Working out at home is both convenient and efficient since you don’t have to travel or share equipment. If you are a beginner, or just someone who hasn’t been in a consistent workout routine for a while, working out at home is a good way to ease into a routine that is accessible and enjoyable.
It’s important to note that proper form should be a top priority for any exercise participant, whether novice or advanced. For this reason, it’s best for beginners to stick to exercises that have a low injury risk and are easily progressed. You can always work your way up to more advanced movements as you grow comfortable with proper form and execution.
Below is a complete at-home workout for beginners to try.
What You’ll Need
For this beginner workout at home, you will need dumbells and resistance bands. If dumbbells aren’t accessible, using bodyweight for the exercises will work as well. Be sure you have enough clear space to perform these movements. You may also want a mat or padded flooring for additional comfort.
At-Home Beginner Workout
Perform the following exercises in order. Aim for two to three sets of each exercise. The ideal repetitions are added in the instructions, but it’s best to do as many repetitions as it takes to challenge your muscles. This means by the final two to three reps, you feel as though you are close to failure.
Unilateral movements like dumbell lunges are excellent for building strength and muscle in a functional way. They challenge the legs, glutes, and core.
If you are very new to exercise or do not have dumbbells, you can perform lunges with bodyweight only.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Retract your shoulders back and brace your core.
- Take a large step forward with your right leg so that when you bend your right knee, your thigh and lower leg are at a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly bend your knees, lowering your body toward the floor until your knee almost touches the ground.
- Raise to the start position by slowly straightening your legs and pushing through your feet.
- Alternate legs until you’ve performed 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Banded Glute Bridge
Glute bridges target the glute muscles (your bum) and core.2 They are also excellent for reducing injury risks, helping stabilize your pelvis, and preventing low back pain.3 If you don’t have a band, perform this exercise with bodyweight only, increasing repetitions so you are still challenged.
- Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor, and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Lay a resistance band across your pelvis and hold it down with your hands by your sides.
- Lift your hips by pushing through your feet until you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- Hold this position for a count of one while squeezing your glutes, then slowly lower your hips back to the starting position.
- Aim for 15 to 20 reps.
Banded Chest Press
Banded chest presses are safer and easier to manage while working out at home where you may not have access to a rack or a spotter. This exercise targets your chest. You can perform it laying on the floor, on a bench, or from a standing position with the band anchored safely behind you, as described below.
- Attach a resistance band to a sturdy anchor point at the level of your shoulders.
- Hold each handle and step forward into a split stance, one foot in front of the other.
- Brace your core and push the bands in front of your chest without locking out the elbows.
- Slowly reverse to the starting position, feeling the stretch and tension in your chest muscles.
- Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
Banded Back Row
Banded rows will work the muscles of your back, strengthening them to prevent soreness and injury, and counteract the effects of sitting.
- Stand onto a resistance band with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips with a braced core and slightly arched (hyperextended) lower back
- Pull the handles of the band back, leading with your elbows to retract your shoulder blades closer together. Hold this contraction and feel the squeeze of your back muscles before slowly reversing the motion.
- Aim for 10 to 12 reps.
Side Plank on Knees
Side planks are challenging and require you to brace against gravity, activating your core muscles including the abdominals, back, glutes, and obliques.
- Kneel on an exercise mat and place your feet behind you.
- Lower yourself onto your side and place your elbow and forearm perpendicular to your torso.
- Brace your core, lift your hips, and hold for 30 to 60 seconds or longer, depending on your ability.
- Switch to the other side.
- Aim for three sets on each side.