Top Ways to Get Fit at Home Without a Gym
From pricey memberships to crowds and lines, there are plenty of reasons people are choosing to skip the gym and stay fit from the comfort of their own homes.
And although home workouts are gaining in popularity (not only due to the pandemic but advances in home fitness technology), some people are still skeptical about their effectiveness, while others lack the motivation needed to work out without a gym (or an exercise community).
Fortunately, we’ve got all the answers you need to dispel this myth and start getting your burn on without the commute.
If you want to take control of your fitness, read on to learn everything you should know about how to get fit at home...and never pay for a gym again.
Jump (lunge) to the answers you’re looking for:
Despite what the gyms may tell you, there’s no reason people can’t get fit at home. Through consistent practice and simple techniques, anyone can achieve their fitness goals at home—and you don’t even need that much room.
Learning how to stay fit at home isn’t complicated, it just takes the right exercises and some motivation. The best way to get fit at home is to find a routine that works for your daily life. Invest in a few staple pieces of equipment such as dumbbells (also known as free weights), resistance bands (also known as exercise bands), and a yoga mat. Find some online workout classes or programs that you like and set a schedule for yourself to do them throughout the week.
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With this in mind, let’s take a look at the best way to execute these practices and get fit at home.
💪 Pro tip: Always warm up before working out and cool down once you’re done to perform at your best. If you’re a beginner or have any limitations, be sure to modify exercises as needed.
Improving your fitness hinges upon three main areas of focus:
It’s tough to get motivated. But having a pre-determined schedule of what to do and when will reduce the effort it takes to stay committed to your fitness goals.
Planning your workouts in advance will not only make it easier to complete but choosing exercises and activities that you enjoy will give you something to look forward to.
Here’s a home workout routine created by lululemon Studio trainer Lonnie Poupard Jr.:
Monday: 30-45 min Strength Training workout w/ Dumbbells
Tuesday: 30 min HIIT / Cardio: Bootcamp
Wednesday: Rest Day (optional: long walk + 15 min stretch)
Thursday: 30-45 min Strength Training workout w/resistance bands
Friday: 15 min Cardio: Tabata, 15 min Pilates
Saturday: 30-45 min Vinyasa yoga
Sunday: Rest Day (optional: Gentle or Restorative yoga)
Exercising at home makes incorporating fitness as part of your daily routine simple, efficient, and above all else: effective.
Getting fit at home doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. The flexibility of home fitness extends to your yard, neighborhood, or the nearest mountain.
Exercising outdoors can help the work feel a whole lot more like play. Here are a few outdoor-inspired activities that will give you a full-body workout:
- Bike riding
- Stadium stairs
- Hill climbs
- Shadow boxing
- Jumping rope
- Rock Climbing
With a lululemon Studio membership, you can take world-class instructors with you into the wild—plus get 20% off studio partners like Rumble, DOGPOUND, and AARMY. Check out even more benefits of the membership.
Cultivating healthy habits will support your active lifestyle, long-term. Small changes can make a big difference.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine:
- Go for a walk after meals: Going for a walk after a meal can aid digestion and improve blood sugar levels. It's a great way to get some fresh air and clear your mind. Even a short, 10-minute walk can make a big difference for your mental and physical well-being.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator: Taking the stairs is a simple way to incorporate more physical activity into your day. It's a great way to get your heart rate up (especially with an armful of groceries) and increase your daily steps.
- Choose to walk or bike instead of driving: When you do leave home, walking or biking to get around is a great way to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine without needing to carve out time for a complete workout. It's also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. The money you save on transportation can be used toward something that brightens your day.
- Work at a standing desk: Sitting for long periods of time can be harmful to your physical health. Standing desks are a great way to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting and improve your posture, while also increasing your daily calorie burn.
- Practice yoga or meditation: Yoga and meditation are great ways to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. These practices can help improve your mental clarity, increase your flexibility, and reduce your risk of injury.
Start small, and over time, these habits will become second nature. Remember to listen to your body and do what feels good for you.
Exercises for Cardiovascular Fitness
Many people avoid aerobic exercise when working out at home because they don’t believe it’s possible without cardio machines. The truth, however, is that an intense cardio workout can be achieved without paying for a gym membership or buying an expensive treadmill or stationary bike.
An awesome approach to cardiovascular health is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short). HIIT is a structured workout approach that alternates between short bursts of intense exercise and low-intensity recovery periods. This technique is proven to increase endurance, improve heart and lung functioning, and burn calories long after the workout has ended.
People are often too focused on the aesthetic elements of cardio. If they track a certain amount of miles, they’re convinced the workout was effective. But focusing on heart rate and how many calories get burned can yield a higher efficacy. If you’re burning a certain number of active calories and raising your heart rate to 80-90% of your maximum heart rate, your workout will be effective.
