Let’s see if I guessed it correctly: you’re stranded at home, bored and you miss your gym workout sessions. Or maybe you have a chaotic eating program and you already see those extra kilograms piling up? Or you simply feel bad about lying on the couch all day long while it seems like everyone else out there is doing yoga with Adrienne? Whatever your reasons, one thing is certain: you’re here because it’s time to get active and work out at home!
The truth is that there are countless online resources and training programs out there, that it might get super difficult to choose the right one. Or the most affordable one. Or maybe you need some other fun ideas that will keep you active without challenging yourself on the yoga mat. No worries, I got you!
Here are 19 fun activities to work out at home, from online fitness programs (both free and paid) to backyard football, wall ball, table tennis and more!
Are you ready? Let’s go!
- 1. Best apps and resources to work out at home
- 2. Working out online with friends
- 3. Working out with an online professional coach
- 4. 19 Sports to try at home (+ apps and courses for each!)
- 5. Online workouts for kids
- BONUS: Other health-related tools and advice
- BONUS 2: How to set up a basic home gym
- BONUS 3: Useful tips to keep in mind for being active at home
I will start with recommending the best apps, Youtube channels and websites for working out at home, then I will talk about different alternatives such as working out online with your friends, hiring a personal trainer or finding online workouts for your kids. At the end, I’ll also give you my list with 19 at-home types of sports to try in case you’re tired of the classic workouts and tips on how to set up a simple gym at home!
Here you go:
1. Best apps and resources to work out at home
This is the first idea that pops into our minds when we decide to do some exercise – online series of exercises or live streams for home workout!
If you want to try this, please know there are tons of awesome options out there, so many that it will be hard to choose! Here are my recommendations, broken down by categories depending on your preferences and budget:
- OrangeTheory – Clear and useful at-home workouts for different purposes and goals;
- Chloe Ting – Shorter but effective workouts (10-20 minutes, perfect for all busy bees out there!). Chloe also has a website and 20-day or 30-day challenges, as well as live sessions from time to time. The most famous series from her is probably the 2-weeks abs challenge, so make sure to check it out!
- The Fitness Marshall – Fun dance workouts combined with funky music!
- Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home – For exercises that require walking without a treadmill (btw, it’s more effective than it sounds).
Free apps & websites
- Nike Training Club – It’s an app with more than 190 free workouts for different muscle groups and goals;
- Popsugar Fitness – Countless free workouts from celebrity fitness instructors;
- HASfit – For high-impact sport routines;
- Asana Rebel – When you download the app, they’ll ask you if you want a Premium account. Just press the “x” in case you don’t want it and you can use the free features of the app! They also have in-app quizzes about exercise and nutrition – fun!
Paid workout resources
- AAPTIV – a great app for audio fitness workouts; it combines your musical taste with useful workouts to do at home. They have a free trial as well so you can try the program. First, you have to answer a quick quiz in order to set your goals, then you’re ready to go!
- Freeletics – a very good app that generates work outs especially customized for you according to your goals and feedback. The best thing? It can be done with no equipment! Yulia (the owner of Miss Tourist) has been using the app for 4-5 weeks now and she loves it!
- Beachbody – are you ready to get that beach body finally? Even if we don’t know when we will be able to go to the beach again (if you live close to the beach – lucky you!), it doesn’t hurt to start working on our shape. This website offers different types of on-demand video workouts: 21-day challenges, intense 30-minute workouts, morning routines and more.
- Open Fit – Many fitness exercises and nutrition advice as well. They offer a 14-day free trial, just use the code FRIENDSFAM to redeem it;
- Fiit – One of the best fitness apps where you’ll find workouts for everything you may need; plus, they also offer free 30-day trials in order to test if it’s the right platform for you!
- Barre3 – You’ll find many types of workouts here and they also currently have a 15-day at-home challenge for the isolation period. Plus, you can try the 15-day free trial in order to test it out!
- Move GB – Free and paid live classes with British instructors (a great way to support them as well!). They currently offer free 14-day trials.
You can also access this website in order to find more useful, online resources for at-home workouts! They started a movement called #StayInWorkOut.
