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The Ultimate At-Home Workout

Staying in shape when stuck
indoors can be tough

If you find yourself stuck at home it can be easy to let your health and fitness take a back seat. Over the last few months with the emergence of COVID-19, this has become a major problem for people all over the world.

If you have found yourself stuck indoors where you may not have access to any workout facilities at all, there are always things you can do to ensure your training isn’t derailed.

The role of training in these situations is to, at the very least, stimulate all of the major muscle groups sufficiently so that you help preserve the precious muscle tissue you’ve worked hard to earn through your training.

At the same time, you want to be in a position where you can fall straight back into your program upon your return to the gym, and perform without feeling like you have taken a step backwards.  This is even more crucial when you are shooting for a rapid transformation. No day is expendable, you cannot afford to miss training opportunities or waste days playing catch-up.

Here is a quick workout you can perform in the comfort of your own home with nothing more than yourself, a resistance band and a couple of books, or something else an inch or two in height that is able to bear your body weight. Regression options are also added if you cannot perform the advanced exercise.

The example workout below challenges all major muscle groups. Perform the exercises in circuit fashion one after the other using the rest periods and tempos given. All tempos are given in seconds. 

1) Single Leg Hip Thrust

Regression: Double Leg

Reps: 10-15 each leg

Tempo: 3 down, 1 up, 2 pause

Rest: 10 seconds


  • Place your upper back on the edge of your bed so your shoulder blades are in contact with the mattress.
  • Place both feet out in front of you (far enough out so that your knees are flexed 90 degrees) and extend your hips to lockout, remember there is a difference between hip extension and lumbar extension which many people get confused with, you want to exclusively move using the former to get the most out of this exercise.
  • Lift one leg up and hold spine/hip position, now you’re ready to begin.
  • If you haven’t already reached failure on the last rep of the final round, perform one more rep, hold top position for as long as possible.

2. Press Ups (with intention)

Regression: No Intention/Knees Down

Reps: 10-15

Tempo: 2 up, 1 hold, 2 down, 1 hold

Rest: 10 seconds


  • To get the arms in the right position for the press up, start lying face down on the floor. Place your hands at a height that lines up with your middle/lower sternum and at a width wide enough so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor.
  • Press yourself into the top position and ensure you hold a neutral spine.
  • To make this exercise more challenging, apply intention by trying to drag your hands towards each other as hard as possible through the entire set.
  • If you haven’t already reached failure on the last rep of the final round, lower your chest into the bottom position of the exercise and hold for as long as possible.

3) Heels Elevated Quad Squat With Band

Regression:  No Band

Reps: 10-15

Tempo: 3 down, 1 pause, 3 up

Rest: 10 seconds


  • Use a couple of books or something else about 2 inches in height that is stable, then place them against a wall (don’t use high heeled shoes for this – the risk of getting a twisted ankle is too great).
  • Place your heels onto it and stand just wider than hip-width apart, feet flared slightly out in the same direction your knees will travel.
  • Anchor your resistance band under the soles of your feet and hook the other end over your neck.
  • Execute the exercise by pushing your knees as far forward over your toes as possible (without lifting your heels), minimise how far back you sit and maintain as much of an upright a torso as you can. The wall behind you will help keep your position in check.
  • At the bottom of the squat you should be almost sitting onto your heels, but not literally, that would take tension of the quadriceps and allow them to rest. The same can be said at the top of the exercise. Do not lock your knees out and keep them slightly flexed, maintaining constant tension for the duration of the set.
  • If you haven’t already reached failure on the last rep of the final round, perform a wall sit with 90-degree knee flexion for as long as possible.

4) Banded Bent-Over Row

Regression: (See Setup/Tips Below)

Reps: 10-15

Tempo: 2 up, 2 hold, 2 down

Rest: 60 seconds


  • Feet flat on the floor, band anchored under the soles and hold the ends of the band in your hands.
  • Make sure you take equal lengths of band on each side or you could get uneven resistance from left to right.
  • The lower down you hold the band, the more challenging this exercise will be and visa versa.
  • Sit back through the hips whilst maintaining a neutral spine so that your chest is facing towards the floor.
  • Initiate the movement with your shoulder blades. Imagine pulling them down into your back pockets as hard as possible, once there you can start squeezing them together and pull your elbows back towards your hips.
  • Avoid pulling towards your chest, this will take tension off the lats/mid back.
  • If you haven’t already reached failure on the last rep of the final round, perform one more rep, hold top position for as long as possible.

Complete the above circuit 3-5 times consecutively, this will depend on how strong you are. Some people may hit failure on just 2-3 rounds, others may still be going strong at 4-5.

Five rounds will take you between 30-40 minutes. If you have time after this, get out of your room and perform 15-20 minutes’ worth of interval training. This could be performed by running, swimming, cycling, whatever you feel you can express the most effort through.

See below for a simple but effective approach you could use…

HIIT Workout

1: 20 seconds – Sprint as fast as you possibly can, leave nothing in the tank.

2: 60 seconds – Walk, breathe, recover.

Rinse and repeat, 12 rounds of this will take you just over 15 minutes.

In total, you’re looking at 45-60 minutes of work and you can cut out the time it takes you to travel to the gym and pack your workout gear.

How to use this workout

This workout could be performed on a ‘day on, day off’ split if that is what your schedule allows, you could even circuit train in the morning and perform the intervals later in the day.

If you’re away for more than a couple of days and time permits, it may be better to separate the circuit and interval training to alternate days allowing you to get some form of activity in on a daily basis. There are many combinations and it is important that you choose what you feel fits into your schedule the most conveniently.

When limited with regards to equipment, you have to get inventive when trying to challenge your muscles. Of course, the exercises are never going to be ideal and finding ones that match the intensity of your UP training sessions is going to be impossible.

Nevertheless, as with the workout example provided, what they lack in intensity you can make up for with volume, density and frequency. Remember, something is better than nothing and excuses that your hotel didn’t have a gym are simply not good enough!

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