Top 25 At-Home Exercises for Beginners

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Top 25 At-Home Exercises for Beginners

You are all convinced to start strength training, but you don't see it happening because of your work schedule? Who wants to walk into the gym right after long office hours? No one! That's true! 

Sitting for long makes you lazy, and going to the gym means spending extra time on exercise whereas all you want is save time. Well, your problem is quite complicated, but we have got a solution for you. 

You don't have to go to the gym; you don't need any gym accessories either except a set of dumbbells: you just pick a few exercises from our most amazing collection and start building muscles without having to follow a glamorous, equipment-loaded exercise program. You will build muscle just like anyone else, but we have cut the crap for you, presenting a collection that's clean and convenient. 

Dive right in and choose the ones that will suit you. 

This is a collection of 25 most convenient, easy to do, and minimal equipment exercises that you can do at home. You can choose a few of them to get started with muscle-building: they are not demanding in terms of space, strength, or set-up. 

1. Press-Up

  • You will be on the floor on all fours, your hands a bit wider than shoulders, elbows should be slightly bent. 
  • Extend the legs backward so that your entire weight is on your palms and toes with your legs hip-width apart.
  • Tighten your core: inhale and pull your belly towards the spine.
  • Inhale and bend your elbows while lowering your body to the floor until your elbows are at 90 degrees to the floor.
  • Exhale and push the floor with your hands while returning to the starting position.

Push-ups are a compound exercise that targets and activate several muscles in the body. It is a great one for your legs, glutes, biceps, triceps (arms), pectoral muscles (chest muscles), shoulders, and spine. It's a holistic move that you can do anywhere and build massive muscles all over your body. Study shows that people who do push-ups are more likely to avoid cardiovascular diseases.

2. Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Press

  • Stand straight, holding dumbbells in both hands at shoulder height with an overhand grip. Thumbs are on the inside, and knuckles face up.
  • Exhale while raising the weights overhead in a slow and controlled motion.
  • Stop briefly and return the dumbbells to the shoulder position.

Overhead shoulder press builds your arms and shoulders. You can do it with kettlebells, dumbbells, or a machine. You can use the equipment of choice. Dumbbells are most recommended for the stability that your muscles achieve with them. 

3. Skipping

We all know skipping; it's a childhood love. However, the seemingly fun-only movement has amazing benefits for fitness freaks.  We consider it cardio exercise mostly, which is why it's not recommended for muscle builders in most programs. 

However, it is usually forgotten that it works arms, legs, shoulders, and back while in motion. It is just the kind of exercise that would suit a beginner. There is just one very affordable piece of equipment required, and you are good to go!  The best part is that you do not want a guide before doing it; almost everyone knows how to do it. 

  • Grab a skipping rope in your hands and start with a strong grip.
  • The rope should be at the back of your feet before you make the first arc above your head.
  • Stand comfortably and move your hands and forearms to move the rope above your head and come to the front of your feet.
  • When it comes to your feet in front, hop over it while simultaneously moving to back and overhead again.
  • You would keep going in this circular motion for as much time as you can. 
  • Beginners should move slow: you should not be hitting exhaustion and beyond initially.
  • Build cardiovascular endurance with this simple exercise before you try muscle failure. 

4. Dumbbell Squat

Squats are one of the most famous and amazing bodyweight compound exercises that work your full-body muscles. Dumbbells add resistance to the already awesome move and help speed up muscle growth. 

Dumbbell squats are perfect for beginners: they are not extra-tough or technical. They can train and get you ready for tougher and more challenging squat types in time. 

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Dumbbells on the sides of your legs and your palms should be facing your legs.
  • Engage your core and strengthen yourself, keeping your body straight. 
  • Now start to bend your knees, legs, and ankles into a squatting position. 
  • Bend until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground ( give and take).
  • Keep dumbbells close to your body all the while and move them up towards your shoulders. 
  • Slowly stand up straight and straighten your arms too.

Dumbbell squats work legs, core, and arms altogether. 

5. Farmer's Walk

Farmer's walk or farmer's carry is a strength exercise that provides cardiovascular stimulation. It is a simple exercise where you just walk a certain distance with weights in both hands.  Again, it's a compound exercise that needs minimal equipment and targets fat tremendously. It's a perfect, minimalistic exercise that's ideal for your muscle-building regimen. 

