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How to Train at Home When You've Got Literally No Equipment (3 Ways)

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

For one reason or another, people often find themselves stuck training at home, with very little to no equipment whatsoever.

It can be extremely demotivating to find ourselves in a situation like this, and it can be even harder for us not to use it as an excuse to miss our workouts.

However, if you're really serious about reaching your goals in fitness, you're going to have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get there.

In times like this, it's likely going to mean that you have to get a little creative with the way you go about your workouts.

In this post, we'll show you how you can continue to work out and train effectively at home, utilizing everyday household objects and improvised training techniques to help you get there.

Keep reading below to learn how!

Man does plank and trains at home to build a strong six pack of abs.

Before we begin, there is an important article that we'd like you to take a quick read of.

We have another blog article that goes over how the approach that you should be taking when training at home is different to the traditional way that you would train in the gym.

This is vitally important for you to read if you're going to be working out at home, and it'll only take a few minutes to get through it.

With that out of the way, we can get into this article and how you can get a little creative with your training approach from home.


Bodyweight Workouts

Perhaps the most straightforward and most simple solution to this problem would be to simply work out with your bodyweight, or train with calisthenics (another name for bodyweight training).

Training with your bodyweight is an extremely effective form of strength training that's great for building functional strength and muscle mass across the body at the same time.

By utilizing bodyweight exercises such as the push up, pull up, dip, pistol squat, Nordic hamstring curl and more, you're able to hit all the muscles in the entire body very well from the comfort of your own home.

Bodyweight workouts can be run pretty similarly to how they would be in a weight training program. You can run a push, pull, legs split.

You can run an upper/lower split.

You can do full body if you prefer.

The way you program your workouts and schedule them in bodyweight training is not that different to how you would with weight training in the gym.

It's the WAY that you train during your workouts that is going to be a little different between the two training styles.

And bodyweight workouts require very little equipment to get through as well.

You can work the muscles of the chest, shoulders, triceps, abs and lower body with quite literally no equipment.

We'll leave a list of some exercises below that require very little equipment (that you should have) for you to perform.

  • Push ups

  • Air squats

  • Pistol squats

  • Decline push ups (feet on stairs or a chair)

  • Pike push ups

  • Bodyweight tricep extensions

  • Calf raises (can do single leg)

  • Planks

  • Mountain climbers

  • V-sits

  • Lying leg raises

There are loads of effective exercises that you can easily perform at home with very little to no equipment, and you just have to know what they are and how to perform them to get started.

Now you may have noticed that there aren't any exercises for the back.

The back is a slightly tougher muscle group to train with your bodyweight because you do generally need to be pulling your own bodyweight up against gravity, and that requires a bar.

Calisthenics Programs

Even with just a simple Google search online, you can quickly find yourself a range of bodyweight workouts and programs that can align with your goals and ability.

But don't worry, we'll get into how you can make it work in the next section.

Whether you're a beginner to calisthenics, an intermediate or a very advanced trainee, you're going to be able to make some gains with just your bodyweight.

And if you prefer to make your own, you definitely can.

Learn more:

Even here at Gympulsive, we've got an intermediate bodyweight training program that's designed to help you further develop your strength and build on the foundational muscle mass that you've built.

And starting from just a few dollars, you can get our team to create you a fully personalized workout program (even if you're training with just your bodyweight and a pull up bar) that' catered to you and your goals only!

It's going to be specific and completely individual to you, which is always a benefit to have over a generic program that's tailored to hundreds and thousands of others at once.

However you choose to get your program sorted, make sure it aligns with your goals and is actually catered to what you're trying to achieve, and now what the creator thinks you're trying to achieve.

Once you've found yourself a bodyweight program, simply stick to it, train hard and continue to do everything else the same until you can get back into the gym!

This is going to help you preserve your gains (and maybe even make new ones!).

