Home workouts can sometimes have a bad connotation — that they're not as effective as going to a gym. However, knowing the proper ways to train can help drive great results and it doesn't require a lot (if any) equipment or opening your front door. Here, we'll be discussing some great ways to train at home that are really beginner-friendly.
Being a beginner can mean different things to different people, but for most it can simply be a lack of experience. Some may have never touched a dumbbell, and some may be embarking on their very first home workout.
Whatever the case may be, being a beginner is far from a bad thing. Starting off new is a great opportunity to really lay a foundation for yourself, create new habits (link), and take your workouts at a pace that feels manageable for you. It’s at this stage where you develop not only the necessary skills and capacity to take on more advanced workouts, but also the right mentality to continue training—and where you’ll likely see a lot of rewarding changes in your real life. Then you’ll be ready to take on more rigorous exercises and workouts in no time.
Our Favorite Types of Home Workouts
These workouts are inspired by classes designed by our very own Tempo coaches and can be revved up in intensity for more advanced athletes or can be done with modifications for beginners.
Plyometrics, meaning “measurable exercise,” are a common type of exercise that focuses on improving the elastic nature of your muscles. Just about anyone, including pro athletes, should be incorporating plyos into their fitness routine because they’re crucial in helping improve your athleticism—so you can jump higher, bound further, and move faster.
Even though a lot of plyometrics include a good deal of jumping, that intensity is definitely something you can work up to. If you can’t do a jump squat right now, do a traditional air squat. Then, once you feel like you’ve aced that, try adding a jump or two into your sets.
Plyos will definitely make you sweat, spike your heart rate, and challenge your muscles, so make sure you take a breather when you need it! If plyometric exercises are still too dynamic or include too much jumping for you right now, you may be better suited with one of the HIIT workouts below.
But, if you’re ready for a plyo challenge, try this one out:
- 30 seconds of Air Squats
- 30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of Burpees (ditch the jump at the end if you like)
- 30 seconds of Alternating Step-Back Lunges
- 30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of Jumping Alternating Lunges (ditch the jump if you like)
- 30 seconds of Alternating Lateral Lunges
- 30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of Alternating Skaters (hop to the side with one foot, then back the opposite direction on the other)
You’ve likely heard of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, before. It’s really popular and for good reason. HIIT workouts are not only effective, but they’re also efficient. By elevating your heart rate with intense exercises with minimal bouts of rest, you’ll burn a lot of calories in a shorter amount of time compared to a steady-state form of exercise like jogging or using an elliptical machine.
For traditional HIIT workouts, you’ll probably be doing plyometric exercises as well—the great news is that you won’t need much (or any) equipment to work up a sweat and build that cardiovascular endurance.
For the workout below, train for 30 seconds and then take 30 seconds of rest before going into the next exercise.
- Side-to-Side Squat Taps: Step out to the left, squat, and touch the ground with one hand. Bring your feet back together and repeat on the right.
- Box Step: Start with your feet hips-distance apart. Think of an imaginary box—where your feet are is the back two corners of the box. Step your left foot to the top left corner of the box, your right to the top right corner. Bring each foot back to its original position and repeat.
- Jumping Jacks: If jumping isn’t a possibility at this time, you can alternate stepping out with either foot while raising your arms as you usually would with a jumping jack.
- Marchers: Stand in place and march, bringing your knees as high as you can. To add more challenge, punch (using alternating arms) with each step you take.
- Squat to Low Kick: Squat to your lowest depth, when you get to the top, kick out. Alternate which foot kicks with each rep.
Repeat this circuit four times with 30 seconds of rest in between.
Strength training doesn’t always require a suite of equipment. Yes, having weight plates, barbells, and dumbbells will aid in an effective home strength-training regimen, but you can still reap a lot of benefits from simply using your bodyweight—especially for a beginner.
For athletes who may be unfamiliar with using traditional strength-training equipment, building foundational strength and good form without any kind of equipment can be extremely beneficial both physically and mentally. Holding dumbbells and a barbell can feel really foreign for a strength-training newcomer, and there’s nothing wrong with investing time in building not only the strength but the confidence to take on weighted exercises in the future.
Exercises like push-ups (link), air squats, lunges, and sit-ups are all fantastic ways to improve muscle strength and endurance. And like everything we’ve already mentioned, they can be done just about anywhere.
Circuit 1: Take a 30-second rest in between each exercise.
- 30 seconds of
- 30-second Hollow Hold: Lay on your back, lift your feet off the ground. Place your hands under your butt to support your lower back if you feel any discomfort.
- 30 seconds of Inchworm Walk-Out: Start standing and bend over to touch the floor. Walk your hands out until you reach a plank. Pause and then walk your hands back to standing.
Circuit 2: Take a 30-second rest in between each exercise.
- 30 seconds of Air Squats
- 30-second Glute Bridge: Lay on your back with your knees bent. Use your glutes to bring your hips off the ground, above your hips.
- 30-seconds Squat Hold: Hit your lowest depth in your squat without losing muscle tension, and hold the position.
Mobility is often an overlooked pillar of fitness, especially for beginners. It can be a complex concept to grasp, but “mobility” generally means how easily and efficiently your body moves through a range of motion. This includes your muscles, joints, and tendons.
Working on mobility regularly is crucial to being able to reach higher levels of fitness and to lower the risk of injury. For example, mobile hips can have you squatting lower, without any pain, and a mobile back can help you perform a deadlift with proper form.
While mobility workouts may not push your heart rate, they’re still important work to do—and they can deliver that much-needed break your body needs in between tough workouts.
For those new to mobility, it’s important to listen to your body. While mobility work may cause discomfort, you shouldn’t be in agony or in any deep pain. And even though equipment isn’t necessary, it can definitely be helpful. Consider getting a foam roller or some yoga straps to aid in improving your mobility. They’ll be a great investment for all the mobility work you’ll do in the future.
Do each exercise for 30 seconds:
- Head Circles: Roll your head in one direction and then the other.
- Shoulder Circles: Put your arms straight out like an airplane. Rotate your arms in one direction and then the other.
- Crossbody Stretch: Bring one arm across your body. Support that arm with the other to stretch.
- Cat-Cow: Get on all fours in a "tabletop" position. On inhale, roll your shoulders back, look up, and arch your spine. As you exhale, engage your core and round your spine towards the ceiling while releasing your neck and looking towards your belly button.
- Side Bend Stretch: Stand tall, feet hips-distance apart. Bring your arms overhead, thread your hands, and bend to one side and the other.
While these are just the tip of the fitness iceberg, they’re great short workouts you can do at home or just about anywhere. As they become less and less challenging, you'll know there’s more for you to accomplish.
For Tempo athletes, hundreds of classes with similar workouts can be found on the Tempo and in our app (iOS/Android