  1. Hold weights in your both hands and start walking.
  2. You need to keep your body straight and upright.
  3. Walk until you start to feel a significant stretch in your arms and hands.
  4. You should also be able to notice considerable heavy breathing and increased heart rate if the weight is providing resistance.

6. Lateral Raise

Lateral raises are done to engage upper back and shoulder muscles. It's a perfect exercise to work your upper body with just a set of dumbbells in your hands.

  • stand straight and hold dumbbells in both your hands.
  • Engage your core.
  • Start to lift the dumbbells away from your body.
  • You should keep lifting until your arms, shoulders, and back are in a straight line (although a slight difference is allowed).
  • Your feet should be clenching the floor for a stable footing and posture. 
  • Pause a few seconds when you have lifted the weight to your shoulders before letting your arms down to the starting position.
  • It seems simple, but it rips your deltoids and trapezius muscles effectively. 

7. Burpees

This is a spectacular, no-equipment exercise that requires a little training before you master the move. However, it's nothing to be scared of. You will enjoy burpees once you know how to pull them perfectly.

Burpees is a cardio and bodyweight strength exercise that gives your legs, arms, and core a much-needed hit. No equipment needed: your weight is a good enough challenge in this exercise. 

  • Start in a squat position with your legs bent, back straight, and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Next, you need to spread your hands in front of you to be on your fours
  • You want your hands to be placed according to your feet width.
  • Now shift your entire weight to your hands and extend your legs backward like you were doing a push-up.
  • Do one push-up keeping your entire body straight in a line.
  • After finishing the push-up, frog Jump to your feet and start to stand up.
  • You want to move your arms like you were pushing something behind your back as you take a small jump up.
  • Land in the same spot and the same squatting position and repeat the circle of movement.

To make it easier, in the beginning, you can skip the jump after squat or push up after squat completely. Slowly condition your body towards the complete movement. 

8. Plyometric, Jumping Lunges

Jumping lunges are just like the normal walking lunges except for one thing- the jump while switching the front foot. The jump and thrust add to the intensity of the exercise, help engage muscle more, and increase heartbeat efficiently.

  • Start with standing straight and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Next, move one leg before the other.
  • Your arms are also in a position like you were going to run a marathon.
  • Maintain core muscle engagement throughout the movement.
  • Quickly let your weight down and then explosively launch your body upward, extending your knees and hips.
  • As you jump up, bring your feet rapidly together and switch them as you begin to land. 
  • As you land, maintain your full body balance. Your front knee should be straight above your front foot.
  • Land softly on the front foot and lower your heel to touch the ground. 
  • Keep your hips back and let your knees and hips absorb the shock of landing.
  • Don't lock your knees.
  • Drop to a deep position again for the next rep.
  • Aim to repeat for a minute, but it's ok if you can't do it initially

9. Calf Raise

Calf raises are perfect for your leg and calf muscles. They stretch calf muscles, add to their size and strength, improve their flexibility, and increase the functional strength of your legs. 

  • Stand with your upper body straight.
  • Your hands will be on the sides of your legs.
  • Place the front of the foot on a stable platform/ a wooden board of 2-3 inches in height.
  • Your heels should now extend down to touch the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Raise the heels off the floor as you exhale, simultaneously contracting your calves. Hold the contraction for a second.
  • When you inhale, go back to the starting position, steadily lowering your heels.
  • Repeat as many times as you can. 

10. Bicep Curl

Bicep curls are the most widely chosen exercise for strong upper arms. They work the front upper arm and the forearm for strength and bigger muscles. Bicep curls also help you increase functional strength because the stronger your biceps, the heavier you can lift. 

  • Begin by standing straight with your feet almost hip-width apart. Keep your core muscles engaged by contracting them.
  • Hold one dumbbell in each of your hands.
  • Let your arms relax; lower them down at the sides of your body.
  • Your palms should be facing forward. 
  • Keeping the upper arms stiff and unmoved, leaving your shoulders relaxed, bend the elbow and lift the weights in a way that the dumbbells reach your shoulders. 
  • Your elbows should be inward during the exercise. Exhale while lifting.
  • Lower the weights to the starting position.

