At home workouts for women can be a great option, no matter what your level of fitness. While gyms are great if you need specific equipment, many workouts and exercises can be modified to be done at home…
…and this is true for all aspects of fitness!
Resistance training, cardio, balance, and flexibility exercises are all things that can be done in the comfort of your own home. All you need is the right plan!
There are numerous fitness programs out there that provide at home workouts.
These range from bodyweight, HIIT, yoga, pilates, and strength workouts.
Some programs require no equipment. Others, especially the strength workouts, will at least require some dumbbells or resistance bands.
Staying Fit Without Leaving Home
Let’s face it… after a long day at work or taking care of your family, driving to the gym and dealing with crowds is the last thing you want to do. But that doesn’t mean that you have to miss a scheduled workout day.
I’m sure you have seen numerous commercials and infomercials with the latest and greatest home workouts. The truth is, the only good home workout is the one that you are motivated to do.
This means it should be something that is going to help you achieve your individual goals. In addition, it needs to be something that you enjoy.
Improving Health Outcomes
We all know that working out is great to get us toned and in shape. And at home workouts for women can provide just as amazing results as full gym workouts.
But… it goes beyond just looking great.
A 2018 study found that bodyweight exercises improved performance, muscle mass, inflammatory markers, and metabolic health in women at risk of type 2 diabetes when compared to aerobic and resistance exercises (1).
This is just another incredible reason to include home workouts into your fitness routine.
Where To Start?
The Fit Mother Project is a great place to start if you are looking for some excellent at home workouts for women.
The jumpstart program and FM30X provide exercises that can be done at home with limited space and just some light dumbbells.
Plus, FM30X will provide you with smart eating and nutrition plans that will be crucial to achieving your fitness goals.
Equipment Free Home Workouts
Let’s start with some at home workouts for women that require no equipment. These are great for beginners ready to start on the road to fitness.
These workouts are a great introduction to an exercise program and will allow you to gauge your current level of fitness.
Prior to each workout, always remember to do at least a 5-10 minute warm-up.
This could be a light jog in place, jump rope (you can just mime a rope if you don’t have one), or jumping jacks.
Anything to get your heart rate elevated and your muscles warmed up.
At Home Workout #1-Bodyweight Strength
Try to perform 10-12 reps of each move for 3 sets.
If you can’t quite get to 10 reps, that’s okay! Record how many you performed, and work to improve this every time.
Body Weight Squats:
- Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure you drive through your heels and don’t allow your knees to track over your toes. You can clasp your hands in front of you or hold them out parallel to the ground. Engage your core throughout this movement.
- Start on your hands and knees, with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Extend the legs straight, resting on your toes. Make sure your hands are directly under the shoulders. Contract your abs and keep your body in a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest is near the floor. Make sure that your hips do not sag. Push into the floor to push yourself back to the top. If you need to start on your knees at first, that’s fine! Gradually you will gain strength and progress to a full push-up. If you find your hips sagging or are unable to maintain form, drop to your knees!
- Step your right foot forward and keep your left foot back behind you. Bend your right knee to lower the body towards the floor. Keep your right knee behind your toes and be sure to lower straight down rather than forward. Engage your abs as you push through the front heel and back to starting position. Then alternate with the left leg. That is one rep.
Tricep Dips on Floor:
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet in front of you. Place your palms on the floor behind you. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders, with your fingers facing toward your body. Extend your arms to lift your butt, then bend your elbows to lower yourself back down without bringing your butt completely to the ground. That's 1 rep.
Home Workout #2-HIIT Home Workout For Women
This is another of our equipment-free, at home workouts for women.
Instead of focusing on reps and sets, you will perform each move for 30 seconds, then take 30 seconds rest.
During the 30 second interval, you will try to perform as many reps as you can. After you finish the five exercises, rest for one minute. Then repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 circuits and 15 minutes of intervals.
Burpees with Push-Up:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Kick your legs straight out behind you into a high plank with your hands underneath your shoulders. Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor, then straighten them to do a push-up. At the top of the push up jump your feet toward your hands into a squat. Jump straight up into the air, reaching your arms overhead. Repeat.
Squats with Front Kick:
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Clasp your hands in front of you. Squat down with your weight on your heels. Push up from your heels and shift your weight onto your left leg while you perform a front kick with your right leg. To kick, lift your right left knee up first then extend the knee to kick out. Then bend your knee and return your foot to the floor and squat down again. Repeat the squat and then kick with the left leg. Keep alternating sides during the 30-second interval.
- Start in a high plank, or push up position, with your wrists directly below your shoulders. While engaging your core, jump your feet out and in, like jumping jacks. Try to keep your back straight and hips in line without too much bouncing.
Side to Side Ski Jumps:
- Stand with your feet positioned close together. Squat slightly, about a quarter squat, as though you were skiing. Push up through your heels and jump up and to the right. Land softly while sinking back into the ski squat position. Repeat the movement, this time jumping towards the left. Without pausing, continue to jump right and left.
