Are you looking for a good workout at home?
Then this article is for you.
I’ll show you what you need for proper training in your own four walls and give you workouts for different goals in your hand – also with videos that you can participate directly.
Let’s get started!
Workout at home – the basics
If you want to do an effective workout at home in order to achieve your fitness goals – be it losing weight, building muscles or general fitness – you should first consider a few basics.
Would you like to get started right away?
Here is the link to the hands-on videos in this article.
Here is the link to free training plans.
Do not start right now, but get some important information? Then just read on.
The right equipment
You really don’t need much for good bodyweight training at home.
In an emergency, you can even do without any additional equipment – purely with everyday objects – and get a proper workout on your feet at home.
Nevertheless, I would like to recommend a few things to you:
In addition, a kettlebell, fascia rolls and rings can be very useful.
You can find more about my recommendations here on my blog: The most efficient home gym for under € 100 (including bonus tips).
But don’t worry. Even if you don’t have any of this at home at the moment, you can do a lot with everyday objects and one of my training plans:
A sturdy broom is worth its weight in gold when it comes to exercises like the reverse bench press and triceps presses. In the video for my Harry Potter workout I explain what makes a good workout broom.
I assume you will have it at your home. The important thing is that it should be stable. So stable that you can lie down under it, grab the edge of the table and pull yourself up on it (reverse bench press).
Two armchairs and a broom: your training device is ready. It becomes problematic when the upper edges of the armchairs are rounded and your broom rolls down so easily. But even without a broom, you can do a lot with armchairs. For example dips between the armchairs.
Mark Lauren actually does pull-ups on the door in his good book Fit without devices *. I’ve already done that too. It works. However, this type of pull-up is a lot more strenuous than the normal variant. You should also be careful: If you are too heavy, the door could be damaged and be careful not to get trapped. It’s best to always put something in the open door so that it can never go too far.
- Additional weights
If you don’t have any dumbbells or kettlebells for your workout at home, a backpack full of books has proven to be the best extra weight. You can put it on your back when doing a push-up or hold it in front of your body when doing a squat. Those who are particularly well trained can also do pull-ups with it.
The adaptation of the exercises
There are now lots of workouts to participate in on YouTube, Instagram and Co. Also in this article you will get some of them, with video to participate. This is also a cool thing to add a lot of variety to your workout.
Speaking of variety, I also have an article for you: 14 workouts for more fun while training.
But at the end of the day, you need more than that for proper weight training at home.
You need exercises that are tailored to you so that they are neither too difficult nor too easy for you. Details on why this is important can be found in the following extensive articles on the subject:
How can you adapt the classic exercises like push-ups to yourself?
Then you should first think about how to bring the number of repetitions below 15. Because from then on you can speak of strength training. If the exercises are too easy, until you can do maximum strength endurance training, which can also make sense in certain situations. In these cases, you could go up to 20 reps.
Because training to failure (at least in the last set) with a rep number of 8 to 15 repetitions is what science currently sees as most effective for building muscle. And don’t worry, ladies: Training according to this principle does not mean that you will grow androgenic muscle mountains, but only that you will become lean and fit. Here you will be cleared up about the most important myths about strength training for women.
It works the other way around: What if you couldn’t do a single classic push-up yet? Then you have to make this exercise easier for yourself somehow. Techniques for simplification can also help here.
Put simply, it is about what options there are to make exercises more difficult or to make them easier. You can also say intensity techniques.
You train at home without additional weights during your workout. It is therefore particularly important that you use your body correctly to make the exercises more difficult or easier.
Let’s take a closer look at this intensity technique using the example of pushups – everyone knows this exercise.
You make push-ups more difficult when you raise your legs. That means you could put them on the first step or even on an armchair, for example. You can also make the exercise easier if you raise your arms, for example by placing your hands on the edge of the table and then doing your push-ups there. The higher the hands, the easier the exercise!
The premier class of bodyweight exercises takes place with only one side of the body. As a result, your entire body weight rests on one arm, for example when doing push-ups. That is the point in time when you can train yourself to truly “superhuman” strength – without additional weights.
When it comes to your legs, unilateral training definitely makes sense. This is the only way you can really challenge your strong leg muscles without weights. Then the exercise that you should aim for is the pistol squat (one leg squat).
Here is a small example of a variant that includes one-sidedness, but is not a one-arm push-up after all: The Archer Push Up.
Range of motion (ROM)
The “Range of Motion” (ROM) for bodyweight exercises should basically be as large as your joint allows.
If you are not yet strong enough for individual exercises, you can break this rule and use it to your advantage. Using the example of push-ups: First, do not go all the way down to the floor, but only up to halfway up. As you slowly get stronger, increase your range of motion.
The goal should always be to perform every exercise in the full possible range of motion.
You can just start training on it or you can choose training methods that will help you achieve your goals. I recommend the latter to you: On my blog I will introduce you to the 7 best training methods for self-weight training. In my ebook on bodyweight training and the associated training plans you can get a few more.
The overload method has proven itself for classic strength training. I would like to introduce them to you briefly.
