The 4 Best At-Home Workouts To Help You Lose Weight

High-impact interval training (HIIT), strength training, yoga, and dance can all help you lose weight at home.

Mustering the motivation to accomplish a fitness-focused goal can be challenging in any workout environment. But how about achieving that goal without a gym? 

Is it possible to lose weight or gain muscle without access to dumbbells, barbells, expensive cardio machines, and that charismatic indoor cycling instructor who both frightens and motivates you?

The short answer: Of course. In fact, at-home workouts, which grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be a highly effective means to reaching your fitness goals.

Here's how high-impact interval training (HIIT), strength training, yoga, and dance can help you lose weight at home.

Benefits of At-Home Workouts

Working out at home offers many benefits. There's no monthly fee, commute, or wait for equipment or class waitlists. At-home workouts are flexible, and you can do them virtually any time of day to fit your schedule.

But do they work as well? Most studies on the effectiveness of fitness regimens have occurred in fitness facilities or laboratories with specialized equipment. But other evidence suggests that at-home workouts can be highly effective, especially when combined with healthy eating.

Liz Davis, a clinical exercise physiologist from Columbus, Ohio, explained that an at-home workout could be particularly effective when reaching a fitness goal. 

"The home is a perfect place to achieve a fitness goal, even with little space and equipment," noted Davis. "You just have to transition your mindset and find a workout that works for you."

Another adjustment is that you should be more versed in proper form and alignment when starting an at-home workout routine. 

Taking adequate safety measures to avoid workout injuries becomes even more critical. For example, a full-length mirror can help you spot your form so you can make sure you're completing moves correctly.

Equipping Your Home Gym

You don't have to invest a fortune, but you will need some basics to get the most out of your at-home workout. Depending on the type of exercise you plan to do, you might want to equip your home gym with any of the following:

  • Yoga mat
  • Resistance bands
  • Handweights
  • Weighted jump ropes
  • Comfortable sneakers

Of course, feel free to equip your gym with what you need, including a treadmill, boxing bag, or stationary bike.

Keep in mind: Weight loss is complicated. It takes much more than adding a few more steps or workouts to your routine. The most significant factor in losing weight is maintaining a calorie deficit, mainly from how much food you eat. 

"Think about it. To burn 100 calories, you might need to walk for 45 minutes. To consume 100 calories, all you need is a few spoons of ice cream," Davis previously told Health.

That said, exercise can work to supplement a weight loss goal. Here are some of the best workouts you can do from home that can help, according to experts.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If there's one workout that can give you a slightly sharper edge than others, it's HIIT. With HIIT workouts, you alternate between short, intense bursts of energy followed by less intense, or completely restful, periods.

"Any time you're doing a hard burst of activity with a shorter recovery, your heart rate and temperature go way up," explained Davis. 

Heart rate and temperature are two physiological changes that directly impact your metabolism. You're still burning calories as your body works to bring those two variables back down for the next few hours.

And the best part of all? No equipment (or abundance of space) is required, making it a perfect at-home workout. So, give this 20-minute HIIT workout a try. 

Strength Training

While Davis noted that weight training wouldn't burn many calories at the moment, it will help increase your muscle mass. 

Muscle mass can affect your resting metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body can burn at rest. The more calories you burn at rest, the easier it can be to maintain or potentially lose weight.

And although you need weight or resistance to strength train, it certainly doesn't need to be in the form of dumbbells. You can use anything with mass—including your body—to build muscle.

"It's the muscle fatigue, rather than actual weighted equipment, that determines if you grow stronger," said Davis. "As long as you take whatever exercise you're doing to a point where you're fatiguing your muscles, you will see strength gains."

So even if you're feeling the burn from a biceps curl with a full wine bottle or performing reverse lunges with your body weight, you're still working to strengthen your muscles. And those exercises will potentially increase their mass.

Try out Costco-brand gallons of bleach to replace kettlebells or dumbbells while doing front squats, recommended Davis. But any object, be it gallons of bleach or a suitcase filled with books, that will fatigue you after 12 to 15 reps will work.

"I don't know how much [the gallon of bleach] weighs, only that it makes me tired after 12 or so reps. That's the most important factor," added Davis. 

Dance

Dancing—be it in the form of ballroom dancing or trendy TikTok routines—has the potential to contribute to weight loss. Dancing is a form of aerobic exercise that helps support weight management.

Dancing can also increase joint mobility and spinal flexibility, critical factors preventing injury. Those factors also ensure you are limber enough to execute living room burpees and jump squats confidently.

But perhaps the most critical benefit of all: Dancing is fun. 

"Dancing has an emotional, energizing component that can't be beat," said Davis. "But it's a super-effective way to burn calories, too, often without you even knowing you're doing it." 

Davis noted that she often tracks her cardiovascular workouts using a heart rate monitor and frequently finds that dancing will produce the highest heart rate. And Davis credited that to the joy she feels while dancing. 

Yoga

As anyone taking a vinyasa or Bikram yoga class will tell you, it's possible to get your heart rate soaring during flows. And your elevated heart rate is thanks to the heated room. 

While a direct tie between yoga and weight loss is murky, it might help you execute other exercises that maximize calorie burns more efficiently.

"Any kind of strengthening and stretching is beneficial for weight loss because it will make your body stronger and more limber," noted Davis. "This makes it possible to tackle your cardio and weight sessions with more intensity."

One of the top-rated yoga apps on the iTunes Store and Google Play, Yoga for Beginners, is also one of the most economical—it's free for iOS and Android. You can choose from beginner-friendly flows and yoga targeted toward specific body parts, like the back and abs.

A Quick Review

At-home workouts can be a highly effective means to reach your fitness goals. With the right equipment and the right approach, you can lose weight without the expense and inconvenience of a gym.

These four exercises—high-impact interval training (HIIT), strength training, yoga, and dance—can all help you lose weight at home.

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Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Roberts CK, Segovia DE, Lankford DE. Effects of Home-Based Exercise Training Systems, Combined with Diet, on Cardiometabolic Health. Int J Exerc Sci. 2019 May 1;12(2):871-885. 

  2. Cox CE. Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight MaintenanceDiabetes Spectr. 2017;30(3):157-160. doi:10.2337/ds17-0013

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