No Gym Required: How to Get Fit at Home

A great time to drink some water is during a break in-between exercise sets. To work out at home, start with a cardio activity, like doing sets of jumping jacks, or running up and down the stairs. Squats are an excellent all-round exercise and one of the best moves for building overall strength. Believe it or not, Steele says, at 24 Hour Fitness, they encourage folks to exercise at home as much as at the gym. Toes pointing in hits the outer head harder, toes out works the inner head.

Exercise ball. Although instructions and/or a companion video can accompany this gadget, Bracko worries that beginners may use exercise balls improperly. "Some people fall off or can't keep the ball still," he says. But if you enjoy working out with an exercise ball, it can provide a good workout. Exercise videos and DVDs. Before working out with a home exercise video or DVD, Siegrist recommends watching .

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Focus on keeping your knees over your toes and chest out — don't arch your back or lean forward as you drop down. Exhale, straighten your legs and return to the starting position. Squats are an excellent all-round exercise and one of the best moves for building overall strength. Dumbbells let you concentrate on technique and work on your range of movement at low weight. Only advance to barbell squats in the gym once you've got this nailed.

Grab a heavy dumbbell in each hand — think half your bodyweight — and hold them at your sides. Super simple with no need to worry about technique, this move hits your shoulder stabilisers, upper traps and front deltoids. It also supercharges your grip strength, which will transfer strength to your other lifts too. Stand holding a light dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lift the dumbbells out to the side until they reach shoulder height — no higher — and resist the urge to cheat by swinging the weight.

Pause, then lower back to your sides, slowly — you'll build more muscle fighting gravity than letting it do the work for you. If you're doing exercise at home, this is the best move for visible shoulder development. The lateral raise isolates your medial deltoid, the middle of three shoulder muscles, helping to develop your shoulder width and mass.

Perfect for creating the V-shape you covet. Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with the balls of your feet on a step with your heels touching the floor. Raise your heels off the floor and hold at the top of the contraction.

Slowly lower yourself to the starting position and repeat. Too many beginners are prone to skipping calves when it comes to leg day. Work this move into your workout to guarantee you're hitting as many leg muscles as you would in the gym when it comes to exercise at home.

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the weights until the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Focus on keeping your elbows still — only your lower arm should move. Squeeze your bicep at the top of the contraction then lower slowly and repeat. This is the perfect move for developing those mirror muscles you crave. By keeping your upper arm stationary you hit the whole bicep for maximum growth. Stand in front of bench with a dumbbell in each hand.

Place your right foot onto the bench, push up through your heel to lift your whole body up. Step down with your left foot and repeat on the opposite side. By activating all of your upper leg muscles glutes, quads and hamstrings it's an entire leg day in one move.

Plus, it's low-impact, which is means you avoid the knee injuries associated with more explosive exercises. Get in a press-up position, but rest on your forearms rather than your hands. Make sure your back is straight and tense your abs and glutes. Hold without allowing your hips to sag. Endless crunches put pressure on your spine and, when done incorrectly, can give you a set of weird, distended abs. Planks are perfect for working your core in a way that keeps you injury-free and builds the flat six-pack you're after.

Lie on your back with hands above you and feet up so your knees are at 90 degrees. Straighten your leg until your heel is an inch from the floor and then return to the start position.

Repeat with the other leg. By extending your legs and hovering your heels you work on your core stabilisers, not just your abs. That means you're building muscle you can use on the sports field, not just see in the mirror. Lie on your left side with your legs straight and prop yourself onto your elbow.

Brace your core and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line. Hold this position while breathing deeply. Roll over and repeat on the other side. Excellent for targeting a small muscle in your lower back, the quadratus lumborum. Strengthening it is crucial for spine health and will help you avoid the notorious beginner's back pain.

Diamond-cut obliques are a bonus. Lie down on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the elbows and hold the weights above you. Press up and straighten your arms before pausing at the top of the rep and lowering slowly to the start position. By restricting your range of movement this moves helps you build a bigger chest, minus the risk of shoulder injury from over extension.

Consider this your stepping stone to being a bench bro in the gym. Stand facing away from a bench, grab it with both hands at shoulder-width. Extend your legs out in front of you. Slowly lower your body by flexing at the elbows until your arm at forearm create a 90 degree angle.

The resistance portion can be as simple as squats, push-ups and abdominal crunches. Or you could work with small dumbbells, a weight bar, bands or tubing. Increase your flexibility with floor stretches or yoga poses. And your cooldown should be similar to the warm up, says Steele -- "cardiovascular work at a low level to bring the heart rate down to a resting state.

You can do strength work in same workout as your aerobic work, or split them up. Just be sure to warm up and cool down every time you exercise.

Instead of your usual minute ride on the stationary bike, choose a harder program for 25 minutes and really push yourself. Choose the hilly walk in your neighborhood, or jog instead of walking.

You can step up the pace of your strength workout by doing compound exercises -- those that work more than one muscle group at a time. For example, doing squats with or without weights works the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, and calves. Push-ups involve the pectorals, deltoids, biceps , triceps -- even the abdominals and the upper back. If you're not the create-your-own workout type, there are fitness videos galore -- offering everything from kickboxing to belly dancing to Pilates.

You can find them at local bookstores and discount stores, or on the Web. Just be sure to choose one that's appropriate for your fitness level. If you're a beginner, aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least three times a week, and 20 to 30 minutes of strength work three times a week.

Be sure your strength workout covers all major muscle groups, in your upper body, lower body, abdominals and back. Shoot for three sets of repetitions of each strength exercise. No matter what type of exercise you do, be sure to start slowly and gradually increase your workout time and intensity.

And don't forget to listen to your body, says Weil. If you're working your abs and you feel it in your neck, then it's not right.

Close your eyes and start to tune in to your body. Working out at home has obvious advantages. But there are obstacles, too: And that's if you can get started in the first place. When you're at home, it's easy to find something else that needs to be done.

A good way to stay motivated and avoid distractions, the experts say, is to exercise early in the day. But even with no props or machines, you can build muscles and burn calories. The 5 Elements of Fitness According to Steele, an effective fitness program has five components, all of which you can do at home: A cardiovascular aerobic workout. A cooldown A warm-up could be an easy walk outside or on a treadmill, or a slow pace on a stationary bike.

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Enter the beginner bodyweight workout. I’m going to take you through a basic home workout today that can be completed anywhere – in your house, apartment, out at . Beginner Workouts: The Best Workout Routines For Beginners Last Updated on January 20, If you’re reading this, then you are probably fairly new to weight training and looking for the best workouts and routines for beginners like yourself. PS If you need more help putting an effective program together, we also have a 4 Week Program for Beginners! 1 Low Impact Beginner Cardio Workout - Feel Good Recovery Cardio - The moves in this 26 minute workout are all low impact and easily modified to be easier or more difficult. It uses exercises that build range of motion, cardio endurance, coordination, control of your own body and flexibility.