Plank Ski Hops:
- Start in a high plank position with your wrists below your shoulders. Keep your feet together and jump them up and to the outside of your right hand. Then, extend your legs and jump back to the original plank position. Next, jump the feet up and to the outside of your left hand and back to plank again. Continue alternating sides for the entire 30 seconds as quickly as you can.
Resistance Band Workouts
Bodyweight exercises are great as they require no equipment and can be done pretty much anywhere. You can also get a toned physique by adding some resistance band workouts to your home routine.
Resistance bands are light and easy to store, making them an excellent addition to at home workouts for women.
Studies comparing resistance band vs. dumbbell and bench press workouts have found muscle activation and strength gains to be very similar as long as the exercises are performed at the same intensity and volume (2,3).
This means that even though you may not have a fully equipped home gym, you can still build strong and toned muscles with the right moves.
There are two basic varieties of resistance bands. Basic resistance bands are just long pieces of rubber without handles that are colour-coded based on the resistance level.
There are also tube resistance bands. These are also colour-coded but are equipped with foam or plastic handles on each end.
The tube resistance bands are nice to have for exercises that require a good grip, such as bicep curls or shoulder presses. The basic bands may be easier to hold for chest flyes or overhead pulls. But really either can be used.
There are also looped resistance bands. These are perfect for leg exercises as they can be wrapped around the calves or thighs.
Home Workout #3-Total Body Strength Workout with Resistance Bands
For each move, aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
Front Pull Aparts:
- Grab a light band and start with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms up straight out in front of you at chest level and pull the band apart. Bring your shoulder blades together to really engage the back muscles. Also, try to keep your arms straight the entire time. If you find that you have to bend your arms, try choosing a lighter band.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a tube resistance band under your feet so that you can grab the handles at both ends. Grab the handles with an underhand grip, then curl the band to about chin height with your arms bent into a curl and elbows pointing to the floor. Bring the band back down to the starting position slowly and controlled.
Lateral Band Walk:
- Place a looped resistance band around your ankles and squat down with your thighs parallel to the ground and feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Step out to the left against the band, remaining in the squat position with your hands clasped in front of you. Then step to the right against the band. Alternate sides for 8-10 reps each.
Band Tricep Kickbacks:
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart with a tube resistance band under your feet. Hold a handle in each hand, palms facing in. Hinge forward at the waist and bend your arms to 90 degrees while keeping your core engaged. Extend your arms straight back behind you while keeping your elbows close to your side. Then slowly return to the starting position.
Push Up with Resistance Band:
- Start in a standard push up position, on your toes, with your hands under your shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Place the resistance band behind you so it’s lying across your mid-back. Then, hold the band with your hands so that each thumb is inside each end of the loop. Do a push-up against the band to full extension, keeping your butt back in a straight line. Then, slowly bring your body back down to the ground.
Squat to Shoulder Press:
- Stand on top of the resistance band with feet hip-width apart. Hold the handles with an overhand grip with your arms at shoulder-level. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor while keeping your hands by your shoulders. Next, stand back up while pressing the handles overhead until your arms are fully extended. Then bring your arms back to shoulder-height.
Home Workouts Allow You to Exercise Anywhere
These are just a few workouts that can be done just about anywhere.
Whether you are at home or travelling, these are great ways to maintain fitness and build strength.
This way, there is never an excuse to miss a scheduled workout.
You may have noticed that I did not include any at home workouts for women, with dumbbells.
If you are interested in some excellent home workouts with dumbbells, look no further than FM30X from the Fit Mother Project.
This program will not only provide you with sculpting, strength building dumbbell workouts but will also provide you with a great nutrition plan and ongoing community support.
With the above workouts, there is never a reason to delay your fitness goals. Get started today on a healthier, fitter, stronger you!
Your new friend and coach,
Writer, The Fit Mother Project
Holly Smith is a board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine and nephrology with a bachelor's degree in dietetics.
A strong interest and passion for health and wellness, Holly is also a NASM certified personal trainer with a performance enhancement specialization.
Holly enjoys long-distance running, competing in Ironman triathlons.
- Martins FM, de Paula Souza A, Nunes PRP, Michelin MA, Murta EFC, Resende E, et al. High-intensity bodyweight training is comparable to combined training in changes in muscle mass, physical performance, inflammatory markers and metabolic health in postmenopausal women at high risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Exp Gerontol. 2018;107:108–15.
- Calatayud J, Borreani S, Colado JC, Martin F, Tella V, Andersen LL. Bench press and push-up at comparable levels of muscle activity results in similar strength gains. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):246-53. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000589.
- Lars L. Andersen, Christoffer H. Andersen, Ole S. Mortensen, Otto M. Poulsen, Inger Birthe T. Bjørnlund, Mette K. Zebis, Muscle Activation and Perceived Loading During Rehabilitation Exercises: Comparison of Dumbbells and Elastic Resistance, Physical Therapy, Volume 90, Issue 4, 1 April 2010, Pages 538–549, https://doi.org/10.2522/ptj.20090167