With COVID-19 forcing countries into lockdown, there’s a good chance you’ll be stuck at home for the next few weeks, if not months.
Now the main priority is, of course, the health and wellbeing of you and your loved ones. So first and foremost, on behalf of the entire team here at TestoGen, our thoughts are with you and your families during these very difficult and uncertain times.
Related article: 7 common exercise myths BUSTED
That said though, if you are feeling ok and well, sitting at home all day not only gets boring but it also means you’re lacking daily movement and exercise. You need to find ways to keep yourself busy, and even though it won’t be your main concern right now, working out can be a great and healthy at-home habit.
Not only will exercise at home help you keep your weight in check as you get less physical movement, but it can also keep your immune system strong, boost your testosterone levels and support your mental health.
That’s why I hope this beginner guide to exercise at home and these 15+ home workouts will help make things a bit more bearable for you.
If you have ideas for home workouts that I missed please do drop me a message below this article and I’ll add them ASAP!
How to get ready to exercise at home
There are different ways in which you can work out from home. Part of what to do will depend on what equipment you have lying about.
If you have a dumbbell, for example, it will straight away open up a whole range of new exercises to do at home. Not to mention if you have a Peloton bike or your own weight training bench…
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have a home gym though, which means you’ll have to find a way to exercise without equipment.
Now luckily, you can still get a full body workout at home, as long as you stick to the right routine. In the end, it just means you have to change your workout plan a bit.
To make this post helpful to as many people out there as possible, I’ll mostly try and stick to exercises that don’t require any equipment at all, or at least very minimal.
So, to prepare you for the at home workout, I’ll start with a few tips to get you ready for action.
1 – Maintain a healthy diet, now more than ever
Ask anyone serious about exercise and they’ll agree: diet is at the heart of any good workout routine, and it’s now more important (and more difficult) than ever.
Being at home means you are constantly close to your fridge. And due to empty shelves in the supermarkets, you might not be able to make the most organized and healthy meal plan ever.
However, to keep your immune system up and give you the energy you need to work out at home it’s of vital importance to keep getting the right nutrition. Here are a few tips:
- Eat enough vegetables and fruits
A lot of people are stockpiling canned foods and freezer meals. Instead, try and still include as many fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet as possible.
They are essential for fibers, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. Part of what this all does is support your immune system to help your body fight off viruses (as explained in this study).
What’s more, without these essentials you won’t have the energy to do even a single push-up, let alone an entire workout
- Supplement what you can’t get
Normally, most people won’t have to take that many supplements to keep their vitamin and mineral levels normal.
You naturally receive most of it through diet (or through sunlight, like with Vitamin D), but with the current change in lifestyle and diet, you might need to consider supplementation.
Without it, your immune system might be taking a hit. One solution is to start adding TestoGen to your diet, as it contains some of the essential vitamins and minerals your immune system needs, such as Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.
Especially when you want to start working out this natural testosterone booster can be a great addition to your diet:
- Drink enough water
It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated; and not with crap like sugary sodas. Most researchers advise you to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day (the 8×8 rule).
Studies show that insufficient hydration can lead to increased fatigue, reduced motivation and worsened body temperature control, all making your home workout a lot more difficult!
- Don’t overeat
One of the biggest challenges will be not to overeat. Many people respond to being bored or sitting still for too long by snacking and eating. It’s a normal reflex, but it can also be a very unhealthy reflex.
To curb your cravings I advise you to portion control, eat at set times (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner), and don’t get too many unhealthy snacks in the house.
Alternatively, you can also stick to healthy snacks such as grapes, or sliced up carrot dipped in hummus.
2 – Establish your workout routine
If up till now you were going to the gym, chances are you had a specific workout routine. To make working out at home easier, I’d advise you to do the same now and build a new routine, specific to workout from home.
Ideally, you actually print (or draw) a timetable for the week and fill it in. This helps to keep you motivated and stay on top of things. With a strict workout plan, you will automatically take your exercises more seriously, and it will be easier to build that routine.
