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The best exercises you can do at home with little to no equipment

These cardio and strength training moves are easy to do on your own.

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By Stephanie Mansour

As a personal trainer and weight loss coach for women, at-home workouts are my favorites for a number of reasons. There’s a low barrier to entry, little to no equipment is needed and you can use the time you would have spent getting to and from the gym.

You don’t have to drive anywhere or deal with mass transit. You don’t have to go outside in rainy or snowy or hot weather. You don’t have to pack a gym bag. You don’t work out in front of people. All you have to do is put on workout clothes and shoes!

Similarly, you don’t need a variety of equipment to make your workout more interesting or less boring. An at-home workout can be done without any equipment or with the basics, like dumbbells and a yoga mat. And, if you’re short on time, you can still break a sweat because instead of traveling home from the gym, you can shower right after your workout!

So, I encourage my clients to push themselves harder when they’re doing an at-home workout. Wondering what exercises to do? You’re in luck! I’ve rounded up my favorite at-home workouts to build muscle and burn calories without leaving your cozy home.

Intense Cardio Bursts

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Walking in place or running in place is a simple cardio workout to do while you’re watching TV or listening to music. Pump your arms to burn extra calories, and breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. In any form of cardio, adding in arm movements will help to get your heart rate up, improve cardiovascular health, and even improve circulation and range of motion in your upper body!

If walking or running in place sounds too boring to you, try kickboxing! Punch with your right fist as you step or jump your right foot in front, then come back to center, Repeat with this right side for a minute and then kick and punch with the left side for a minute. Do this for 4 minutes total, and then for the next minute alternate with a kick and punch with the right and then kick and punch with the left! Do this for the last minute.

Strength Training, No Equipment

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You can work your upper and lower body with just body weight exercises at home on a yoga mat. I recommend using a mat for padding, but if you only have carpet or just a towel, that is fine, too! Alternate exercises with the upper body and then the lower body to get the most benefit from this workout. Strength training builds muscle, helps burn fat, and creates a stronger physique. A simple strength training routine that I recommend doing every other day is this:

  • 10 Wide Leg Squats
  • 10 Wide Arm Push-Ups
  • 10 Reverse Lunges
  • 10 Tricep Dips
  • 10 Toe Touches

Repeat this for a total of 3 rounds for a full-body toning workout!

Dumbbell Routine

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If you do have dumbbells in your house, you can do a total upper body toning routine to sculpt your arms. I recommend using 3 to 7 lb weights and holding one in each hand. You can perform the following routine every other day to create more definition in your arms and shoulders:

  • 10 Bicep Curls
  • 10 Bent-Over Rows
  • 10 Tricep Extensions
  • 10 Side Extensions
  • 10 Overhead Presses

Repeat this for a total of 3 rounds. If this becomes too easy, you can increase the weight of your dumbbells!

Online Workout Videos

There are tons of workout videos online. Simply search for the type of workout you’re looking for and you can find an instructor and workout that fits your mood. In fact, you could do a new workout everyday. This is a fun way to feel like you’re in a class at the gym, but without having to actually go to the gym.

Stephanie Mansour is a health & fitness expert and weight-loss coach for women. Join her complimentary health and weight-loss challenge here!

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