Want to tone up without an expensive gym membership or confusing equipment? This article will give women an easy-to-follow, full-body strength training and cardio home workout.

Reach your fitness goals with these customized and creative at-home workouts that help you burn fat and build lean muscle while saving time and money.

The Benefits of Ditching the Gym for Home Workouts

Working out at home offers many advantages.

It saves the hassle and expense of commuting and gym fees. You can work out anytime at your convenience instead of adhering to narrow open hours.

There’s no self-consciousness or waiting to share equipment with other people. No fancy machines are needed – you can use items around your house.

Most importantly, you can improve your physical health and aesthetics by carving out a few days a week for a consistent at-home workout.

You’ll start to burn excess fat for weight loss, see muscle definition as you tone up, and increase endurance, allowing you to power through life’s demands with less fatigue.

Your heart health will strengthen. Your energy, mood and self-confidence will also be enhanced.

Recommended Exercise Routine For a Complete Approach

Always warm up for 5-10 minutes before any workout with joint mobility exercises like bodyweight squats, arm circles, ankle rolls and light aerobic activity.

This raises your heart rate and prepares the muscles to avoid injury. From there, you can focus each home workout on different muscle groups for a well-rounded routine. Here is a comprehensive list of exercises for different body parts.

Exercises for lower body

1. Bodyweight Squats

Squats are a phenomenal functional lower body exercise that tones your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves in one fluid movement. Use just your body weight with these steps:

  1. Stand tall with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Engage the core by pulling the navel towards the spine to support the lower back.
  2. Initiate the movement by sending hips back while allowing knees to bend, tracking them over feet without caving knees inward.
  3. Descend slowly with control under tension until thighs reach parallel to the ground, keeping weight on heels.
  4. Reach full depth while maintaining an upright, neutral spine. Do not round the lower back.
  5. Hold briefly in the bottom squat position, then drive through the heels to start the standing position.
  6. Repeat for 15-20 controlled reps over three sets with excellent form. Rest 1 minute between sets.

2. Dumbbell Lunges

Lunges are a unilateral lower body exercise that builds strength and tone in the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Add dumbbells to increase resistance.

  1. Stand upright, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing inwards. Engage core.
  2. With control, step forward with one leg into a wide lunge, lowering until your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
  3. As you descend, allow your rear knee to bend just above the ground as you maintain an upright posture.
  4. Make sure your front knee tracks over your toes without caving inward excessively.
  5. Hold briefly in the bottom position, then drive through your front heel back to standing.
  6. Perform 10-12 controlled lunge reps on one side before repeating the set on the opposite leg—complete 2-3 sets per side.

3. Calf Raises

Calf raises target and isolates the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in your lower legs to build more defined, toned calves.

  1. Stand with feet about hip-width apart, toes facing forward. Hold dumbbells by your sides for added resistance (optional).
  2. Engage the core by pulling the navel towards the spine to support the lower back.
  3. Initiate the movement by rising onto the balls of your feet, flexing your ankles to lift your heels as high off the ground as possible.
  4. Squeeze the calf muscles hard at the top position, holding briefly for a second.
  5. Slowly lower your heels back towards the ground with control, allowing your calves to fully stretch in the bottom position.
  6. Repeat for reps of 15-20 for three total sets with perfect form. The controlled tempo isolates calves.

Exercises for Glutes and Core

4. Fire Hydrants

Fire hydrants strengthen your outer thighs and glutes. Follow these steps:

  1. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position with a flat back. Spread your knees hip-width apart with your toes on the floor.
  2. Without changing the bend in your leg, lift one knee to the side, leading with your heel, stopping when the thigh is in line with the body.
  3. Squeeze your glute muscles at the top of this move to hold briefly before slowly lowering back down with control.
  4. Perform all reps on one side before switching.
  5. Lift and open your hip intentionally using your glutes, not just by swinging your leg out to the side. Keep abs braced.
  6. Repeat for 15-20 controlled reps per side over 2-3 sets with excellent form. Move quickly between reps.

5. Hip Thrusts

Hip thrusts target your glutes and hamstrings to build a stronger, rounded butt. Here’s how:

  1. Sit on the ground with your upper back resting on a bench or couch. Place feet firmly on the floor about hip-width apart.
  2. Pressing through your heels, drive your hips upward until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Squeeze glutes hard.
  3. Hold this top “thrust” position briefly, feeling the tension in the hamstrings and glutes.
  4. Slowly lower your hips towards the floor by breaking at the hip while keeping your spine neutral.
  5. Stop just before your butt touches the floor to keep constant tension.
  6. Repeat the thrusting motion pushing through heels for three sets of 10-15 reps.

