How to Get in Shape at Home Without Equipment

Get in Shape at Home

Home Training for Men and Women

Previously we looked at the best ways to do a cardio workout at home without any specific  cardio equipment but now we are going to talk about the options available for those of us who want to get in shape at home without any equipment whatsoever.

We will also discuss some of the ways you can use household items instead of weights to take your home training to the next level.  If you are looking to get toned, add some lean muscle mass and get in a calorie burning workout read on for some great tips.

If you can spare the space or expense of buying just one piece of equipment you will start to see results quicker and reach your goals a lot faster. If you can make the necessary sacrifices in terms of space and budget then we recommend one of these kettlebells, but if this isn’t an option for you right now don’t worry as you can still get a good home workout in without any specialised gear!

A Home Workout without Any Equipment

Whatever your goals are this routine should give you a good workout at home without any weight training equipment. It might not be the best for those wanting to increase their fitness levels but it should still leave you our of breath if you work through it at a high intensity! If you want to tone up and get in shape or even put on some good quality lean muscle mass then this is ideal for you.

It is perfect for those with no access to weight training gear or people who just want to try something different. If you are on the road or on holiday and away from home this is a great way to stay active when you have no access to a gym.

Give it a try and leave a comment below to let us know how many reps you managed!

We recommend you aim for 8-12 reps in order to give your muscles a good workout and get them growing in no time.

Commando Handstand Push Ups

The commando part doesn’t refer to any lack of underwear but to the military personal who supposedly pioneered this exercise.  This takes your regular press up or push up and turns it on its head quite literally making it harder to perform and therefore much more effective for building those shoulder and tricep muscles essential for a sculpted upper body. Lets go:

  1. With your back against the wall crouch down and put your hands on the floor.
  2. Walk backwards up the wall so that you are in effect doing a handstand against the wall.
  3. Bend your arms at the elbow and lower yourself down towards the ground. Bring your chin as close to the ground as possible.
  4. Push up and straighten your arms to the starting position to complete the rep.
If you have great balancing abilities and are able to do free standing handstands then you can try this exercise facing the other way with the back of your legs resting against the wall. This version will also give your core muscles a good workout too as you will use them for stability. 

Incline Press Ups

Incline Wall Press Up

Use the Wall for Incline Training

This is another twist on the classic press up and this time we will be working your chest and tricep muscles.

  1. Stand facing a wall and place your palms on the wall with your fingers pointing up.
  2. Keeping your hands on the wall, take a few big steps back so your body is running diagonal from the floor to the wall.
  3. Bend your arms at the elbow and lower yourself towards the wall keeping your back straight and unbent as you move towards the wall.
  4. Once you are as close to the wall as you can get push off from the wall using your arms and chest muscles.
This exercise works the same muscles as you would doing an incline bench press or incline dumbbell press but without the need for any weights or fitness gear.

Water Bottle Curls

If you want to have a muscle building workout at home without and weight training equipment you will have to start improvising at some point with any household objects you can get your hands on. One simple and cheap way to turn some everyday objects into free weights is to recycle drinking water bottles such as the 1.5 and 2 litre bottles that are sold almost everywhere.

Conveniently 1 litre of water weighs 1 kilogram so if you round up some empties, fill them with water you have a set of weights you can do lots of exercises with at home.  If you can get your hands on one of the five litre bottles that come with their own handle you pretty much have a 5 kg dumbbell for free!

To do curls with one of these large bottles to develop your biceps couldn’t be easier, just follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent so your legs aren’t locked out.
  2. Depending on the heaviness of the weight and how strong you are feeling you can either hold the bottle in one hand or hold it with both hands.
  3. Keep your elbows locked in tight to the side of your body so your upper arms do not move and remains vertical.
  4. Raise your lower arms from the elbow up as high as they will go. Hold the weight at the top of the lift for a second.
  5. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position to complete the rep.
  6. If you are just using one arm swap arms and complete the rep again with the other arm.
  7. Keep swapping arms until you have done the desired amount of reps (which is usually 8-12).

If you don’t have a large enough bottle you can always get a few smaller ones and put them in a bag and use that as the weight.  Remember that 1 litre = 1 kg.

Water Bottle Squats

Water Bottle Squats

Do Squats in the Office

You can use your new water bottle dumbbells to do lots of other exercises just as you would with a regular set of bells. Use them for squats for a great lower body exercise that will get your legs in great shape in no time without any expensive equipment.

  1. Stand with your legs about shoulder width apart and with your toes pointing forwards.
  2. Hold the same amount of weight in each hand whether it be a water bottle or a bag containing a few bottles.
  3. Bend your legs at the knee as if you are about to sit down on an imaginary chair.
  4. Keep your back straight and your head facing forward to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on your back or neck.
  5. When your upper legs or thighs are in parallel with the floor rise up slowly to the starting position pushing through your hips and from your toes.
  6. Remember to keep your back straight at all times and do not move your knees forward beyond your toes.

If you want to make these water bottle squats tougher and even more effective you can squat down even lower and go “ass to grass” as they call it but perhaps work your way up to that first!

Working Out with Household Objects instead of Free Weights

Make a home made sandbag

Fill a Bag with Sand

Using large water bottles is just one way to get a good muscle building workout in at home without buying any weights but it is just one idea and there are many more things you can use. Some other ideas include:

  • Use books or rolled up magazines which you can put in a bag.
  • Fill a bucket with sand or stones and hold the handle for curls, squats and kettlebell swings.
  • Get a heavy duty bag like these weight training sandbags and fill it with anything heavy you have lying around.
  • If you’ve got an old football or basketball sitting around doing nothing cut it in half, fill it with sand and reseal with tape or strong adhesive and you have a home made medicine ball.
  • If you have access to any tools a sledge hammer, or even a regular hammer can be used to great effect.
  • Similarly any metal chains can be used as free weights as well as heavy rope.
  • Tins of paint are also excellent for doing curls and shoulder presses with.
  • Piping can be filled with sand or earth and the ends sealed to make a long tube that can be used in the same way as a barbell for curls and pressing exercieses.

I could go on but I think you get the idea now. Just have a look around your house and garden and I’m sure you will find something you can use to perform exercises with. If you want to find out how much you are lifting use one of these luggage scales with a hook to get a good idea of how your are progressing with your training.

If you want to spend a bit of cash on your home training setup check out this guide to working out at home on a budget.



Joe loves blogging about fitness, especially the best ways to get in an effective workout at home. Find out more at Google+

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