Your ultimate at home workout

Can’t bear to drag yourself out into the cold to exercise? You don’t have to! Boost your fitness and tone your muscles in the cosy haven of home with our room-by-room exercise guide.
Published 4 November 2015

Workout exercises to do at home


In the living room

A larger room is great for full-body exercises. “Do these moves in short bursts, so the intensity can be maintained,” says accredited exercise physiologist Dr Kate Pumpa.

  • Jump squats- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your hands by your ears and your elbows extended out to your sides. Bend your knees and sink into a squat, then jump back up, pointing your toes. Land as gently as possible. Try to do as many as you can in one minute.
  • Burpees with push-up- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and put your hands flat on the floor by your feet. Jump your feet back to a plank and do a push-up. Jump feet back between your hands and stand up. Repeat for one minute.


In the kitchen

Avoid knocking over plates and glasses by focusing on isometric exercises – where you keep your body in a fixed position – when you’re in the kitchen.

  • Squats- Face your kitchen bench, holding it lightly, and place your feet about 50cm apart, toes turned out. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor, with your knees over your toes, and hold for 30-60 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat three to five times.
  • Lateral raises- Stand up straight with your arms down by your side, holding a can of beans in each hand. Raise your arms out to the side until they’re in line with your shoulders and hold for 30-60 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat two or three times.


In the bathroom

Do a few fitness moves during your daily routines like brushing your teeth. “Try to build your balance too by standing on one leg while you brush,” says Dr Pumpa.

  • Calf raises- Stand with your heels together and toes straight ahead. Lightly hold onto the sink with one hand. Slowly lift up onto the balls of your feet and pull your belly button in and up as you exhale. Hold for 3 seconds, then lower your heels. Repeat for two to three minutes.
  • Tricep dips- Sit on the edge of your bath, holding onto the rim, feet out in front of you, knees bent. Push into your hands, lift your bottom off the bath, push hips forward then lower bottom down until arms form a right angle. Push back up, but don’t sit down. Repeat 12-15 times.


In the bedroom

“Quiet spaces are great for doing yoga,” says yoga teacher Martine Allars. Here are her top wake-up and wind-down poses to prepare for the day and get ready for sleep.

  • Up-the-wall morning stretch- Sit with your left side next to a wall, with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lower your right shoulder to the floor, straighten your legs and rotate your hips to face the wall so the backs of your legs stretch up it. Move your bottom as close to the wall as you can and lie back with arms outstretched to the side and your eyes closed for two to three minutes.
  • Evening twist and bend- Sit on your bed just below your pillows, facing away from the bedhead, either with legs crossed or straight in front of you. Twist around to the right, reaching for the bedhead with your right hand. Hold for five breaths then twist the other way. Next, bend forward over your legs and stretch your arms in front of you. Hold and relax into it for five breaths.

Extra move
Got a hallway? Try mountain climbers. Get into a plank position, then bend your right knee into your right shoulder. Hold for 1 second. Return your foot to the floor. Repeat with your left leg. Do 5-10 on each side.


Your at-home equipment

No need to buy fancy equipment – these household items work just fine as fitness tools.

  • Tissue box: Dr Pumpa suggests using this as a hurdle to jump over – either front and back or side-to-side.
  • Kitchen timer: No stopwatch? No worries! Set your oven or microwave timer for one or two minutes and do a move, such as squats, for that long.
  • Food cans: “Use various sizes to add different intensities to your exercises,” says Dr Pumpa.
  • Towels: Sit with your legs outstretched. Loop a towel around the balls of your feet to pull your toes back and stretch.