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9 Simple Exercises to Do at Home For Beginners Without Equipment

So you may be at the beginning of your fitness journey. Firstly, well done for starting. That’s the hardest part. Now if you’re just starting out but don’t want to workout at the gym yet as that gives you anxiety that’s fine. Completely normal. I’m going to give you some of my favourite exercises and an example workout to do from the comfort of your own home. You don’t need any equipment, just your bodyweight and I’d suggest maybe a mat.

When first starting out you don’t need to make sessions overly complex. Keep it simple and as you become fitter and stronger you can think about progressing the movements and potentially adding resistance in the form of bands and weights. As I’m going to discuss, compound movements that use more than one muscle group are going to be the most effective when starting out. You can build a great foundation for both strength and fitness this way.

So as I said using compound exercises are a great place to start. Here are my 5 favourite bodyweight compound exercises for beginners to use.

Push Up

  • Start in a plank position with your arms and legs straight, shoulders above your wrists.

  • Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the ground. Stop as soon as your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale to straighten the arms. This counts as one rep.

  • If this is too difficult, do this exercise with your knees on the floor.

Reverse Lunge

  • Stand with your feet together. Take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your left foot.

  • As you lunge back with your left foot, drive your left arm forward to maintain your balance.

  • Lower your hips so that your right quad (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your right knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your left heel should be lifted.

  • From the ground, drive your left knee up coming into a standing position. That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other leg.


  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, feet parallel or toes slightly turned out.

  • Bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply. Bring your thighs parallel to the floor and bend the elbows, keeping weight back in your heels.

  • Rise back up, straightening the legs completely, squeezing the glutes at the top of the movement to get the most out of the exercise.


  • Begin in the plank position, face down with your forearms and toes on the floor. Your elbows are directly under your shoulders and your forearms are facing forward. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.

  • Engage your abdominal muscles, drawing your navel toward your spine. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from your ears to your toes with no sagging or bending. This is the neutral spine position. Ensure your shoulders are down, not creeping up toward your ears. Your heels should be over the balls of your feet.

Glute Bridge

  • Start in a supine position on the floor with your arms at a 45 degree angle relative to your torso.

  • Bridge your hips up by squeezing your glutes and driving your heels into the floor.

  • Lower your hips back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

  • Make sure you aren’t over extending through the lower back just to get your bum higher. Keep your pelvis tucked under and you’ll be using your glutes rather than your lower back.

So those are the compound movements that I’d look to base my sessions around to help improve strength across your full body. In addition to the compound exercises I’d use some bodyweight high intensity moves to help improve your cardiovascular fitness. These moves can be progressed as you begin to get fitter but these are a great starting point.

Jumping Jacks

  • Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides.

  • Bend your knees slightly, and jump into the air.

  • As you jump, spread your legs to be about shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out and over your head.

  • Jump back to the starting position. Repeat this for your designated work period.

Jump Squats

  • Stand with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bent.

  • Bend your knees and descend to a full squat position.

  • Engage through the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and propel the body up and off the floor, extending through the legs. With the legs fully extended, the feet will be a few inches (or more) off the floor.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bent.

  • Bend your knees and descend to a full squat position.

  • Engage through the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and propel the body up and off the floor, extending through the legs. With the legs fully extended, the feet will be a few inches (or more) off the floor.

  • Descend and control your landing by going through your foot (toes, ball, arches, heel) and descend into the squat again for another explosive jump.

  • Upon landing immediately repeat the next jump

  • If jumping is too much of a challenge for you right now you can regress it down to dynamic squats. Simply complete a regular squat but drive up onto your toes and repeat at a faster pace than you normally would a regular squat.

Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a press-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart directly beneath your shoulders.

  • As quickly as you can, pull your right knee towards your chest without letting it touch the floor then return to the start position.

  • Repeat step 2 with your left leg.

  • Continue until you have completed the required duration prescribed in your workout.

Half Burpee

  • Get into an all-fours position with your knees and toes flexed and in contact with the floor. Your hips should be over your knees. Your hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders. Grip the ground with your hands and rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats.

  • Straighten your legs to lift your knees off of the ground so you end up in a high plank position. Your legs should be hip-width apart.

  • Pre-tension your shoulders and hips while engaging your core. Your ribs should be down and your pelvis should be slightly tucked. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. All repetitions should begin from this starting position.

  • While maintaining proper alignment, jump your feet toward your hands as if you were preparing to complete a full burpee.

  • With your hands still on the floor, jump your feet back to the starting position. Continue to jump your feet back and forth in a controlled manner for the desired number of repetitions.

  • Now a burpee is a tougher exercise than most so if you need to regress that’s fine. Simply don’t jump the feet out into the high plank step one foot out at a time and bring one foot in at time and then stand up and don’t jump.

I’m now going to set out an example of a workout I would prescribe to beginners using the above exercises.

Warm Up:

Warm up for 5 minutes. You can do anything from a mobility routine to skipping. This is up to you and if you know what your body requires to do a workout do that.

Session Plan:

Strength Work:

  • 3 sets of 15 squats with 90 seconds rest between sets.

This means complete 15 squats then rest for 90 seconds and repeat for 3 rounds in total.

  • 3 sets of 12 reverse lunges with 60 seconds between sets.

Now you’re working one side at time. Complete all 12 reps on one leg and then switch to the other. once you’ve completed all 12 reps on each leg. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat 3 rounds.

  • 3 sets of 6-12 reps Push ups with 90 seconds rest between sets.

Now this one comes down to what your strength levels are already like. The aim is to hit 12 reps with good form but if you’re not quite at that level yet then complete 6 reps and then rest. If you need to regress to kneeling push ups that absolutely fine. Just make sure you keep your core engaged throughout.

  • Superset: this means 2 exercises back to back and then rest.

3 rounds in total with 60 seconds rest between rounds. 3 sets of 15 bodyweight glute bridges superseded with 3 sets of 30 second plank hold. Perform 15 glute bridges and then go straight into a 30 second plank. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat 3 rounds High Intensity Work: To finish off your session complete this short and sharp high intensity bodyweight circuit. You’re going to complete each exercise for 30 seconds back to back and then rest for 2 minutes and repeat 3-4 rounds depending on your fitness levels.


  • Jumping jacks

  • Jump squats

  • Mountain climbers

  • Half burpees

Your heart rate will increase during this section and by the end of 2 minutes of work you should be breathless and unable to hold a conversation. If you’re not then try and push a little bit harder on the following rounds.

I hope this piece has helped you if you’re new to exercising and can help you build a good foundation to allow you to progress. If you’d like any further help with a workout programme to help you reach your fitness goals then please fill out my online coaching enquiry form and I’d love to have you on board as one of my clients to help you really achieve your goals and show you what you’re really capable of.

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