How to work out from home with zero equipment

Picture: iStock

It looks like it’s going to be a while before it’s safe for gyms to open. Don’t use it as an excuse.

If you’re looking to get fit from home without the expense of new gym gear, there are plenty of zero-equipment workouts you can follow, no matter your fitness goals.

With more people now working from home, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, staying fit and healthy is more important than ever. Many gyms around the world are temporarily closed, with the majority likely to impose restrictions once finally open.

Gym membership is also an expense many of us like to avoid, meaning that working out from home is becoming a common choice. Unfortunately, not everybody has access to gym equipment at home, like high-tech treadmills and fully stocked weight racks.

Luckily, you can still reach your exercise targets from home, regardless of whether you have the equipment or not.

Build strength with your bodyweight

Looking to build strength and muscle? Your bodyweight is your best friend here. Push-ups will target your chest and triceps, with different variants possible once you need a challenge.

To strengthen your core, there is a multitude of ab exercises out there, all of which can be done from the floor. Crunches, planks and mountain climbers are particularly effective at targeting the abdominals. Try doing sets of 10-20 reps to build up your core stability and balance.

If you’re looking to build strength in your leg muscles, squats and lunges are a perfect choice. Try loading a rucksack with books, or holding other household items, to increase the weight and make them more challenging.

Mountain climbers. Picture: iStock

Make use of everyday household items

You may not have any gym equipment at home, but there are still plenty of items you can take advantage of. Balance a broom between two chairs to perform an inverted row, an exercise that will do wonders for your back muscles.

If you have a length of rope handy, lay it over a solid tree branch and do some pull-ups. The edge of a desk or table can be used to target your triceps by performing assisted dips. Another great option is using an old towel as an alternative to resistance bands.

You get the idea – the possibilities are endless, you just need to get a little creative.

Picture: iStock

Gain flexibility with yoga

Yoga is known to benefit both mental and physical health, helping to cultivate greater mindfulness and flexibility. Starting the day with stretches is a great way to build exercise into your daily routine all year round.

Traditionally, yoga is performed on a mat to provide a surface with grip and to protect your knees. However, having a specialist mat isn’t essential, as there are plenty of suitable alternatives. Try using a beach towel, the lounge carpet or a bath mat, and see what works best for you.

Picture: iStock

Try cardio for increased stamina

Building stamina is something you can certainly do without a room full of equipment. Depending on where you live, going outside for a jog is probably the simplest option you can start with.

If this isn’t possible, a great alternative is following HIIT workouts online. These can be done in the living room, in front of a TV or tablet, and will provide you with an intense and effective workout.

HIIT workouts are also very time-efficient, often only lasting 20 minutes. Don’t be fooled however, you’ll be feeling thoroughly exhausted by the end.


Max Santos is the founder of Join Your Gym, a home fitness website. Visit the site to learn more about working out and starting a home gym.

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