Exercises To Do At Home When You're Short On Time


Sweat Sisters, Do you want to work out, but don't have time to hit the gym? Lately, you've been so busy that you can barely catch-up with your bestie on the phone or cook a decent meal. Well, news flash... exercise doesn't need to be overly time-consuming. By breaking a sweat at home, you eliminate the commute it would have taken for you to drive back and forth to the gym and can utilize this time for anything else you need to accomplish.

Next time you don't have a minute to spare, try these fifteen non-equipment workouts in your living room. Don't worry! You do not need to do all fifteen at first, but see how many exercises you can bang out. Now let's start squeezing in a solid workout!


1. Bicycle Crunches

  • Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your navel in to target your deep abs).
  • Put your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground, but be sure not to pull on your neck.
  • Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
  • Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.
  • Do three sets of 20 reps.


2. Lateral Leg Raises

  • Lie on your side (from hip to ankle), legs extended.
  • Rest on your elbow, but ensure your back is in line with your legs and not leaning forward.
  • Lift your top leg 45 degrees, then lower slowly.
  • Do 5 lifts with your toe flexed, 5 with your toe pointed, and 5 with your toe pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Repeat on the other side.


3. Squats

  • Find a foot stance that feels best for you.
  • Pointing your toes slightly outwards helps some, but keeping them parallel is fine, too.
  • If you’re not sure what’s best, start by putting your feet shoulder-width apart and pointed about 15 degrees outwards.
  • Tense your abs like someone is about to punch you. Look straight ahead and stand tall!
  • “Sit back” – make sure to move your butt backward, don’t just bend your knees.
  • Be careful to keep your knees in line with your toes, don’t let them cave in.
  • Look straight ahead and don’t round your back.


4. Forearm Side Plank Twists

  • Start in a forearm side plank on your left side with your left elbow on the floor below your shoulder.
  • Place your right arm behind your head.
  • Rotate your torso toward the floor, bringing your right elbow to meet your left hand.
  • Repeat on the other side.


5. Push-Ups

  • Get down on all fours, placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Straighten your arms and legs.
  • Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor.
  • Pause, then push yourself back up.
  • Repeat. 


6. Marching Glute Bridge

  • Lie faceup on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your hips off the mat into a bridge. Keeping your right knee bent, lift your right foot off the floor.
  • Try to keep your hips still. Hold for five seconds. Slowly lower your right foot to the ground but keep your hips lifted.
  • Lift your left foot off the ground to repeat on the other side.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 reps.


7. Mountain Climbers

  • Get into a plank position, making sure to distribute your weight evenly between your hands and your toes.
  • Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, back flat, abs engaged, and head in alignment.
  • Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can.
  • Then switch, pulling that knee out and bringing the other knee in.
  • Keeping your hips down, run your knees in and out as far and as fast as you can.  

8. Reverse Lunges

  • Stand upright, with your hands at your hips.
  • Take a large step backward with your left foot.
  • Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle.
  • Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted.
  • Return to standing by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg forward to complete one rep.
  • Alternate legs, and step back with right leg.


9. Spider-Man Mountain Climbers

  • Start in a high plank position from your hands and feet.
  • Drive your right knee out and up toward your right tricep.
  • As you do, turn your head to watch your knee meet your arm.
  • Alternate sides as fast as you can while still maintaining a sturdy plank and keeping your torso in place.


10. Donkey Kicks

  • Start on all fours.
  • Pull your right knee toward your chest, keeping your foot flexed.
  • Then, kick your right leg up behind you and toward the sky, then back down, keeping your knee bent and foot flexed.
  • Do 20 on each side, two to three times.


11. Jump Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Sit your butt back and bend your knees to drop into a squat, keeping your chest upright.
  • Jump up into the air as high as you can and straighten out your legs.
  • Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.
  • Do two to three sets of 10 reps.


12. Burpees

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  • Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands.
  • Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  • Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  • Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up into the air.
  • Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.


13. Plank Ups

  • Start in a high plank.
  • Bend one arm to bring the elbow and forearm to the floor.
  • Bring the other arm down so you are in a forearm plank.
  • Push back up to the start position, placing each hand where your elbows were.
  • Repeat this pattern, alternating which side you lower first with each rep.


14. Skater Hops

  • Starting at the left of your space, squat slightly then jump to the right as far as you can.
  • Land on your right foot and try not to touch your left foot down.
  • Jump back across to land on your left foot.


15. Fire Hydrants

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees on the ground. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping the knee in a bent position, abduct the femur, moving your knee away from the midline of the body.
  • Pause at the top of the motion, and then slowly return to the starting position.
  • Perform this slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.

And thats a wrap for our at home workouts! Hope you had fun sweating! Comment your favorite exercise from the list!

Grace Mastronardi is a Senior at Rutgers University studying Communications and Digital Media. The New Jersey native is also a contributing writer for Her Campus Rutgers. When she’ s not writing, she can be found drinking smoothies, swimming in the ocean, painting on a canvas or hiking with her precious dog Teddy!