Build Your Own At-Home Workout

Create your own workout at home using little to no equipment. A circuit-training workout can use five-10 exercises done in succession (with no rest between each exercise) for a duration of 30-60 seconds per exercise. Rest for a minute at the end of the circuit, then repeat the circuit one to three times. These circuit workouts can be performed two to three times per week (but not on consecutive days). Alternate a day or two of some aerobic activity, like walking, cycling or jogging to round out your fitness routine. 


By Heather Thorne, American College of Sports-Medicine certified Exercise Physiologist | NMMC Wellness Center // photo by Lindsay Pace

How it works:

Choose two to three exercises from each section below, alternating upper body, lower body, core and cardio to create your circuit workout. You can use dumbbells if you have them to increase the intensity of your workout. If not, you can use soup cans, a gallon of water or other similar items. Most of these exercises are done with bodyweight, a chair, a wall or a towel.     

Remember to warm up for five minutes (such as arm circles, walking, half squats, stretching) before starting, to reduce chance for injury. And as always, cool down and stretch at the end. 


Push ups  

Chest fly (with dumbbells) 

Elevated pushups (with feet on a chair) 

Paper plate chest fly  

Plank walk outs          


(Grab your weights or alternative weights for these)          

One arm row 

Bent over row

Seated reverse fly

Weighted pullover 

Renegade row

 Shoulders, triceps, biceps:

(Do all of these with dumbbells or soup cans, except for dips)          

Shoulder lateral raise 

Upright row 

Shoulder press 

Front raises 

Dips on a chair 

Overhead triceps extension 

Lying triceps extension  

Bicep curls 

Hammer curls    

Lower Body:   


Towel squat on wall 

Wall squat and hold 

Alternating lunges 

Reverse lunges  

Lateral (side) lunges 

One legged glute bridge 

One legged squat 

Plié squat 



Ab crunch with toe touch 


Side planks 


Russian twist 

Bird dog 



Jump rope                   

Jumping jacks            

High knees                   

Mountain climbers    


Butt kickers 

Single leg run 

Jog in place

Step ups on a bench or chair 

Sample circuit:  

Jump rope (real or imaginary) 


Push ups 


Jumping jacks 

Dips on a chair 

Reverse lunges 


Rest one minute, then repeat circuit one to three times. Beginners should start with 30 seconds for each exercise, and just do once.

Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

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