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At Home Workouts for Women To Tone Your Body [Ultimate Guide]
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At Home Workouts for Women [Ultimate Guide]

July 12, 2021

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If you’re looking for great at home workout for women, you’ve come to the right place.

These days it can be hard to make time for regular workouts, so you need every advantage you can get.

Thankfully, a home workout is an effective way to exercise your entire body. But what does a home workout for women look like, and how do you do it?

The Ideal Home Workout for Women

It’s a common assumption that exercises for women have to be very different from exercises for men.

This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to body weight exercises for women.

What equipment is needed for exercises for women?

Since we’re going to focus on a home workout for women, our goal is to require as little equipment as possible.

As long as you have empty floor space, it will be easy to get your full body workout.

However, depending on how hard or dirty your floor is, you might want to get a good yoga mat.

What kinds of exercises make up a good home workout for women?

There are different kinds of workouts which exercise different parts of the body.

Many forms of exercise, however, are meant for experienced women and those who lift weight for a living.

Today, we will be focusing on a home workout for women that will be good for anyone, with the intent to exercise every muscle in your body.

Upper Body Training Exercises

A concern many women have is that if they exercise their upper body too much they’ll become visibly muscular and lose their feminine shape.

This is not a real problem for most women. You won’t start to look masculine just by getting in a regular workout. Instead, you’ll just tone your body at home.

It is very important to exercise your entire body and not leave out major muscle groups.

The benefits of training a strong upper body are many. They include: relieving lower back pain, relieving shoulder aches, and not having to ask for help when you lift something heavy off of overhead shelves.

Push Ups

Push ups are a compound exercise that you can do anywhere with a floor.

They exercise your chest, shoulders, the back side of your arms, and even your abs.

How to do push ups

You may well be familiar with how to do this exercise already, but it is always important to maintain good form to maximize the benefits of your training and minimize the chances of injury.

Starting position

To begin, get down on the floor with your chest facing down.

Place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart.

Raise your legs up on your toes so that your hands and feet are the only points of contact between your body and the floor. Keep your legs straight the entire time – don’t bend your knees.

Form a straight line with your back

This part is very important. You want your entire back to be parallel to the floor.

A common mistake is not keeping enough tension in the lower back, leading to an arch that increases chances of injury to the muscles or even the spine.

To avoid this, rotate your hips back and tighten your glutes to focus tension and keep your back in a straight line at all times.

Range of motion

To get the most benefit out of any exercise, it is important to use the full range of motion in your training.

For this exercise, the full range of motion begins with your arms straight and fully extended, ends with your arms bent until your chest barely touches the floor, and vice versa when returning to the start.

The motion itself

Once you are in the starting position and ensure that your back will stay in a straight line parallel to the floor, begin to slowly lower your body by bending your arms at the elbow.

Try to maintain an equal speed throughout, keeping the motion smooth and fluid.

Stop when your chest touches the floor. Then, reverse the motion.

Slowly lift the weight of your body up, pushing with your arms and straightening your elbows as you go.

When your arms are fully straight and you have returned to the starting position, you have completed one standard push up.

Number of reps

Of course, it’s never enough to do any exercise just once. Push ups are no different.

You will want to repeat the motion at least a few times per set.

If you have never done push ups before, and depending on your weight, you may even struggle to do 5 reps at a time.

Keep at it, and aim to push yourself for 10 reps per set after you’ve gotten the hang of it. Eventually you may even want to try for 15 reps per set.

It is generally accepted wisdom that 3 sets per training day is the ideal number, with periods of rest between sets to recuperate.

You will also want to repeat your three sets of push ups at least a couple of times a week.

How many training days you go for will depend on how much exercise you need or want, and of course your other life responsibilities.

Modifications for ease

If you find that you struggle to complete even three sets of 5 reps of standard push ups, there are a number of ways to safely modify the motion without compromising too many of the benefits.

One possible modification is to bend your knees, letting them rest on the floor. This will support more of your weight on your legs, making it easier to raise yourself up on your arms.

