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7 Best At Home Exercises For Women


Don’t have time to go to the gym? I am about to share the best 7 at home exercises for women.  In this day and age many women have to juggle working, being a mom, taking care of her husband and her home.  It is not surprising that women tend to enjoy exercise done in the home.

I was inspired to share these 7 at home exercises for women after watching the movie, I Don’t Know How She Does it, last night staring Sarah Jessica Parker. Totally a girly movie – one of my favorites!


Importance of Working Large Muscle Groups


Any exercise plan needs to involve large muscle groups, focusing on working the antagonist in the same amount. Knowing the proper exercises can ensure you will also target the smaller muscle groups, creating harmony throughout the entire body by incorporating stability muscles as well. In doing so, you will also cut the amount of time needed in the gym by leaving out certain body parts that were already targeted in other exercises.

You also need to be aware of the muscles being worked with each exercise to ensure you keep balance throughout all muscles. A simple chest press targets your pectoalis major, but also uses pec minor, deltoids, trapezius muscles and your rotator cuff for example.


Importance of the Core

The core encompasses more than two dozen abdominal muscles, lower back muscles and hip muscles that stabilize your spine to keep your torso upright. Your core allows you to bend forward, back, side to side and rotate. Your core plays a major role in movement. Working your core (stability muscle) is crucial to optimal performance.


7 Best At Home Exercises For Women


You don’t need fancy equipment for you to benefit from exercise. Here are just 7 at home exercises, especially for women, that will not only better your appearance, they will better your health.


1. Chin-up/Pull-up 

These exercises target your lats but also hits your tere major (stabilizer muscle) and biceps (more so with chin-ups). Your core and middle back are also involved in assisting in the movement or acting as stabilizers.

How to perform:

  1. Grab the bar with a shoulder-width underhand/overhand grip.
  2. Hang at arm’s length and pull your chest to the bar.
  3. Try to pause at the top, with your chest touching the bar before you slowly lower yourself back down.


2. Pushup 

This exercise targets your pectoralis major but also involves your front deltoids and triceps. As for stability muscles, your rotator, traps, serratus anterior and abdominals all assist with this movement.

How to perform:

  1. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your glutes for the entire movement.
  1. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Tuck your elbows as you lower your body and don’t drop your hips.
  2. Pause at the bottom before pushing yourself to start position. Your head should remain in the same position throughout the movement.


3. Inverted Shoulder Press 

The shoulder press targets your front deltoids, middle deltoids, and the triceps. They also activate your upper traps, rotator cuff and serratus anterior which act as stabilizer muscles.

See image above

How to perform:

  1. Assume a pushup position but move your feet forward and raise your hips so that your torso is nearly perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width and keep your arms straight.
  3. Without changing your position lower your body until your head nearly touches the floor.
  4. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position pushing your body back until your arms are straight once again. Note: this is a tough one!


4. Squat 

These exercises target your quadriceps, but also activate your core and every muscle in your legs including your glutes, hamstrings and calves. This exercise burns a ton of calories and is a must-have home exercise for women.

See The Squat for picture demonstration

How to perform:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your body as far as you can while pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Never let your back round and keep your core tight.
  3. Pause at the bottom and slowly push yourself back to the start position by keeping the weight in your heels.

*For extra burn add in a jump from the squat position.


5. Stability Ball or Towel Leg Curl 

This exercise is great for targeting your hamstrings and glutes and also activates your lower back muscles and core. Because the glutes are the largest muscle in the body, any exercise involving your glutes will burn a lot of calories.

See Burn Fat For Hours video

How to perform:

  1. Lie face up on the floor with arms to your side in a 45 degree angle with palms facing up. Place your lower legs and heels on the stability ball.
  2. Push your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (here you are doing a hip raise).
  3. Without stopping, pull your heels towards your glutes and roll the ball as close as you can to your behind.
  4. Pause and reverse the motion – do not lower your body to the floor. Keep your hips as high as you can to engage your glutes. Focus on keeping your hips in line with the rest of your body throughout the entire exercise.

