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You only have 24 hours in the day. It’s hard enough setting aside time for actual exercise, but throw in your commute to-and-fro and it can add up to a lot of wasted time — time that you can’t afford to lose. So here’s the good news: you can still have an effective workout without ever leaving your home.

If you look in the right places, you’ll find some great at-home workout routines that you could do in your pajamas if you were so inclined. Here are some good starting points.

Where to Find Workout Routines

Fitness Plan Generator

The Fitness Plan Generator is a simple tool that asks four questions: your fitness level, the type of workout you want, how much time you can spend, and which pieces of equipment you have available. Based on your answers, it will generate a list of workout routines that you can try.

no-gym-workouts-fitness-generator

It’s not a comprehensive tool; in fact, it’s quite basic in what it offers. However, it’s a great jump-off point for those who are still in the beginning phase of exercise. The routines are easy to understand and each exercise has an in-depth description of how to perform it.

Couch-to-5k Running Plan

Running. You either love it or you hate it and most of us lean towards the latter. Who wants to deal with burning lungs, aching thighs, wobbly knees and shin splints? If that describes your typical running experience, you’re probably doing it wrong. When done correctly, running can be quite enjoyable.

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no-gym-workouts-couch-to-5k-program

That’s what the Couch-to-5k program aims to address. Most newbie runners push themselves too hard on their first few runs, which is why they end up in pain and discomfort. The right approach is to ease into it even when it feels like you aren’t getting a good workout.

With this plan, any couch potato will be able to run a non-stop 5k by the end of 8 weeks and all it requires is three days per week, 20 minutes per day.

SimpleFit

Like the Couch-to-5k program above, SimpleFit is a simple ease-into-it workout plan for newbies whose bodies aren’t exactly ready to take a beating just yet. SimpleFit only requires 3 days of exercise per week, 20 minutes per day. In fact, why not combine it with the Couch-to-5k program?

no-gym-workouts-simple-fit-plan

SimpleFit is divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced plans, where each one is a sequence of 8 weeks. By the end of it, you’ll be in good shape to start on some tougher challenges, such as the Tabata interval training routine.

Nano Workouts

For those who truly have no free time, your last resort might be the Nano Workout. These are individual workouts that you can perform while doing something else.

Are they as effective as tried-and-true exercises? No, not quite. However, some exercise is still better than none, and these allow you to fit them in when you have so little time that you can’t even set aside a 7-minute workout Stay Fit: The 5 Best Quick Workout Apps For Android Stay Fit: The 5 Best Quick Workout Apps For Android Need to find the time to exercise? These apps can help you with only a few minutes of your day. Read More .

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For example, there are bathroom workouts:

Need more examples? How about office workouts:

/r/BodyweightFitness

It’s hard to talk about fitness websites without mentioning fitness-related subreddits 4 Subreddits You Should Read For Tips To Stay Healthy and Fit 4 Subreddits You Should Read For Tips To Stay Healthy and Fit I will tell you right now that I couldn't possible write an article about living a healthy life. I'm a self-confessed Taco Bell connoisseur. However, I can certainly tell you where you can find some other health tips.... Read More . As one of the largest communities on the Internet, Reddit is a treasure trove when it comes to user-driven hubs of information.

no-gym-workouts-bodyweight-fitness-reddit

And while you can find a lot of general purpose fitness subreddits on Reddit, /r/BodyweightFitness subreddit is great for workouts that don’t require a gym membership.

On the sidebar, you’ll find a section called Bodyweight Training Info which contains links to a beginner routine, a FAQ for bodyweight training newbies, and a training guide that will get you up to speed on the theory that drives bodyweight fitness. Plus, under the Weekly Threads section, you’ll notice Training Tuesdays where you can discuss routines with other people.

Tools For Tracking Fitness Progress

Half the fun of working out is tracking your progress and seeing concrete evidence of your personal growth. Feel free to use traditional pen-and-paper, but if you want some neat bells and whistles to go along with your journal, these web apps can be nifty.

