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5 ways to exercise from home for free

We may be limited in where we can exercise at the moment, but staying active remains as important as ever for good health. Luckily, you don’t need to visit a gym or studio to maintain a good fitness regime. In fact, there are lots of cheap or free ways to exercise without needing to leave the house. All you need is some imagination and creativity, an internet connection, and a few inexpensive pieces of equipment.

Here are some of our favourite low-cost ways to exercise at home:

Bodyweight resistance training

Traditionally when we think of “resistance training”, we think of lifting weights in the gym. Lifting weights is a great way to build muscle, protect our bones and joints and elevate your heart rate — but you don’t necessarily need actual weights to achieve this. In fact, using your own body weight for resistance training is an excellent way to maintain or even build muscle, particularly when you can’t access a gym.

If you usually attend group fitness classes or see a personal trainer, coming up with exercises for a workout by yourself can seem daunting. Luckily, lots of personal trainers and fitness devotees are sharing free workouts to help their communities stay active while self-isolating. Try a home-based workout from Exercise Physiologist Kirra Rankin, or check out one of the many equipment-free home workouts available you YouTube. There are workouts designed for everyone, including beginners, pregnant women, and older people. There are even workouts that use pantry staples instead of weights!

There are also a number of smartphone apps that offer free bodyweight workouts with minimal or no equipment. Nike Training Club has programs available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.


Pilates is an excellent way to build a strong core and protect your body from injury. Whether you’re someone who has been exercising for years or simply want to go about your day pain-free, Pilates can help to strengthen and control your muscles, maintain good posture, and improve flexibility.

When you think of Pilates, you may think of the sliding machines called reformers. While these are often used in Pilates studios, you can also get an excellent Pilates workout from home using only a yoga mat.

Some instructors who have shared their classes for free on YouTube include Lottie Murphy, Robin Long, Cassey Ho, and Kimmy Kellum.

Boxing and skipping

Boxing and skipping are often paired together to form a total body workout that offers cardiovascular conditioning as well as resistance. In short, it’s an excellent way to tone your muscles, get your heart racing and release some stress and tension.

While most boxing workouts in a gym or studio will use a punching or kickboxing bag, you can still effectively do a boxing workout without leaving the house. “Shadowboxing” is a term that describes boxing into the air, and can be done with no equipment.

There are lots of free boxing workouts available on YouTube. Try 30-minute at-home boxing, 25-minute no-equipment cardio-boxing, or a shadowboxing workout using light weights.

If you have a skipping rope at home, you can learn how to jump rope like a boxer, or try a skipping workout.

Cardio and HIIT

You don’t need fancy equipment like a treadmill, cross-trainer or rower at home to be able to get a good cardio workout. Cardio isn’t just good for heart health and overall fitness, but like all exercise, it’s a great way to get a natural boost of endorphins and improve your mood — especially when accompanied with good music!

Try a 30-minute no-equipment cardio workout that will get your heart racing, a cardio session that also targets your core, or for something a little more fun and lighthearted, a 30-minute cardio Latin dance class.

“HIIT” stands for high-intensity interval training, which just means that you exercise at a more intense level for short periods of time, followed by a period of active recovery.

Master these six at-home HIIT movements to form the basis of your own at-home workouts, or grab someone else in the house and do a fun partner HIIT workout together.


Yoga is one of the most popular home workout categories. One of the reasons why so many people enjoy yoga at home is because of its versatility. There are many different styles of yoga for all levels of fitness and abilities.

One way to get into the habit of an at-home yoga practice is to try a 30-day challenge. This has the benefit of introducing you to yoga slowly and building up the difficulty over time. It also allows you to get a bit of momentum going with your fitness so that once the challenge is over, you have the confidence to continue on your own. Yoga with Adriene’s YouTube channel is an excellent resource for free yoga classes, and she has a number of 30-day challenges for you to choose from as well as guided meditations and both short and long yoga practices.

Other YouTube channels with free yoga classes are lululemon, Alo Yoga (who also have kids classes), and Well Good.

You may also be interested in the following:

At home exercises to get you moving
5 healthy tips for working from home


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