The Key Takeaway: Bodyweight workouts are an easy way to continue training for progress when you're stuck at home with minimal equipment. It makes sense to train this way anyways, as it is a very effective training style that many choose to do, even if they have all the necessary access to weights.

Find Other Objects to Use

You can actually get a little creative and also find other everyday household objects that you can work out with.

For example, if you need a pull up bar or a low lying bar to perform your pull ups/inverted rows, there are actually a couple of everyday household objects that you could use instead.

Believe it or not, you can actually do pull ups on most doorframes.

It's not the most ideal way to train (and you should definitely check that your doorway is strong and secure), but it'll make do and you'll still be able to get some pull ups in.

Or if you've got a second floor to your house, maybe you can do some pull ups on the stairway like Lawrence does in this video!

And some people will have access to outdoor garage rooves, which they can grab on to and perform pull ups on pretty easily.

You can do pull ups on:

  • The edge of a stairway

  • A low lying roof

  • Strong and secure door frames

  • A strong towel wedged between a door and its frame

  • A strong tree branch outside (make sure it's thick and safe)

The point is, there are actually loads of places that you can perform pull ups on and get your training done.

You just have to stop looking at what you don't have, and instead look more closely at what you DO have access to.

And with back training, there actually is another back movement you can do to further develop the muscles of the lats, mid/upper back, spinal erectors and biceps.

You can use the inverted bodyweight row, which is a great exercise that mimic the movement pattern of the barbell row and its variations.

You can choose to do these on a table if you don't have a bar like Alex bunt does here in the video below:

Alternatively you could use a strong bar-shaped object like a broom to do some rows on if you can position it securely on top of a pair of boxes, stools, or any other elevated surface.

This is a great back movement that you can easily perform at home, and all you have to do is be a little creative in order to get it working and do it properly.

But enough about the back.

What if you actually want to lift some weight?

The good news is, you still can.

There are going to be lots of everyday objects in your house that you could use to create some sort of external resistance to lift.

For example, a large carton of milk can literally be used to do bicep curls with if they're heavy enough for you.

Or you can use them for shoulder presses.

Or goblet squats.

Maybe you can attach the cartons to a strong stick and fill them up with water to create a makeshift 'barbell'.

Then your options are opened up even further to allow you to perform exercises such as the bench press, bent over row, lunge and more.

For example, take a look at what the woman in the clip is doing here.

It's not as ideal as a barbell would be, but it's definitely better than nothing. Don't fall into the victim mindset.

Even though you might feel like you've got absolutely no equipment around you, chances are you've got more than you think.

Heck, you could even use your friend or family member (with their consent of course!) as a form of resistance just like the man does in the image below.

Man works out and exercises with his partner, uses her as a barbell during bench press

All it takes is a little bit of creativity and a will to make things happen!

We'll leave you with a list of ideas below of some everyday household objects that you could use as external resistance:

  • Wearing a backpack filled with books on push ups, squats, pull ups, etc.

  • Cartons/bottles of water

  • Baskets and boxes (fill with heavy objects)

  • Your friends and family

  • Literally anything else you can grab onto and hold comfortably

Final Thoughts

Working out at home with limited equipment certainly isn't ideal. It's likely not going to be the most optimal for you to make gains and progress towards your goals.

However, this does not mean that you can't keep moving forwards, and it doesn't mean that you can't make the most out of your time and situation either.

All it requires is for you to be a little more creative and innovative with the objects that you do have lying around the house.

Remember, instead of focusing on what you DON'T have access to, focus on what you DO have access to.

We hope you've found this post helpful and were able to learn something from it!

If you did, remember to share it with your friends so that we can reach more people and share help as many as possible reach their goals in fitness!

And if you would like some help with getting in shape (even if you're working out at home with just a pull up bar), head on over to our custom programs feature to get a fully personalized program made just for you!

Or upgrade your account to Gympulsive Pro for full access to the site and exclusive access to tons more blog articles just like this one.


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