A No-Equipment Home Workout To Give You A Lift On Gloomy Days

Man performing knee kick exercise at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With the clocks going back and the weather taking a turn for the worse, many of us will take advantage of hybrid working patterns and stay indoors more. And with COVID-19 lockdowns a receding memory, we’re no longer bored with home workouts and can take advantage of a hit of exercise to beat lethargy.

Carrie Baxter, a Level 3 PT and fitness coach for fitness app WithU, recommends home HIIT workouts: “Think short periods of dynamic exercises followed by a brief rest, and then going again, on repeat,” she says. “Your heart rate will be elevated, and you’ll work hard, but for maximum benefit. HIIT workouts are ideal for people short on time who want to maximise their workout time. They can be done with minimal equipment, in relatively small spaces like a living room. The exercises are also interchangeable, meaning you can either work on the whole body or isolate key muscle groups you want to develop.”

No-Equipment Home Workout

Here, Baxter has programmed a five-move HIIT workout that targets the whole body, but requires no equipment. Do each of the moves for 30 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between each move. Repeat the whole circuit three times. Bursting with energy? Go for five rounds.

1 Drop squat

Woman performing squat exercise at home

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Time 30sec Rest 15sec

Stand with your feet directly under your hips. Perform a small jump straight up, then land and go straight into a squat, keeping your centre of gravity over your heels and sitting your hips and bending your knees to lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your knees over your toes, making sure they don’t cave in, and try not to lean forwards, keeping your back upright and your shoulder blades back and down. Push through your heels to spring back up to the starting position.

2 Walking plank

Time 30sec Rest 15sec

Start in the low plank position on your forearms and toes, supporting your body in a straight line. Lengthen your spine by moving your head forwards and heels backwards. Engage your core, then place one hand on the floor and extend that arm. Repeat on the other side to finish in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Then reverse the move back to a forearm plank. Keep your hips as still as possible as you transition from the high to low plank.

3 Bicycle crunch

Man performing bicycle crunch exercise at home

(Image credit: Getty Images / Oscar Wong)

Time 30sec Rest 15sec

Lie on your back and raise your shoulders slightly off the floor. Rest your fingers on your temples with your elbows slightly in front of your head. Bring one elbow and the opposite knee together, aiming to move your elbow as far as your knee, and simultaneously extend the other leg. Repeat on the other side and continue at pace. Make sure your neck and shoulders stay relaxed, and don’t hold your breath.

4 Walk-out to press-up with jump

Time 30sec Rest 15sec

From standing, hinge forwards at your hips and bend down to put your hands on the floor. Walk your hands forwards until they are under your shoulders. Making sure your body is in a straight line and your core is braced, bend your elbows to lower into a press-up, then push up powerfully back to a high plank. Walk your hands back to your feet, then lift your hands off the floor to go into a low squat, then jump straight up. 

5 Knee kicks

Time 30sec Rest 15sec

Stand with your arms overhead. Raise your left knee powerfully and bring both hands down to your left thigh. Return to the start, then repeat on the other side. Continue at pace, lightly hopping between your feet and making sure not to lean back. 

Lucy Gornall

Lucy is an experienced health and fitness journalist, and was formerly health editor for TI Media’s portfolio of women’s titles. Lucy qualified as a level 3 personal trainer with Train Fitness in 2016, and also holds qualifications in pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as in nutrition for exercise.