At-Home Strength Training Ideas

Running and training while working from home

By now, we all know the everything that has gone down and how it has completely shifted how we live our lives. Stores, gyms and all non-essential shops are closed or doing business on a skeleton crew. Our way of life has been completely shifted upside down.

At-Home Workouts with Non-Traditional Equipment
Workout Ideas for At-Home Strength Training

Now that most, if not all, gyms are closed, we also have to rethink how we’ll keep up our fitness. Will we let everything we’ve been working toward just slide because we don’t have access to a gym?  

Now that road races are postponed or canceled, will that negatively affect motivation?  Will you no longer feel obligated to get out and log your miles?

life is different, but I know that we will be just fine. We can close up shop and wait it out or we can be creative and find alternative ways to get in shape at home so that when our we all come out the other side. We’ll be able to return to a new normal way of life.

At-Home Strength Training Ideas
Stay fit and active while social-distancing with these at-home workouts

What do you think? Are you with me?  I’m here to help you find motivation and use resources you already have around the house to stay in shape.

I’ll break up the workout ideas by body part so that you can skip down to the part you want to focus on for the day.


Core

Having a strong core is so important to a distance runner.  Without a strong core, it’s hard to build strength around it.  Our core is the foundation for everything we do, so focusing on this area is very important.

Core strengthening exercises for all distance runners

My most popular blog post covers the basics of working on your core, so you’ll want to read that post if you haven’t already.


Arms

There are so many household items we can use in place of free weights!  You do not need free weights, kettle bells or fancy equipment to stay in shape.

Do you have some gallon jugs of milk or maybe some cans of soup? What about small children? Heck, I even have a workout where you’re only using your SHOES as the weight!

With these new workout ideas, you may not do your typical amount of reps or use the same weight, but you’ll still get in a good workout.

Strength training ideas for at-home workouts
Total body strength routines for at-home workouts

Here are some moves that can be done with your non-traditional equipment:

  • Inverted push ups – use a couch to raise your feet
  • Dips – use a chair or bench to do dips
  • Bicep curls – use cans or bottles of water
  • Overhead press – cans or bottles
  • Upright row – use cans or bottles of water

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Legs

No leg machines? No problem.

Some moves that you can do with non-traditional equipment:

  • Squats – use canned goods or bag of rice as weight
  • Hip thrusters – use a bench or ottoman
  • Lunge twists – use a can or bottle to twist as you’re completing your lunge
  • Step ups – you can use a bench, a box, or stairs
  • Single-leg dead lifts – lighter weight + balance
Strength Training At Home
Strength training ideas using items around your house

Low Intensity Workouts

We can dial a workout up to make it more intense or dial it back to make it less intense. Some great low intensity workouts I’ve done include core, Pilates, and yoga. There are some great YouTube videos of instructors who are really good at teaching.

Since all the gyms are closed, you’ll want to stay fit! Here are #TrainwithMarc’s top workout ideas that don’t require traditional workout equipment!


High Intensity Workouts

If high intensity is more your speed – where your heart rate is way up and you’re getting little rest – then you’ll want to check out some of these workout routines:


Homemade Box Jump
Homemade Box Jump

DIY Equipment

Are you crafty and can create you own workout equipment? Here are some ideas for you!

  • Weighted PVC pipes: put sand in and cap the ends
  • Box jump: Mr. Money Mustache blogged about it and we made one of our own!

Did you find this article helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Need a running coach for your next race?

TrainwithMarc is an online running coach who provides running and strength routines to distance runners
Online Running Coach

A coach will create the training plan so you can focus on your running goals!

Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT & USATF Certified Running Coach
Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT & USATF Certified Running Coach

Marc is a USATF Track and Field & Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT O2 certified running coach. I have more than 19 years of experience running and more than 10 years of experience coaching runners. Click for more information!

12 thoughts on “At-Home Strength Training Ideas

  1. deborahbrooks14 March 18, 2020 — 10:11 AM

    yes definitely looking to mix up my home workouts and stay sane and fit at home. Thanks for linking up

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  2. It’s a crazy time, for sure. And sometimes we gotta get creative with what we can do with our workouts! Good ideas. Thanks for sharing!!

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  3. It’s so helpful to have a lot of at home workout options during this crazy time!

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  4. Kim at Running on the Fly March 18, 2020 — 7:58 PM

    Since I do the bulk of my workouts at home, I’m not feeling too stressed ((yet)). I need to do the PVC pipes with sand! I’d thought of doing something similar with water, but sand would be a lot easier to manage LOL

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  5. These are all fantastic. I have to keep up with my PT at home while we work on our social distance, so I am always looking for new ways to strengthen.

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  6. Yes, definitely. I have a great resistance band workout that I shared… Plus, just being generally strong and fit will help when races open back up.

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  7. They’re really easy – we have longer (maybe 4.5 feet long) and maybe 1-inch diameter – and have a varying amount of sand in them. Then we just duct-taped the ends so it wouldn’t pour out!

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  8. It certainly is a crazy time. I’m thankful for being healthy right now; I can’t imagine all of this social distancing AND being injured.

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  9. Yeah, mixing it up is a good way to keep motivated and driven for when races start back up (whenever that is!).

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  10. You got it. Hope you’re safe, happy, and getting fit!

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  11. Thanks for this! All my gyms are currently closed so I’m all about the home workouts right now!

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