6. Plank Holds

Planks build incredible core stability and endurance from your shoulders through your hips. Follow these proper technique steps:

  1. Start in a prone position, balancing on forearms and toes, with elbows directly under your shoulders and legs fully extended behind you.
  2. Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards the spine. Contract your glutes to stabilize.
  3. Lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to heels without sagging or arching your lower back.
  4. Hold this rigid, high plank position, slightly adjusting core tension to avoid breaking form.
  5. Breathe steadily without holding your breath and resist the urge to drop your hips or lift your butt too high as you hold the plank.
  6. Hold for 20-60 seconds as an optimal time under tension before allowing a brief break.
  7. Complete 3-5 sets of max effort holds, allowing 30-60 secs rest between sets. Work towards holding 60+ seconds!

7. Side Crunches

Side crunches effectively target your obliques to enhance core rotation strength and definition along the sides of your waist. Follow these steps:

  1. Lie on the floor on your left side with legs straight or bent at hips and knees for stability. Stack your feet. Support your head with your left hand.
  2. Place your right hand lightly behind your head without pulling or straining your neck. Engage your core by pulling your belly button up to the spine.
  3. Contract your right oblique muscles initiating from below to lift your shoulder and twist slightly up diagonally in a controlled “crunch” motion, aiming your elbow towards the opposite knee.
  4. Hold briefly at the top contraction, then slowly lower with control and back to the start position.
  5. Maintain a stable spinal alignment without excessive arching or over-twisting the torso. Prevent swinging momentum.
  6. Perform 10-15 slow repetitions with excellent oblique engagement and form control on one side before carefully switching to the other side.
  7. Complete 2-3 sets of 15 quality crunches per side, allowing the obliques to rest for 30 seconds between opposite side sets.

Exercises for Arms and Chest

8. Biceps Curls

Dumbbell curls build stronger biceps by isolating your arm’s primary elbow flexor. Follow these form tips:

  1. Stand up straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip, palms facing forward. Keep elbows tight against the torso.
  2. Initiate the move by flexing only at the elbow, keeping your upper arms stationary and elbows pinned to your sides.
  3. Continue contracting your biceps to curl the dumbbell upwards toward the shoulders, but stop just short of fully flexing elbows.
  4. Squeeze biceps hard at the top contracted position briefly before slowly lowering back down to a straight arm hang.
  5. Repeat for 12-15 quality reps over three total sets. Move quickly between reps to maintain constant biceps tension.
  6. Rotate through multiple bicep curl variations in your routine, targeting outer, inner, and upper portions.

9. Triceps Dips

Dips place focused tension directly on your triceps through their full extension range. Follow these proper form tips:

  1. Sit at the edge of a chair or bench with your palms positioned shoulder-width apart behind you. Legs extended out.
  2. Walk feet out while lifting your butt off the chair, ensuring your weight shifts onto your hands and heels – not sitting. Keep elbows in.
  3. Slowly bend your elbows to lower down until you feel a stretch in the backs of your arms. Go down until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Pause at the bottom, then press down through your palms to straighten your arms and push back up to the start position. Elbows remain tight against the body.
  5. Perform 15-25 reps over three sets, keeping triceps engaged throughout the entire motion range. Isolate the backs of your arms!
  6. Rest only 60-90 seconds between sets. Use a spotter or assisted machine if grip strength limits you.

10. Push-Ups

Push-ups simultaneously engage multiple upper body muscle groups – chest, shoulders, arms – to build strength.

  1. Start in a high plank position, balancing the body on your hands and toes. Place hands slightly outside of shoulder width apart.
  2. Keeping your entire body straight from head to heels, bend your arms out to your sides to lower your chest towards the floor.
  3. Descend until the chest nearly grazes the ground, allowing elbows to flare behind the torso at 45 degrees.
  4. Engage your triceps, chest, and shoulders to press forcefully back up through your palms to return to the high plank position.
  5. Perform reps rhythmically without allowing hips to sag or strain the neck by looking up.
  6. Complete as many reps as possible with perfect form over five progressive sets (ex: 12, 10, 8, 6, 4) before fully resting.