*If you are using a towel, simply put your heels on the towel and copy the same format above. If you want an extra burn try one leg at a time!


6. Single-Leg Toe Hops off Bench or Chair 

This exercise targets your calves but also incorporates your quads, hamstrings, glutes and gets your heart rate up to the fat-burning zone.

See Calves That Get Noticed

How to perform:

  1. Stand in front of the bench or chair and place the right foot firmly on the bench.
  2. Press your right foot into the bench and push your body up until your right leg is straight.
  3. Hop up on your right toes.
  4. Lower your body until the left foot touches the floor and repeat with the left foot.


7. Side-plank 

This exercise improves the strength in your back and will help with performance. Planks target the entire core, making this exercise a must-do for health and appearance sake.

How to perform:

  1. Lie on the right side with knees straight and prop your body up on your right elbow and forearm. Your left hand can be placed on your hip, head should stay in line with your body.
  2. Position your elbow to stay under the shoulder and keep your hips raised and pushed forward. Keep your abs tight throughout and raise the hips until it forms a straight line from your ankles your shoulders.

Knowing the foundation behind what exercises you are performing and why is key to meeting your weight loss goals. There is a right and wrong way to exercise. You can spend hours doing the wrong form of exercise and never see a difference in your body.

You don’t need any fancy equipment to get your dream body.  For a complete 6-week BODYWEIGHT only workout, chick here. This is my go-to program for bodyweight exercises when I am travelling or working out at home.

Happy Shaping!



Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Anna says:

    Thanks Flavia, I love these bodyweight exercises! I think it is important that women know that you don’t need fancy equipment to get into great shape!

  • Linda Tucker says:

    Where are the 7 exercises you mentioned?

  • Peta says:

    Hi Flavian
    What would you suggest using as a chin-up bar at home?

  • Trelle says:

    Love working out at home. I am blind so going to a gym is not an option, since I do not have any work out partners. I have enjoyed (and gotten tons of benefit from) your at home work outs in your Bodylicious program. Keep the “at home” tips coming, lady! Thanks again for designing a fabulous at home program for women.

  • laura says:

    What’s the exercise you’re doing in the picture at the top of the page? That one looks fun!

  • Rachel says:

    I have been an exerciser for years, working out mostly from my home, which I prefer, because I have three boys. I work out with weights doing workout videos at home- Jery Love, Julian Michaels, Firm etc. I am in pretty good shape; I do yoga as well as high intensity circuit training with weights. Since I turned 40 i found a few extra pounds slip up on me. I would like to lose about 5 pounds and get more definition. In 2011, I did order your work out series in the downloaded form, but have not used it because the download did not work right on my computer and I cannot access them. I have all the reading material on nutrition as well that came with it. I would like to try these workouts to see if I can break an apparent plateau. I was wondering if you are still selling this series in actually DVD’s that you can receive through the mail, and not just downloads?

  • Nicole says:

    Thanks for all the great info!
    Wouldn’t chinups require a chin up bar – slighty fancy equipment to have at home? I would love to find out an alternative to having a bar.
    Love the inverted shoulder press 🙂

    • Flavia says:

      Hey Nichole. I suppose that could be fancy but it is really effective if you can grab one. They sell at Walmart for $18, according to Anna. If not, I would try to do it on a tree outdoors if you can find something that can hold your weight and is safe. Or on a playground in a park!

  • Anna says:

    @ Peta & Nicole, I workout at home and have a chin up bar that attaches to a door which I purchased at walmart for $18.

  • Maryse says:

    Hi Flavia!
    Thanks for your great energy and strong will that you are sharing with us !
    It’s a real help and motivation!
    Would it be possible, when you have some time to illustrate the 7 best at home exercises with a few pictures or one videao showing an ideal at home training?
    I like videos better because they help me keep up with the pace. Otherwise, I tend slowing down and exercises become less effective.
    Thanks a lot!

  • You share very good information You put a nice twist to it. I appreciate you sharing this with the rest of us TMulligan.

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