Friday Five – Five Favorite At Home Strength Training Exercises

Disclosure: I am not a personal trainer, nor a physician.  You should always consult with an expert to find a fitness program that is best for you.

As a new mom, my daily routine is impacted greatly by having a baby at home.  I can’t always get to the gym when I want to, and even when I can go, I can’t necessarily spend as much time using the free weights and weight machines as I’d like to.  Since we only have a couple pieces of fitness equipment at home (we have an ab roller, a stability ball, resistance bands, and yoga mats), I’ve had to get creative about finding ways to work on my strength training at home without the use of the expensive equipment that I have access to at the gym.  When I can, I use little man as my weight to do exercises from the Baby Strong program, but I need to have other options than just using him as a weight in order to work on my strength training.

One of the great things about doing strength training exercises at home is that you don’t have to try and carve out a solid block of 30 or 60 minutes for each workout session.  Its very easy to incorporate strength training exercises at home whenever you have a few spare moments.  I try to do as much strength training during one single period as I can, but sometimes with a baby that’s just not possible.

So what are some of my favorite at home strength training exercises?  (Please note, since I’m not a personal trainer I’ve included videos put together by others that describe some of these exercises.)

at home strength training exercises

1.  Donkey Kicks

These exercises work your lower back, legs, abs, and glutes.  They’re a great exercise for working multiple muscle groups, which is great when you’re limited on time but still want to get a great workout in.

2.  Fire Hydrants

These exercises work multiple groups as well – your hips and glutes.  I typically alternate between donkey kicks and fire hydrants during one workout.

3.  Push Ups

There are so many different variations of push ups that you can perform, all which will help make your upper body stronger and your core tighter.  If you’re on the weaker side, consider doing push ups on your knees until you feel strong and confident enough to do a full push.

4.  Sit Ups on Stability Ball

I love feeling the burn each time that I perform this exercise.  I often feel a greater burn doing sit ups on the stability ball than I do just doing sit ups lying on the floor.

5.  Planks

Planks are one of my favorite ways to work my core.  They can be easily performed almost anywhere.  I’ve even been known to do planks at the gym while giving my upper body or lower body a brief break from the weights.

QOTD: What are your favorite at home strength training exercises?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!


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40 Responses to Friday Five – Five Favorite At Home Strength Training Exercises

  1. A great list. I love/hate planks. We do them in every class at Pure Barre and man oh man do they come up with some crazy variations to bring the pain 🙂

  2. moorek17 says:

    Planks are definitely a favorite of mine! I also really like squats with a medicine ball or flutter kicks that work your tummy! I definitely need to do more work with the glutes! Thanks for the suggestion of the fire hydrant and donkey kicks!

  3. Lesley says:

    I do fire hydrants and donkey kicks as part of the Myrtle exercises. I have ankle weights if I want to up the ante and have more resistance with some routines.

  4. Those are all some of my faves. Donkey Kicks and Fire Hydrants are killer!

  5. I’m terrible with at home exercises. I always say that I’ll just do a few while watching TV but it just never happens. Kudos for you for fitting them into your routine.

  6. Great choices. Planks rule the world as far as I’m concerned. They give you so much bang for the time investment. But boy are they hard to do correctly!

  7. The name of that “Fire Hydrant” with the action is hilarious. I’m sure they are all awesome, but just the name slays me.

  8. This is a great roundup of exercises. I think that it is easy to become overwhelmed and throw out working out if you think you don’t have a half hour to hour to dedicate to it. This is a good reminder that you can do what you can with what you have at any time throughout the day.

  9. Sharon says:

    Great exercises! Love planks! So true, no need to do a full block. Getting them in here and there works! I like to doing exercises during commercials while watching tv. 🙂

  10. All of those are in my weekly rotation. I love the donkey kicks and fire hydrants.

  11. I hate planks and push ups, but I know they are good for me. I use the other in my myrtl routine.

  12. thebarbella says:

    Love this round up. Burpess and push ups are my go to and lately a lot more handstands at home with the cats 😉

  13. It’s always great to find exercises you can do at home. It’s a great time saver too!

  14. Great list!! I love planking but loathe push ups. I’m going to do them more so that I can learn to love them. Plus, I really do want strong arms 🙂 lol!!

  15. Last summer I bought a bunch of dumbbells and spent more money on metal than I ever did in my life! Except for my car, I guess. That counts as metal. 🙂 So now I do all of my strength training at home. My favorites are pull ups, push ups, shoulder press, and kettle bell swings. I do those donkey kicks and fire hydrants to keep my hips and glutes strong for running too! Kind of boring, but a necessary evil.

  16. My favorite at home exercises are pushups, triceps dips, and yoga. Otherwise I need to head to a class!

  17. Run Away With Me says:

    These seem so simple to learn but really effective! I think I’m going to start doing some of these when I’m stuck at home. Thanks for the tips!

  18. Pam says:

    Great group of exercises and while I really hate push ups, planks and sit ups, I try to get them in several times per week. It’s sort of a love hate thing.

  19. Carmyy says:

    Great choices! I love doing donkey kicks

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