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Tackle Those Fitness Goals at Home with These No-Sweat Exercises

A woman working out in her living room.
Karla Tafra / LifeSavvy

You might have heard that the third week of January is when lots of folks start giving up on those New Year’s resolutions. If one of yours was to get more exercise, but you can’t afford a gym membership, no problem! You can get an excellent daily workout without ever leaving your home.

If your fitness goals are starting to suffer because you can’t (or don’t want to) go to the gym, we have a robust list of exercises you can do right in the comfort of your own home. These movements don’t require any special equipment or tons of space, so you can seriously do them anytime, anywhere. So, bye-bye, excuses!

Fire Up Those Abs

A woman doing a plank on a hardwood deck.
Karla Tafra / LifeSavvy

Ab workouts can literally be done anywhere, and you can get as creative as you want, depending on what you have at your disposal. For example, if you have an exercise mat or an equally comfortable surface, performing three sets of 20 crunches, or 20 bicycle crunches or mountain climbers will seriously help you get your sweat on.

No need for any fancy equipment or weights—your body is enough. However, if you do want to use some home-friendly equipment, challenge your abs with sliders or an ab roller and make that six-pack burn.

You can also bring furniture into the mix. Lift your legs onto a couch, table, or any other elevated surface, and then bring your hips over your head to engage your abs in a pike. You can hold there, or take it a step further and bring your right knee as close to your right elbow/tricep as possible.

Crunch it in and squeeze, and then repeat on the other side. Do as many as you can, and then come back to the neutral position for a quick rest. Next, do the same thing you did before, but this time, cross your body, so your right knee reaches your left elbow/tricep, while the left knee reaches the right.

For something even simpler, you can just do a basic plank or side plank holds. Either of these is sure to get you hot and sweaty with a quickness because both engage your entire body.

Make Your Legs Shake

Two people working out with resistance bands on their legs.
Fir Simplify

Bodyweight squats and lunges can be just as efficient at home as those you do at the gym. However, the tempo and repetition will need to be adjusted. Just shorten the time between sets and increase the number of reps to at least 15-20 to really feel your muscles burn.

You can do everything from air squats and different kinds of lunges (back, forward, side, or curtsy), to glute bridges, kickbacks, or leg lifts without any equipment or added weight.

If you do want an extra challenge, you can always introduce some resistance bands into your workouts. Alternatively, you can use full water bottles as dumbbells, or fill them with something heavier, like sand or pebbles.

For an added bonus, use a chair, bench, desk, or any other sturdy surface to perform some Bulgarian split squats and some elevated glute bridges.

Every good leg exercise contains a full range of motion and a squeeze at the top of your exhale. This will really activate your mind/muscle connection. Pay attention to your leg muscles and make sure you’re actually feeling the moves you perform.

A Yoga Flow

Yoga is one of those workouts you can do anytime, anywhere. All you really need is enough space for your mat. Flowing from one posture to another requires tuning into your breathing and moving with your in- and exhales.

You can make it as challenging or relaxing as you want, but just make sure you’re feeling the stretch in your muscles—this will tone them at the same time. If inventing your own flow isn’t something you’re ready to do, you can find tons of them on YouTube or Motify.

On-Demand Workouts

Speaking of apps and videos, there are thousands of on-demand workouts you can browse online that will transform your home workout routine. Soon, you’ll be working all your muscle groups, and even feeling sore the next day.

Start your week with a full-body HIIT routine, followed by Pilates, yoga, or barre. Work in some other exercises that specifically target your abs and legs, and you’ll soon see that you never have to go to the gym again. You’ll be sweating just fine in your own living room.

Home Gym Equipment

A man and woman doing plank arm lifts with dumbbells.

If you do have a bit of extra space in your home and want to transform it into a gym, there are a number of accessories and fitness machines out there. You might want to start small, and then work your way up to the larger, more expensive items.

An excellent place to start is with a good set of dumbbells and a kettlebell. Both can add an extra challenge to any bodyweight exercise. This set from Portzon is available in light, medium, and heavy weights, as well as different colors.

You can also get dumb- and kettlebells with adjustable weights, like this set from Jpodream. It comes with five-, eight-, nine-, and 12-pound weights. It’ll also save you some space for any other equipment you pick up down the line.

As we mentioned above, you might also want to invest in a quality mat and some resistance bands. You can do a thousand different full-body workouts with just these two pieces of equipment, so they’re definitely worth your hard-earned cash.

After your workout, a good foam roller will come in handy to tackle soreness and fatigue. It’ll also help you remember to stretch and recover, which is incredibly important to avoid injury.

Last year, Peloton bikes and Mirror also became quite popular with those looking to splurge on their home gyms. Part of their appeal is that they both allow you to work out with others without leaving the house. Pretty cool, right?

If you want to get fit this year, but can’t afford a gym membership, or just don’t want to work out with others, no problem! Change into your workout gear, blast your favorite music, and get your body moving with any of these easy, but effective exercises.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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