2. Working out online with friends
If you don’t feel motivated to work out by yourself, a good idea would be to gather some like-minded friends and start exercising together – online, each from their own home, at the same time via video!
If you want to do a Youtube workout together with your friends, I recommend trying Co-train Space! You’ll have synchronized videos so you can rest assured that you and your sport partner are doing the same thing at the same time and you’ll also find plenty of good exercises on their website.
Another good alternative is BurnAlong – a website where you can find more than 100 training videos from professional instructors; you can then log in with your friends or fitness peers and watch/do them at the same time. The limit is up to 5 people (instructor include). You can also do the exercises by yourself if your friend is skipping a day! Pro tip: Use the code BURN25 for 25% off any annual subscription.
If none of these options are right for your needs, you can always set up your own video conference for at-home workouts together with your friends via Zoom, one of the most popular video conferencing apps out there.
3. Working out with an online professional coach
The first time I went to the gym I thought that I could do everything by myself. After all, what can be so hard? I watched several videos on Youtube to see how to do the exercises correctly, I made a one-month subscription to a local gym and I was ready to go. Truth is that, for some people (me included, not gonna lie), having someone to “push” them and, most importantly, to guide them on how to do everything correctly.
Doing exercises is not as easy as it sounds – you need to KNOW how to do them correctly, otherwise they’re ineffective or, even worse, you can injure yourself in the process. That’s why personal trainers exist and, trust me, they’re not overrated! And they are also available online, which is simply amazing!
Hiring a personal trainer online for private lessons can be a great way to start being active from your home. And, who knows, after the pandemic you can keep your trainer for gym sessions as well, why not?
If you’re on the search for some very good trainers that are available online, here are my recommendations:
- Kickoff – This platform will get you matched with the ideal coach for you. Then, you’ll have a video call during which you’ll set some goals and make an actual fitness plan for you. Nutrition plans included! After you start, your trainer will text you and check up on your daily in order to help you reach your goals! Their plans start at US$95/month. I think this is such a good way of keeping up with your fitness goals!
- P4 Virtual Trainer – The way it works is, you first select your desired plan, then you set your goals by answering a few questions about yourself, then you gain access to your personal trainer, as well as videos and nutrition information;
- Noom – An app that matches you with a trainer that will guide you on having a healthy relationship with food and exercise.
- Caliber – for 1-on-1 strength training. Your personal coach will set up a personalized plan for you (both workouts and diet), and you’ll get unlimited support from him/her after you start.
Plus, on Trainiac you can find 10 personal trainers – you can choose the one that fits your needs and preferences and just fill in a form in order to enroll with them with US$80 per month.
4. 19 Sports to try at home (+ apps and courses for each!)
Now that you know where to find the best fitness programs and tutorials, let me recommend some super fun sports that you can try from the comfort of your own home, and with minimal gear as well!
Here they are in no particular order:
4.1. Home cardio
Yep, you don’t need a gym or a treadmill to do some cardio! There are so many fat-burning cardio exercises you can do at home – burpees, crab planks or simply running up the stairs. I have found some awesome fitness tutorials for home cardio here and here, but Youtube is your best friend for finding more.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Some basic sports equipment and a lot of will.
In case you don’t like a classic workout, dancing can be an amazing alternative! And if you love traveling or international dances, I got you! I recommend trying the Dance Passport Challenge. It’s a fun challenge during which you’ll learn different dances from 6 different countries/nationalities (samba, the Tahitian dance and more), then you’ll receive a dance passport with all your “stamps”!
If you’re looking for some free dancing performances and workshops, I recommend looking for Youtube channels, as they’re one of the best resources out there. For example, here is a nice channel where you can learn different types of dances (funk, classic 80s, and tons more). I’m really not a dancer myself, but these videos seem really fun to try at home when nobody is watching! 🙂 Or MihranTV for hip-hop moves.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Sport clothes of your choice (not mandatory, but recommended, especially if you’re doing a dance that requires flexibility).
