Maybe you’re traveling, low on time, super busy, or simply don’t want to venture out to the gym to work out. We’ve all been there. But, just because you’re missing your weekly HIIT class or skipping the gym entirely doesn’t mean that you can’t get your sweat on with bodyweight workouts in the comfort of your bedroom.
“You really only need half an hour per day, and everyone has half an hour a day,” says Dave Puhky, a fitness coach and owner of The Fitness Academy in Victoria, BC. “For people who don’t have a lot of time, or can’t afford a gym membership, you can still do home workouts,” he says. “You can do workouts without any weights.”
Using only your bodyweight or items found in your bedroom, here are six exercises and an entire routine that you can do in your home without any gym equipment. Feel free to go on with your day or jump right back into bed (after a quick rinse off) and relax. You deserve it!
Squats are a key component of bodyweight workouts. While it’s important to master proper squat form, the exercise is easy to do literally anywhere, and it requires zero equipment. Puhky suggests a standard bodyweight squat or a jump squat. “Jump squats are great because they build lower body stability and [work] the legs,” he says. Squats are also known to seriously work your glute muscles. And, if you have a chair in your room, Puhky says that you can use it for split squats or lunges.
Apart from building ab muscles, we know that working your core helps improve your form for many exercises, including running. Plus, the beauty of many core moves is that you can easily do them at home. Puhky says that sit-ups are a go-to move for any at-home workout. If need be, you can tuck your feet under a dresser or bed frame for support. Just make sure that it’s sturdy first.
“Burpees are one of the best” exercises to do in your bedroom, says Puhky. They work many muscles in your body and also help get your heart rate up. While burpees can be modified, Puhky suggests including a jump in the six-move series before working your way down to the floor. “Not all people can do a full push-up, so I usually say, ‘jump, go down, and then get your chest to floor’—however you have to do that.”
Push-ups can be done on the floor of your room, either on the ground or on a workout mat. If you want to challenge yourself, you can also do them with a chair. “Chairs are great for different kinds of push-ups,” says Puhky. He suggests putting your feet on the chair and moving through the push-up motion with your legs elevated. “It all depends on your fitness level and whether you’re starting out or not.”
Planks are a full-body exercise. Not only are you engaging your core muscles while holding the position, but you’re also working muscles in your arms and legs. The beauty of a plank is that you can time your hold, and always try to beat your goal. It’s important, however, to ensure that your form is correct so that you don’t injure your back or wrists.
A desk chair or bed frame comes in handy for dips. Positioning yourself away from the furniture, extend your legs straight and lower your body down to the floor using the strength of your arms. Then, push yourself back up to starting position. This bodyweight exercise may look simple, but it’s a burner for the triceps.
“Down the Ladder”: a Full Bodyweight Workout Without Equipment
If you want to do a circuit that is guaranteed to get your heart rate up and your muscles burning, Puhky suggests something called “down the ladder.” He gets his clients to do the routine at the gym, but says it can be done anywhere—including your bedroom. The workout is a series of 10 different exercises with different reps, starting at 100 reps. “You go 100 reps, 90 reps, 80 reps, 70 reps, etc. of different bodyweight exercises,” he explains. “And, you also time yourself. That way, you know if you’re getting fitter.”
Here’s the circuit: 100 squats, 90 sit-ups, 80 lunges, 70 jumping jacks, a 60-second plank, 50 mountain climbers, 40 push-ups, 30 jumping squats, 20 V-ups or crunches, and 10 burpees at the end. Then, Puhky says, “you go back up the ladder” and do the circuit again in reverse order, starting with the burpees working your way up to the squats.
“I did it on the weekend and I forgot how hard it is because I’m always the one teaching,” he says. “It took me 34 minutes, and my abs hurt for like a month.”
It’s totally possible to get a full-body workout from the comfort of your bedroom. However, it’s important to make sure that you actually follow through and challenge yourself. It’s easy to fall into a workout rut. So make sure that you alternate at-home workouts with time at the gym or outdoor running. That way, you’ll keep your mind and body stimulated.