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10 Best Indoor At Home Exercises & Workouts Without Equipment

By Casey Slide

man woman work outSome days, it’s just really difficult to go outside, especially in the winter months. It can be rainy or cold, and the sun may already set by the time you get off work.

So what are you going to do to get some exercise, especially if you don’t have a gym membership to rely on or want to stay healthy and exercise at home on a budget?

Here are 10 ideas for ways you can exercise indoors at home for free or on the cheap.

1. Jump Rope
My husband recently bought a jump rope, and I couldn’t help but laugh because it reminded me of elementary school. I always thought jump ropes were for little girls, but boy, was I wrong!

About a minute into jumping rope, I was literally out of breath. I only made it a few minutes, and my calves were killing me the next day.

If you want a good cardio workout in a matter of minutes, try a jump rope.

2. Stair Stepping
Stair stepping is a great exercise to do in your home, even if you don’t have a set of stairs available. Find the biggest book you own (or a sturdy chair), put it in front of the TV, and step up and down while watching your favorite show. You may not work up a sweat like you would with a jump rope, but you will be keeping your body active and healthy.

3. The Plank
If you don’t have a lot of time, but you want to build up your core muscles, this is the exercise for you. Get into a push-up position, but instead of bending your arms and moving down towards the floor, hold the position with your arms extended. Start off holding the position for 30 seconds, and add an additional 10 seconds every day. See how long you can go for – it’s definitely not easy! This is one of the most challenging exercises, but it’s also one of the of the best for your core.

plank push up ball

4. Dancing
In college, I lived in an apartment with a bunch of girls. We would get bored with normal workouts, so we started to have dance parties. Once a week, we picked out different music and just danced to our hearts’ content.

Dancing is an excellent way to burn calories, and get your heart rate going while having fun. If you are in the privacy of your own home, there is no need to look like a pro or impress anyone.

5. Lunges
I was in a workout class a few years ago, and one of the exercises was to do lunges down the hallway. Instead of stepping back into place, we would step forward, and we would continue until we made it all the way down the hallway and back. I could always feel the intense burn in my legs with this workout.

You can do the same thing in your home. Try it whenever you go down the hall, or from room to room. If that gets too easy for you, hold weights in your hands to make the lunges more challenging.

6. Cleaning
Cleaning can be very physical, especially vacuuming and mopping. If you are unable to go out one day to ride your bike or go for a run, set up a house cleaning schedule and clean your house instead. You might as well kill two birds with one stone!

7. Water Bottle Weights
If you are looking to do some arm, shoulder, and back strength training, you can make your own weights by filling up water bottles. If using water bottles becomes too easy, use milk jugs. You can tailor the exercise to your level by filling the jugs to the exact weight that you need. For a greater challenge, increase the water amount just a little bit each time you workout.

8. High Knees
I really love running, so I tried to run in place in my home one day when the weather was bad. While it was great that I was able to keep my body active, running in place was very awkward. My heart rate did not get very high either.

Instead of running in place, I’ve found that high knees can really get your heart pumping, especially if you go double time. To do this exercise, march in place or down a hall, and bring your knees as high as they can go.

9. Jumping Jacks
This is another elementary school throwback, but it offers a great cardio workout. If you are watching a TV show, get up during the commercials and do a round of jumping jacks.

10. YouTube Workouts
There are a lot of workout routines on YouTube. You can search “workout,” or you can search by the specific type of workout that you would like. This eliminates the need to use workout DVDs, and it allows you to mix up what you are doing to avoid boredom and lose weight fast. YouTube is also great if you want to do a traditional workout with push-ups, squats, and crunches, but are unsure on how to properly do these types of exercises. There are tons of videos that instruct you on how to use correct form as you exercise.

Final Word

I love working out at home because it takes very little preparation and zero driving. You can utilize these exercise tips when you’re stuck inside on a cold winter day.

If you don’t want to workout at home, but the weather is not nice, head to your local mall and do some power walking. Or try to sneak a workout into your day by being cognizant of your activity level.

Do you have any exercises that you do at home to avoid the cold or bad weather?

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Casey Slide
Casey Slide lives with her husband and baby in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and worked for a prominent hospital in Atlanta. With the birth of Casey’s son in February 2010, she decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Casey’s interests include reading, running, living green, and saving money.

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  • http://www.prairieecothrifter.com Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter

    You could also add shoveling snow for those of us living in the northern hemisphere.

    • Casey Slide

      Haha…I am sure that is a great workout!

      • Bookworm913

        You can also do the “invisible jump rope” workout. Same motions…no equipment!

        • Casey Slide

          That is so true! Thanks for the tip!

    • An Old Swede

      That is so true! My neighbors think me a little strange when they watch me use my snowblower to put the snow back on the driveway!

  • Hilary

    Last time I checked, a jump rope was “equipment,” as is an exercise ball. I was expecting NO equipment.

    • Casey Slide

      Sorry, you are correct. I guess “inexpensive equipment” would have been better in the title.

    • Delaney

      You don’t need a jump rope to get the same workout. Just hop in place and swing your arms as if you were swinging the rope; it will have the same effect without having to take breaks when you goof up!

  • elizabeth

    I really loved these ideas! I’m new to working out and simply don’t have a clue haha. I usually just go walking but it’s been raining and I have a 2 year old. So today I decided to try working out inside. Found this and loved it! I think the jump rope is a great idea! Something cheap and simple! Thank you very much for the great tips!

    • Casey Slide

      Good luck, Elizabeth! Definitely try the jump rope. It is such a good workout!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_K3YTAHNYGSDDLSQL63RCWRZAOM Louie

    Yess! I have new ideas on exercising!

  • http://twitter.com/Blogit3d Blogit3d

    thanks for the great postings it really helps out

  • Umm_sulaym82

    Very helpful, thanks! I especially love the water bottle/milk jug idea for weights!!

  • Opiayo

    Certainly, well thought out activities for one with no time for he gym. Opiayo, PM

    • Casey Slide

      Thanks, Opiayo!

  • Nsolawesome

    About the lunges, doing them without weights is getting too easy.. but I haven’t got weights.. so what should I do?

    • Casey Slide

      You could fill some gallon milk jugs up with water.

  • Tim

    If water in he milk jugs gets too light , try filling them with sand as sand weighs more than water.

    • Pooper McPoopins

      And if that gets too light, you can always fill it with lead.

      • Going Foul

        if that gets too heavy, add helium

  • http://kondicallanetics.com/ KondiCallanetics

    Going to a gym can be intimating and frustrating with people hogging the equipment. Plus having to get there, geez! Working out at home can be hard to do but not if you don’t have to worry about equipment.

    Thanks for these.

    • Casey Slide

      Yes, what a pain it is to drive to the gym! It saves so much time if you don’t have to drive anywhere!

  • Carla Jo Walden

    Really hoping these work. I’m getting married in 9 months and REALLY want to get in shape!!

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