32 ways to exercise at home for convenient, cheap and effective workouts

Ditch the expensive gym membership and try these inventive ways to work out at home instead

Three women working out at home in separate settings
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We all know how important it is to do regular exercise when it comes to improving our overall health. These easy exercises to do at home will help you reach your fitness goals without leaving the house. 

The benefit of working out at home is that it makes it much easier to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Plus many of these at-home workouts, which range from strength training to cardio, don't require any equipment, meaning it doesn't cost anything to get going. Gym memberships can be expensive and home exercise routines are a smart choice for anyone looking to cut costs on their monthly bills.

It's important for us all to find time for exercise. Not only can working out regularly help prevent disease, maintain a healthy weight and improve the cardiovascular system, but it's also a guaranteed mood booster. It's thought that just 10 minutes of exercise a day can have a big impact on our overall health - these are the ways you can get in your daily workout at home. 

32 ways to exercise at home

Simple stretches

Woman stretching at home

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Every workout routine should begin with some simple stretches and it's also a great way to unwind before bed. A simple routine of a quad stretch, hip flexor stretch, a seated hamstring stretch and a shoulder stretch will take less than ten minutes and help to keep muscles flexible, improve posture and increase blood flow. Neck stretches are also essential for anyone slumped over a computer all day. 

Weight training

Woman exercising with weights at home

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Invest in some dumbbells for an easy at-home workout. Weight training is a great add-on to cardio and doing it regularly will build muscle and improve bone density. Find some simple routines online and alternate between working the upper and lower body, as well as core workouts. 


Woman practising yoga at home

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There's an endless supply of yoga classes to do at home, from dynamic yoga sessions that will get your heart rate up to relaxing and restorative yin classes. Try an energising flow in the morning, or a relaxing wind-down routine before bed. Invest in one of the best yoga mats and you're ready to go. You also might want to invest in a yoga block and bolster, but these are optional extras. 


woman practising Pilates at home

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In the same vein as yoga, pilates is an excellent way to stretch your muscles and build strength. It's a low-impact exercise, meaning it's a gentle way to exercise at home. Depending on how much time you have, opt for a 15-minute, 30-minute or hour-long workout. 

HIIT training

woman doing a HIIT workout at home

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High-intensity interval training revolves around the principle of high-intensity exercise followed by short breaks for the body to recover. You could look up a video online or learn a simple routine, including burpees, mountain climbers, running on the spot, squats and pushups with 30 seconds of exercising followed by a 30-second rest. 


woman Skipping on a rope at home

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You might need to go outside for this one if you don't have a large living room, but skipping on the spot is a great way to increase your heart rate and burn calories - as well as improving coordination. You could also invest in a weighted skipping rope to increase the challenge. 


woman doing Aerobics at home

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Similar to HIIT training but without the workout/rest formula, many aerobic exercise routines don't involve any equipment (you might want to invest in an inflatable ball for sit-ups, though) and will boost cardiovascular health by getting your heart rate up. There are plenty of easy exercise routines online to get started with - just grab your best workout leggings and go. 


Woman practising Zumba at home

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Zumba is a fun workout class that combines cardio with Latin-inspired dance moves, founded by Colombian dancer and choreographer Beto Pérez in 2001. Invite round a friend and find a class online - you might just improve your dance moves in the process. 

Hula hooping

Woman practising Hula Hooping at home

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Mastering the art of the hula hoop takes practice, but once you do it's a great way to improve core strength and burn calories, with a clinical trial conducted by the National Library of Medicine showing that regular hula hooping can help reduce waist size. Use a weighted hula hoop to build muscle more quickly. 


woman practising Boxing at home

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Boxing is an intense cardio workout that builds muscle and improves co-ordination, once you can master the footwork. You'll need to invest in boxing gloves and a punching bag (there are plenty with their own stands available that can be packed away when not in use) or a music boxing machine (which can be mounted on a wall). Alternatively, you can learn the basics of boxing with an online class before graduating to boxing with gloves. 

The plank challenge

Woman doing the plank at home

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The plank is a simple exercise that helps to strengthen the core and build endurance. The popular 30-day plank challenge involves gradually increasing how long you hold a plank each day with the goal of holding the move for five minutes after 30 days. 


Woman doing sit ups at home

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Sticking to a simple sit-up routine three times a week will soon start to show results, strengthening the stomach muscles and helping create definition - and a bonus is that regular sit-ups and crunches will also improve your posture. 

Chair-based exercises

woman doing Chair exercises at home

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Your dining room chairs can double up as a useful exercise tool. It's important to use a strong chair, preferably with armrests to ensure it's sturdy enough to withstand a workout. Professor Patrick Doherty, Chair in Cardiovascular Health at the University of York has written a handy guide for the British Heart Foundation on how to carry out a chair-based exercise routine at home. 

