1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Best Ways to Exercise at Home


Updated May 16, 2014

1 of 5

Body Weight Exercise
Man doing pushups or yoga in living room
Biggie Productions/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Exercise at Home: Body Weight Circuit Training | Exercise Videos | Online Workouts | Exergames | Smartphone Apps

Whether you're allergic to the gym, want to save money or crave convenience, exercising at home is an easy choice to make. What's more difficult is figuring out what to do. How do you set up an effective home workout? What do you do if you don't have much equipment or space? The following series takes you through a variety of choices for exercising at home, whether you have nothing but your own body and a pair of shoes or a workout room tricked out with every piece of equipment imaginable.

Option 1: Body Weight Exercises - No Equipment Needed

The simplest way to workout at home is to use your own body. There are a variety of effective body weight exercises that can help you build strength, endurance and burn calories. The downside is that, without added resistance, it's tough to work hard enough to really challenge your body and burn calories. One way around that problem? Circuit training. By going from one exercise to the next, without little or no rest, you keep your heart rate up, burn more calories and get the most out of your exercise time.

How to:

  1. Choose your workout - Cardio, strength training or a mixture of both
  2. Choose 10 different exercises - For cardio, focus on exercises with different levels of intensity. For example, you might alternate a high intensity exercise (such as jumping jacks or burpees) with an easier move (such as marching in place). For strength training, choose compound exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups and dips to work the entire body. Exercise ideas: Step by Step Cardio Exercises, Step by Step Body Weight Exercises
  3. Choose the length of each exercise - Beginners might start with 10-30 seconds or 8-16 reps, while intermediate or advanced exercisers might go for 60-90 seconds or 20 or more reps
  4. Get Ready: Set up a timer or use a stop watch, turn on some music or your favorite TV show and start with an easy exercise to warm up
  5. The Workout: Do 1 circuit if you're a beginner or short on time. Do 2-5 circuits for a more intense workout
Sample Cardio Circuit Workout (No Equipment)
  • 1 min: March in place - Lift the knees high and swing the arms
  • 1 min: Jog in place, pushing the arms overhead
  • 1 min: Run in place with high knees
  • 1 min: Slow, controlled Plyo-jacks
  • 1 min: Regular jumping jacks
  • 1 min: March in place
  • 1 min: Ice breakers (jump up from a wide squat, land with soft knees while chopping the arm towards the floor)
  • 1 min: Mountain climbers
  • 1 min: Run in place with high knees
  • 1 min: March in place
Sample Strength Circuit Training (No equipment)

More Circuit Training Workouts

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.