Here are some super useful websites I have found that will help you on your yoga “adventure”:
- Alo Yoga – Unlimited yoga, fitness and meditation for only US$20/month.
- YogaDownload – This website offers more than 1.500 yoga classes for all types of levels (beginner to advanced);
- (Free) Yoga with Adrienne – Probably one of the most famous Youtube channels for yoga! She’s simply amazing and she has 30-day challenges, her explanations are very clear and straightforward and, most importantly, she has many exercises for complete beginners as well!
- Core Power Yoga is offering FREE access to their yoga lesson videos with new videos every week!
- Healthy Moving – A platform run by a certified yoga instructor; the goal is to teach you that movement is important in general, not only when you work out, and that posture is super important. They also have a free on-demand live class for people who don’t have time to work out, you can try that out for a starter.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Yoga equipment (not really mandatory, but recommended) and a yoga mat.
Looking for some nice equipment ideas? I recommend checking out YogaClub! The way it works is you first complete a quiz in order to find out your yoga style, then they give you a personalized yoga outfit that will fit your needs and body type. Barefoot Yoga is another great place where you can order yoga equipment.
4.4. Table tennis / ping pong
If you don’t like exercising, no worries, there are so many alternative sports that you can try at home! One of my favorites is table tennis or ping pong, but I can only recommend it to people who don’t live alone. If you have a flatmate, a partner or kids, then it’s definitely something worth trying! It’s both fun and you also get to move a little and focus a lot, so everything counts!
Darts is another fun activity to do at home. In fact, it’s one of my mom’s favorites! She was always proud of her aiming skills and, after she tried darts once when she was away on a vacation around two years ago, she got hooked! I got her a darts set afterwards and she’s been practicing ever since.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A darts set with board and tip darts included.
By the way, this is also a nice gift idea for a parent or friend who is in isolation and who has a birthday coming up! I also have a detailed post if you’re searching for some other fun gift ideas that you can deliver or offer to your loved ones online.
4.6. Gym ball / stability ball
Getting a gym ball and doing some exercises might be the closest you get to some gym workouts while you’re at home! And, at least for me, stretching with the ball is one of my favorite things at the end of my workouts when I go to the gym.
Here is a very nice 10-minute tutorial I have found for 9 beginner exercises with a stability ball and here is a total body workout. If you’re looking for something a bit more serious, I recommend this 7-day workout course with a gym ball presented by a physiotherapist.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A gym ball (they come in different sizes, by the way) and some effective tutorials, such as the ones recommended above.
4.7. At-home cycling / exercise bike
If your budget allows it, why not buy an exercise bike to keep at home and use it every time you feel in the mood? If I’d have enough space in my apartment, I’d definitely buy one (or a treadmill, I didn’t decide yet) and maybe also try to set up a small at-home gym (more details about this in the bonus section below).
If you have decided to do so, congrats, I think it’s a very good idea! In order to help you out, I have researched some good at-home bike classes that will keep you motivated and in shape:
- Zwift – A training app dedicated to at-home biking. They basically created “virtual worlds” to motivate you and to make you feel like you are biking outside of your home. They have an entire community created around Zwift, so you’ll also get motivated from other users!
- Peloton Cycle – Another great app with daily live classes for cycling at home. You can choose from different class lengths, difficulties, and you can even choose your music and instructor.
- Global Cycling Network – A Youtube channel where you’ll find bike workouts at home. For example, here is a 20-minute workout that I thought was pretty well explained and pumping.
Ah, yes, my favorite gym activity of all times! I really wish I had enough space to buy a treadmill for myself, I’m pretty sure it would make my home workouts more pleasant.
But I don’t, unfortunately! So, if you do have the space, money and will to invest into one, you’re the lucky one! Running on the treadmill is like running outdoors, but it has the benefits of being able to set up your pace and run with the same consistency. It’s also safe and it can be a casual exercise if you want it to, as well as a hardcore one if you’re in the mood for that.
As for training resources, I recommend Peloton App – you’ll find many live classes here and they currently have a free 90-day trial that you can try! And if you don’t like the idea of running inside, Treadmill Trails (iPhone version here and Android version here) offers you an experience similar to running on Kilimanjaro or in New York with HD 30-minute videos!