It is a set training. Using the example of push-ups: You will find a level of difficulty of which you can ideally manage 8-12 repetitions without a break. No more than 15. Then you do one set of this exercise. Let’s say you can do 12 push-ups with your hands raised to the height of your knees. Perfect!
Your workout at home depends on the right training methods and really good exercises: As here, inverted rows made more difficult as part of the overload method.
Then you take a 1-2 minute break and append the second sentence. Here you may be able to do 1-2 fewer reps. That fits well!
Of course you can also do more sets – 2 to 4 sets would be my recommendation – also depending on your fitness level. Beginners sometimes less, advanced users more.
You only really get the last repetition out of you in the last set of an exercise (training until technical muscle failure).
By the way: In the current situation, make sure that you take it slow. Intensive training units or very long endurance runs result in the so-called open window effect. This makes you more prone to infections for a few hours. Not good if you then want to go shopping after your workout and become more easily infected with the coronavirus. Here you can find this effect explained by my blogger colleague and sports scientist Zimo and get tips on how to deal with it properly.
If you increase the “time under tension” – the time in which your muscles are under tension – you also make the exercise more difficult. That is, if you normally do the push-up very quickly, try doing it with 2 seconds when lowering and 2 seconds when pressing up. You will see that this makes the exercise a lot more difficult.
Another possibility are negative sentences: You only slow down the eccentric (yielding) movement phase. To stick with the example of push-ups, that would be 1-2 seconds when pushing up, but 3 to 5 seconds – so very slowly – when going back down.
Play with it once, you will see that it will take your workout at home to a whole new level!
19 workout videos to join in
Here you will find a list of all my videos that I have shot over the past few years and published on my YouTube channel.
I’ve sorted them into four categories:
- Under Activation you will find short workouts (max. 10 minutes), for example for a fit start to the day.
- Under flexibility we do something for your mobility and flexibility.
- You will find what you are looking for under strengthening if you want to strengthen your muscles.
- The HIIT workouts combine strengthening exercises with cardio components. But be careful of too high intensities. Hold back a bit and don’t go to your limits to protect your immune system.
Find your favorites and get started!
The first workout is a 5 minute warm up. You can use it to warm up for the following workouts.
This is one of my most viewed videos on YouTube – it was viewed more than 20,000 times and trained with me in the sunrise on Mallorca. You get 10 minutes of activation, one exercise every minute, the exercises get more and more difficult up to the 10th exercise. Especially recommended for beginners who want to improve with every workout at home and eventually manage all 10 exercises.
I’m particularly proud of this location too. In the middle of the Carinthian Faaker See I recorded this activating workout for you. It takes 10 minutes, you practice 40 seconds each, take a 20 second break. 10 different exercises. There are moderate to difficult exercises.
More flexibility in the back of your thighs and your thoracic spine is required. Then do this workout at home regularly.
The following three workouts were created as part of my Mobility Challenge. You can find the exercise explanations here. The first is for beginners and takes about 7 minutes.
The Mobility Workout for advanced users already takes 12 minutes.
The professional mobility workout takes 17 minutes and is really exhausting.
This video will help you mobilize your thoracic spine. Especially recommended for people with desk jobs.
Thoracic spine again – this time exercises that you can also do right at your desk.
In this video we take care of a lumbar spine.
This is arguably one of the toughest workouts I’ve ever done. It is recommended for advanced users. The exercise inspiration comes from experts whom I was able to win for a roundup post. You can find it here.
This is a fine workout for beginners and slightly advanced. Be confident – it will take 8 minutes.
The advanced tummy legs buttocks workout also takes 8 minutes, but includes much more difficult exercises.
Recording this workout was a lot of fun for me and my family. Get to know the 17 coolest exercises you can do with your offspring.
As already mentioned above: Do not train too intensely so as not to risk an open window effect or regenerate well (sufficient sleep, good nutrition, etc.). These workouts also strengthen your muscles, but they are also very demanding for your cardiovascular system.
The first workout is actually also a strengthening workout. However, it was carried out using the challenge method. Therefore, it is also a HIIT workout at home. Since I do it in the video with my buddy Wolfgang, you have the option of doing an easier (Wolfgang) and more difficult (Pat) version of the workout within a video. Make a decision! You can find out more about this in this article.
My blogger colleague Zimo challenged me to this challenge. You can also participate.
I am a Harry Potter fan and have read all of the books and seen the films. I love this enchanted world. This workout is my thanks for that.
This workout is short but very difficult. But I also have tips to make things easier.
One of my oldest videos. The workout is still fine though. A classic HIIT workout for at home.
I hope you found a workout for yourself. Feel free to make a plan for when to do which workout and get started!
Workout at home – the conclusion
You now know what you should pay particular attention to when working out at home and which equipment will support you well.
You know the factors that are important if you want to do proper strength training at home and you are aware of how you can adapt exercises to your fitness level.
Now it’s about getting you moving!
Download one of my free training plans right away or start right away with a hands-on workout video from this article.
Are you looking for more inspiration?
Then take a look at the SPORTUNION website about workouts at home: #sportunionathome
There the large Austrian sports organization collects workouts and exercises from its 4,000 member clubs for you to participate!