Make Your Living Room A Gym

You don’t need a gym to get fit. 

Although you can get some absolute bargain gym memberships these days.

I mean you can get some for £10 a month (same as one main meal in a restaurant), that’s £2.50 a week.

Even if you go just once a week where else can you go when you get a lovely warm hello at reception, your own membership card, use of their facilities, access to classes, a warm shower and changing rooms for £2.50?

Nowhere really.

Anyway some gyms are expensive and maybe it isn’t feasible for people on very tight budgets, so does this mean you can’t exercise? Hell no!

Firstly you have the outdoors, click here to read loads of ideas on how to get fit outdoors.

And secondly, and what I’m here to talk about today is you have your home.

In this post I’m going to show you how to turn your living room into a gym.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t involve knocking a couple of walls through and replacing the TV with a treadmill.

That’s all you’ll need is a bit of floor space and an optional tiny bit of equipment.

You can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and endurance without having to leave the house or use any equipment, what could be better?

What you need:

  • Floor space
  • Comfortable floor (use a mat/towel if it’s hard)
  • Light pair of Dumbbells or you can use tins of beans/water bottles
  • A chair
  • A step

Simple. Everyone has those.

So in this quick post I’m going to give you 5 full body exercise, 5 upper body exercises, 5 lower body exercise and 5 core exercises which you can do in your living room just using the things I’ve mentioned above.

You could split these into separate workouts. Do 5 full body exercises in a row, rest for about a minute and repeat 3-5 times on one day and then the next day do lower body, day after core etc.

Full Body

1. Bear Crawl – Start on your hand and knees, rise up on your toes, keep your core muscles nice and tight and slowly reach forward with your left arm and left knee, then repeat on the opposite side. Crawl for around 10 reps, just turn around when you run out of space. Growling is optional!

2. Plyometric Push-Up – This is a tough one. Perform your normal press up but once you get to the bottom explode up off the floor and land with soft elbows to cushion the landing and go straight into the next rep.

3. Stair Climb with Bicep Curl – May have to leave the living room for this but don’t worry you don’t have to go far. Grab some Dumbbells or bottles of water/cans of beans and have a brisk walk up the stairs whilst doing bicep curls at the same time. Go up and down around 10 times depending on how big your stairs are!

4. Mountain Climber – Position yourself as if you were about to perform a press up. Bring your right knee underneath your chest and keep your left leg extended. Then jump forward and switch positions with the legs so your right leg is extended and your left leg is under your chest. Keep your core tight get a nice rhythm and do this for about 20 reps.  

5. Burpees – Everybody’s favourite! Start with your hands on the floor with your knees tucked in, kick the legs out together so they are straight behind you and then back in towards the chest and go into a jump with your arms straight overhead, then place your hands on the floor and kick back out to return to your starting position, that’s one rep. If you’re just starting out try and do 5 in a row. To make them harder (as if you need too!) you can add a press up into it after you have kicked your legs outwards.

Upper Body

1. Press Up – You should all know this classic. Place hands shoulder width apart, legs straight out behind you, back straight, core tight, bend the elbows to bring your upper body close to the floor with your elbows tucked into the side of the body and then push back up. If you are a beginner do this but with your knees on the floor to start off with until you can build up to a full press up.

2. Triceps Dip – You need a chair for this or you could just use a step. Grab the edge of the step/chair and straighten your arms, you can either have your knees bent or your legs straight. From here you bend the elbows to a 90 degree angle and then push back up to straight. After a few you should really start to feel the burn in the back of your arms. Make sure you go down all the way.

3. Reverse Fly – Grabs your tins of beans/weights, one in each arm bend over slightly with your arms hanging below , palms facing inwards and then extend the arms out to the side, squeezing the shoulder blades together, bring back to the middle and that’s one rep.

4. Shoulder Press – Don’t put your beans away yet. Stand up with a weight in each hand. Can do with your palms facing into your head or in facing the front of the body. Just extend the arms up straight above your head and then back down to your shoulders. 

5. Boxing Punches – Do these in 30 punches or 30 second blocks. Do a combination of punches. If you are right handed start with your left leg in front of the right (vice versa if left handed) and perform punches with each arm straight in front of you continuously. Could try with cross punches and upper cuts and also pick up a small weight in each hand to make it even harder.

Lower Body

1. Wall Sit – This may not hurt at first but it will kick in. Find some space against a wall, slide your back down it until your are in a squat position with your thighs parallel to the ground, knees above the ankle and back straight. Aim to hold it for around 60s. 

2. Lunge – Stand up straight with legs slightly apart, bring your right leg forward, followed by your body slowly, bend the knee to a 90 degree angle as your left leg comes down behind. Step up off the right leg to return to the start and then repeat on the other side.   

3. Squat – A classic move for your lower body. Feet about shoulder width apart with toes pointing slightly out. Bend the knees and get to the position mentioned above in the wall sit and return to the start. Obviously you won’t be able to keep your back as straight. Try to avoid your heels or toes lifting off the floor, your upper body coming too far forward or your knees coming in front of the toes.  Push through the heels to bring you back up and stick your bum out behind as if you are going to sit down. To make it harder you can add a jump at the top of the squat.

4. Calf Raise – Stand up straight, use a wall/shelf to balance you if needed. Slowly rise up onto your toes, hold briefly and come back down. To make it harder do it on the edge of a step and can try doing it one leg at a time.

5. Step-Up – Nice and simple, stand by a step and step up with one leg and followed by the other and return to the start, repeat on the other side. The higher the step the harder it is, could use a bench instead.

With all of these lower body exercises you can hold a weight to make them harder.


1. Plank – One of the best core exercises for you. Lie face down with your forearms on the floor and about shoulder width apart. Bring your body up so you are in a nice straight line and hold. After about 30s you should start to feel the pain in your stomach. Try to hold for between 30-60s.

2. Flutter Kick – Lie down on the floor with your legs straight. Bring the heels about 6 inches off the floor and make small alternate kicks with your legs up and down. Do about 20 reps or see if you can keep going for 30-60s.

3.Side Plank – Lie on your side. Place one forearm on the ground with your fist facing forward. Lift your upper body off the floor so only your forearm and feet are in contact with the floor. Make sure you don’t drop your hips down and hold it for between 30-60s. Repeat on the other side.

4. Leg raise Holds – Same position as the flutter kicks but this time instead of kicking you keep the legs straight and hold them in position. Start with 3 lots of 8-10s.  

5. Reverse Crunch – Lie on your back, legs straight and then bend the knees and bring them towards the chest, then slowly lower them back to the starting position without touching your feet on the floor, that’s 1 rep. 

Unless stated aim for around 10 reps of each exercise. Like I said above you could do them as separate circuits and do the 5 exercises in a row, rest and repeat 3-5 times. You could then follow it up by another one e.g. perform the upper body circuit 5 times and then the lower body circuit 5 times. Or you could alternate and do one on each day.

Hopefully I’ve given you some great exercises to start you off. It doesn’t cost anything, it’ll only take about 10 minutes and you don’t need to leave the house!

What’s your excuse for not exercising?


Jamie Stedman

PS Do these in the garden on a nice day instead, a lot more enjoyable and you’ll get a tan!

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