PRO TIP: By the way, make sure to check out this informative video for some safety tips and instructions on running on a treadmill, I don’t want you to get injured!
4.9. Backyard football for the little ones
If you’re lucky enough to have a yard or a backyard, then why not implement a simple, foldable football/soccer set where the little ones can play? And adults can play with them as well and maybe keep the score! I think it’s a very nice activity regardless if you’re stranded at home or not.
4.10. Indoor basketball
The recommendation for backyard football or soccer can be applied for basketball as well – either inside the living room, for example, or outside in the backyard. It’s important for the kids to stay active as well and to invest that energy into something that will help them have fun and maybe feel accomplished as well. But hey, you don’t need to have kids in order to have an indoor basketball system, as it can be used by adults as well! 🙂
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A foldable interior basketball set such as this one or this one with an electronic scoreboard.
4.11. Indoor golf
If you’re a golf lover that misses the good times spent on the golf course, don’t be sad! You can invest in an indoor golf set that mimics the real deal. Sure, it may not be the same, but at least you’ll get a little bit of practice, you’ll keep the boredom at bay and it can also be a nice activity to try with your kids.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: An indoor golf set such as this one.
BONUS: I have also found this golf-8-ball-pool combination that can be played inside, I think it’s really nice!
4.12. Table football (foosball)
Having a foosball table is a very nice idea, regardless if you find yourself stranded at home during the pandemic or not. And if you have a flatmate or a partner that you live with, then why not do it, am I right? I think this is a very nice way of spending time together. Just remember to don’t get too competitive!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A foosball table such as this one.
4.13. Wall ball
A wall ball is a medicine ball that you can use for different exercises. It’s similar to the gym ball / stability ball, only it’s smaller and harder. It’s basically a fun way of doing your fitness routine! Some exercises that you can try include squats or jumps.
I recommend checking out this Youtube video that will teach you 18 different exercises to do with a wall ball or this one for a 10-minute abs routine. In case you want something of a higher intensity, this 1-hour course might be the right choice for you.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A wall ball such as this one and some effective exercises/tutorials like the ones I am recommending above.
4.14. Hula hooping
Hula hooping might be a fun thing to do in general, but did you know that it also counts as a physical activity? Yes, it can, and there are entire routines and tutorials out there that will teach you how to work your muscles using a hoop ring!
If you’re interested in trying this at home, I recommend this 15-minute hula hoop class or this super simple tutorial for beginners. For the ultimate experience, I recommend this 4-hour hula hoop class that will teach you a lot of fun and useful moves for your waist!
4.15. Jump rope
I’m sure you remember the jump rope from when you were a kid. It was such a fun activity! But did you know that you can use a jump rope in your fitness routine? Trust me, it can become intense if you use the right exercises! I think this is a very nice way of combining a physical activity with a little bit of fun.
If you need some help starting out, I recommend this 10-minute beginner tutorial that will tell you everything you need to know. Or this video that will teach you 50 jump rope exercises for the best full body workout. I have also found this 1.5 hour course that will teach you all the jump rope fundamentals.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A jump rope such as this one, plus sports equipment and good sneakers.
Trampolining can be another form of exercising and it can actually be super demanding for your body!
I especially recommend you follow some tutorials and instructors that explain how to do trampolining properly, as the risk of injury is higher than with my other recommended activities in this list. For this, you can watch this 15-minute trampoline workout or this cardio and strength series of exercises.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A fitness trampoline and your favorite sports equipment.
Boxing can be another great activity if you want to be active or, who knows, to get out all those negative thoughts and feelings caused by this quarantine period! 🙂 No judging, I actually think this is a very beneficial way of clearing your mind and gaining some muscles as well in the meantime. Boxing is also good to improve your focus.
PRO TIP: There are some super useful boxing workouts out there that don’t require any gloves or punching bag! I think this one is a very fun example.
