You only need these six exercises and a chair to pack on muscle at home

Can't get to the gym? Don't own any workout equipment? This workout is for you!

Man performing tricep dips on a weight bench
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Not all of us go to the gym, or have a fully-fledged stock of home gym equipment, like a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Luckily, this total body workout doesn’t require any of this. Instead, all you’re going to need is a sturdy chair (or a weight bench) and a good pair of workout shoes on your feet. 

Bodyweight workouts often raise eyebrows, but several studies have proven their efficacy in building muscle. A study published in Physiology & Behavior concluded that as long as a muscle is worked through its full range of motion it can grow “independent of an external load”. While another study published in the Journal of Exercise Science and Fitness looked into the effectiveness of push-up training with a similar load to 40% of one rep max on the bench press. After 8 weeks, they found significant muscle thickness in the triceps and pecs in both groups.

This workout below is from Sweat app Founder, Kayla Itsines, and you've got six exercises to work through that will hit your arms, legs, glutes and core. Instead of set rounds and rest periods, set a timer for 15 minutes and try and complete as many rounds of the below exercises as possible. It's one way to ramp up its intensity and progressively overload the muscles to help them grow (try and aim for at least four rounds). Here's your workout:

  • Tricep dips – 12 reps
  • 3-way mountain climber (knee to chest, across the body, then to the side) – 18 reps
  • Step ups – 10 reps per side
  • Incline push-up – 10 reps
  • Ab knee tucks – 10 reps
  • Lateral step up with an elbow to knee crunch – 10 reps per side

As always, if you're not sure how to do the exercises, then make sure you give the video above a quick watch! If you're after more bodyweight exercises that leave your muscles burning, here's a 15-minute one for your arms, chest and shoulders, or give this four-move workout a go if you want to focus on your legs and glutes instead. Alternatively, if you want something that's a little more high-intensity, this workout from CrossFit athlete Lauren Fisher is a killer.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.