Exercises to Do at Home

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In This Series

So you haven’t got the time or inclination to go to the gym. Or your membership fee’s crept up and you’re wondering if you wouldn’t rather spend that cash on grass-fed steaks. Or you go to the gym plenty, but you’d like to fit in extra sessions at home. What’s a man to do?

“Working out from home shouldn’t be looked at any differently from working out in a gym, except for the obvious benefit of not having to waste precious time travelling to a place in order to work out,” says Adam Wakefield, a personal trainer specialising in home workouts. “Queuing to use equipment is also non-existent, of course.”

Also, you get to choose the soundtrack, the decoration and who else gets a membership. It’s a system with no drawbacks – as long as you’ve got a plan in place to make sure you’re getting results. And here’s the good news: we’ve done that part for you.

RECOMMENDED: Home Workouts

Upgrade your abs

Abs training is one area where at-home training can offer a lot of advantages – you don’t really need weight to make it effective, you can lie on the floor without worrying about being trampled, and short, regular workouts are the way forward. “To start with, I’d suggest adopting the ‘brace’ position every time you do any movement – squatspress-ups or lunges, for instance,” says trainer, Men’s Fitness cover model and Body In 8 creator Callum Melly.

“Keep your core tight and glutes braced. That alone will improve your core strength without any extra work.” When you’re ready for the next step, focus on “anti-extension” moves. These involve resisting extension in your core rather than flexing your trunk, and they’ll safeguard your lower back.

The anti-extension workout

This core circuit, created by Melly, targets your upper and lower abdominals as well as your obliques. Do it three times a week, either at the end of a session or as a mini-workout on its own. Do each move for 30 seconds, extending this to 45 or 60 as you get stronger, rest for two minutes, and repeat twice.

Walking plank


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Start in a press-up position, then put one forearm on the ground at a time to “walk” into a plank. Return to the start, and alternate sides with each rep.

Bird dog


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From the plank, move onto your hands and knees. Raise one arm straight ahead and the opposite leg straight out behind you. Pause for a couple of seconds, then lower under control. Repeat on the other side.

Dead bug


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Roll over onto your back, with your legs and knees bent at 90°, and your arms vertical. Lower one arm and the opposite leg towards the floor. Pause and repeat on the other side.

4 Pulse up

Still lying on your back, bring your hands to the floor by your sides and raise your legs, keeping them straight, until they’re at 90° to the floor. Pulse upward by bringing your hips slightly off the floor, pause, then lower.

NEXT: Burn Fat at Home

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.