Here are some things to think about:
- Choose a timeslot
Choose specific days and times for your workout sessions. E.g. Monday, Wednesday and Friday with session 1 at 7 am and session 2 at 5 pm.
- Pick your new indoor gym
With that I mean the room in your house that’s best suited for your workouts. Ideally, the room is spacious, there’s not much stuff to knock over, and there aren’t any temptations (like a comfy chair…).
- Search for hidden equipment
Your house might have more to offer than you think. Especially for those without equipment at home, it’s essential to make the most out of what you have.
Think about running up and down the stairs for cardio, doing dips on your kitchen counter (more about that below), or even doing pull-ups in your door opening.
3 – Try to avoid distractions
Of course, this really depends on the size of your house and your family. Ideally, you would have that dedicated gym room with as little distractions as possible.
To give you an idea, here are some things to think about:
- Get your family on board
I don’t mean a group session with the entire family – unless you want to – but make sure that they know and respect your new home workout plan. Putting a sign on the door might help as well.
- No phones allowed
It should go without saying, but really, try and keep your phone in a different room. The same thing goes for televisions, radios, books, etc.
- Don’t do your chores
While at home it can be really tempting to put on a quick washing or do the dishes first. To make this workout routine at home work you need to be strict. Sticking to your routine is essential.
4 – Act like you’re in the gym
Just putting time aside for it isn’t enough. You need to really get in the same mindset as you would when going to the gym. In other words, be ready for the gym;
- Wear your gym clothes
You might think since you’re at home you can just stay in your boxers but think again. Wearing gym clothes will help motivate you and get you in the zone. Plus, once you’re dressed for a workout you’ll feel guilty NOT to exercise…
- Get pumped
Do this as you always would, whatever’s your thing. Play some motivational and upbeat music, do a few screams to get that adrenaline pumping, or take a testosterone booster like TestoGen to get that physical pump.
5 benefits of a home workout
I like to see the glass as half full, even during times like these. So before getting to some of those at home workouts you can do, I just wanted to show you some of the accidental advantages of working out at home.
Aside from the obvious health benefits of staying active, working out is also a great way to keep you from going crazy after spending time at home for too long.
Both body AND brain need that active break, so it can really do wonders for your mental health as well. Below, I’ll list 5 more benefits of a home workout.
1 – Workout around your schedule!
You can literally start and stop your workout whenever you like, at any time you like. No time wasted by going to the gym, no queue at the bench, no need to change clothes both at the gym AND at home after.
Best thing is – unless you have to look presentable for work video calls – that you can just keep your gym clothes on the entire day. Whenever you need a moment away from the screen you can straight away go at it!
2 – It’s free!
This might not apply to everybody, but if you have a flexible gym contract you might be able to pause your membership for the time being.
By doing the at home workouts I’ll share below you can still get a full body workout but without paying any membership fees!
3 – Gyms are gross
And I’m not just talking because of the potential spread of COVID-19…
Face it, people in gyms sweat like crazy, yet many of them won’t even consider giving the equipment a wipe after. Unless you’re at a really high-end gym, chances are the staff won’t clean it more than once a day either.
4 – It’s your house
Which means you make the rules. Blast out your music as loudly as you like and sing-along till your voice hurts. Watch as much Netflix as you like and laugh out loud without worrying about how crazy you look. You’re free to do your thing!
Aside from that, your house means your stuff: shower, stereo, fridge… It’s all yours and yours alone!
5 – Nobody’s watching
Remember the first time you walked into a gym? If you’re like 99.9% of us, it was an intimidating experience filled with insecurity. For many, that feeling never fully wears off.
At home, you don’t have to worry about that really muscular bro next to you making you feel inadequate and small. At home, nobody’s watching; aside from your dog maybe…
15+ at-home workouts to start doing today
There are a lot of different ways to go about it. Most importantly, you start to build a routine that fits your fitness level and that attacks the body part(s) you want to work on.
To try and make it easier for you I’ve grouped the home workout exercises per muscle group it focuses on.
1 – Work on those abs
Probably the area that most guys (and girls) are interested in: the abs. Luckily, this is probably also the easiest area to train from the comfort of your home. For most of these exercises, you don’t even need any equipment.
