My Favorite At-Home Workouts

While being holed up in my suburban Massachusetts home for an indeterminate amount of time during quarantine, the only thing maintaining my sanity — aside from my dog — is trying to keep up with a semi-regular workout schedule. Personally, I try to do one of each workout below each week, and go for walks on my off days, but you can adjust your workout plan to fit your schedule. No matter if you’re a fitness junkie or using quarantine to start your wellness journey, these exercises are completely customizable for any level of expertise, and require little to no equipment. 

Cardio

While I’m lucky enough to have an elliptical in my home, I find that using a cardio machine outside of a gym environment is mind-numbingly boring. Staring at the wall isn’t exactly motivational, so I prefer heading to the nearest outdoor running track to let out my pent-up energy. Make sure to stay at least six feet away from other pedestrians. If running sounds more tortuous than being locked up at home, this full-body workout from Tik Tok will get your heart rate pumping without lacing up those running sneakers.

Abs 

Fortunately, ab exercises seldom require gym equipment anyways, making them the easiest exercise to adapt to a home workout routine. Simply roll out your yoga mat (a towel works as well, just be sure to anchor down the edges to prevent sliding), blast your favorite workout playlist through your headphones or speaker, and continue your ab routine as usual. Check out Fitness Blender’s 10-minute ab workout video on YouTube for some inspiration, or try Chloe Ting’s infamous two-week ab challenge video. 

Personally, I like to use a mix of different ab exercises I’ve picked up over the years, which I’ll list here:

27 leg lifts

27 seated knee tucks

27 flutter kicks

27 reaching oblique crunches

27 Russian twists (I like to hold a filled water bottle during these for an added challenge) 

1 minute boat pose 

27 bicycle crunches

27 lying knee tucks

50 second plank

Repeat two more times, and don’t forget to stretch before and after!

Legs and Glutes

Most of us don’t have access to hip abductor or leg press machines while at home, but there are still plenty of ways to strengthen your lower body at home. For an affordable way to kick your workouts up a notch, you can order ankle weights and resistance bands on Amazon for under $20 each. Strangely enough, I’ve been finding the best at-home lower body exercise videos on Tik Tok, like this “slim thicq” butt workout. I also love this video from Fitness Blender, which takes only five minutes but will leave your legs seriously sore.  

I like to incorporate my favorite moves into my own routine, which usually looks something like this:

20 rainbows with 3 lb. ankle weights

50 glute bridges with hip abduction, with a resistance band

20 donkey kicks with 3 lb. ankle weights

20 lying side leg raises with 3 lb. ankle weights

1 minute squats with a resistance band

40 second jump touch squats 

Repeat two more times, and don’t forget to stretch before and after!

Arms

I’ve found that arm exercises are the most challenging to do without weights or machines, but that’s no reason to give up! Instead, I’ve been using a combination of arm workouts from Blogilates, like this video which lets you get creative with your at-home “weights,” and this completely equipment-free routine. If you have resistance bands, this Tik Tok arm workout is incredibly efficient for at-home toning.

While all these workouts are a great way to relieve some pent-up stress from quarantine, health looks different to everyone and there’s no need to feel guilty for having less motivation than usual. Whether you work out for hours every day or prefer a simple walk around your neighborhood (with protective gear if necessary!), taking care of your mental as well as physical health is of the utmost importance during this stressful time. Just don’t forget to wash your hands!