Alternatively, if you would prefer not to get down on the floor for whatever reason, you might consider pushing against the edge of a countertop at a 45 degree angle.

This will support more of your weight on your feet, accomplishing the same result.

Modifications for comfort

If your concern isn’t the weight you need to lift but the strain on your wrists, there are multiple solutions.

If you have a good padded mat, all you have to do is change your grip.

Instead of placing your hands flat on the floor, make your hands into fists and prop yourself up on them, making sure to keep your wrists straight and aligned with the rest of your arm.

If you don’t have a mat, or find that even with one resting on your knuckles isn’t an improvement, consider investing in a basic piece of equipment.

Pushup bars are simple, inexpensive and effective for providing a more comfortable hand position for pushups.

Modifications for challenge

There are also modifications to make it harder, for when standard push ups become too easy.

Consider using a closer grip. Place your hands closer to one another, rather than directly under your shoulders. Alternatively, put your hands behind your shoulders, closer to your hips.

Either of these will have the effect of vastly changing the muscle groups focused on by the lift, increasing the challenge.

If you would prefer to continue to focus on your chest and simply add more resistance to the lift, raise your legs up on a higher surface until you are facing downward at about a 30 degree angle.

This will place more of your body’s weight on your arms, increasing the challenge while maintaining the muscle focus. If that is still too easy, try one arm pushups.

Keep in mind, doing two arm workouts with only one arm at a time will be very challenging at first. You may need to make other modifications accordingly to adjust for a while. 10 reps per set may be a bit of a stretch with one arm pushups, and 15 reps may be more extreme still.

Also remember that once you are done your sets on one arm, you don’t want to forget to repeat the process on the other arm. You don’t want to end up with an imbalance and have your left side be much stronger than your right, or vice versa.

Other upper muscle workouts

Plank

Doing a plank will strengthen your core, shoulders, and even your glutes. To plank, simply get in pushup position and rest on your elbows instead of your hands, with your elbows directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your back straight as normal and hold there as long as you can, and that’s all there is to a standard plank.

To work each shoulder more, you could try a side plank. Turn to one side, supporting your weight on one arm beneath one shoulder and the side of the matching foot, keep your body straight, and hold. Create a simple planks, sit ups and pushups workout plan, you’ll get in shape in no time.

Pullups

Pullups will strengthen your shoulder muscles, arms, and back. You can do them wherever there is a sturdy overhead bar that you can safely hang from. Grab the overhead bar with your palms facing you to focus on your arms. Or you can grab the overhead bar with your palms facing away to focus more on your shoulder muscles. Either way, brace your core and pull until your chin clears the overhead bar. Reverse until hanging all the way down again, and repeat.

Check out our full list of bodyweight back exercises at home so you can build a strong back.

Lower Body Training Exercises

The lower body tends to be what many women are already more comfortable training on their own. Curiously, in fact, it’s common for women to spend more time working on their legs than men do.

Whatever the reason for it, that comfort is a good thing. It is important to exercise your legs often, as they have to carry you around wherever you go.

Thankfully, leg exercises are often simple and intuitive to do, making it easier to convince yourself to do them on repeat.

Squat

The squat is one of those classic leg workouts that everyone knows and loves. For good reason: it’s one of few exercises that targets a ton of different muscles and can also be done just about anywhere.

A squat will provide workouts to your legs, hips, glutes and more.

How to squat

The squat is a very safe lift when performed correctly, but bad form can introduce many unnecessary risks.

Therefore, you’ll want to know how to do them right every time.

Start position

A proper squat begins in a full upright standing position. Start by placing your feet hip width apart, your legs straight and knees unbent, your back straight.

Your arms you can leave at your sides to start, though as you become more experienced you may want to begin adding resistance by holding weight in your hands.

The range of motion

Squat range of motion begins in the standing position, moving downward until your thighs are parallel with the ground, then returning to the start.

Performing the squat

To perform the motion correctly, push your hips back and bend your knees at the same time, then slowly lower your body down.