4.18. Taking the stairs
Okay, okay, after all these recommendations for super active people, I thought it would be a good idea to recommend something that would be more fit for people who don’t have that much motivation to buy gear or equipment. So, basically, one of the easiest ways to stay at least a little bit active during the quarantine is to take the stairs. Period. You don’t even need to run!
If you live in an apartment building, do some series of stairs (both up and down stairs) once a day. It really helps, trust me! This is also a very good activity for elderly people as well – and it’s recommended by doctors as well, especially during these times. For more advanced stairs workouts, I recommend this 10-minute video that I believe can be done by everyone!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Stairs. That’s pretty much it.
4.19. Nintendo Wii sports or Xbox
As usual, I left one of my best (and most fun recommendations) for last! 🙂
This recommendation is a bit more unconventional, as it really combines sports with playing! If you have a Nintendo Wii, then it’s time to try some at-home sports, what do you say?
Wait, what’s a Wii and how does it work? A Nintendo Wii is basically a game console that has two remotes with motion sensors. The whole idea is for the console to understand where your hands are located while you’re holding the remotes (they look like two TV remotes), so it can replicate your actual movements inside different games!
A Wii console offers, by default, 5 game simulators that you can play – boxing, tennis, baseball, bowling and golf. They work exactly as the real games, so you’ll have to take each remote into your hands and execute the movements (for example hitting a tennis ball with your rocket) as the game will mimic them and replicate them inside the actual game. You can check out the video above to better understand what I’m talking about.
Sure, it may not be the same as actually playing tennis or doing some boxing, but you’ll have to move your body, so that’s everything that matters!
By the way, a Wii is a good idea for a present as well! If you need more inspiration for gifts that can be delivered or offered online during the pandemic, I recommend checking out this article.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A Wii console such as this one.
BONUS: If you have a Playstation or an Xbox instead, you can play the “Just Dance” game. It’s a good way to learn some dance moves and get super active at the same time, as you’ll have to replicate all the dances you are seeing on the screen! There’s also a smartphone version that you can play with your friends here.
This was my complete list of sports that you can try at home! Now let me tell you a little bit more information about workouts for kids, some other useful things to know and health-related apps to try and my simple guide on setting up your own gym at home:
5. Online workouts for kids
The little ones need to stay active as well, am I right? In case you don’t have a backyard where they can run and jump, here are some good websites that will help them get active indoors:
- Go Noodle – It includes lots of interactive games for children to make them move around and engage their body by looking at videos and repeating the exercises they’re seeing;
- The Body Coach TV – A fun Youtube channel with workouts for kids to do at home;
- Cosmic Kids Yoga – Fun and engaging yoga exercises for the little ones;
- Alo Yoga – Another good one place where you can find yoga for kids;
- Moovlee – Recommended for toddlers that need to get active;
- Sworkit – Fitness app that you can try for free and it has some workouts specifically created for kids; in case you like it, you can buy a subscription for yourself and let your kid use it as well!
As I mentioned above, the “Just Dance” game on Playstation or Xbox is another excellent way to get them to move their bodies! One of my neighbors has two kids (one aged 4 and the other aged 9) and we used to play Just Dance on their Xbox. Boy, at the end we were all sweating like crazy from all those dance moves and songs! 🙂 100% recommended!
Other than simply exercises, we all need to be careful about what foods we eat, especially now that we’re spending all our time at home and we may be inclined to consume more junk food as usual. Luckily, there are plenty of useful apps that will keep track of your nutrition and create specialized diets for you as well!
Here are some good nutrition apps I can recommend:
- Nutrients – helps with keeping track of your daily nutrition and nutritional info for all of your meals. It’s super easy to use, but it won’t do more than keeping track and calculating calories for you;
- Lifesum – a good app that will help you on your journey to lose weight because it offers personalized fitness plans that include diets and exercises, plus feedback and recommendations based on your goals.
- 8fit Workout & Meal Planner – this app is super easy to use. You will first enter your weight, height and goal, then the app will offer you customized fitness plans.
