We’ve all felt stuck indoors, feeling the clock tick closer to exercise o’clock but with no gym access or poor weather blocking outdoor activities. The good news is that you can be fit while staying at home.
If you have space and the budget, try out these suggestions for the best fitness equipment for a quick home workout. You might also consider a few no-equipment activities. We have ten of the best at-home exercises for every level of fitness.
Treadmills are a classic for staying fit while staying at home. You can enjoy a leisurely walk while reading a book on a digital device without bumping into anyone. Some displays include workouts or trails for you to trek. Or why not binge shows while burning calories?
Most treadmills don’t require much space, and many treadmills are foldable for storage. The average treadmill is 77 inches long by 35 inches wide, plus room to step off. You’ll need about half that length for storing a folding treadmill.
2. Exercise Bikes
Exercise bikes are available as affordable compact machines or exuberant fitness trainers. But whatever your budget, there are two basic types of stationary bikes: upright or recumbent:
- Upright exercise bikes feature smaller seats and are the style most similar to outdoor recreational bicycles.
- Recumbent bikes have a cushioned seat that allows you to lean back.
One disadvantage exercise bikes have is that your arms are stationary. But they don’t need to be. You can pump your arms as if you’re jogging in place. You can wear wrist weights or hold dumbbells while cycling.
There are a few workout machines you’ll see at every gym. We’ve already discussed the treadmills and the exercise bike, but the elliptical is equally iconic. Precor first introduced the elliptical to the world in 1995, and it has remained popular in gyms and at home.
If working up a sweat is your idea of being fit while staying at home, look no further than the elliptical. Your arms and legs are in constant motion. Even a 15-minute workout can get your heart pumping and leave you breathless.
Or you might take it easy, sweat a little less but still engage your whole body.
Dumbbells are an asset for any at-home exercises. You can incorporate dumbbells in a variety of workouts, from full-body to muscle training. If you’re looking for inexpensive equipment that doesn’t require much space, dumbbells check both boxes.
Another option with similar benefits is the kettlebell. Like dumbbells, you only need enough space to spread your arms out.
5. Yoga or Pilates
Yoga and pilates are similar in many ways, but the differences are what distinguish these two.
Yoga improves flexibility by holding poses through a sequence of movements, and the exercises include meditation and mindfulness.
Pilates strengthens muscles and concentrates on stabilizing movements. You can use additional equipment, including resistance bands or exercise balls, but it’s not a requirement.
Both are low-impact workouts that emphasize breathing and mental focus. The only necessary equipment is a mat.
6. Bodyweight Cardio
No equipment? No worries! Bodyweight cardio or no-equipment cardio uses your body weight combined with circuit-style training. You can find countless exercise videos for every level of ability. Many of them are even free, so there’s nothing lost in a trial run.
You can find high-impact, low-impact, and combination workouts. It’s easy to customize a workout to fit your capabilities once you’ve tried out a few moves. If you get bored of a routine or video, why not try another? Or, you can make a playlist and create your own set.
7. Exercise Ball
If you want to limit your equipment, why not use a single exercise ball? Of course, you’ll need a little space to move around, but otherwise, you can do this anywhere in your home.
You can do a few routines, but generally, you’ll use the ball as a weight or change elevation. Use the ball as a weight during squats or passes. Balance on the ball during pushups or situps.
You can customize to fit your fitness level, but try doing 20 of each for three to five rounds.
8. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are excellent for strength training. For most exercises, you’ll only need your band and body. However, other exercises require a secure structure, such as a pole.
If you haven’t done any strength training before, starting with a lighter band is best. You can easily find packs from online retailers.
With a series of simple moves, resistance bands can help keep you fit while staying at home.
9. Dance Party
Whether you’re shadowing a dancer from Just Dance or rehearsing the next Broadway hit, dancing is one of the best aerobic exercises you can do at home.
The key is not to create too much downtime selecting songs. Instead, make a playlist with music that inspires you to move. Of course, you can always change your mind, but having a plan will waste less time.
If you’re not an expert choreographer, you can copy routines from online videos. You might practice ‘Thriller,’ or ‘YMCA.’ Look up an 80s jazzercise tape for some goofy but fun moves.
HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training uses repeated exercises with periods of recovery. The exercises last about 20 seconds but are demanding, with the goal being to put your all into every movement.
HIIT is for people who want to push themselves. If you’re an athlete aiming to improve performance and speed, you’ll probably enjoy the challenge. If you’re a beginner, it might be too much.
Some HIIT workouts rely on long recovery periods, which can help if you’re trying it out for the first time. However, every HIIT workout will use high-impact intervals designed to spike your heart rate.
If you need lower-impact and less intensity, start with other exercises on this list first.
Now that you’ve read our roundup of the best at-home exercises, which is your favourite? We hope this list helps you stay fit while staying at home.