a cross trainer, swimming and weight training (but not doing heavy squats or lunges). At home you can focus on all the bodyweight exercises that do not involve using the legs too much.

  39. Seannew
    May 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Im trying to lose stomach fat and gain muscle, my BMI is 20 so im still in the proper range, but i have a really low stamina and almost no muscles. Which exercises would you recommend for starting out? Thanks in advance.

  40. MotleyHealth
    May 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Seannew, to build stamina and muscle you need to do a combination of cardio exercise (running, cycling, swimming etc.) and weight training. Bodyweight circuit training provides a good all round workout too.

  41. padma
    June 2, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Hello I need to loose 20 kgs of weight….. I dnt have gym facility ….. Suggest some tips to loose weight as early as possible

  42. padma
    June 2, 2012 at 11:31 am

    And also suggest me a good diet please…

  43. MotleyHealth
    June 9, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Padma, follow a low GI diet.

  44. Jay
    January 4, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Hey, I’m fourteen years old and im extremely overweight for my age.
    Will an hour running/jogging help lose my weight?

  45. MotleyHealth
    January 4, 2013 at 2:57 am

    Hi Jay, it will help, but you need to start eating healthy too. That means healthy food and healthy portions. Look at our diet and nutrition section for more on this.

  46. ryan
    March 15, 2013 at 8:43 am

    is it working? i want to lose weight asap

  47. MotleyHealth
    March 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Ryan – get exercising every day and eat a healthy and balanced diet.

  48. Yibrehu
    August 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Hey, i have a 7 month kid, i was 57 kg before birth and after having birth weigh 69 kg, i am breast feeder, i want to begin exercise, but i fear, does exercise lower the milk production for my baby.

  49. MotleyHealth
    August 31, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Hi Yibrehu, exercise will not lower milk production, but poor nutrition and dehydration will. So eat more – get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and take in more water, and you should be Ok.

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