5 Fat Burning Home Exercises That Will Make You Question Your Gym Membership
Heading to the gym isn’t the only way to get fit. At-home workouts are a phenomenal way to stay in shape, without having to drive to a fitness centre. You can even do exercises in the great outdoors—in your backyard or at your local park. From bodyweight resistance exercises (that don’t require any equipment) to cardio routines that get your heart racing without a treadmill, there are options for everyone, no matter your fitness level. Whether it’s to save cash or time—or because you enjoy working out in the comfort of your own home—these are the 5 best at home exercises will help you burn fat (and build muscle) without ever having to step into the gym.
Mix and match these exercises to give yourself a full body workout and achieve all of your fitness goals.
1. The Classic Lunge
The lunge is one of the best at home exercises. It can be done by walking through a room in your house, stepping outside of your apartment building, or treading across your local park. It works your leg muscles along with your glute muscles and may even get your heart rate up.
Stand upright and keep your shoulders back and your eyes looking forward. Step your left leg forward and lower your hips, creating a 90-degree bend in both of your knees. Your right knee should be near to the ground but should never touch it. Your front knee should be directly above your ankle.
Bring your hips upward and now, step your right leg forward. Lower your hips and bend your knees like you did on the other side. Come up from the lunge and repeat with alternating legs.
For extra benefits, engage and tighten your core as you complete each lunge.
Complete a set of 20 lunges (10 on each side). Do 3 sets total.
If you don’t have a large space to lunge across, try doing stationary lunges. Step one leg in front of the other and then step back instead of walking forward.
Want to make it tougher?
Add weight to the exercise by holding a kettlebell or heavy cans of soup (or anything else you have lying around the house). Or try these 11 lunge variations.
2. Stationary Squats
Work your glutes and legs with one of the best at home exercises: the squat.
Stand upright and adjust your feet to be shoulder width apart. Begin by sitting backward, as if there were a chair behind you. Keep your knees from sliding forward by placing your weight on the imaginary chair.
Continue moving your butt downward until you are unable to go further (you don’t want to hurt your back or knees), or when you are in a nearly 90-degree angle position. Come back up from the squat to a standing position. Be sure to keep your back straight during the exercise.
Complete 10-15 squats in a set, and do 3 sets for a full leg and glute workout. Focus more on your form than your speed. You’ll get more out of the workout—plus have a lower chance of injuring yourself.
Want to make it tougher?
Add weight to the squat exercise by holding a dumbbell, kettlebell, or heavy bag of groceries. Use any item of moderate weight to make the squat more challenging for you. Stay realistic: there’s no reason to overdo it and risk injury. Or try these 12 squat variations.
3. Run or Jump in Place
Want to get your heart pumping without jumping on a treadmill or elliptical? Then this is best at home exercise for you!
Run in place by bringing your knees up to your chest one at a time. Pump your legs up and down as fast as you can. The faster you run, the better your cardio workout will be. It’s likely you’ll start feeling the sweat drip early on this one.
If you prefer to jump than run (or just want to mix up your routine), bring your knees to your chest at the same time. If you can’t get your knees all the way to your chest, just go as high as you can. The higher and faster you jump, the more intense the cardio.
As another alternative, especially if running or chest jumps feels painful or too challenging, try small jumps instead. Simply hop in place from side to side or forward to backward. It’s okay if you only come a few centimeters off the ground.
Jump or run in place for 1 minute to start. If that seems too easy, increase your time to 1.5 or 2 minutes. Do a total of 2 sets of cardio, or 4 for a total fat-burning sesh.
Want to make it tougher?
Find a hill near your place and try some hill sprints. It will get your heart pumping and build muscle too.
4. Arm curls
Your legs and core aren’t the only places that need attention. Add in a set of easy arm exercises, like arm curls, to tone your muscles and keep them firm. The arm curl is one of the best at home exercises for your arms.
Hold onto an object, such as a bag of groceries, a hand weight, or full water bottle. Drop your arm down to your side, making sure your palm is facing forward and upward as you hold the item.
Use your bicep muscle to pull the object up toward your shoulder. Slowly bring your hand with the object back down. If the object seems too light, grab something with more weight. You don’t want to strain your muscle, but you do want to challenge yourself.
Complete a set of 15 curls on each arm. You should feel the burn if you’re doing the exercise properly (and have a sufficient amount of weight).
5. Tricep Dips
Balance out the bicep work you did in #4 by adding in tricep dips to your routine. The best part? You can do this on virtually any piece of furniture, including a park bench or living room couch. Triceps dips are not only one of the best at home exercises, you can do them anywhere there is a chair.
Find a piece of furniture like a chair, couch, or park bench (ideally something that rests between a ½-1 metre from the floor). Firmly plant your feet on the ground approximately shoulder width apart with your back to the furniture. Hold yourself up on the furniture using your hands.
Walk your feet out so that your legs are nearly straight. Keep a slight bend so you don’t lock your knees. Begin dipping your hips toward the ground, creating a 90-degree bend in your arms.
You should feel a flex of your tricep muscles as you lower down. Push yourself back up slowly using your triceps (and not your back or butt).
Continue for a set of 12 tricep dips. Be sure to go up and down slowly enough to feel the burn.
Squeeze this exercise in at any time, whether you’re watching TV or taking a break from responding to emails.