Home workouts can be just as efficient as the ones performed in gyms if you want to get fit and build muscle fast. Even if you haven't got a leg press or a Smith machine at your disposal, you can still have a good pump at home using best home gym equipment. To make home workouts even more efficient, we collected the five best home exercises right here.
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You don't have to use the below exercises exactly in this order and feel free to swap in/out exercises depending on your fitness goals. Want to work on the glutes and quads more? Have a look at the best leg exercises. Working on your core? Check out the best core exercises guide. Or, if you lack the equipment, you can try a home bodyweight workout. Nintendo lovers should check out the best Nintendo Switch fitness games.
Eat well and stay safe
Resistance training is a great way to lose belly fat and to boost metabolism naturally, but if you haven't done much exercising lately or ever, it's best to get a training buddy to work out with, even at home, or at least someone to be around so they can keep an eye on you and keep you safe.
Always make sure you have an unobstructed workout area ao you can perform all the exercises without bumping into any furniture or random objects at home.
If you want to gain muscle mass and/or lose weight, your diet is equally as important as the workout itself. Up your protein intake by having a protein shake or two a day and swap those mid-afternoon chocolate bars to something healthier, such as the best protein bars or best jerky, in order to cut back on sugar.
5 best home workouts exercises
Do some mobility exercises and stretching to warm up before you start your workout to get the heart rate up a bit. Try working on your biggest muscles first, like your legs/glutes, and finish off the workout with exercises aimed at small muscles like the biceps. Do some light stretching after the workout too.
Alternatively, you can get the best suspension trainer for home and train all your muscles using these versatile tools. They not only provide a good workout but are also great when you haven't got an awful lot of space in your flat.
In depth: chin up vs pull up
To perform a pull up, hold the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing away from you) and hands being wide apart. A nice wide grip will help activate the lats even more and help you shape that back-V sooner.
Keep your core engaged all the way through the movement, don't drop your shoulders and be mindful of the negative movement (when you lower your body). The slower you can perform pull ups – within reason – the longer the muscle activation, meaning you will see results sooner.
In depth: how to squat
Depending on the weights you use, you'll perform this exercise slightly differently but the one thing is for sure: aim for a deep squat, using your glutes and quads for the movement, not your lower back. Keep the core engaged and your back straight throughout the movement.
If you are doing barbell back squats, rest the bar on the traps and not your neck so you won't put a lot of pressure on the spine. As for goblet squats – kettlebell in hand in front of your chest – try not to lean forward too much to avid lower back strain.
AmazonBasics Cast-Iron Kettlebell | Prices from £12.46 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
It doesn't get more basic than AmazonBasics but since kettlebells are basically just a lump of iron with a handle, you can't really go wrong with getting AmazonBasics cast-iron kettlebell. The most popular 16-kilo variety is only £30 which is dirty cheap, but even the heaviest 20kg version is only £45. That's a bargain if I ever saw one in my life.
Equipment needed: yoga mat
In depth: best calisthenics workout
Starting position is the same as if you were to do push ups. To perform mountain climbers, pull one knee up towards your chest, then kick it back out while pulling the other knee up in quick succession. You want to keep your body in a push up position all the way through the exercise, so don't bob your hips up and down as you're tucking your legs in.
- How to plank: the best plank variations to strengthen your core, back, shoulders and more
Equipment needed: barbell,dumbbells or kettlebell
In depth: overhead press
To perform a standing barbell overhead press, load the appropriate plates onto each end of the barbell (the same on both ends) and secure the weights with the collars. Then, pick up the barbell from the ground using an overhand grip and rest it on the top of your chest. Legs are shoulder width apart, core engaged.
When you press the bar up, it should move in a straight vertical line. In order for it to do just that, you will need to move your head back and forth a bit as the bar passes in front of it. Keep your core engaged all the way through the motion and don't arch your back, that will lead to lower back pain (and injuries in general).
JTX 10 kg Dumbbells (Pair) | Buy it for £64 at JTX Fitness (opens in new tab)
At the same time kettlebells were removed from existence, they took all the decent sized dumbbells with them too. Getting quality 10-kilo dumbbell pairs for a reasonable price was almost as impossible to get toilet paper in April. Not anymore, though, as JTX Fitness has restocked its dumbbell selection including the coveted 10 kg pair which can be bought for £64 now. Not for long, probably.
Equipment needed: barbell or dumbbell, weight bench
In depth: how to bench press
To perform a bench press, load the bar up with the weight plates you would like to use and secure both sides with the spring collars. Both sides of the bar have the same amount of weight on it.
Lay down on the weight bench with your head resting under the bar, feet on the ground. Place your hands on the bar, a bit further apart than shoulder width. Use an overhand grip (palms facing away from you) and engage your core. You want your feet to dig into the floor a bit, make sure they are firmly pressed down before you lift.
As you exhale, push the bar up off the rack and extend your arm fully. Inhale as you lower the bar down to your chest, tucking your elbows in slightly. Come close to the chest as you lower the bar, then as you exhale, pressing the bar up again.
Body-Solid PowerCentre Combo Bench | On sale for £359 | Was £495 | You save £136 at Fitness Superstore (opens in new tab)
There is a lot going on here: the PowerCenter Combo Bench is a squat rack, flat bench, incline bench, decline bench, 90° shoulder press bench, and seated leg developer (pictured Olympic adaptor sleeve optional) all in one. You will need a bit more floor space to house this unit but by buying this, you can have a full gym with just one equipment and some some weights.