If you are looking for the best exercises to lose weight fast at home without equipment, then you are in the right place.
In this post we’ll cover 6 home exercises that melt fat, build muscle, and give you superhuman strength. As an added bonus, these exercises do not require any special equipment except somewhere to hang from.
But before we get to the exercises, we must cover an important concept for you to understand if you wish to lose weight.
Ignore this and you won’t lose weight
I have some semi-bad news for you: exercise alone will not make you lose weight.
Yes, it helps. It helps A LOT. But it won’t get you there alone…
In other words, you could religiously do these exercises to lose weight fast at home without equipment, yet fail to see the scale move unless you understand the following:
Your diet makes the biggest impact on your weight loss (or gain)
There’s an old saying that goes, “You can’t outrun your fork.”
It’s true, you can’t. If you do these home exercises without changing your diet, you will not lose weight (at least in the long term).
Therefore, if your goal is weight loss I encourage you to focus most of your attention on your diet.
However, changing your diet for weight loss isn’t the topic of this post. Exercise is.
And make no mistake that exercise helps. In fact, it’s no secret that the fastest way to lose weight is to couple a nutrition protocol with exercise.
This post focuses on the latter. I will cover dieting for weight loss in a future post.
Let’s get to the exercises.
Best Exercises To Lose Weight Fast At Home Without Equipment
Search around for the best exercises to lose weight fast at home without equipment and you’ll likely find dozens, if not hundreds of different exercises to try.
I don’t agree with this approach.
Instead, the best way to lose weight fast at home without equipment is to focus in on a small handful of exercises. You then work on progressing in those exercises.
This is what makes the popular Convict Conditioning Book so wildly successful. It focuses in on progressing in just 6 basic bodyweight exercises.
We’ll take the same approach in this post.
Muscle is your body’s fat burning machinery. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest, and thus the more weight you’ll lose.
That’s why it’s important not to neglect building muscle and getting stronger, even if your goal is to lose weight.
Below are 6 of the best home exercises to build muscle and lose weight. Each exercise contains instructions on how to make the exercise easier or harder depending on your current level of fitness.
As a beginner it’s important to focus on the fundamentals. These exercises ARE the fundamentals of bodyweight training.
Progressing in these exercises will open up doors to perform more advanced bodyweight moves in the future if that’s a goal of yours.
Pushups are one of the most popular home exercises, and for good reason: they work.
They primarily work the “pushing” muscles in your upper body:
They give you a lot of bang for your buck.
Most everyone is familiar with how to do a pushup. The problem is that you may not be strong enough yet to perform even a single rep of a normal pushup on the ground.
If that’s you, that’s okay. To make the pushups easier, simply perform them on an elevated surface.
This variation of the pushup is sometimes called “incline pushups” or “hands elevated pushups.”
The higher the surface, the easier the exercise. For example, the following pushup progression is laid out in difficulty from easier to harder:
- Wall pushups
- Chest high pushups
- Knee high pushups
- Normal pushups
Most everyone, regardless of fitness level, can do a pushup against a wall.
As you get stronger you can work your way down to the floor.
2. Pull ups
Next on our list of the best exercises to lose weight fast at home without equipment is the pull up.
Pull ups can be tough because they require a good deal of strength to perform even just a single rep. Some beginners may not have this level of strength yet.
That’s okay. Just like with pushups, I’ll give you some easier variations to start with.
Before you can do a pull up you need somewhere to hang from. If you can’t find anywhere, then I recommend investing in a pull up bar.
A simple home pull up bar is an inexpensive investment that will pay huge dividends.
If pushups are the king upper body pushing exercise, then pull ups are the king upper body pulling exercise. Pull ups work many muscles, but really hit your back and biceps.
Additionally, simply hanging from the bar improves grip and forearm strength.
If you cannot yet do a single pull up, then I recommend the following progression to work your way up to it (from easier to harder):
- Active hang
- Jumping pull ups
- Pull up negatives
- Pull ups
The first step is simply getting comfortable hanging from the bar. When you do this, you’ll want to engage your shoulder muscles and keep your feet in front of you (in a hollow body position).
This is what’s known as the active hang:
Next are jumping pull ups, where you place a chair or other object beneath you to assist in getting to the top position:
After jumping pull ups are negative pull ups. This is where you again jump to the top position, but then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position:
Once you master negative pull ups, you should be ready to perform at least one rep of a full pull up.
