Work Out at Home; Discover the Pros and Cons

By Hayley Payne | Tuesday 12th February 2019

Last updated on Tuesday 28th July 2020

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We all know that feeling when we’ve come home from work puffed out. The last thing you want to do is get changed and go to the gym. This is why I love working out at home. I can wear whatever I want and can take as long as I want to. It’s also quick and easy and means you can take a shower straight away and get on with your day. In this post, I explain all about how to work out at home effectively. We then take a look at the pros and cons of a home workout.

Getting Into a Routine

Fitting in exercise into your daily schedule is really important. If you plan your workouts, then you are more likely to be consistent. Consistency is what gets results. It might take a bit of experimentation to find a suitable time of day. Once you decide on your best time to work out at home, then allocate this time each day to your home workout.

How to Work Out at Home

Personally, I really enjoy an early morning workout. My work out at home involves a quick circuit in my living room. This is usually one of my Shredify circuits. I do this in my pyjamas, have a quick shower and then head off to work for the day. Later on, I’ll do a gym workout following the beach master plan.

An example of my circuit work out at home is:

  1. Skipping or star jumps
  2. Press-ups
  3. Sit-ups
  4. Split Lunges
  5. Burpees
  6. Plank hold

I do each of these stations for one minute each. I repeat the circuit three to five times, with a minute rest in between. These workouts are quick and easy, and I usually do them before breakfast. This ensures I get some fasted cardio in. I find doing fasted cardio wakes up my metabolism, which can be sluggish in the morning. It’s always better to have breakfast, but sometimes I’m just not hungry. However, I find I only need to work out at home for 20 minutes for my body to be ready for food. Experts also say that fasted cardio helps to burn fatty acids (Febbraio et al., 2000). Try a morning work out at home to give fat burning a boost!

Selecting Your Exercises

Now we will look at what exercises to choose to put into your work out at home. When selecting exercises, you need to ensure you understand these three main principles:

1. Correct Technique

Working out without proper technique is not advisable. This can result in your workout being ineffective, or worse – you could get injured! If you like the look of an exercise but are unsure about how to do it, do a bit of research first. Once you know the correct technique, you should then add it to your work out at home.

How to Work Out at Home

2. Correct Number of Reps

Different fitness goals require different repetition ranges. The right amount of reps is not just for the gym, it’s also an important factor when you work out at home:

  • 6-8 repetitions: improve strength
  • 8-10 repetitions: improve power
  • 10-12 repetitions: increase muscle size
  • 12-15 repetitions: improve muscular endurance

Use these guidelines to tailor your home workout to your goals. If you’re looking to build strength, you shouldn’t work out at home every day. It’s recommended to do just 2-4 sets with at least one rest day in between (Swain and Leutholtz, 2007).

3. A correct understanding of the exercise

You want to ensure the exercises that you’re doing at home are simple and easy to do. Unlike a gym, when you work out at home, you have little equipment to hand. So the less complicated the exercise, the better. To get the most out of your home workout, choose movements that target multiple muscle groups. A squat, for example, won’t just work your glutes but will also hit your quads and hamstrings.

Squats are a great addition to your home workout

Pros and Cons of the Home Workout

Now you’re well equipped to work out at home. Let’s look at the pros and cons so you can decide if a home workout is right for you.

Pros of Home Workouts

  1. You can wear whatever you like.
    When you work out at home, you needn’t have the latest gym gear! A home workout is great if comfort is a priority for you. You can literally wear whatever you like to work out in, whether it be your pj’s or underwear. You could even wear those see-through leggings that you love but just can’t wear in public!
  2. It’s free!
    If you want to save money, work out at home. A home workout is excellent for the piggy bank, as you avoid those monthly gym costs and expensive sign-up fees.
  3. It’s private.
    Some of us like to exercise in private. For some, the fewer people in the gym the better. But it’s hard to time your visits to the gym for when nobody else is there. When you work out at home, you’re entirely in your own space. You never have to wait for equipment, and you can do whichever exercises you like!
  4. You aren’t afraid to fail.
    Failure can happen, and is part of learning! Some of us feel uncomfortable trying new exercises in front of others, so if you’re one of these people, try a home workout. When you work out at home, you will feel free to try new things. You might also push yourself a bit harder. If you fail, it doesn’t matter – the only person that knows is you.
  5. There are no commuting times.
    There’s no travel involved when you work out at home. This can save you valuable time which can be spent with family. After your home workout, you only need to go as far as the shower. Then you can get on with your day.

How to Work out At Home

Cons of Home Workouts

  1. Lack of equipment.
    The main downfall when you work out at home is the lack of equipment. Investing in some is an option, but can be expensive. With a home workout, you are limited in what exercises you can do.
  2. More distraction.
    There are many distractions when you work out at home. The TV and housework are common culprits! Pets can also get in the way. With all these distractions, it takes more motivation to work out at home than it does in a gym.
  3. You need space.
    You need to ensure that there is enough space at home to be able to work out with flooring that is suitable for exercise.
  4. There’s little variety.
    You are limited to what you are able to do at home. You’ll need to get creative with furniture, and finding suitable exercises can be tricky.

Home workouts require a lot of space

Ready to Work Out at Home?

It’s important to find the right time to work out at home. This keeps you consistent. It’s also a good idea to research exercises first, and select the correct rep ranges. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons, so you know what’s right for you. But for me, nothing is more fun than working out in my fluffy PJ’s to ‘Call On Me’!

If you need guidance planning your home workout, read our post on the fundamentals of a well-designed workout plan.

Hayley Payne


British Gymnast, Injury Prevention Specialist, BSc (Hons)

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