Next, if you are lacking vitamins, you can use an app that reminds you to take them daily. The same applies for water! I actually have an app on my phone called Drink Water Reminder (this one’s for iPhone but there are many apps for Android users as well) that reminds me to drink water every hour. The app can actually calculate how much water you need daily depending on your gender and weight, so the only thing you need to do is set it up and get drinking!
BONUS 2: How to set up a basic home gym
You actually do not need equipment for most of the suggested sports I have listed above, but if you want to take things to the next level, I’ll offer you a list with gym basics that will take you a long way!
If you’re dedicated to starting an active lifestyle, then setting up a simple and affordable home gym might be a great idea for you! Trust me, you don’t need much in order to work out properly from your living room, basement or garage! Here are some of the things I recommend buying:
SOME BASICS TO HAVE: a yoga mat, some dumbbells (PRO TIP: you can also use water bottles for the light ones!), a pull-up bar, a gym ball, a barbell. And, if I may add, a good speaker that can connect to your phone, so you’ll have the proper soundtrack to keep you pumped up while you work out!
And here I have found a very well explained video that will show you what you need and how to look for the right equipment.
WHERE TO BUY GEAR: Other than Amazon (which is not available in my country, sadly), I always search on Decathlon when I want to buy some sports-related items such as gear or equipment. Lifefitness is another good option for sport-related products such as treadmills, bikes, mats, resistance bands and more.
BONUS 3: Useful tips to keep in mind for being active at home
I just couldn’t let you go without offering you some important tips to keep in mind while staying active at home. Now that you know everything about how and what to do, I want to share with you some personal things I learned along my sports journey:
- Don’t be put down because you don’t have the “right” equipment – just use what you have in the beginning;
- It is recommended to do around 150 minutes of moderate intensity workouts or 75 minutes of intense workouts per week;
- Find the best time of the day to be active – not everybody can do a morning routine (I definitely can’t) or evening yoga because we’re all different, so you must find the ideal timeframe for you and your body;
- Take short active breaks during the day – even if you don’t do a proper exercise, at least try to walk or stretch from time to time.
- It’s important to set some goals – weekly or monthly;
- But please don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself;
- Don’t forget about warming up and stretching at the beginning and end of your exercises;
- If you live with somebody else, maybe ask the other person to be active together in order to boost your motivation, or try some online training with your buddies – see my recommended apps above;
- If you are on the phone often, get up and walk while you’re talking. It may seem insignificant, but it helps;
- Stand up every 30 minutes if you work a desk job. By the way, if you need some help with staying productive while working from home, I recommend checking out this article about working from home.
- Try some meditation using apps or guided meditation videos;
- Join some online/global sport challenges if you feel these might help you stay motivated;
- Create a serious routine for yourself and include at least 10 minutes of exercises daily. Try to stick to that routine;
- Doing your chores counts as being active as well, especially if you do gardening, for example;
- If you start a 2-weeks abs challenge, for example, make sure to take some before-and-after pictures to track your progress and make you feel accomplished at the end;
That’s it! Here was my ultimate list of 19 fun activities that will help you work out at home, as well as the best apps and online resources that will help you do them efficiently. In this post I have talked about online workouts with friends, with a personal trainer and workouts for kids as well. Plus, I have given you tips on how to set up the easiest, simplest gym at home!
Being active at home doesn’t only mean that you have to do hard exercises, yoga or other classic fitness routines. No, sir! There are so many other things to do that will help you avoid becoming a couch potato! From running on a treadmill to dancing, playing table football or table tennis, you have all these and more in the post above!
Remember: there’s no better time to start than NOW! 🙂 And if you don’t feel motivated to work out during quarantine, that’s completely fine as well. You don’t need to feel pressured by all the live videos and people bragging online about all their workouts. You need to do this for yourself and if your mental state tells you “no”, then just be patient, listen to your body and don’t put pressure on yourself. And you’ll be fine!
That being said, I hope this list has helped you. I have written it from my own perspective and I’m someone that doesn’t really love the classic home workouts, so I tried to find different alternatives that would suit different people. And I think I achieved my goal!
Let me know if you’d add anything else to my list, I’m really curious to hear from you!
Happy at-home exercising,
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