02/06/2017 01:12 EST | Updated 08/17/2017 12:12 EDT

The Definitive Guide To Working Out At Home

Finding time to work out is a struggle for a lot of people. They don't have much time left between work, changing diapers, making meals, and maybe shoveling snow. What little time is left is usually not enough to travel to a gym and back because that takes well over an hour.

Working out at a gym can take too much time -- time to go to and from the gym and to change in and out of workout gear when you get there. Imagine you do all that only to realize that you have to get in line to use a machine.

exercise at home

(Photo: AndreSR via Getty Images)

Working out at home doesn't pose any of these problems.

It's also the perfect option if you just want to work out but not commit to a gym membership and have strangers hear your provocative exercises noises.

Equipment-wise, you don't need many items to get started. I've put the equipment you need in two categories - must-haves and nice-to-haves.

The must-have equipment is perfect to start your home workouts and they will fit in your travel bag as well. As you start progressing in your strength and endurance you'll need to buy some additional equipment.

The nice-to-have list is for when you find that bands, or your body weight alone, don't cut it.

Must-haves - affordable

  • Jump rope: Cheap and very effective form of cardio. I suggest buying a speed rope.
  • Resistance bands: Grab two. One light and one medium band will be good for almost all your exercises.
  • Exercise mat: You'll need one to save your elbows and knees from getting crushed by hard flooring.
  • Furniture sliders or exercise sliders: My favorite piece of equipment to have at both home and the gym.
  • Stability ball: Can be used for a wide range of exercises, none of which include standing on it.

Nice-to-have - less affordable

  • TRX: Allows you to do more advanced versions of many bodyweight exercises.
  • Dumbbells: Can be used to add more weight to exercises.
  • Medicine balls: Can be used to add more weight to exercises and can be incorporated into partner workouts.
  • Chin-up bar: Can be paired with your exercise bands so you can do band-assisted chin-ups and pull-ups.

A problem with most home workout programs is a lack of progressive overload -- incremental increases in the intensity and volume of workouts. Workouts are often random on a day-to-day basis. This doesn't give you a chance to track your fitness progress in an objective manner.

The extra time you save by working out at home should be spent on a solid warm-up.

One non-negotiable aspect of training for me is tracking workouts. My clients and I always do it. Because if you don't track anything you won't know if you're making strides towards your goals or just spinning your wheels.

The warm-up

The extra time you save by working out at home should be spent on a solid warm-up. You don't want to jump straight into a workout after sitting at your computer for eight hours straight. Your joints and muscles need time to warm up just as a car's engine needs to warm up in the winter. A proper warm-up prevents injury as it raises your body temperature, sends blood to your working muscles, lubricates your joints and fires up your nervous system.

I've put together a video of two warm-up routines -- one to get you feeling loose and mobile if you're tight, and one to give you more stability if you're already super flexible.

This should be more than enough to get you warmed up for you workouts. However, if you're the kind of person that likes to break a small sweat before a workout, start with one or a combination of the following:

Jumping Jacks- 50 reps

High Knees - 50 reps

Body Weight Squats - 20 reps

Now that we've gone through the warm-up, let's get into the meat and potatoes of a home workout session -- the actual workout.

exercise at home

(Photo: Srdjanpav via Getty Images)

Sample beginner program:

A1) Push-Up From Knees - 3 sets x 4 to 8 reps

A2) Band Squat And Row - 3 sets x 12 to 20 reps

A3) Side Plank From Knees - 3 sets x 20 to 60 seconds

Rest: 60-90 seconds. Repeat circuit 3 to 5 times.

B1) 1-Arm Band Chest Press - 3 sets x 8-12 reps per side

B2) 1-Arm Band Row - 3 sets x 8-12 reps per side

B3) Band Horizontal Chop - 3 sets x 8-12 reps per side

Rest: 60-90 seconds. Repeat circuit 3 to 5 times.

C) Jumping Jacks - 5-8 sets of 30 seconds of work followed by 30-90 seconds rest.

Sample intermediate program:

The intermediate program touches on the Fat Loss 5 Protocol developed by Nick Tumminello whereby you perform five exercises back-to-back in a circuit format in the following order: upper body pull, upper body push, lower body, core and a cardio exercise.

A1) Push-up - 4 sets x 5 to 12 reps

A2) Low Band Row - 4 sets x 8-12 reps per side

A3) Goblet Squat - 4 sets x 12-20

A4) Plank Arm March - 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps per side

A5) Jump Rope - 4 sets of 60 skips

Rest: 1 to 2 minutes and repeat circuit 4 times.

B1) Bent-Over Band Tricep Extension - 3 x 12 to 15 reps

B2) Band Bicep Curl - 3 x 12 to 15 reps

B3) 1.5 Rep Split Squat - 3 x 10 to 15 reps per side

B4) Band Alphabet - 3 x A to Z

B5) Jump Squat - 3 x 6-8 per side

Rest: 1 to 2 minutes and repeat circuit 4 times.

Working out at home might be just what you need to get back into the workout groove.

Working out at home might be just what you need to get back into the workout groove if work or life has started to get in the way. The convenience, privacy and comfort it offers kick a ton of "can't workout because X" excuses in the can and lets you take control of your health on your own time.

Plus, nothing screams "private gym" more than working out in your underwear and blasting "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)."

Kia's website is



Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook

Also on HuffPost:

Exercises that Show Results After One Workout