Circuit workouts

woman doing a Circuit workouts at home

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A fun way to mix up your exercises at home is to create a 'circuit'. For example, you could start in the bedroom with a squat routine and some lunges, then run up and down the stairs five times, before a set of bicep curls in the kitchen - baked beans tins at the ready. 

Tai Chi

woman doing Tai Chi at home

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Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art incorporating slow, powerful movements into a routine. Known to help build strength, and improve flexibility and balance, it can also boost focus and mental clarity. There are plenty of Tai Chi classes that are available for free online to learn the basics of the practice. 

Rhythmic gymnastics

woman doing Gymnastics at home

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Rhythmic gymnastics involves using equipment like a hoop, ball, clubs, ribbon and rope to perform routines. Another form of gymnastics and acrobatics is pole dancing, but taking this up at home is quite the investment. If you're not ready to invest in a pole for the spare room just yet, there are moves you can try with a chair or against a wall while learning the basics.

Kettlebell swings

Woman doing Kettlebell swings at home

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Kettlebell swing routines are low-impact, high-intensity workouts that work the arms and back muscles. Start with a kettlebell that weighs 4-6 kg and gradually work towards swinging with a heavier weight.

Salsa classes

Couple dancing Salsa at home

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Get some practice in for your next night out with dance classes at home. While salsa is generally performed by two people, you can learn the footwork and basic moves alone. You could invite a friend over and master the art of salsa dancing together, or make it an at-home date night activity with your partner.  

Resistance training

woman doing a Resistance training workout at home

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Resistance bands are an alternative to weights that will help you improve your strength and mobility. To try out resistance training at home you'll just need to invest in some bands and check out routines online. 

Contemporary dance classes

Woman practising Contemporary dance at home

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Learning a new skill like contemporary dance is a fun way to exercise at home and improves coordination, as well as boosting confidence, while providing a cardio workout. Online resources suggest that you clear a 6ft by 6ft of space to learn the moves. 


woman doing Press-ups at home

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Don't underestimate the power of a push-up, which is a core exercise when it comes to building upper body strength. Wall press-ups, where you lean forward against the wall and place your hands at about chest height, are a good option for beginners and are easy to try at home. 

Barre classes

woman doing a Barre class at home

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Barre is an on-trend new exercise class that combines the principles of ballet dancing with strength training and cardio. Much of barre workouts have the aid of a fixed bar in the studio, but many online classes don't require any equipment other than a mat.



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While a lengthy bike ride through the countryside is certainly a relaxing way to exercise, not all of us have the time to take a trip into the wild regularly. Investing in an exercise bike means you can get all the health benefits of cycling at home. According to Harvard Health, 30 minutes on an exercise bike can burn between 200 and 300 calories, with this increasing with faster cycling. 

Jumping jacks

Jumping jacks

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If you're time-poor, a set of jumping jacks daily will get your heart rate up. Jumping jacks, or star jumps, offer a full-body workout and help to build muscle over time. Start with one minute of jumping on the spot with a 30-second rest afterwards and repeat ten times. 



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Chin-ups may look daunting, but upper body strength can be slowly and steadily built up over time, particularly if you're regularly doing press-ups. Chin-up bars are inexpensive and easy to install over a door so you can work practicing into your daily routine. 

Run on a treadmill

woman walking on the Treadmill at home

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While it might not be as picturesque as running outside, investing in a treadmill means you can get a quick cardio session in at home and build up endurance. Plus it means there's no excuse to skip that daily run if it's raining. 


woman Weightlifting at home

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With the rise of CrossFit classes, weightlifting has become a popular form of exercise for women. But while these classes are very popular, they're also expensive. It's wise to invest in a barbell with spring collars so you can adjust the weights as your muscle builds.

Wing Chun

woman practising Wing Chun at home

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Wing Chun is a concept-based martial art that, like Thai Chi, is a form of self-defence. This graceful art form has grown in popularity as a form of exercise and there are plenty of routines online where viewers can practice simple routines and learn the moves. 

Russian twists

woman doing Russian twists at home

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Investing in some weight plates is a great way to amplify your at-home workout. Using weights while carrying out twists will help tone the waist and build core strength and you could also try the move with an exercise ball. 


woman on a Trampoline

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Now we're not suggesting you should invest in a huge trampoline - after all, for most of us, it wouldn't even fit in the garden. Instead, try a small one-person trampoline - it's a great tool for amping up aerobic moves like jumping jacks and lunge jumps.

Running on the spot

woman tying up her shoelaces

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If you've only got ten minutes a day to spare, running on the spot is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some calories, or can be an effective warm-up before a longer workout. If you have a garden, get outside for some fresh air first thing or after work. This not only offers a change of scenery but getting more sunlight in your day will help you sleep better.  



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While housework might not strictly be an exercise routine, your weekly deep clean burns more calories than you might realise, particularly hoovering and mopping. If you want to make housework more of a workout, add some weighted ankle straps while you carry out your chores. 

Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.