An incredible number of Americans struggle with chronic health issues every day. Most of these stem from unhealthy lifestyles that lead to things like, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. And it’s no wonder.
Did you know that over 71% of Americans are overweight or obese? Between sedentary lifestyles and an over-abundance of high-calorie foods available to us everywhere we turn, it’s hardly our fault.
The question is, what can you do about it? For some people, working out at a gym is far too intimidating, expensive, or inconvenient. Fortunately, however, you can get a full-body workout at home with or without equipment.
We’re here to show you how. Keep reading for a complete guide.
How to Get Results With a Full-Body Workout at Home
Before we get into your workout routine, we need to lay a foundation for success. Anyone can do a full-body workout from home or at the gym. However, to be successful and make consistent progress, there are a few things you need to know.
Define Your Goals
First, you need to establish your goals. What are you hoping to accomplish with your full-body workout routine? What is your ultimate goal?
This goal must be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive. For example:
- Specific – What is your exact goal weight?
- Measurable – How much weight do you need to lose?
- Achievable – Are your goals practical, realistic, and healthy?
- Relevant – Why do you want to lose weight and how will it affect your life?
- Time-sensitive – What deadline are you giving yourself to hit your goal?
Once you’ve defined your major or ultimate goal, break it down into smaller milestone goals. Each milestone goal should follow the same SMART outline. For instance, how much weight do you want to lose each month?
Hitting your milestone goals will foster renewed energy and motivation to continue down your fitness path.
Get Initial Instruction if You Need It
Though you’re looking to do a full-body workout at home, you may still require some training to get started. The last thing you want to do is end up hurting yourself because you don’t know what you’re doing.
For example, even bodyweight squats can give you knee pain if you aren’t using the proper form. If you’re new to working out (or it’s been a while) we recommend enlisting the help of a personal trainer, at least for a few weeks. You can do it completely remotely through your computer or smartphone.
If you don’t want to spend the money, follow instructional videos online at the very least. Make sure you know what the exercises are supposed to look like and how to do them correctly.
Don’t Neglect Your Nutrition
It’s often said that weight is lost in the kitchen, not the gym. Exercising is important. It helps you build strong muscles and bones and improve your heart and lung health.
However, you can’t expect to lose weight if your diet isn’t on point. We recommend looking into your options. Check out this guide for keto diet beginners.
Use Progressive Overload
Finally, to ensure you’re not just spinning your wheels during your workouts, you need to do two things – use progressive overload and write everything down.
Progressive overload is the science of making small and consistent improvements over a period of time for big long-term results. In the case of exercising, it means performing just a little bit better each week to make incredibly process over several months.
You need to write everything down so you can track your workouts. Otherwise, you won’t remember how many reps to do to outperform last week’s workout.
At Home Workout Without Equipment
First, we’re going to cover a full-body workout at home for people who don’t have any equipment. Just because you don’t have the money or space in your house for gym equipment, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get in a full workout. Check it out below.
Download a free Tabata timer on your phone or computer. A Tabata workout has timed intervals for exercise and for rest. It makes the workout flow smoothly and quickly while maximizing simplicity.
Your workout will be 20 seconds of activity with 20 seconds of rest for each exercise.
Here’s what it looks like:
- Jump squats
- Walking lunges (or stationary)
- Mountain climbers
- Wall sits
- Repeat for 3-5 rounds
Each week, make the workout a little harder for yourself. You can do this in several ways.
First, you can increase your exercise time for each movement. Alternatively, decrease the amount of rest between each exercise. Finally, consider completing an additional round.
For those of you who are new to the game, let’s break this full-body workout at home down by each exercise. Equipment-free workouts rely heavily on aerobic movements, which can be safer than lifting weights. However, you still need to know how to perform each movement correctly.
Jump squats are performed as regular bodyweight squats with one difference. Instead of standing up out of the lower part of the squat, explode out of your squat and let your feet leave the ground.
Pushups are started in the upright plank position. Your hands should be on the ground with your feet together behind you. Your body should be straight.
Don’t allow your elbows to flare out wide. Keep them at an angle slightly behind your shoulders.
Bicycles are done lying on your back with your hands touching the tips of your ears. Your shoulders should be off the floor. One at a time, bring each knee up to the opposite elbow while keeping your core engaged.
Lunges can be walking or stationary. Make sure the forward leg bends to a 90-degree angle and keep your knee directly above your ankle. Be careful not to slam your rear knee on the ground.
Mountain Climbers are completed from the pushup position. One at a time, bring each knee up to your chest. Switch legs simultaneously and try to get into a rhythmic motion.
V-Ups are done lying on your back with your legs straight and your arms above your head. In one motion, bring your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to meet in the middle.
Wall Sits are a simple but effective stationary exercise. Put your back straight against the wall and lower yourself down into a squatting position. Your ankles should be directly below your knees with your legs at a 90-degree angle.
Burpees begin in the standing position. Then, crouch to the floor and place your hands on the ground. Kick both legs back behind you, landing in the upright pushup position.
Lower your chest to the ground. Push back up and jump your legs back to a crouching position. Finish the burpee by exploding up out of the crouch and jumping up as high as you can.
