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Strength Training: 8 Exercises You Can Do in Your Living Room

Struggling to put together a workout that keeps you motivated? We’ve rounded up the best strength training exercises you can do at home to re-inspire your routine.


Read when you’ve got time to spare.

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While the buzzing atmosphere and the water cooler chat may get you hyped for your next HIIT class, sweating it out in the privacy of your living room with no one around is a saviour in times when we’re not hitting the gym.

Even though many of us have returned to gym, if you’re not yet comfortable going back but are feeling a bit tired of your usual home workout routine, your routine might need a refresh.

“During challenging times, maintaining a fitness routine becomes more essential than ever,” says Jon Roberts, director at Matt Roberts Personal Training. “There are obviously all the health benefits of maintaining an exercise programme but also the mental side of having a routine is vital. When normal activity is reduced, we also need to make sure that we keep the body more mobile, especially if we are likely to be seated more.” So, get ready to blitz your body from head to toe with these strength-boosting workouts.


Muscles it targets: Hamstrings and glutes

Floor space: A small space will do

How many reps: 15-20 reps, slow and controlled on both sides, two to three times

How to do it: Can be performed with or without a resistance band

  1. Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down.
  2. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
  3. Squeeze the glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
  4. Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down.

Expert tip: “Make sure you control every part of the movement from the top to bottom and squeeze your glutes gently at the top,” says personal trainer and Reebok ambassador Tyrone Brennand.


Muscles it targets: All three heads of the deltoids and also improves posture 

Floor space: A small space will do

How many reps: 10-12 reps, 2-3 times

How to do it: You’ll need to spread out

  1. Hold a pair of weights in front of your shoulders, palms facing your body, elbows bent.
  2. In one fluid motion, raise the dumbbells above your head, arms straight and rotate the palms of your hand as you do so that the weights face forward.
  3. Pause and then reverse the move and repeat.

Expert tip: “Instead of dumbbells you can use two bottles of water or food cans,” say Maddy and Alex Weaver, Soul Sisters Fitness PTs and ambassadors of Adidas Sport headphones. 


Muscles it targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, helps with balance, strengthens your core and helps circulation.

Floor space: A small space will do

How many reps: 8-10 reps, 3-5 times

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet hip width apart.
  2. With weight in your heels bend knees and lower hips.
  3. Raise your arms over your head.
  4. Pause at bottom then drive up to standing position.

Expert tip: “Make sure you keep your back straight and your chest up throughout the movement to maintain good form and prevent injury,” Alex and Maddy advise.


Muscles it targets: Chest, shoulders, abs and triceps

Floor space: You’ll need to spread out

How many reps: 8-10 reps, 2-3 times

How to do it:

  1. Start with your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, your legs straight behind you with your toes tucked under.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground keeping your back straight.
  3. Slowly push back to start.
  4. Engage your core throughout

Expert tip: “If you can’t do a full press-up on your toes, do it on your knees instead,” Tyrone says. “Change it up by doing wide press ups and then some closer together to work different muscle groups.”


Muscles it targets: Abs, shoulders, arms and glutes

Floor space: A little space will do

How many reps: 50 seconds, 3 times

How to do it:

  1. Start on all fours and lift your knees so they’re at a 90-degree angle and hovering an inch off the ground.
  2. Keep your back flat, your legs hip-width apart and your arms shoulder-width apart.
  3. Move one hand and the opposite foot forward an equal distance while staying low to the ground.
  4. Switch sides, moving the opposite hand and foot.
  5. Repeat the movement while alternating sides.

Expert tip: “For a more challenging workout, you can also move backwards,” Tyrone says.


Muscles it targets: Glutes, quads and core

Floor space: A little space will do 

How many reps: 15-20 reps, 2-3 times

How to do it:

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
  2. If you’re using a water bottle or dumbbell hold this at your chest, keeping your weight on your heels.
  3. Take a big step to the side and, ensuring you keep your torso as upright as possible, lower until the knee of your leading leg is bent at around 90 degrees, keeping your trailing leg straight.
  4. Push back up and return to the starting position.

Expert tip: “Make sure you keep your back straight throughout to maintain good form,” Tyrone says. 


Muscles it targets: Triceps, abdominals and chest

Floor space: You’ll need to spread out

How many reps: 10 reps, 3 times

How to do it:

  1. Lay on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Grasp the weight with both hands and hold it straight over your chest with a slight bend in your arms.
  3. While keeping your arms locked in the bent arm position, lower the weight slowly in an arc behind your head while breathing in until you feel a stretch on the chest.
  4. At that point, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position and exhale as you perform this movement.
  5. Hold the weight on the initial position for a second and repeat the motion for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Expert tip: “Keep your back pushed into the floor throughout to also work your core,” Alex and Maddy say. 


Muscles it targets: Strengthens abdominals, your spine, back and improves posture

Floor space: You’ll need to spread out

How many reps: 1 minute or 5 reps per side

How to do it:

  1. Start lying on your stomach on the ground.
  2. Place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, tuck your toes under with your feet hip width apart behind you.
  3. Draw your belly button towards your spine.
  4. Gaze ahead of your hands so spine remains long.
  5. Lift one hand off of the floor, bend the elbow 90 degrees and hold for 2-3 seconds before putting your hand back down and alternating on the other hand. 

Expert tip: “Do not allow your torso to rotate to one side or the other as you change arms,” Tyrone says.

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This post originally appeared on Stylist and was published April 17, 2020. This article is republished here with permission.

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