For an effective at-home cardio workout, try one of these calorie-burning exercises and consider taking a HIIT approach to really push yourself:
- Burpees: One of the best cardiovascular exercises that also challenges many muscle groups, burpees can be modified for any fitness level. Go slowly with little to no momentum or go all-in and add a jump once you reach the top.
- Mountain climbers: Similar to a burpee, mountain climbers engage your shoulders and core but do not require you to stand up. Instead, this repetitive knees-to-chest motion is an excellent physical activity to help you get prepped for workout time.
- Jumping jacks: A classic movement that can be done in place and without any equipment. Progress to a star jump as part of your fitness routine if you’re feeling strong or take it down to a jump-less jack if you’re just getting started on your fitness journey.
- High knees: A fantastic way to increase your heart rate is by performing high knees. This can be done in place or with small movements forward. If you live in an apartment or condo, you can take this cardio exercise further by incorporating the stairs in your building.
- Dancing: Put on your favorite playlist and get your groove on. Dancing is a fun physical activity that helps you burn fat and get moving.
lululemon Studio incorporates these and other movements into our workout classes. Try a latin dance, bootcamp, or kickboxing class to really get your heart pumping.
Exercises for Improving Strength
There’s a myth in the fitness community that you need heavy-duty weights in order to tone muscles and gain strength. While many people prefer training with heavier weights, the idea that they’re essential is simply not true—large amounts of weight are not needed to achieve effective resistance.
Instead, at-home workout exercises can be done with your own body weight and resistance bands to build strength, or dumbbells and kettlebells to build muscle. It’s entirely possible to achieve a total body or targeted workout without filling your home with bulky exercise equipment.
Resistance refers to any force being placed on the muscles. When your body works against this force, the contractions lead to microtears in the muscle fibers. When these microtears heal—along with the help of proteins—the end result is stronger, and more defined muscles.
- Push-ups: Also referred to as press-ups, there are so many variations and modifications to this movement that keeping things interesting and challenging is no problem. Push-ups are a fantastic way to challenge your core and upper body with no equipment needed.
- Squats: Like push-ups, squats have a ton of variations to keep you sweating. Start with a basic squat using just your bodyweight, then progress to jump squats, squat jacks, single-leg squats, and weighted squats.
- Lunges: Another exercise with a ton of variations, lunges can be done stationary, walking, in reverse, sideways, jumping, with a twist, and more. You can choose to do them weighted or unweighted.
- Deadlifts: A great lower body exercise, deadlifts are often done with added weight or resistance bands.
- Rows: At-home rows are best executed with bands, free weights, kettlebells, or a barbell. They are a great exercise for the back and shoulders and help to improve posture. Some row variations include bent-over rows, upright rows, single-arm, alternating, and renegade rows.
- Plank: The abdominal muscles can sometimes get neglected during exercise but they’re an important part of an entire body workout—even if you focus on them for just a few minutes. Progress from a basic plank on your elbows to a high plank position on your palms. Your core will thank you.
Performing these exercises with your own body weight is a great place to start building up your strength. Progressively increasing resistance using resistance bands or weights will build the muscles further. With a combination of more reps and tighter resistance bands, you’ll be able to achieve your desired results without ever stepping foot inside a gym.
You can work on resistance training with lululemon Studio through live strength training classes or 1-on-1 with a certified personal trainer. In these sessions, you get real-time cues, form tips, and the best advice from industry experts to help you improve your technique and performance— all without traditional, clunky exercise equipment.
Fitness can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be daunting. Here are some exercises that get us excited to move:
- Dancing is a fun way to get moving and burn calories. Whether it's taking a dance cardio class or just dancing around your living room, it's a great way to get your body moving and have fun while doing it.
- Yoga is a great way to improve flexibility, balance, and strength. It's a low-impact exercise that can be modified to suit any fitness level and comes with tons of mental health benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety.
- Hula hooping is a surprisingly demanding exercise that can help improve your core strength, coordination, and cardiovascular health We suggest incorporating dance moves while hooping to make it even more fun.
- Trampoline jumping is a fun way to kick start your heart rate, ramp up your core and stability muscle engagement, and improve your coordination. It’s a massive cardio workout that's easy on your joints.
Fitness should be enjoyable and sustainable. Keep trying new things and find what works best for you.
lululemon Studio has redesigned at-home fitness, giving you new inspiration for home workout ideas with our connected fitness technology. With a lululemon Studio membership, you’ll get access to over 10,000 live and on-demand classes in 60+ different genres for every fitness level. You’ll have access to yoga, cardio, strength training, and more, which will always keep your at-home fitness journey fun and dynamic—whether you have equipment at home or want to strength train without equipment.
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