BodBot (Android, iOS, WinPhone, Chrome)

no-gym-workouts-tool-bodbot

BodBot is an app that fulfills all three roles: personal trainer, nutritionist, and coach. It starts by asking you what you want to achieve by exercising (lose fat, gain muscle, improve cognitive health, etc.), where you want to work out (home or gym), and such. It lets you manage your own training schedule or it will plan one that’s tailored for you.

Over time, BodBot will adapt to your workout pace and adjust your training for optimal gains and these changes will be sensitive to your schedule. As far as nutrition is concerned, BodBot will recommend the best foods for meeting your goals and track your meals day-to-day to see how you’re doing.

JEFIT (Android, iOS, Web)

no-gym-workouts-tool-jefit

JEFIT is the premier workout tracker app. With it, you can define your own routines and track your progress with every completed session. The best part is that it doesn’t just record how often you complete your exercises, but also the changes in your workout intensity, body mass distribution, and how many personal records you break.

JEFIT can be accessed by app or by web and it will stay synchronized between the two.

Fitocracy (Android, iOS, Web)

no-gym-workouts-tool-fitocracy

Fitocracy is one of the best gamification tools for improving your life Tried And Tested: 3 Gamification Tools That Try To Make Your Life Better Tried And Tested: 3 Gamification Tools That Try To Make Your Life Better I'm a big fan of gamification, truth be told. I'd even go so far as to say our entire society should be gamified, with pleasures in life reserved as rewards those who actually contribute. Apparently... Read More . While exercise is often an individual activity, this app turns it into a social activity by offering allowing users to follow the progress of other users. The other big feature is a gamified goal-and-reward system (called “quests”) that keeps you motivated and on track.

Not only can you use Fitocracy to record progress, it can also be used for workout routine recommendations. Its database is packed with hundreds of different exercises, but if you don’t have time for that, there are also full routines that are hand-designed by Fitocracy’s fitness experts 8 Fitness Experts On The Web With The Best Health Advice For You 8 Fitness Experts On The Web With The Best Health Advice For You The last thing you want to do is take fitness advice from someone who doesn't know what they're talking about. These experts are the ones to follow for tested veteran advice. Read More .

Do you workout without going to the gym? Which resources do you use for finding new workouts? Which tools do you use to help you track progress? Share with us in the comments below!

  1. Muhammad A
    September 14, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    I use the "Runtastic App".It can track almost any activity.It has lots of features like heart rate moniter,altitude gain,split laps,etc.You can also upload your activities to runtastic.com & share on social sites.The paid version has even more features.

  2. Saikat B
    September 14, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Exercising is again about consistency. I try to do it every day (with a day's rest) and mostly succeed. For the days, when I don't have time...I do the 7 minute workout. EVERYONE has 7 minutes!

  3. Deborah H
    September 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Some days all I do is run for other people, and I'm always monitoring all their calendars plus my own. Trying to keep up with housework is nearly impossible. I'm 63 years old kept young by grandkids. I have an artificial ankle with a foot filled with arthritis, surgery needed on the other ankle, an arthritic knee, and a hip muscle that's still bugging me after a tear repair in January. All of this and more is due to a fall seven years ago. I need to lose weight and need a program that's easy and doesn't take a lot of time. Is there something out there that fits the bill or am I out of luck?

    • Joel L
      September 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Hey Deborah, sorry to hear about your predicament. I wish I could help but I honestly have no experience with those kinds of complications. Have you tried speaking with a specialist personal trainer?

  4. Gyrocyclist
    September 10, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    "For those who truly have no free time"
    Um, something has gone horribly wrong with your life!
    Also (heh), is you have no free time, why are you reading
    this article? You could be working out, instead :)

    • Joel L
      September 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      Touche. :D

  5. Joe
    September 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Neilarey.com all the way. Best site there is for working out at home

    • Saikat B
      September 14, 2014 at 5:57 am

      Really nice link. The Batman Challenge is going to kill a few of us.

    • Joel L
      September 16, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      Wow, fantastic find. Bookmarked!