Words of Wisdom
Remember, a full-body workout at home without equipment can be incredibly effective when paired with an effective diet. Just make sure you are following the progressive overload theory to make consistent progress. Each week should be slightly more challenging than the last.
At-Home Workout With Limited Equipment
Now, if you have the ability to invest some money in your full-body workout routine at home, you’ll have a few more options when it comes to exercises. This is especially helpful in building symmetrical upper body strength. Weights will help you get stronger, faster.
For this full-body workout at home routine, you’ll need light to medium-weight dumbbells (or resistance bands) and a bench.
This workout will incorporate supersets. A superset is when you move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest. For example, in a superset with squats and pushups, you would complete the squats, rest no longer than 5-10 seconds, then drop to the floor for your pushups.
Between supersets, you can rest 45-60 seconds. Here’s what the workout looks like:
- Dumbbell/resistance band (RB) squats
- Superset – oblique crunches
- Bent-over dummbell/RB rows
- Superset – dumbbell/RB curls
- Dumbbell/RB chest press
- Superset – max pushups
- Dumbbell/RB standing shoulder press
- Superset – dumbbell/RB lateral raises
- Bench dips
- Superset – v-ups
Each superset should be completed three times. Start with sets of 10 and pick a weight or level of resistance that’s challenging. If you’re using a weight that you can easily do 15 reps with, it’s too light.
The bodyweight exercises included (like pushups and crunches) are max effort. Do as many reps as you can.
As we did with the equipment-free workout, we’re going to break down every element of this workout to make sure you’re exercising safely and effectively. When using weights, it’s incredibly important to use proper body mechanics. This will limit injuries and maximize progress.
Superset #1 – Squats and Oblique Crunches
If you’re using dumbbells, curl the weights up and keep your palms facing inward so the head of each dumbbell is resting on your shoulders. Keep your elbows elevated to keep the dumbbells firmly in place.
With your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly drop your butt to the floor until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, keeping your spine neutral. Make sure your knees are directly above your heels. Then, stand straight up out of the squat.
If you’re using a resistance band, center the band under your body and use each foot to anchor down the band. Then, hold the handle of the band at shoulder level, with the band against the back of your shoulders.
Oblique crunches start on your back. Bring your knees up to the ceiling and keep your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold your hands at the tips of your ears and pull your upper body up, twisting to connect your elbow with the opposite knee.
Superset #2 – Bent-Over Rows and Curls
Bent-over rows can be completed with dumbbells or resistance bands. Start in the standing position with your weight or band in each hand. With legs shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and push your butt back towards the wall.
Your back should at a 45-degree angle while maintaining a neutral spine. Then, pull each arm back, guiding with your elbows. Imagine trying to pinch a pencil between your shoulder blades.
Perform curls standing up straight with a handle or weight in each hand. Your palms should be supinated (facing forward). At the same time, curl up so both hands are in front of your shoulders.
Superset #3 – Chest Press and Pushups
Chest press can be completed with dumbbells or resistance bands. Start with a weight or handle in each hand laying flat on the bench. Your hands should be at the level of your chest, NOT your shoulders.
Press the weights straight up and bring them together at the peak of the movement. Slowly lower your arms back into the starting position. Keep your elbows at an angle during the whole movement, they should never be parallel to your shoulders.
Superset chest press with a max set of pushups. During pushups, use the same elbow and shoulder mechanics as the chest press. Remember to keep your body rigid, don’t let your hips sag or point your butt up in the air.
Superset #4 – Shoulder Press and Lateral Raises
The shoulder press can be completed with dumbbells or resistance bands. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Each weight or handle should be held at shoulder level, with your elbows out to the side.
In one, smooth motion, raise both dumbbells or handles up to the ceiling. For an improved range of motion, bring the handles together at the top of the movement.
For lateral raises, stand up straight with your feet apart, but narrower than shoulder-width. You need a weight or handle in each hand.
At the same time, raise each arm until it’s parallel to the ground. Your arms need to be relatively straight, but not locked out at the elbow.
Superset #5 – Dips and V-Ups
Dips are a bodyweight exercise requiring only a bench or a chair. Sit on the bench with your hands planted firmly on the edge on each side of your body. Then, put your feet out in front of you and take your butt off the edge of the bench.
Slowly lower yourself down using your arms. To avoid shoulder injuries, don’t go too deep or past a comfortable level of mobility. The farther your feet are away from you, the more difficult this movement will be.
V-ups are performed while lying flat on your back. Your legs should be straight out in front of you and your arms will be above your head. In one movement, bring your feet and hands up toward the ceiling to meet in the middle.
Words of Wisdom
As noted previously, if you’re not sure how to perform any of these moves correctly, get a trainer or find helpful videos online. To continue to progress in this full-body workout at home, use progressive overload theory. When using weights or resistance band, this can include:
- Doing more reps
- Doing more sets
- Adding weight/resistance to each exercise
- Or some combination of the three
The goal is to constantly out-perform yourself in one way or another each week.
Looking for More Health and Fitness Tips?
If this is your year to finally reach your health and fitness goals, starting a full-body workout at home routine is a great place to start. We would love to be part of your experience.
Our blog is full of informative articles designed for people like you who are just starting their fitness journey. Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other articles for more diet and exercise advice.