By Lisa Swanson, health and fitness coach

If you’re like most people, your day is filled with work, household chores, errands, taking care of kids, grandkids, or aging parents, and trying to squeeze in a little “me time”.  Part of that me-time is mostly likely fitting in a workout.

And not just any workout, you want a home workout routine that’s effective, time-efficient, and that you can do right at home. I mean, who has time to drive to the gym? You’re a busy woman! Even if you do, you’ve been running around all day, and don’t want to take up any more of your time in the car.

So you’ve committed yourself to working out at home 3 days a week. One night you may get a few crunches in and another night you hop on the treadmill.  Maybe you even purchased a stability ball and some light dumbbells. Great! You’re ready to get started and can’t wait to start seeing results. The problem is, nothing seems to be happening, 

What you need are the right tools and the right guidance to creating a workout that meets your needs. With a few choice pieces of equipment and a simple template to follow you’ll be able to put together an effective, time-efficient workout.

home workout routine

The Right Equipment

Let’s start with the right tools.  There are a lot of at-home gyms and weights that you could purchase if you have the space. If you don’t have the space and want to keep it simple, I’ve found the following pieces of equipment to work great for at-home workouts; TRX suspension trainer, stability ball, and resistance tubes.    You can get a lot done with these 3 pieces and they don’t take up much room and don’t cost that much.

You can purchase any of these at a local sporting goods store, or check out this post for some great equipment ideas and links to buy.   

Lisa Swanson

Designing Your 30 Minute Home Workout Routine

There are a lot of steps that go into designing an effective workout. When working with a personal trainer, you would first go through a complete fitness assessment to determine the right plan of action for you. Obviously, I can’t create a custom program in a blog, but I can help you create a program that is balanced.  So let’s get started!

The Warm Up: 3-5 Minutes

All workouts should begin with a warm-up. This should include warming up the muscles that you will be using during the strength-training phase of your workout as well as increase your core body temperature and heart rate.  Choose 5 of the movements below, performing each one for 30 – 60 seconds:

  • Marching in place
  • Body weight squats
  • Arm Circles
  • Jumping Rope
  • Light Jogging
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Lunges

The Strength/ Conditioning Phase: 20 Minutes

home workout routine

During the strength phase, to save time and burn the most calories, focus on compound and combination moves. Compound exercises use more than one muscle group at a time and combination moves are putting 2 exercises together in one movement.

For this program, we are going to focus on a full-body workout. To make sure you are hitting all the major muscle groups, and hence creating a balanced workout, choose one exercise for each of the following movement patterns: (download the infographic on the left as a handy guide & exercise ideas)

  1. Push
  2. Pull
  3. Overhead
  4. Core Stabilization and/or flexion
  5. Hip Hinge
  6. Rotation

Perform each exercise for a 12 – 15 repetitions without resting in between exercises. Be sure you are using enough resistance so that you are exhausting the muscles by the end of each set. Repeat the whole sequence 3 – 4 times. 

The Cool Down: 5 Minutes

It’s very easy to skip the cooldown, but try not to. This is when you bring your heart rate back down and stretch out the muscles you just worked. Neglecting to cool down could lead to a limited range of motion and decreased flexibility. It’s also very relaxing and a great way to de-stress, lowering your cortisol levels

A Few Tips On Stretching

  • Take deep breathes as you hold your stretches
  • Never stretch to the point of pain
  • Hold your stretches for 30 seconds
  • No bouncing!

You’ve now got the tools you need to build an effective, time-efficient workout you can do right at home at a time that’s convenient for you.

To get the best results, change your home workout routine at least every 4 weeks.  You’re also going to want to consistently increase the repetition, sets or difficulty of each exercise if you want to continue to see results.

It’s not always easy to stay on track when doing this alone.  If you’d like some support join my free Facebook community Weight Loss After 50. I created this group for women over 50 looking for support and guidance on getting in shape, eating right, and staying active. For even more ideas, exercise demos, and answers to all your questions just click here.

Your home workout routine – key points from our editor, Rachel

As we’ve seen, you don’t need much time or fancy equipment to achieve a full-body workout and build muscle at home.

You can start setting up your home gym just with a water bottle, a set of dumbbells, and a mat for added comfort. Exercising in the comfort of your own home eliminates the need for a gym membership and saves both time and money. 

But you need to take care to ensure proper form, so it’s probably worth consulting a certified personal trainer, a reputable fitness app or online video class to help guide you when you get started.  It depends on your level of confidence and knowledge. As you progress, experiment with different days focusing on specific main muscle groups, ensuring a well-rounded exercise program.

Strength training should play a crucial role in any home workout plans, and resistance bands, dumbbells, or bodyweight exercises are excellent tools for building muscle mass. Engage your core by incorporating core exercises like high plank positions and side planks into your routine. Pay attention to form; keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels is crucial for optimal results. 

The U.S. Department of Health recommends varying your exercises, as does Lisa above, to target different areas on different days, promoting overall fitness and preventing burnout. To spice things up, mix in some high-intensity (HIIT) workouts and aerobic exercises to boost cardio fitness. Again, you can find lots of classes on these online. Mountain climbers are a popular component of a high-intensity workout. A jump rope can be a quick and easy way to get some more aerobic exercise into your day. Adjust the rep range based on your fitness level, gradually increasing as you build strength. Remember, incorporating rest periods is essential for recovery.

For a comprehensive approach to your home workout plan, include upper body exercises like bicep curls and tricep dips, along with lower body moves such as leg lifts and lunges. Don’t forget to add variety with advanced moves like side leg lifts and equipment workouts for an extra challenge.

Consistency is key, and the best online workout program is the one you’ll stick to. Tailor your routine to suit your schedule, and watch as your core strength improves, your muscles tone, and your overall fitness level rises. With effective home workouts, you can achieve great results without spending a long time or investing in expensive equipment. And there are loads of fitness videos on YouTube to follow along to too. So lace up those sneakers, find the best way to stay motivated, and let’s get moving!

Lisa Swanson is a sought-after expert on helping women over 50 crush their weight loss goals in a naturally progressive way that boosts metabolism, burns belly fat, and keeps it off.  Through her signature 5 step formula, combining fitness, nutrition, and mindset women over 50 are finally getting the results they’ve been struggling to get on their own without deprivation diets or hours in the gym.  Instead, she is teaching them how to enjoy the journey and let go of limiting beliefs that have been holding them back.

Lisa is best known for her signature Fit After 50 12-week Body Transformation program that follows her 50+ Fitness Trifecta formula that helps women over 50 reclaim their waistlines so they can live their lives with confidence and joy. Click here to learn more about the 12-week program. 

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Last Updated on February 6, 2024 by Editorial Staff

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