These core workouts can be done at any level and, most of them, at any location. A lot of these exercises might seem basic to some, but strengthening your core stability is essential for the overall performance of your body in exercise.
Ask any PT and they’ll agree that core training really is at the core of a good workout routine!
On top of that: the more exercises at your disposal, the better full-body workout plan you can create for yourself.
Don’t underestimate the basics. When done properly sit-ups can still be useful multi-muscle exercises, working not just your abdominals but your lower back, neck, and chest as well.
Of course, it is a beginner level exercise, so it won’t do much as a long-term exercise for your abs.
Not a multi-muscle workout like the situp, but a highly isolated ab workout. If you’re particularly after that six-pack, this might just be the right exercise for you.
How to do a basic crunch: lie flat on your back, making sure that your lower back is firmly pushing down on the ground. Bend your knees and have your feet flat on the ground; place your hands behind your head.
Now lift your shoulders a few inches above the ground and tense your abs as you do so. Slowly lower down; repeat.
Just like situps and crunches, planks are a staple in every core workout routine. Start off with the basic plank and once you feel up for it, try out some variations like the side plank.
- Hip Raises
It seems so simple, but it’s oh so effective! The hip raise is exactly what it sounds like and you can do it anywhere at any time.
How to do a hip raise: lie on your back on the floor, knees bent, feet flat. Now tighten those glutes and slowly raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders.
- Lying leg extensions
Just like the exercises above, there are several variations of the lying leg extension. For beginners, I’d advise the supine leg extension.
How to do a supine leg extension: lie on your back, bend your knees and raise them in the air, keeping them in a 90-degree angle.
Now slowly stretch out (extend) one leg away from you and let it lower almost completely to the ground, before pulling it back into that 90-degree angle. Now repeat for the other leg.
- Hollow holds
This is a favorite among many guys trying to really sculpt those abs. It will help you train for a strong and stable core.
How to do a hollow hold: lie flat on your back and stretch out your body completely, arms overhead, making your body into one straight line.
Now simultaneously lift your arms and feet from the ground while making sure you keep your lower back tightly pressing down on the floor.
Of course, there are many more abs exercises you can try, too many for me to name here. But to give you some more inspiration, check out this video with 30 variations of ab exercises:
2 – Build that chest
Especially for men lacking in testosterone, the chest can be a big problem area. Many of us see a lot of fat building up around the pectoral muscles, creating those nasty man boobs…
In fact, I wrote an article about how to get rid of them a while back already:
When I wrote that article I included several exercises that need gym equipment. Luckily, there are still a lot of at home workouts you can do to attack your chest fat. Below, I’ll list a few to get you started.
When it comes to sculpting your chest there’s nothing like the push-up. And just like with most of the exercises I mentioned above, there are LOADS of variations for you to try out. I’ll walk you through a few.
How to do a standard push-up: it’s extremely important you get this right. Many people just lie down and push themselves up till they’re tired and their back is aching. That’s NOT the way to go.
Key to the perfect push-up is keeping your back straight (not hollow) and making sure you really use your shoulder and back muscles during this exercise.
To really focus on the chest muscles make sure you have a wide grip.
How to do a spiderman push-up: once you’ve gotten the hang of normal push-ups you can try these for a change. Just do a push-up like always, but once you’re at the lowest point instead of pushing yourself up first lift one foot off the ground and slowly move your knee forward towards your elbow.
Hold a few seconds, move your leg back, and continue push-up as normal. When ready, repeat for the other leg.
How to do a decline push-up: a great one to place extra focus on those chest muscles. This is basically just a normal push-up but done while having your feet raised.
In the gym, you would probably use an exercise ball below your feet, but since you’re at home you might need to improvise. Luckily, you can use anything to slightly raise your feet; couch, chair, a pile of books, whatever…
Now ideally you would do dips on a machine in the gym. However, since that’s not gonna happen, you might need to improvise.
A great spot to do some dips at home is in the corner of your kitchen counter, placing one hand on each side and then pushing yourself up while keeping your knees bent.
