Not every workout can be dedicated to one muscle group; sometimes you want to hit your full body. Especially while we’re all stuck at home, it’s important to hit all the key muscle groups when getting your daily workout in. For some of these exercises, you may need a set of dumbbells, but you could also sub in some heavy water bottles or other objects you have lying around. If that’s not doable, there are certainly some options that don’t require any equipment. Feel free to check out my previous guides on chest workouts, core exercises and leg exercises, all of which can be done without equipment.
As always, here are my baseline rules you should consider before diving into your home workout. Take these four pieces of advice to heart in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your regimen.
1. Form matters more than anything else. If you’re not performing the exercise well, there’s an increased risk of injury. For example, while doing bodyweight exercises like dips, push-ups, and pike push-ups, controlling the movement is very important. It’s not a priority to go as fast as possible. Remember, quality over quantity.
2. It’s ok to be a beginner. We all have to start somewhere. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t make it to 30 seconds on certain exercises, 20 is just fine. Now you have something to work towards.
3. Exercising is a never-ending process. There is no end, which means you will have a lifetime of accomplishments ahead of you.
4. Consistency is key. As long as you keep consistent, you will see progress. Not feeling sore does NOT mean you didn’t have a good workout. Don’t let it fool you.
Every exercise in this article should be done for roughly 3 sets, 10 reps each.
Burpees are one of the most ubiquitous full body workouts around, with good reason. To perform this exercise, start standing upright. Then, enter a squat position with your hands planted on the ground. Kick your feet back into a plank position, and then quickly return to the squat position. Stand up from the squat position—and incorporate a jump to make it a more strenuous exercise from a cardiovascular perspective.
The squat press combines the traditional squat with an overhead press, allowing you to simultaneously engage your quads and your shoulders. Hold a pair of dumbbells (or bottles of water) on your shoulders and then perform a traditional squat. Make sure to not let your knees lean in front of your toes, keeping your weight on the heels of your feet. On the way up, explode the weights above your head as you would in a shoulder overhead press.
Mountain climbers are great for your core, shoulders and pretty much every muscle group you could think of. Get into a push-up position and then alternate pulling your knees up to your chest. Make sure you keep your hips down and your core activated throughout. You want to be pulling your legs up with your core, not just leg strength. Repeat the exercise in rhythm for a minute. Once you get better at the exercise, you can add tempo to make it harder.
To perform a renegade row, get yourself into push-up position with your hands gripping dumbbells. Then, from the push-up position, alternate rowing the weights up towards your hips. Pull with your elbows and hold each repetition briefly at its peak.
This exercise is a combination of a traditional bicep curl and an overhead press. Curl the weight with your hands supinated. When you reach the top of the rep, press the weights above your head while twisting your hands pronated. Reverse the process, making sure to remain slow and controlled throughout the motion.
The description is in the name! These are similar to traditional bodyweight squats, but at the top of your squat you should maintain some explosive energy to jump up into the air. These hit all the same muscles as the traditional squat, but the dynamic addition can improve range of motion and overall athleticism.
Bicycle crunches are a great variation of the traditional crunch, but the traditional crunch can be really strenuous on your back and neck. If your neck has ever hurt from crunches, then consider the bicycle crunch instead. For this, lie face up with your legs extended and your hands curled behind your head. Then, pull one of your knees up to your chest with the other leg extended (and held off the ground). Lift your upper body slightly off the ground, leaning towards the knee. Alternate and repeat.
This is another great exercise for your lower abs and for stretching your hip flexors. It’s also pretty simple, so this is a great one to incorporate into your routine if you’re just beginning to work your core. To complete, lie on your back with your legs extended and hands at your side (or you can put your hands underneath your lower back). Slowly lift your legs up towards the ceiling, maintaining a straight leg throughout with your thighs tight together. Go until you can’t go any higher (without bending your legs) and then slowly return. How high you can go will be determined by your hip flexibility, so the more you do this exercise, the easier it will become. Try to keep the tension in the abs by making sure to never touch the ground with your feet!
This is a variation on the traditional push-up. Begin as if you were going to do a regular push-up, but as you lower yourself, bring one of your knees up close to your elbow. Then reverse the motion on the way back up. Alternate legs throughout the set. This will also help target the obliques, so it’s a good push-up to add to your core regimen.
This is an advanced exercise, so make sure you’re comfortable with your squats and overhead presses before attempting. Begin by pressing your dumbbells up above your head to get into your starting position. Keeping the weights above your head with straight arms, go into a squat and try to hit full depth—your upper legs parallel to the floor. Then explode back up and repeat.