Exercises to do for a full body, at-home workout

Exercising in your living room is sometimes seen as the poor relation of going to the gym, but the truth is that you can get just as good of a workout at home.i Plus, there are plenty of reasons you might prefer a home workout over going to the gym: maybe you’re relatively new to exercise and the energy of the gym just feels a bit too aggressive. Or perhaps you’ve witnessed fellow weekend warriors failing to wipe down their gym equipment, so you have cleanliness concerns.

Whatever your reasons for staying home, we’ve put together some exercises to do for a full body, at-home workout – no equipment necessary. After all, the gym might not be for everyone, but movement is.ii

Always consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Benefits of this workout

These days, many of us are spending more and more time sitting down, which is impacting our health.ii Inactivity has been described as a “silent killer” by the Department of Health,ii with studies linking it to obesity, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and even early death.iii Fortunately, we can reduce our risk of ill health from inactivity with regular exerciseiii – which is where these exercises can come in handy.

The bodyweight exercises in this at-home workout target your back, chest, legs, abs and arms, helping to build total body strength.i There’s also a cardio component to support heart health and help you maintain a healthy weight.iv Doing cardio exercises is one of the best ways to lose weight at home, making this a great workout to try if fat burning or weight loss is your goal.

You can do this workout anywhere you have a bit of space in your home, and you don’t need any equipment except for a stopwatch (you can use a physical stopwatch or anything with a stopwatch function, like a smartwatch or your phone). The whole workout should take about 30 minutes to complete.

The workout

Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

The workout is made up of five different exercises. Do each exercise for 30 seconds before moving on to the next, focusing on completing as many reps as you can in that time while maintaining good form, with 20 seconds of rest between each exercise. When you’ve worked through all five exercises, take a full minute of rest. That’s one round. Complete four more rounds (or as many more rounds, up to four, that you are able to complete) for a full body, combined strength and cardio workout.

In practice, this is how the workout looks:

  1. Step 1: do exercise #1 for 30 seconds.
  2. Step 2: rest for 20 seconds.
  3. Step 3: do exercise #2 for 30 seconds.
  4. Step 4: rest for 20 seconds.
  5. Step 5: do exercise #3 for 30 seconds.
  6. Step 6: rest for 20 seconds.
  7. Step 7: do exercise #4 for 30 seconds.
  8. Step 8: rest for 20 seconds.
  9. Step 9: do exercise #5 for 30 seconds.
  10. Step 10: rest for 1 minute.
  11. Repeat steps 1 through 10 four more times.

Without further ado, let’s move on to the main event: the exercises.

Exercise #1: squats

  • Targets: the legs (especially the thighs) and glutes (buttocks).
  • How to do it: stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Turn your feet out slightly (the toes of your left foot at 11 o’clock; the toes of your right at one o’clock). Think about hinging at the waist and sitting your hips back as you squat down, then push back up to a standing position, squeezing your glutes and core at the top of the movement.

Exercise #3: tricep dips

  • Targets: the arms (especially the triceps).
  • How to do it: sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Take your hands behind you so that your elbows are bent and your fingers point back towards your body. Straighten your arms and lift yourself up off the floor. Now bend both elbows a little until your bum grazes the floor and then push back up (again, avoid locking your elbows when you straighten your arms).

Exercise #5: Russian twists

  • Targets: all the muscles in your core.
  • How to do it: sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, feet together. Lean back slowly until you can feel your abs working to keep you in position. From there, twist from side to side in a controlled manner, gently touching the floor beside you on each rotation.

Top tips for a successful workout

  • Always warm up before a workout. This will help to prevent injury and also make your workouts more effective.v Try briskly marching in place for a couple of minutes, followed by a few minutes of star jumps.
  • Always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime, including this one.
  • Experiencing a little bit of discomfort as you challenge yourself and improve your fitness levels is totally normal, but pain can be a sign that you’ve pushed your body too far. Never push through pain; end your workout immediately if you experience any pain while exercising. If you are dealing with pain, a topical pain relief product from Voltarol may help you get back to living your life to the fullest.


Exercise. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/. Accessed 11/06/2020. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
ii Benefits of exercise. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-health-benefits/. Accessed 11/06/2020. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
iii Why we should sit less. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/. Accessed 11/06/2020. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
iv Types of exercise. NHS inform. https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/keeping-active/getting-started/types-of-exercise. Accessed 11/06/2020. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
How to warm up before exercising. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-warm-up-before-exercising/. Accessed 11/06/2020. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.

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