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5 Full-Body Exercises for a Beginner Workout at Home

No gym? No problem.

Having no access to a gym or the luxury of home workout equipment doesn’t mean you can’t get an effective, full-body workout in. Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or simply looking for a routine to do at home, this easy plan provides a step-by-step guide on five common bodyweight exercises with a fully condensed workout plan at the end.

What are bodyweight exercises?

Bodyweight exercises is a form of strength training that uses the natural weight of the body against gravity to provide resistance. This form of exercise can be carried out anywhere and Is perfect if you don’t have access to gym equipment. There are numerous benefits to doing regular bodyweight training as it helps to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and can improve stability and balance.

You don’t need anything to be able to do the bodyweight exercises in this plan, other than your own motivation and a bottle of water for hydration. Each exercise targets a specific area of the body, however bodyweight exercises often use multiple different muscles at once, helping to tone your whole body in a functional way. This workout is designed to target the full body and is suitable for any level of fitness, including beginners.

So stick on your favourite playlist and get ready to get a sweat on!

 5 Full-Body Exercises for a Beginner Workout at Home

It is always good to begin a workout with a warm up to get the blood flowing and the muscles activated. Start off with 20 star-jumps and a jog on the spot for 30 seconds. Once your heart rate is increased and you’re breathing slightly heavier than you were before, you’re ready to get stuck into the full body workout.

If you decide to add weights to the following bodyweight workout, always perform a 1-2 set warm up with a light weight before you begin your main exercise to ensure the target muscles are working in coordination. This will help to prevent any muscle strain or injuries in the long run.

Myvegan Full Body Home Workout Plan

Exercise 1. Squats

squats

The target muscles of this exercise are primarily the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes (your legs and bum).

STEP 1: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart or a little wider if it helps your balance. Begin by contracting your abs and slowly lowering yourself towards the ground as if you are sitting on a chair.

Move with the hips first, rather than simply bending the knees. This means the hips will move backwards (pushing your bum out) and your upper body with naturally lean over. Stop when your knees reach a 90 degree angle (thighs parallel with the ground), and make sure your knees do not move too far beyond your ankles.

STEP 2: Hold the stance for 1-2 seconds and then squeeze the glutes and push yourself back up to standing again. Your body will straighten and hold the glute squeeze at the end of the movement briefly.

That’s it! Repeat this exercise and focus on your form. You can also do this while holding weights (such as kettlebells) to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

 

Exercise 2. Vertical Pulls

The target muscles of this exercise are the ‘Lats’ (latissimus dorsi) and the ‘Traps’ (trapezius) muscles which form the major back muscle groups.

STEP 1: Place your feet on both sides of a vertical that you can grip on to either side such as a door. Make sure the structure can hold you body weight! Once in your standing position, take a hold of either side of the structure and lean back until your arms are fully extended.

STEP 2: Pull your body back towards the door until you are in an upright position again. Ensure you keep your elbows close to your body as you pull. Engage your core so you don’t slouch – your body should remain straight.

If you have a resistance band or even a towel, you can loop this round a pillar, tree or door handle to allow for a greater range of movement. Take hold of either end of the resistance band or both ends together in the centre and pull your chest to meet the structure.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

 

Exercise 3. Push ups

press ups

Push ups are a great exercise for targeting the pectorals and the triceps (chest and arms).

STEP 1: Begin by assuming the plank position – place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under the shoulders with your legs stretched out behind you and toes on the floor. If you find this position to difficult then place your knees on the floor and lift your feet slightly off the ground.

STEP 2: Lower your body into the floor keeping your body straight (don’t leave your bum in the air!) and stop once your elbow reaches 90 degrees. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds and then push your body back up to the starting plank position.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

 

Exercise 4. Standing Calf Raises

As the name suggests, the target muscle of this exercise is the calf located at the back of your lower leg. Standing calf raises can be completed on one or both feet.

STEP 1: Place the balls of your feet on a raised surface (such as a step or a bench). From this position, with the back of your foot off the edge, drop your heel down to lower than your toes.

STEP 2: Move your heels from this lower position back up but instead of stopping where you started, lift your heels as high as possible (as though you are tiptoeing). You should pause for 1-2 seconds, and then slowly lower your heels to the starting position.

You can also complete this exercise while holding weights (such as kettlebells) to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

 

Exercise 5. Abdominal Crunches

Abdominal Crunches
The target muscles of this exercise are the abdominals (your 6-pack!).

STEP 1: A crunch begins by lying on your back (preferably on a hard surface) with your feet on the floor and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Your knees, bum and heels should create a triangle shape. Place your hands lightly on each opposite shoulder or the side of your head, keeping your elbows in.

STEP 2: From your starting position, squeeze your ab muscles and push the small of your back into the floor. Lift your shoulders off the floor and you will feel your abdominals working to hold your body in this slightly raise position.

STEP 3: Once your shoulders are approximately 6 inches from the floor you should hold this position for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.

Remember, a crunch is not the same as a sit-up. Unlike a sit-up where your upper body is completely lifted off the ground, a crunch exercise only lifts your shoulders and very top of your back off the ground. Think about curling your body into a ‘C’ shape.

You can also complete this exercise with a weight placed under your chin (ensure you can still breathe easily) or using a decline bench to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

 

Cool down stretches

Any workout isn’t complete without some cool down stretches. This part of a workout is often overlooked however is extremely important for reducing muscle tension and improves flexibility.

Hamstring stretches

hamstring stretches

Hip openers, side stretches, quad stretches

Hip and Leg Stretches

Summary

As you begin to exercise more, you’ll notice your body becoming stronger and your confidence in each exercise will increase. Aim to increase one or more of the following to continue your progression;

1) The weight being used in the exercise – start adding in weights if you can and steadily increase this over time as you progress.

2) The number of reps completed – for every set you do, try to increase the number of times you do each exercise before having a rest.

3) The number of sets completed – for every workout you do, aim to increase the number of times you do each set e.g. 3 x 15-20 reps, then 4 x 15-20 reps, then 5 x 15-20 reps. The length of workout will increase but your increased endurance will allow you to exercise for longer.

 

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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Arabella Ogilvie

Arabella Ogilvie

Writer and expert

Arabella has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from the University of Glasgow where she covered health topics ranging from the physiological effects of exercise and nutrition, to psychology and neuroscience.

She has a lifelong interest in sport and fitness, including running, swimming, hockey, and especially rowing. At university, Arabella was a keen rower and competed in the first boat at events such as the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta, The Scottish Boat Race, and British University Championships, and won Novice Rower of the year in her first year.

In her spare time, Arabella loves to train in the gym and practice yoga and meditation. She is passionate about the natural world and will take any opportunity to be outdoors.

Find out more about Arabella’s experience here.