How to Lose Weight Working Out at Home.

So, you are suddenly quarantined for Coronavirus and wondering how to get your killer workouts in AT HOME? Or maybe you’ve never worked out at a gym before but you are just getting started on your weight loss journey, and you figure, why not work out at home? For many, the idea of going to a gym is intimidating anyway, quarantine status notwithstanding. 

This post will share with you– a list of the best workout programs for working out at home, as well as a list of some of my favorite home-gym equipment– from least expensive to most expensive. Get ready to sweat– because I can share, as someone who has been working out from home for 20+ years, you can get in outstanding shape from your own home or apartment– and with equipment you can easily store in a closet or under a bed! 

Do you need equipment to work out at home?

You don’t NEED to have equipment in order to get a good workout in at home. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say- in my opinion and my experience– you’ll have more options and the ability to get better results over the long run if you buy some equipment- especially some weights. 

Below is an example of many no-equipment moves that can be combined to make a great number of circuit workouts– that can deliver a solid sweatfest and get your muscles working:

  1. Pushups
  2. Sit-Ups + Crunches + Planks
  3. Tricep Dips off a chair or bench or steps.
  4. Step ups on any chair or bench or stair. 
  5. Stationary lunges or walking lunges.
  6. Squats- body weight only. 
  7. Plie Squats and pulses.
  8. Sissy Squats and Pulses.
  9. Shoulder focused “push-ups” inspired by Tony Horton.
  10. Yoga Poses
  11. Barre Moves
  12. Walking
  13. Running
  14. Jumping Jacks
  15. Plyometrics
  16. Jump Rope
  17. Bear Crawl
  18. Calf Raises
  19. Hip Thrusts: Body Weight Only
  20. Pullups

What You Should Buy For a Basic Home Gym Situation.

Let’s be real. The photo above is NOT what most people who are working out from home have: a lot of space. So – everything I mention here will take into consideration that you might very well be working out at home or working out in an apartment with limited space and not a lot of storage space either. That’s been my experience– I’ve always had a combination of storing my weights under my bed and other stuff in my closet. You do what you gotta do. 

Below is a list of what I’d recommend you consider to have a BASIC but solid home gym equipment situation.

The 20 Best Home Gym Equipment Buys.

  1. A Step Bench: I definitely recommend investing in a step- with extra risers. Why? This can be a WEIGHT BENCH too! And you can take risers OFF one side and add to the other so you can do incline weight moves as well. Further– using the step for STEP-UPS and REVERSE LUNGES and CURTSY STEPS is awesome for building the glutes! Plus you can do one-armed rows with heavy weights leaning on the bench and pullovers which are great for upper back. This is a STAPLE piece of equipment and so flexible. I’d recommend getting this step (buy on Amazon using this link: CLICK HERE.) and then getting this high step version so you have a lot of extra risers. 
  2. An Exercise Ball: Great for all kinds of core-focused moves. Another staple for a home gym. CLICK HERE to buy. 
  3. Valslides: My friend Valerie Waters— celebrity fitness trainer– was the first to come out with these sliding discs and they are so flexible- you can do all kinds of LEG moves with them and they can create deathly serious ab/core work for you too- just go to YouTube and type in Valslide moves to see a ton of free ideas. And head to Valerie’s website to check out her home workouts. 
  4. A set of Resistance Bands is another key thing- and what’s also great– you can pack these in your suitcase when you travel. I always pack these plus my Valslides (above) and my TRX (below) when I go on a personal or business trip. P.S. If you see this post and hit Amazon.com for resistance bands and discover they are out of stock, another option for you is to order from ME via Beachbody– we have bands with a ton of our workouts and you can score x 2– get a brand new workout and some home gym equipment! Just email me kelly@kellyolexa.com
  5. TRX Training System: I have been in love with TRX since I first found out about them like 10 years ago. This system is so portable and what I love to do most on the TRX is upper body work, but it’s really got dozens of moves you can do if you take the time to watch their videos. 
  6. Resistance Loop Bands— there are a LOT of options now for bands-and I’ll record some videos on the different moves to do for the different bands but with these LOOP bands, I use them for what Cathe Friedrich calls “firewalkers” where you put them around your ankles and move side to side in a semi-squat position. OMG THE BURN! 
  7. Bootie Bands: I call these thicker bands “bootie bands” because most often you’d use these ABOVE THE KNEE– and to focus hard core on GLUTES– these can often be used when doing hip thrusts and weighted hip thrusts. 
  8. Workout Gloves: the more you lift weight, you will understand the need for weight gloves. The more you sweat, the more you need a good grip. Invest in some solid weight gloves. 
  9. Weight Lifting Belt- For Back Support. This is a really good idea if you plan to continually increase your strength training (and you should)– especially for doing things like deadlifts and squats — get yourself a solid belt. 
  10. Yoga Mat: Even if you don’t do a ton of yoga it’s a great idea to have a yoga/exercise mat of some kind. You’ll use it. 
  11. Ab Wheel: I used to see things like this and think they were cheesy but after 3 of my best trainers told me to use this at home, I realized that this one was legit. And it will humble you trust me. 
  12. Foam Roller: Everyone should have a foam roller and learn how and why to use it. You’ll learn to love to hate it or hate to love it. 
  13. Stretching Band: You will find that a stretching band like this can help with sore/tight muscles more than you think. 
  14. Bosu Ball: This weird looking contraption is a lot more flexible than you think: my first trainer Jay had me do deadlifts on it and balance challenging moves all the time. It’s fantastic.
  15. Bowflex Adjustable Weights: One of the best investments I made was getting the Bowflex Adjustable Weights. And now that my man has to work out at home with me, he is loving having up to 52LBS each dumbbell. Totally worth it.
  16. Spin Bike: I don’t have one at this moment but when I bought this model of spin bike for my place, I LOVED IT- so intense. You could also look into Peloton of course for a lot more money.
  17. Dumbbells: Start investing in some dumbbells now and you will love yourself later. I’d suggest starting – if you are new to working out and want to get the most bang for your buck, get a pair of 5lb dumbbells and 10lb dumbbells. Go up to 15LB next and then add 20lbs when you are ready. 
  18. Barbell: I got this brand and am very happy with it. CAP BARBELL. FYI they’ve been sold out for a while but I found this set from another brand: CLICK HERE.
  19. Barbell Plates: Duh. Get you some weight on that barbell. 
  20. Kettlebells: Adding Kettlebell swings in to your routine can do wonderful things. It can really get your heart rate up and does wonderful things for working the whole body at once. CLICK HERE to get a nice adjustable set at a great price.

