How to Exercise at Home with No Equipment

Exercising at home and with little or no equipment is fast becoming a preferred or more suitable form of exercise for many people. So, how do you effectively exercise at home with little or no equipment? Accredited Exercise Physiologists, Kara and Amanda, from Active Ability tell us below…


Joining a gym, fitness class or sports team doesn’t suit everyone, but there is a place where most people can get a safe, effective workout: at home.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting a fitness journey, home workouts have numerous benefits and offer plenty of ways to reach your goals without the need for expensive equipment. The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that we can exercise at home or in our backyard and this led to an explosion of online content and resources to assist people with this.


One of the biggest advantages of exercising at home is convenience. You can spend the time you save commuting to a gym on your workout or put it towards other household tasks (like cooking or cleaning). Working out at home gives you flexibility to schedule your fitness routine around other commitments, such as between work meetings or taking care of family members.

Affordability is another advantage, especially as living costs continue rising. While gym memberships and class fees can add up, working out at home requires a minimal investment, if any. This makes fitness more sustainable for many individuals.

Furthermore, for anyone who would prefer not to exercise in front of others, at home you’re free to experiment with new and different movements and techniques in your own space and without the pressure of other people around you. Exercising at home might also suit people who live a long way from fitness/sporting facilities, or where access to a gym is difficult.

People with disability, for example, may not be able to access some mainstream exercise opportunities. For most people, home is a safe space, which can make it a suitable place to exercise at any time, such as during wet weather, or after dark when you might not want to go out for a jog or walk.


A bit of planning can help you build a successful home workout routine. Start by thinking about what you want to achieve and how you’ll go about it. For example, you might want to train for 15 minutes while your baby naps each afternoon or do a 20-minute session three mornings per week before getting ready for work.

Next, choose a space to exercise within your home, ensuring it’s free from clutter. This could be a spare bedroom, a corner of your living room, the backyard, or in front of your TV/device if you’re going to use an online workout program.

The only essentials you’ll need are comfortable clothes and footwear, water, and a towel. Other inexpensive bits of equipment that might be helpful include:

  • an exercise/yoga mat
  • hand weights or dumbbells (tins of food or bottles filled with water work, too).


A well-rounded routine includes three types of activities:

1. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercises

These activities help keep you healthy by pumping blood around your body and giving your heart and lungs a workout.

An aerobic activity is anything that makes your heart beat faster, such as:

  • marching/jogging on the spot
  • stepping up and down (ensure the step is stable and you have something to hold on to if you have any balance issues)
  • brisk walking (e.g. up/down a hallway or around your living room)
  • boxing
  • riding an exercise bike (you can often get these cheaply second-hand)
  • star jumps
  • skipping

2. Strength training

These exercises help keep your muscles strong, which is important for everyday function, strong bones and healthy ageing.

Examples include:

  • squats
  • lunges
  • calf raises
  • push-ups
  • triceps dips
  • crunches
  • planks

You can add extra resistance as you get stronger by holding dumbbells or going from wall push-ups to push-ups on your knees. To ensure you’re exercising right, progressing correctly for your body and avoiding injury, make sure to consult an exercise physiologist or exercise scientist.

3. Flexibility exercises

To help keep you mobile and reduce your risk of injury, include some gentle activities such as:

  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi

Depending on your goals, you might also want to include other activities, such as balance or coordination training.


Here are some tips to help you exercise safely and get maximum benefit from your home workout routine:

  • See your doctor to discuss if exercising at home is suitable for you, and whether you would benefit from the advice of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
  • Warm up for a few minutes at the start of your workout and cool down at the end.
  • Start slowly and build up gradually by doing a few more minutes of cardio or adding weights to your strength exercises.
  • As little as 10 minutes is enough to elicit some health benefits, so you may wish to start with just 10 minutes per day.
  • Aim to build up to at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Consistency is key to success. Set realistic goals and try to establish a regular schedule you can maintain over the long term.
  • Find what works for you: experiment with different exercises, workout formats, and fitness apps or online videos for guidance and inspiration.
  • Consider getting a workout buddy or joining a virtual fitness community for accountability and encouragement.
  • Consider how you will keep yourself motivated and engaged.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.


If you have a disability, health problem, or any concerns about exercising, it’s important to get qualified advice before starting a home workout routine.

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEPs) are allied health professionals trained to design exercise programs for people with disabilities and health conditions.

An AEP can tailor a program to meet your needs and goals, including exercises to address concerns such as balance or mobility problems. They will make sure you’re doing your exercises safely and effectively, in a way that’s enjoyable and fits into your everyday life.

Find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist near you today.


Written by Amanda Semaan and Kara Foscholo. 

Amanda and Kara are Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Co-Directors of Active Ability, whose mission is to support people with disability to achieve optimal independence, health and quality of life.