You Got This: Best At-Home Workouts for Women for a Fitter Body
We all know going to the gym takes time, planning and money, but with kids, a job and countless responsibilities at home, it’s a tough call. So while going to the gym might be on hold right now, a full-body workout is totally attainable at home. Whether you have 5 minutes or 45 minutes, all you need is a positive mindset, some weights or resistance bands, and some space.
We have some great at-home workouts that will get the heart rate up, strengthen those muscles and quiet the mind. As always, please use caution and consult a healthcare professional if embarking on any new exercise. At the end of the session, you’ll be thankful for giving yourself the space and time to take care of you.
For Working the Legs and Glutes
My favorite legs and glutes exercise, I love how squats can be modified to where you are in your fitness journey. Air, weighted, sumo and sidestep, squats are used both in strength building workouts as well as yoga. Goddess pose is a great one used in yoga that not only strengthens but quiets the mind. Plus the name is pretty awesome.
Try Goddess Pose: Stand with feet wider than hip-width and toes turned out. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, lift the chest and tuck the tailbone in. Extend your arms out, palms facing out and hold for 30-60 seconds. Slowly lift to standing.
Front, back and side-to-side, lounges can be done in two very effective ways. Slow and controlled helps build muscle and improves balance, or fast and intense with the addition of jumping to get that heart rate up for more of a cardio session.
Try Lunges with Knee Lift: Stand with your feet together and take a controlled step backward while keeping your balance. Lower the hips so your front leg becomes parallel to the floor and directly over the ankle. Lift up, stepping your back leg forward, lift the knee to the chest and then lower to meet the other leg.
All you need is a wall for this one and your body does the rest. It works your glutes, hamstrings and quads and quickly becomes challenging, making it a good one if looking for a fast burn. It’s also effective in quieting the mind, as breathing and holding the pose is important.
Try Basic Wall Sit: Stand shoulder-width apart on a wall and slowly lower down until you’re at a 90-degree angle (so that if say, a kid wanted to sit on your lap, they could, but hopefully wouldn’t) and knees directly above the ankle. Hold, then slowly come back up to standing.
Great for focusing on the glutes and the back of the legs, bridge pose also helps to work the lower back. It increases mobility, opens up the chest and heart and engages the core. It’s a bodyweight exercise, so no weights or resistance bands are needed.
Try Single-Leg Bridge: Lie on your back and place hands on the floor as you bend one leg and lift the other leg toward the ceiling. Hold and then slowly lower back down. Repeat with the other leg. For beginners, just lift the pelvis and hold, then lower back down, keeping both feet on the floor.
For Working the Abs and Arms
These are awesome for working the core, but they really benefit the entire body as they require a lot of stabilization. After you’ve got the basic plank thing down, try going down on your forearms to work those muscles or side planks for even more intensity.
Try Plank with Shoulder Taps: Start in plank position with feet slightly wider than hips. Keeping the torso stable, bring your right hand and tap the left shoulder, then return it to the mat. Then try the other hand. It’s totally OK to lose your balance!
This one can be modified to increase the intensity if you want, making it a great one to incorporate into any workout routine. Push-ups engage the core but really works almost every muscle with an emphasis on the upper body. It’s OK if a regular push-up isn’t happening right now, modification is key.
Try Basic Push-ups: Start on all fours and place hands on the floor slightly wider and in-line with shoulders. Keeping hips lifted and engaging the core, lower body until your chest nearly touches the floor and then push yourself back up. If this is too challenging, don’t be afraid to drop the knees or use a countertop as a prop to make the transition to full push-ups easier.
You’ll need some kind of weights for this one, so investing in some 2-5 lbs. weights will give this exercise the challenge it needs. These exercises work the triceps and traps, which can often be overlooked. It will also balance out the biceps and really tone the entire arm.
Try Tricep Kickbacks: Starting in a lunge position, holding light weights, lean over the front bent knee as you lift your arm and extend it as far back as you can right by your side. Hold and then switch to the other side. You’ll start to feel the burn.
Twists are great core workouts that strengthen and stabilize the spine for awesome fit and function. While weights aren’t necessary, they add a challenging piece great for those already in workout mode. Speed up the reps to add a cardio element.
Try Russian Twists: Sit on the floor and bring your legs out straight. Lean back slightly so the torso and legs form a V-like shape, engaging the core. While balancing, twist the torso from side-to-side without moving your legs. Add a stability ball or weight in both hands for an added challenge.
For a Total Body Workout
This high intensity, plyometric exercise is a great one to get your heart rate up. Not a favorite for many but so effective, this is one that gets better with time. Slow and controlled or fast and intense, it’s your choice.
Try Burpees: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, weight in heels and arms at your side. Push hips back, bend knees and lower body to a squat. Place your hands on the floor and jump back into plank position. Jump your feet back so they land outside of your hands, reach arms overhead and jump up as high as you can. Land and immediately do another rep.
This one is good for building strength in the low back, which is essential for building a strong body without injuries. While it won’t give you the ability to fly or shoot lasers from your eyes like the Man of Steel, it’ll give you a strong core like Clark Kent.
Try Superman Hold: Lie on the floor with your chin to the ground and a neutral spine. Reach the arms straight above the shoulders so palms are resting flat on the floor. Take a deep breath and engage everything to lift and hold for as long as you can. Rest and then repeat.
The cardio-rich mountain climbers build strength, cardiovascular stamina and endurance, all of which is a part of keeping the body healthy and fit. Because you are working several different muscle groups at the same time, it’s almost like getting a total body workout with just one exercise.
Try Mountain Climbers: Get into plank position, with hands about shoulder-width apart, back flat, abs engaged and spine in a neutral position. Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can, and then switch legs, pulling the knee in while bringing the other knee out. Run and switch as fast as you can, remembering to breathe in between.
One of the best workouts for women because it burns more calories in a short amount of time, try incorporating these into your workout twice a week on alternate days. While there is no real resting, it’s intense, challenging and over before you know it, making it a good one for those on a time crunch.
Try This Workout: Choose a piece of cardio equipment like a jump rope or treadmill as well as some bodyweight exercises and do them as fast as you can for 10-20 seconds each. Jumping jacks, squats, incline push-ups, planks and glute bridges are all good ones. Take the exercises above and customize your own workout!
A fitter, stronger body is a gift you give yourself. Not being able to go to the gym and use the equipment does not have to be detrimental to working out. With these at-home workouts, you can start the journey of strength and endurance for yourself. Put on your best sports bra and leggings and get moving!