My Top 10 Best Home Workout Programs.

After YEARS of working out at home in addition to the gym I have TONS of recommendations to make. Below are some of my FAVORITE workout programs and people. Feel free to reach out to me and ask any questions- I’m happy to help. 

  1. Way back in the day, I started out with mostly cardio workouts. I’m going to share some of the oldies but goodies — and if you can get past some of the really bad fitness fashion there are some great sweat-fests in here. First of all- I LOVED doing TaeBo- now Billy Blanks has DVDs all over the place online but it doesn’t appear that he was as savvy with his business back in the day because now- I am hard pressed to find a Taebo website or streaming service. Very odd. That said, Taebo is a fun kickboxing workout and you can find a LOT of his workouts FREE on his YouTube Channel
  2. When I started doing weights, it was because I was inspired by The FIRM workouts. Now– apparently you can find the next generation of FIRM trainers doing FIRM workouts at GAIA. I’m bringing up The FIRM workouts because honestly- the original workouts– high cut spandex and leg warmer outfits aside– were GREAT workouts and some of the earliest to have WEIGHTS for women. Yup. They were in my experience the front-runners. Most of the stuff out in the early days was all cardio. If you want to check out previews of the workouts they have a ton on Anna Benson, the founder- on her YouTube Channel. If you dig  what you see you can buy many of The FIRM workouts on Amazon. 
  3. After I was doing The FIRM for a while I discovered Cathe Friedrich (photo of her above). Let me just tell you- Cathe is amazing. She has been producing workout videos for decades and just keeps getting better. You can buy her DVDs or subscribe to her online streaming program at Cathe.com. I love Cathe because 85%+ of her workouts are focused on INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED. So if you are a gym rat working out from home all of a sudden and want to train hard like you mean it– Cathe is your girl. Further– what I also love is that on her YouTube Channel she shares like 10 minute+ previews of her workouts!! I interviewed Cathe on the podcast- CLICK HERE to listen.
  4. I mentioned Valerie Waters previously and she has KILLER WORKOUTS FOR THE HOME GYM FANATIC. Click here to shop. I interviewed her on the podcast also– you can listen here.
  5. Chris Freytag has another fantastic online fitness platform- GET HEALTHY U. I also interviewed Chris on the podcast: click here to listen.
  6. I have also been a fan of and customer of Beachbody for YEARS. In fact, I just signed up as a coach (!) with my BFF Jenelle Summers because I think Beachbody has some of the most legit home workouts on the planet– they’ve added a ton more since I last was buying the DVDS– and now they have an insane streaming program that is way too reasonable to turn down. I also interviewed Jenelle on the podcast and you can listen to that 2-part interview by clicking here.  What are my favorite go-to Beachbody workouts? I did P90X and bought all of Tony Horton’s additional workouts (P90X One on One)- and that program is amazing. Body Beast is a personal favorite and I loved Insanity back in the day– now I love that Shaun T has a ton more shorter HIIT workouts as well. Brazil Butt Lift is surprisingly intense and I’ve always been obsessed with TurboFire. SO fun. What do I plan to dive into with Beachbody workouts next?? Hammer & Chisel, Core de Force, Shift Shop, LIFT 4, 80-Day Obsession, 6-Weeks of The Work and 10 Rounds. And the Barre program. Holy crap. No excuse to complain when quarantined with this variety. You can shop all these fitness programs and Beachbody on Demand and the nutrition and equipment products by CLICKING HERE to my site. 
  7. Udaya: has incredible Yoga programming. I’ve bought their DVDs and have used their online streaming program. 
  8. The Ultimate Yogi is by Travis Eliot- he’s an amazing guy and awesome human. I interviewed him on the podcast as well. LISTEN HERE.
  9. Suzanne Bowen has some killer BARRE workouts on DVD. CLICK HERE to check out Barre Amped. 
  10. Jari Love is based in Canada and she honestly has some killer workouts. Most of them you can buy on Amazon. Here’s one– and then you can check out the rest on Amazon as well. I’ve done her workouts for years and they are a great burn. Her YouTube channel has some previews. Don’t let the bad set design fool you- she knows her stuff. 

Don't Wait. Just start working out at home today.

As I said above- I have been working out from home for years! I love it– and yes, I absolutely love working out with a trainer at the gym and I plan when we are out of this coronavirus madness to go try a lot of new local classes– but — working out at home is convenient and can get you shredded!! I’m planning to share my next 60-days of working out from home + sticking with my diet plan (will publish that later this week- make sure you are subscribed!) results– and what I eat every day and what I do for workouts every day- on my social media – particularly instagram

Let me know if you have any questions about equipment or any of the workouts I mentioned above. Let’s SWEAT! 

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