Active at home – Bodyweight workouts

Active at home

Bodyweight circuits

Check out these lower and upper bodyweight circuits from Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy which can be done without use of any equipment.

This lower body circuit targets the back, glutes, and legs
This upper body circuit targets the arms, shoulder, chest, and upper back

Solutions for home workouts: how to get started

Pete McCall, C.S.C.S, author of Smarter Workouts, shares tips on at-home workouts and how to get started.


Balancing your workouts

Michelle Maloney, Human Kinetics Senior Acquisitions Editor, discusses:

  • How to balance your workouts to address all areas of fitness
  • What activities you can use to develop each facet of fitness and resources you can use
  • Examples of what a balanced 1-week workout schedule looks like

Examples of sample workouts:


5-10-5 and Reach Out circuits

You should be able to complete this three-exercise circuit (the name 5-10-15 stands for the number of reps of each exercise) in less than 15 minutes. But don’t let that short time frame fool you. This total body crusher puts the work in workout, hitting all the major muscle groups of the upper body as well as challenging your grip, glutes, and hamstrings. By the time it’s over you’ll feel as if you’ve just trained for hours on end.
Ever notice how a push-up looks a lot like a plank? Truth is, push-ups are a great way to train your abs, lats, and glutes. Want to make them an even better core exercise? Add a reach (as described here in the push-up with reach). By creating a longer lever, the reach will require your abdominals to stabilize to an even greater extent so you don’t end up falling on your face. Guaranteed, you’ll never look at push-ups as strictly a chest exercise ever again.

Mobility workout for feet, hips, spine, and shoulders


Experience the benefits of mobilizing the fascia network and improve functional mobility of the ankle/foot, hip, spine, and shoulders with this workout from Myofascial Training by Ester Albini.


Stretching routines

This routine emphasizes static-passive stretches that lengthen and relax sore and tired muscles following a tough practice or athletic contest. These stretches won’t necessarily improve sport performance, but they will increase your range of motion and help you achieve and maintain the flexibility required to be a good athlete while keeping your body tuned up and injury free.
This routine can be done easily and quickly at the office at your desk. All the stretches can be done from a standing or seated position. The routine is short but helps reduce back pain and energize your spine.

Chisel your chest workout 1


This 8-week program is made up of two monster workouts (see other workout here); one made it into an issue of Men’s Health. You can treat each 4-week phase as a separate protocol and even go for the elite version if you like. Just to be able to do either one of these protocols with little to no rest between each exercise is an accomplishment. This strategy of metabolic chest training even has some solid research behind it as well. Dr. Rhadi Ferguson presented his findings on a 3-week version of this protocol for his PhD dissertation (Ferguson, Rhadi. 2009. Use of the medicine ball super arms protocol on the National Football League’s 225-lb repetition-to-failure bench press test: Analysis of effects. A dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree doctor of philosophy. Capela University), showing a 5.2% increase in the 225 lb (102 kg) bench-press-to-failure in elite football players in 3 weeks, without lifting a weight! The tempo is very fast, approximately 1-2 repetitions per second, so the entire protocol is done in about 50-60 sec. Weeks 1 and 2 will be enough for most people, while weeks 3 and 4 should be attempted only by elite athletes or individuals who have years of training behind them.


Chisel your chest workout 2


This 8-week program is made up of two monster workouts (see other workout here); one made it into an issue of Men’s Health. You can treat each 4-week phase as a separate protocol and even go for the elite version if you like. Just to be able to do either one of these protocols with little to no rest between each exercise is an accomplishment. This strategy of metabolic chest training even has some solid research behind it as well. Dr. Rhadi Ferguson presented his findings on a 3-week version of this protocol for his PhD dissertation (Ferguson, Rhadi. 2009. Use of the medicine ball super arms protocol on the National Football League’s 225-lb repetition-to-failure bench press test: Analysis of effects. A dissertation presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree doctor of philosophy. Capela University), showing a 5.2% increase in the 225 lb (102 kg) bench-press-to-failure in elite football players in 3 weeks, without lifting a weight! The tempo is very fast, approximately 1-2 repetitions per second, so the entire protocol is done in about 50-60 sec. Weeks 1 and 2 will be enough for most people, while weeks 3 and 4 should be attempted only by elite athletes or individuals who have years of training behind them.


Plank and crunch abs


This workout is an excellent choice for use as a home or travel workout, especially if you don’t have too much time to train.

Since this workout uses plank positions, it may be challenging for people who suffer from wrist issues. If you are one of those people, use push-up handles to help you position your wrists in a more neutral pain-free position. Another option to make the training a little less intense on the wrists and core, but still get good abdominal work, is to use a box or a bar to elevate the push-up position.


Triple threat


The triple threat is a combination of three stability ball exercises in succession, consisting of the stability ball bridge, the stability ball leg curl, and the stability ball hip lift. This protocol keeps constant tension on the hamstrings by requiring the hips to come up and remain off the floor during the entire protocol.


Yoga Poses

Visit our Mind and Body Workout page for a series of Yoga Poses and many other resources!


Books featured