Alternatively, you can do some bench dips from the couch (or a sturdy chair).
How to do a bench dip: face away from the couch, grab it with both your hands at about shoulder-width, have your legs out in front of you with your knee slightly bent.
Slowly lower your body down until your elbow creates a 90-degree angle. Lift yourself back up; repeat.
3 – Grow those arms
This area is difficult to train without at least some dumbbells. Hopefully, you will have some of these at home.
If not though, I’ll try to tailor these exercises as much as possible to people that don’t have any equipment to work with, as with most of the exercises in this post. Luckily, you can improvise a lot.
For starters, you can still stick to the push-ups mentioned above as those will definitely work your triceps as well. The same goes for the bench dip, which aside from your chest also works on your triceps and anterior deltoids.
Aside from that you can always switch dumbbells for books or a barbell for your kid…
- Inverted rows
One of my personal favorites in terms of improvising. The only thing you need is a sturdy table to pull yourself up from (do make sure the table is strong enough though).
This exercise is great to target those biceps, and since you’re using your body weight you don’t need any dumbbells!
- Towel bicep curl
The only thing you need for this one is a towel, and you can either do it as a really light warmup workout or make it a bit more intense by strengthening your muscles more during the workout. You decide.
How to do a towel bicep curl: stand up straight and lift one leg up in front of you, bending your knee. Wrap a towel around the bottom of your upper leg and hold the towel ends with both hands in front of you. Now slowly lift your leg up with the towel as if you’re lifting weights.
For extra resistance, you can push your leg down the same time you’re lifting your arms up.
This might be a bit more tricky to do without equipment, but if you really look around your house (or garden, or the park next to your house) you’re bound to find SOMETHING that you can use.
A common location is in door openings. Just grab the top with both hands and start pulling yourself up. Of course, like with all these DIY workout solutions please be careful and make sure your makeshift equipment can take the weight.
4 – Don’t skip the legs
I don’t wanna resort to memes and jokes here, but you really shouldn’t skip leg day. This rule still applies while working out from home.
Fortunately, legs can be trained in many ways without using any equipment. One of the easiest ways is to use your stairs by just walking up and down! But that’s not all. Here are a few at-home leg workouts to get you started.
Probably the number 1 leg exercise, and you can easily do it without equipment. For some extra weight and to keep those arms in check you can replace the standard dumbbells in your hand with two bottles, for example.
How to do the basic lunge: stand up straight, now step one foot forward and slowly let the back knee drop down towards the ground at the same time. It’s important to keep your chest up and your back straight (don’t bend forward!). Make sure your back knee doesn’t touch the ground as you go down.
Once you’ve mastered it you can start looking at different variations like the pendulum lunge or the pulse lunge.
Another staple in the leg-household. If you want to work those thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings) and glutes the squat is your go-to exercise.
How to do the basic squat: find a solid stance (feet about shoulder-width) with your feet either aligned or slightly pointing outwards. Tense your abs and look straight ahead and stand tall.
Now slowly sit back, moving your butt back, while bending your knees as you go down. Keep looking ahead and whatever you do make sure you don’t round your back.
- Wall sit
I know, this one can be excruciatingly boring, but you KNOW it’ll burn and build your body’s bottom bits. Hamstring, glute, and quad strength will all see massive improvements from doing this one.
How to do a wall sit: well, it’s super easy! Just sit back against the wall as if you’re sitting on an imaginary chair. Keep your back straight stuck to the wall and make sure your knees are bent 90 degrees.
That’s it. Sit down, relax, and wait for the pain…
Conclusion: don’t just sit around!
The moral of this story is that you CAN still get your full body workout, despite the current restrictions.
Gyms might be closed and it might be difficult to stick to a workout routine, but if you take these steps you can still train all your muscles. Most of the exercises I mentioned here don’t require any equipment, so anyone can do them.
Even though working out might not be your main concern right now, staying active is extremely important for both your physical AND mental health.
Not only will it make sure you don’t gain weight or lose muscle, but it can also help uplift your mood and even further strengthen your immune system! At times like these, it might just be more important than ever…