While doing this, be sure to keep your back straight, your chest high, and your feet flat on the floor. A lowered chest, arched spine or raised heels are all common mistakes in form that can lead to injury, so do your best to avoid those mistakes even if it means you can’t go down as far.

Continue to lower your body with your knees bent, hips back, and back straight, either until you struggle to hold your form or until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Ideally, at the bottom of the motion you may be able to put your hands on the floor. If balance is an issue due to inflexible ankles, try using this to help by putting your hands behind your back to catch you if you’re worried about falling backward.

Once at the bottom of the motion, reverse direction. Raise your body, straighten your knees, and bring your hips forward. Make sure to keep your feet flat on the ground.

At the top of the motion when you no longer have your knees bent and your hips are aligned with the rest of your body, you have completed one full squat.

Number of reps

Because the squat is one of the most important compound exercises, we recommend you attempt to do at least as many reps of them as you would of pushups for your upper muscles. 10 reps is usually a good benchmark for bodyweight squats.

Modifications for comfort

While it is unlikely that you’ll need assistance lifting your bodyweight with your legs since you already do that every day, there are some things you can do to make squatting easier in case your hips are inflexible or you have trouble staying on flat feet as you descend.

One option is to use a different foot position. For an easier stance, position your feet wider than shoulder width apart, with your feet each facing outward so they are aligned with the appropriate leg.

This position, with your feet wider apart, will make it easier to maintain balance and keep your feet flat while lowering your body – at least in comparison to a hip width foot position.

Bend at the knees and lower your body as normal, stop at parallel, then raise your body until your knees are straight again. Repeat for a number of reps equal to your normal goal.

A simple alternative to this method if you would prefer to stay in the normal position is to use your hands to hold on to something solid to assist you in keeping your balance while you are squatting.

Modifications for challenge

The first modification is to add resistance. It doesn’t have to be a barbell at first. Anything you can hold with your hands to increase the amount of force needed.

The other modification, when you have added resistance to the motion and still find it to be too easy, is to attempt one leg squats.

One leg squats are exactly as the name implies, the same motion in roughly the same stance on a single leg to essentially double the challenge.

Now, to do squats on a single leg you will definitely want to start off using your hands to assist your balance, especially if you’ve been doing wide stance squats up until this point.

For example, to start on your right foot you want to set yourself up with a good solid handhold on your left side.

Hold on to the handhold with your left hand, then stick your left leg out in front of you, left knee unbent, your left foot pointing away as straight as you can get it. Hold your right arm out in front as well. These things will also help keep your balance.

Bend your right knee, making sure to keep your right foot flat on the ground, and go down until your thighs hit parallel. Reverse, unbend your right knee and go up until you return to the start. Repeat as needed.

Don’t forget to do the same number of reps on the left leg, just like with single arm pushups. Turn around so the handhold is near your right arm, put your left arm and right leg out in front with your right knee unbent, hold on with your right arm while bending your left leg to go down. Don’t forget to keep your left foot flat on the ground.

Keep in mind that single leg squats may be a fair bit harder on your knees, so consider taking it easy on other knee intensive exercises. Alternatively, consider investing in a piece of equipment such as a knee brace, just in case.

Other lower muscle workouts

Glute bridge

A glute bridge will work your glutes, upper leg muscles, and core. To do it, lie on your back, bend your knees, put your feet and hands flat on the ground, then tighten your glutes and abs and raise your hips until your back is straight and aligned with your thighs. Hold as long as you can, then lower yourself until you lie on your back again.

Lunge

The lunge will work your leg muscles and knee flexibility. To lunge, put your left foot forward and right foot back, then bend at the knees until your right knee touches ground and your left leg is out in front. Then straighten and lunge forward until you are standing where you placed your left foot. Repeat the lunge with your right foot forward. Alternate sides until you complete your lunge sets.

Conclusion

There you have it. A simple and effective workout that women can do at home, at no cost, every day.

For more information, tips and tricks, and personalized guidance on every workout, consider connecting with a personal trainer through System2. Our at home fitness app connects you to a personal coach to give you a personalized workout plan and feedback.

Written by: Nathan Dresser

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