  6. Hollywood
    September 10, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Let's not forget the 7 minute workout. Everybody has 7 minutes.

    • Joel L
      September 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      The 7 Minute Workout is awesome. The Android app really helps, too.

  7. Patty B
    September 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Duh, just figured out why. The link is for the Fitness Generator and that was only a picture.

  8. Patty B
    September 10, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Links for View Workout (1st 2) don't seem to work. Basic workout, Basic Balance. Using Firefox as a browser. Will try another, just in case

  9. Peter D
    September 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I switched to sitting on a exercise ball at work instead of my chair in the office. Have to balance with your core all day. I don't get tired or yawn as much either.

    • Joel L
      September 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      That's a good one! Good to hear that you are less tired, too. After slouching in a chair all day for work, I feel like a blob with no energy. An exercise ball may be what I need.

  10. Arthur Cruz
    September 9, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Yes I need a workout without going to gym but it will keep me healthy and strong. How will I do that?

    • ctownbos
      September 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      what

    • WISDOM
      September 30, 2014 at 10:19 am

      ARTHUR...I WAS GOING TO OPEN WITH DOCTOR CRUZ, NOT SURE WHY...ANY-WAY. I WAS TORN WITH GOING TO THE GYM. MY ORIGINAL WORK SCHEDULE HAD ME ON 4-12-ISH AND WEEKENDS 12 HOUR SHIFTS. I DID A LITTLE HERE AND THERE AT WORK, YET, KEPT TELLING MYSELF I WOULD ACCOMPLISH WHAT I WANTED TO IF I COULD GO TO THE GYM. A BLOCK AND A HALF AWAY, A HOTEL GYM WAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 24 HOURS. I MENTIONED IT AND JEALOUS STARTED ASKING WHY I NEEDED TO GO, EXCLAIMING THAT I NEEDED TO REST...AND WHEN THAT DIDN'T GET THE AFFECT SHE WANTED [SINCE IT'S "HER" PLACE] I WAS TOLD SHE WOULDN'T UNLOCK THE DOOR.

      I'M ALL FOR HOME DEFENSE, WITH THE DOG AND A GUN, AND PEPPER SPRAY AND THE APARTMENT IS ON THE SECOND FLOOR. WHY CAN'T SHE BE ALONE FOR ANOTHER HOUR OR 90 MINUTES. NEVER-THE-LESS I DIGRESS.

      I RE-STARTED PUSH-UPS. THIS TIME I USED THE STAIRS. I LEANED FORWARD AND DID 10 ON STAIR NUMBER 6, WITH MY FEET ON THE LANDING. IT WAS A LOT LIKE A MILITARY PRESS AND I COULD FEEL IT IN THE ABS LIKE A PLANK...IN THAT I WANTED TO BE CERTAIN NOT TO HURT MYSELF, I OPTED TO START ON STEP 5.

      THUS BEGAN THE 5 STAIR STEP PUSH-UPS. STARTING WITH 10 AND KNOCKING OUT 1O EVERY TIME I WENT DOWN TO THE TRASH OR CAME BACK IN...OR WENT TO THE LAUNDRY ROOM. THEN I DECIDE I WAS GOING TO MAKE NOTE OF HOW MANY I HAD ACCOMPLISHED. AND DECIDED I WAS GOING FOR 1,000.

      WHEN I HIT 1,OOO, I DROPPED ONE HAND ONTO STEP NUMBER 4 AND KEPT ONE HAND ON STEP NUMBER 5 [I CALL IT 4 1/2]. WHEN I FINISHED 1,000, I DROPPED DOWN TO STEP 4. CLIFF ASKED ME HOW LONG IT TOOK ME TO DO 1,000? THAT WEEK, IT TOOK ONLY 4 DAYS. I KINDA GOT CARRIED AWAY AND COMPLETED 200 RIGHT AFTER CLIFF HAD ASKED AND THE NEXT DAY 500 [OVER A 24 HOUR PERIOD].

