23 best home workouts to try if you're not ready to return to the gym

Improve your fitness from the comfort of your own home

Bridie Wilkins

Home workouts have come up trumps since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Personal trainers, studios and gyms are offering free virtual tutorials including everything from HIIT classes to yoga flows and, now, for anyone not ready/willing to return to the gym just yet, we're handily well equipped to train without it. Here, we've rounded up the very best of all to make you look and feel your best.

SEE: Best home gym equipment to make exercising at home easier

Best arm exercises


How to do it: Place your hands under your shoulders and lift your body from the ground to reach a plank position. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body down, ensuring that you keep your core engaged to maintain a straight line. Repeat.

Dumbbell shoulder press

How to do it: Hold dumbbells (a tin of beans or a bottle of milk will also do the job) in either hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure not to lock your knees and press your weights up from your shoulder height until your arms are straight. Hold and slowly move back so that your biceps are at three o'clock from your shoulders before pushing back up. Repeat.


Dumbbells, from £5.99, Amazon


Around the world

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, ensuring not to lock your knees. Hold your dumbbell (or makeshift household weight) in front of your face with your elbows bent, palms facing each other. Circle the weight around your head and keep your elbows in your eyeline as you do it. Repeat.

Best leg exercises


How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat, making sure that your knees do not hover any further forward than your toes. Repeat.

Reverse lunge


How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right leg and bend both knees as you lower until both knees are at a 90 degree angle. Push through the heel of your left foot to stand, and repeat on the other side.


How to do it: Get onto all fours on your hands and knees. Slowly kick your right leg back until it's straight, making sure that you keep your core engaged and back straight. Slowly bring it back down and repeat on the other side.

Best tummy exercises

Leg raises

How to do it: Lie on your back with your hands placed under your bottom. Raise your legs to 90 degrees, and slowly lower both of them back down without arching your lower back. Repeat.

Mountain climbers

mountain climber

How to do it: Place both hands under your shoulders and push up into a plank position. Bring one knee into your chest and back to the starting position. Do the same with the other leg and repeat immediately on the other side to build speed. Repeat.


How to do it: Sit down and hover on your bottom with your legs off of the floor and your back straight at 45 degrees. Extend your legs out straight then bend to crunch in, as you bring your chest to meet your knees. Repeat.

Best bum exercises

Glute bridge


How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and lift your bottom away from the ground to reach table-top. From there lower your bottom back down to the ground and thrust back up. Repeat. Add in a weight to rest on your hips to increase intensity.

Plié squat

How to do it: Start with your feet wider than your hips and turned out. Tuck your pelvis under and lower down into a squat as you push your bottom backwards. Push back up through the heels of your feet to return to standing. Repeat.

Fire hydrant

How to do it: Start on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Lift your right knee out to the side until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Return back to the ground and repeat.

Best running plan


🏃🏼‍♀️AUGUST 2nd 🏃🏼‍♀️Virtual 1/2 marathon, 10km & 5km. A goal to work towards!!! Join @togetherapartwerun Before all this started I was in NYC about to take part in the NYC half marathon I was fit and the miles were in my legs. Now? Well I’m not back to square one but I couldn’t run a half! I’ve found it really hard to run and train without a goal, I feel like some weeks I run lots, other weeks I don’t and if anything it’s not smart training! So I’m having my own half marathon/5km/10km on August 2nd. 12 weeks to build up to the 22km and follow a proper programme- a goal, a plan & now some accountability! If you fancy taking part in the 1/2 marathon/ 10km or 5km on august 2nd at 10 am, training plans will be uploaded Sunday written by running coach @johnoregan777 {the ultimate running coach and legend!} Join here @togetherapartwerun to join & for us to check in on each other, to make sure we are getting our training done each week for the big day in! There may not be any big events this year to look forward to so hopefully having some goal will get me back on track, more focused and also feel like I’m working towards something cause right now in this uncertainty it’s hard to have a clear plan but let’s make our own! I would reccomend downloading strava (group is called : Togetherapartwerun LINK IN BIO) to track your runs and it’ll be perfect for “race” day to track your time and distance! #virtualhalfmarathon #virtual10k #virtual5k

A post shared by ROZ (@rozannapurcell) on

Personal trainer Rozanna Purcell recently launched Together Apart We Run along with her sister, Rachel Purcell, and International Ultrarunner John O'Regan. Together, the trio have put together a series of running plans to help followers achieve milestones: 5km, 10km and a half marathon. They've even set up a Strava run club so you can virtually connect with other participants, before you take to the pavements on 2 August for your chosen race. 

Best yoga home workout

Jaime Hepburn

Jaime Hepburn is spearheading the online yoga offering during lockdown, with weekly Zoom classes run on a donation basis including a slow flow, a power hour and a vinyasa session, all of which happen at the same time each week with modifications for beginners and challenges for more seasoned yogis. Between the unwavering sense of community (her classes have previously had up to 90 students participating at one time), and Jaime's knack for seamless instruction, she presents a remarkable example of yoga's capacity to traverse the physical realm and leave you feeling every bit as blissful as you would in a studio.

yoga mat z

TOPLUS yoga mat, £23.99, Amazon


Best Pilates workouts at home

Core Collective

core collective z

Luxury fitness studio Core Collective's virtual line-up includes on-demand Pilates classes lasting from 5 to 45 minutes. Currently, they are offering a free trial for seven days, after which prices begin at £9.99 per month.

Best HIIT workout at home

Sweat IT

Sweat IT focuses on workouts that require no equipment. Since the studio closed, they are streaming live HIIT workouts which remain on their Instagram Stories for the following 24 hours, while they also write out the full workouts for permanent posts on their feed.


Stamina sports bra, £35, Sweaty Betty


Best core workouts at home

Barry's Bootcamp UK


Barry's Bootcamp typically includes a split between the treadmill and weights on the floor, but since taking to live-streaming, the boutique brand is offering 30 minute live classes requiring no equipment, and targeting specific areas of the body such as abs.

Postnatal exercise and prenatal exercise


Hollie Grant aka founder of the Pilates PT Method specialises in pregnancy and post-pregnancy exercises, and is currently streaming live 45-60 minute virtual classes through the Pilates PT website for £10 each. Having recently had a baby herself, Hollie knows the weight of working out for both mental and physical health as a new or expectant mother, while her 'Bump Plan' has already had rave reviews from pregnant women feeling isolated during lockdown. 

Best barre workout at home

Psycle London 

psycle z

Psycle have been delivering weekly live schedules, including their signature barre classes that work by targeting the legs, bum, arms and abs with tiny but effective moves that are guaranteed to burn. The best bit? If you're not available to join the live classes, Psycle save them all to the account's IGTV channel. 

Best YouTube workouts

Best 30 minute workout

Heather Robertson

Heather Robertson is a certified personal trainer, and her 30 minute intense full body workout targets every area of the body by working in intervals: 45 seconds on, 15 seconds off.

Best 20 minute workout

Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks' Tabata workout is designed to burn fat fast and, if you live in a flat and don't want to disturb your neighbours below, his hotel tutorial comes without any jumps or noisy movements.

Best full body workout no equipment

Pamela Reif

Pamela is a German-born fitness model and social media star and offers an array of YouTube workouts including this all over bodyweight workout. Expect everything from mountain climbers to jump squats.

Best cardio workout


Actress Nina Dobrev teamed up with Reebok who founded the LES MILLS workout – a HIIT workout designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, increase speed and maximise calorie burn, and this cardio class features Nina's favourite moves and tracks. 

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