Exercises for Cardio

11. Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a high-intensity cardio exercise that burns calories and engages your whole body. Follow these key tips:

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart on the balls of feet, abs engaged to support spine.
  2. Hold handles of an appropriately sized rope so hands reach just below armpits. Elbows tight at sides.
  3. Initiate a circular spin from wrists and forearms as you execute a small jump straight up just enough to clear the rope.
  4. Land gently on midfoot to absorb impact while maintaining an upright posture before jumping again as the rope comes around.
  5. Find proper individual turning speed and steady jump rhythm, allowing the rope to spin fluidly beneath the feet without tripping.
  6. Maintain grip pressure and arm position relative to the body as you increase pace and duration. Start slowly.
  7. Jump for 30-60 seconds with brief breaks before building towards 10-15 minutes of cumulative jumps.

12. Mountain Climbers

  1. Start in a high plank position, balancing your weight between hands and toes, arms straight. Engage core.
  2. Keeping a flat back, brace your abs and bring one knee towards the chest until the thigh nearly touches.
  3. Explosively switch legs, driving the opposite knee forward, mimicking a horizontal running motion.
  4. Alternate legs rapidly with control, moving in a controlled, fluid motion.
  5. Increase speed while maintaining proper form without arching your lower back or sagging hips.
  6. Continue mountain climber motion for 30-60 seconds before allowing a short recovery.
  7. Complete multiple sets of max-effort mountain climbers until thoroughly fatigued.

13. Jogging

Jogging is a form of aerobic exercise involving running at a slow, steady pace for an extended period, and it is an excellent home workout. 

It is a popular exercise for beginners and experienced runners, as it is relatively low-impact and can be done almost anywhere. Jogging can provide various benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, stronger muscles and bones, and increased weight loss. It can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.

How to Start Jogging 

If you are new to jogging, slowly and gradually increasing your distance and pace is important. You should also listen to your body and take rest days when needed. Choosing a comfortable pair of running shoes supporting your feet and ankles is also important.

  • Start with a brisk walk: If you are not already active, start by brisk walking for 15-20 minutes a day, several times a week. You can incorporate jogging into your routine once you are comfortable walking briskly.
  • Gradually increase your distance and pace: Start by jogging for short distances, such as 1-2 miles, and gradually increase the distance and pace as you get fitter.
  • Listen to your body: Take rest days when needed, and don’t push yourself too hard. If you experience pain, stop jogging and see a doctor.
  • Choose comfortable running shoes: Running shoes should fit well and support your feet and ankles.

Ensure 1-2 rest days per week to prevent overtraining. Listen to your body and allow adequate recovery time for those muscles to rebuild and strengthen.

Creating Your Weekly Training Schedule 

The key to success is consistency. Set a schedule detailing which muscle groups you will target each day, including some days of lighter cardio for active recovery. Here is a sample weekly home workout routine to follow for beginners:

  • Monday: Legs (lower body exercises above)
  • Tuesday: Glutes & Core (exercises listed above)
  • Wednesday: Active recovery (30 min walk, yoga)
  • Thursday: Arms & Chest (upper body exercises above)
  • Friday: High-Intensity Cardio (25 mins of HITT)
  • Saturday: Active recovery (hike, bike ride)
  • Sunday: Foam roll and stretch. Get ready to start over!

You can alternate days from week to week for variation. Listen to your body and take rest days whenever you are sore or fatigued. Be flexible and modify your schedule as needed. The main thing is sticking to the routine as best you can!

Tips For Enhancing the Effectiveness Of Your Home Workouts

  1. Fun Exercise Gear: Invest in a supportive sports bra, comfortable shoes, a yoga mat and some light dumbbells or resistance bands to perform the exercises correctly. Feeling equipped and fashionable helps motivate!
  2. Energizing Playlists: Surround yourself with upbeat music that lifts your mood and provides energy throughout the session. Faster tempo songs improve performance.
  3. Proper Nutrition: Stay hydrated, eat fruits, veggies and lean protein to nourish your body for demanding workouts and refuel depleted muscles properly afterwards.

The Bottom Line

Follow this weekly workout template tailored around your lifestyle, needs and home equipment for just one month.

In a short period, you will see and feel exponential improvements in endurance, strength, body composition and energy levels without ever needing the gym!

The privacy and flexibility of training at home empower most women to achieve those stubborn fitness goals. So, what are you waiting for? Gear up, queue your playlist, grab your home workout buddy and start burning fat today!

Burn Fat in 30 Minutes with this At-Home Workout Routine for Beginners