11. Dumbbell Step-Up

Step up is a massive quad, hamstring, and glute builder. With the added weight of the dumbbell, you intensify muscle building in your legs. Do it properly to achieve maximum benefits. 

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides. 
  • Put one foot on a bench or box, and your knee bent to 90°.
  • Keeping the other leg straight and firmly placed on the ground, push your shoulders back, and chest out.
  • Push through your top foot to propel your body on the platform; your back won't be touching the ground at this stage. 
  • Lowe your back leg again to the floor to finish

12. Plank

Plank is aimed at a strong core. A strong core will help you perform the most strenuous of exercises easily. Your joints will stay relaxed while doing exercises as the strong core takes the brunt.

A plank can determine the core strength in seconds, as simple as it seems. 

  • Start with the plank position, face down with your forearms and toes on the floor. 
  • Your elbows are right under your shoulders, and your forearms face forward. 
  • Keep Your head relaxed, and you should be looking at the floor.
  • Engage your core by sucking in your navel toward your spine. 
  • Keep your upper body straight. 
  • This is the neutral position.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds before you relax on the floor.

13. Dead Bug

This is a core exercise yet again. The dead bug is just the best and most entertaining thing to work up your core for strength and stability, 

  • Rest your shoulders and lower back on the floor.
  • Draw your shoulders away from your ears like pushing further downwards. 
  • To start, lift your elbows above your shoulders with your fists facing each other.
  • Lift your legs with your knees directly over your hips.
  • Exhale and slowly lower your right arm and left leg until they're about to touch the floor.
  • Inhale, bring them back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the opposite leg and arm.
  • This makes one rep.

14. Side Plank

This is a basic, straight plank variation and promotes core strength like the original plank. Side planks are great for backache issues. It can reduce your chances of a back injury

  • Lie on your right side with legs straight and feet on top of each other. 
  • Place your right elbow under your right shoulder with your forearm pointing away from you and your hand balled into a fist. 
  • The pinky side of your hand should be in contact with the ground.
  • Keep your neck neutral, breathe out, and contract your core.
  • Lift your body off the mat so that your entire weight is on your elbow and the side of your right foot. 
  • Your body should be in a straight line with no exception.
  • Hold this position for 15 seconds initially. 
  • Repeat on your left side.

15. Dumbbell Floor Press

The comfortable dumbbell floor press is a triceps ( back of your upper arm) builder. It's a strength exercise that initiates and speeds up muscle growth and strength building. The added weight of dumbbells makes it perfect for those who love massive arms.

  • Start by sitting on the floor upright with your legs straight, spread out, and the dumbbells vertically balanced on the floor.
  • Pick up the dumbbells and set them high on your hip crease while maintaining a tight grip.
  • Slowly lie down, keeping the dumbbells close to your chest. 
  • Bend your knees to roughly 45 degrees, bringing your feet up.
  • Press the weights up to full extension; try contracting your triceps and chest.
  • Bring your elbows down to the ground slowly.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

16. Bench Dips

Select the right height bench first of all. Check if the height suits you and you are comfortable perching your hands on it while lowering your body. Bench dips strengthen your shoulders, upper arms as well as chest. 

They need no special equipment yet, build muscles like any hardcore gym exercise. 

  • Sit on a bench, hands on the bench, next to your thighs.
  • Extend your legs, lifting your bottom off the bench and holding it there with extended arms.
  • Hinging at the elbow, lower your body down as far as you can go. 
  • Push up with your palms back to the starting position.
  • At the starting position, just touch the bench, don't sit on it

17. Crunch

Crunches are your best isolation exercises for strong and muscular abs. They are very easy to do and require absolutely no equipment at all.

  • Lie on your back straight. 
  • Rest your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. 
  • Bend your knees at 35 degrees and place your arms across your chest. 
  • Contract your abdominal area and suck in.
  • Breathe out and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed.
  • Inhale and straighten your body 

18. Lower Back Curl

If you want to tone abdominal muscles, there is nothing as amazing as a lower back curl.

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms on your sides. This is the starting position.
  • lift your chest off of the ground, using your lower back and extending your spine
  • Your arms should not be pushing you up.
  • Keep your head up in the famous cobra style during the exercise

19. Dumbbell Calf Raises

Strong legs mean strength overall. You can not be an athlete or anything in the fitness world if your legs are weak. These simple dumbbell calf raises can do magic to your calves' muscles in no time. Consistency is the only condition. 