      TODAY IS THE 3OTH OF SEPTEMBER 2014. 2 DAYS AGO, I REACHED 5,000 TOTAL. I FEEL STRONG AND CAN TELL BOTH FROM THE NUMBER OF PUSH UPS I CAN KNOCK OUT STRAIGHT - AND THE CHANGES I SEE IN THE MIRROR. I AM ON STEP 2 1/2 WITH 900 TO GO. BY THE TIME I AM DONE, I WILL HAVE COMPLETED 10,000.

      I AM CONSIDERING DECLINE PUSH UPS NEXT, YET IN THE MEAN TIME I WANT TO KNOCK THE GUT DOWN A LITTLE FASTER. 2 DAYS AGO, WHILE SITTING IN MY [AT HOME] OFFICE CHAIR. I PLANTED MY FEET, HIPS WIDTH APART AND COMPLETED [SLOWLY] 100 SIT-FORWARD [CAN'T REALLY CALL THEM SIT-UPS IN A CHAIR CAN YOU] TOE/FLOOR TOUCHES. IT FELT GOOD. THE AFTER BURN IS SO THAT IF I MISS A DAY [NO INTENTIONALLY] I CAN STILL FEEL MY BODY BEGGING FOR MORE.

      I ALSO HAVE NON-CONCENTRATED EXERCISES THAT I DO, THAT I DON'T TRACK. LIKE ONE DAY, I DID 1000 STRAIGHT TORSO TWISTS AND 1000 SIDE BENDS. I STARTED DOING WHAT I CALL SIT-SQUATS. BEFORE I LEFT THE RESTROOM ONE DAY, I CLOSED THE LID, SAT DOWN-STOOD UP [I'M HEADING FOR 1,000].

      THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS, DO SOMETHING. TAKE A 3X5 CARD AND ON A DAY WHEN YOU GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO GET INTO A QUIET MIND AND SPACE. WRITE DOWN 10 REASONS WHY YOU WANT TO BE HEALTHIER.

      LIKE THE TV SHOW "EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS", WHERE HE WORKS TO GET RESULTS OVER A 365 DAY PERIOD. GIVE YOUR SELF TIME. THERE WAS A GUY I USE TO WORK WITH WHO WAS ABOUT 23, BOUGHT INSANITY AND IN LESS THAN A MONTH WAS DONE. JUST QUIT. WASTED MONEY...AT LEAST HE DIDN'T BY IT RETAIL. HE GOT IT ON EBAY. HOPEFULLY THE PERSON WHO SOLD IT GOT THE RESULTS THEY WANTED???

      I WAS LOOKING AT THE "EXTREME SEAL EXPERIENCE" WEBSITE AND THERE IS A 24 HOUR VERSION OF 'HELL-WEEK'. I HAVE A MARTIAL ART WORK OUT I DO AND IT HAS 3 PARTS JUST TO CONDITION THE ARMS, THE HANDS AND THE FIST. I STARTED AT 5 MINUTES [WITH THE KITCHEN TIMER] WORKING ON THE TELEPHONE POLE IN THE PARKING LOT. TO DATE, MY PERSONAL BEST IS 3 HOURS STRAIGHT.

      I KNOW MY "WHY"

      IF YOU SAW ME, MOST PEOPLE RARELY EVER GUESS....I'VE GOT 52 YEARS IN THE ARTS AT 60. BEING A GRAND MASTER IS MORE OF A MINDSET THAN A BELT. TO ALL WHOM 'THINK' THEY WANT TO WORK OUT. START WITH 1. ONE PUSH UP AND THEN REPEAT IT THE NEXT DAY...AND THE NEXT DAY. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO WIN. YOU HAVE MY BLESSING AND ENCOURAGEMENT. NOW BACK AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER AND CHAIR SIT FORWARD OR DO 5-10 SIT-SQUATS. :-]

      TAKE CARE, GOD BLESS.

  11. Chris
    September 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Also check out: http://neilarey.com/ . I use it for my workouts at home and it has exercises for all fitness levels.

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