Note: Many people find pull ups easier to perform in the “hands facing you” grip position (sometimes called the chin-up grip).
Sometimes called the squat of the upper body, dips are one of the most effective home exercises you can do to lose weight.
Dips are best performed on parallel bars. If you don’t have parallel bars, get creative:
- Use the backs of two chairs. Add weight to the seats if you are afraid of them falling over. Just be sure the chairs are strong enough to support your weight
- Find the corner of a counter top that makes a 90 degree angle and do dips in that corner.
- Find two surfaces of approximately the same height and space them apart enough to perform dips.
Just like finding somewhere to hang from with pull ups, if you look around at your environment you can usually make something work.
Note: If you have rings, I do not recommend doing dips on the rings as it is a more advanced progression than parallel bar dips.
Just like with any other bodyweight exercise, there is a progression to follow (from easier to harder):
- Parallel bar support hold
- Negative Dips
The first step is to get comfortable simply holding yourself up on parallel bars:
Next, perform just the eccentric (negative) portion of the dip:
Once you master negative dips, you’ll be ready for normal parallel bar dips.
In bodyweight training, it’s important to maintain a balance of horizontal and vertical pushing and pulling exercises. This helps prevent muscular imbalances.
Rows cover horizontal pulling.
Unlike pull ups (which mostly hit the lats), rows hit the middle and upper back muscles.
The row progression is similar to the pushup progression in that the higher the angle of your body relative to the floor, the easier the exercise becomes.
From easier to harder:
- Vertical rows
- Incline rows
Vertical rows can be done in a doorway or anywhere else where you can pull yourself up vertically:
Incline rows and normal horizontal rows may require you to get creative. Here are a few ideas:
- If you are in a gym use a high bar on a smith machine
- Use a chair with your pull up bar to get your feet elevated
- Hang rings over your pull up bar (my personal favorite)
- Do them underneath a table
- Other ideas
In case you aren’t sure how to perform incline rows, here’s a video:
Now that we’ve covered the best upper body exercises to lose weight fast at home without equipment, let’s move on to the lower body.
And no lower body exercise is more important than the squat.
There’s a saying out there: “Never miss leg day.” This saying should more accurately state: “Never miss squats on leg day.”
Squats really hit the quadricep muscles, but also work almost every muscle in your lower body.
Depending your current level of fitness, you may or may not be able to do a full squat. If not, here are a few easier progressions to start with:
- Assisted half squats
- Unassisted half squats
- Assisted full squats
- Unassisted full squats
For assisted squats simply hold onto an object in front of you to assist you on the way down. Alternately, you can sit back onto a knee high surface.
Both versions are shown below:
For half squats, simply squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor:
Note: If you’re sedentary most of the time, chances are you lack the ankle flexibility to perform a full squat. Additional mobility work may be needed on the side to help increase ankle range of motion.
6. Step ups
Last one our list of home exercises to lose weight fast are step-ups.
Squats are a lower body “push” exercise, so it’s important to balance them with a lower body “pull” exercise such as step-ups.
This balance ensures the hamstrings receive adequate work and prevents muscular imbalances.
Step-ups are super easy to perform. All you need is a surface approximately knee height.
As you get stronger you can increase the height of the surface (from easier to harder):
- Knee high surface
- Waist high surface
- Chest high surface (also known as deep step-ups)
It’s important to use as little help from your back leg as possible. When you push off the ground, try to solely use your elevated leg to step up.
Putting it all together
Now that you know the best exercises to lose weight fast at home without equipment, it’s time to put them all together into a workout.
Creating a workout routine is beyond the scope of this post, but I’ll give you a few pointers to get started:
- Full body workout routines work best for beginners
- Give yourself at least one day off between workouts
- Working in the 15-20 rep range works well for beginners.
- If you have some training experience, feel free to work in the 8-12 rep range
- Rest 1-3 minutes in between sets
- Adjust the difficulty of the exercise to match your current level of fitness
I will be covering creating a workout routine in a future post (at which time I’ll add a link here) which will go into a lot more detail.
In summary, it’s possible to lose a good deal of weight exercising at home without equipment. These 6 exercises will help you get there.
However, if you ignore your diet and rely completely on exercise, you won’t lose weight (at least not in the long term). You MUST also focus on your diet if weight loss is your goal.
You can adjust the difficulty of each of these bodyweight exercises to fit your current level of fitness.
This goes for any bodyweight exercise… there are always ways to make an exercise easier or more difficult.
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