  • Stand straight with feet at shoulder width, holding a dumbbell in each hand.  
  • Let your arms hang on your sides.
  • Raise yourself onto your toes, stop briefly, and return slowly to the starting position. 
  • Your calves muscles should feel the tension.

While doing calf raises, try to keep your back and knees completely straight. You can use a chair to support you if you have issues balancing on your toes. 

20. Bear Crawls

Build your arms and legs with the famous bear crawl. Add fun to your strength training regime with this no-equipment exercise.

  • Start the bear crawl like you were doing a push-up. You need to be on all fours at this stage, hands beneath the shoulders and legs bent right under your hips.
  • The feet should be hip-distance apart, and your toes should be touching the floor.
  • Move forward by moving the right hand and the left leg simultaneously crawlingly.
  • Your knees should never touch the ground during the exercise This is a quick crawl; be swift in the movement.
  • You can crawl as much you want: it will only strengthen you. 

21. Two-Point Plank

This is a core buster yet again like all planks are. With a two-point plank, you increase movement coordination and stability big time. 

  • Rest on your elbows which are directly under the shoulders.
  • Lift the hips, forming a straight line from shoulders to feet ( standard plank position) 
  • Squeeze in your abs and glutes.
  • Simultaneously lift and extend one arm and the opposite leg until both are parallel the floor. 
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the lift with the other arm and leg.

22. Pike Push-Up

Pike push-up is a great exercise for shoulder strength. You can perform it to boost strength for other hardcore exercises. It's best suited for beginners acclimating their muscles for a harder push and heavier lifts. 

  • Start in a plank position, with hands firmly on the floor, directly under your shoulders.
  • Feet Pressed firmly on the floor.
  • Engage your core, flatten the back and engage your glutes and hamstrings. 
  • Your whole body should form a straight line.
  • Lift hips and go back until your body forms an inverted V shape, keeping your arms and legs as straight as possible.
  • Start to bend elbows as you lower your entire upper body onto the floor.
  • This is one rep

23. Bodyweight Glute Bridge

As the name suggests, bodyweight glute bridge is for glutes specifically. It's an easy way to strengthen and tone your hip muscles.

  • Lie on your back with your arms at a 45-degree angle relative to your torso.
  • Bridge your hips up by squeezing your glutes and pressing the floor with your hands 
  • Lower your hips back to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

24. Diamond Press-Ups

They are just like your normal push-ups except for the hand position. Your hands are placed close together in the diamond push-ups instead of shoulder width. 

  • Get on all fours with your hands placed together under your chest. 
  • Position your index fingers and thumbs, so they're touching, forming a diamond shape, and straighten your arms so that your body is lifted on your hands and toes, forming a single line. 
  • Lower your chest towards your hands
  • Stop just before your chest touches the floor or the hand.
  • Push back up to the starting position.
  • This is your first rep.

25. Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are like bicep curls other than the grip style. Hammer curls increase your grip strength, put less stress on your wrist joint and work all of your arms muscles. They are arm builders par excellence! 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, slightly bending in your knees. 
  • Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing your body – this is the main difference from the standard curl, in which you start with your palms facing forwards.
  • Keeping your elbows close to your body, slowly curl the dumbbell up to your shoulders. 
  • Pause for a second at the top of the lift, squeeze your biceps, then lower the weights slowly

Bottom Line

These exercises are a perfect fit for beginners ready to build muscles but would like to have a convenient low- equipment exercise plan. These exercises require minimum equipment, and they can be performed without needing a trainer or a gym. Most of them can be performed anytime, anywhere, as no special requirements are involved. 

Reading List

Is Home Gym Worth the Investment or Gym Membership?

Adjustable Dumbbells: How They Are the Best Investment You Can Do for Your Home Gym

Top 16 Home Gym Equipment for Women

Article Sources

  • Abdelraouf, Osama Ragaa, and Amr Almaz Abdel-aziem. ‘THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CORE ENDURANCE AND BACK DYSFUNCTION IN COLLEGIATE MALE ATHLETES WITH AND WITHOUT NONSPECIFIC LOW BACK PAIN’. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, vol. 11, no. 3, June 2016, pp. 337–44. PubMed Central, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4886801/.

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