Want to get healthy and fit without joining a gym? Here are the best at-home workout programs that will get you in shape in no time! They include cardio and strength training moves so you get a full body workout from the comfort of your own home.
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I love staying active, whether that means getting outside for a walk around my favorite lake, hitting the gym with my friends, or following along with an exercise DVD from the comfort of my own living room.
No matter what form of exercise I choose, it has to be fun, engaging, and easily accessible. If it isn’t those three things, I simply won’t do it. You can probably relate, right?
But what if you need an exercise program that’s fun, engaging, and can be done from the comfort of your own home?
In that case, my friend, what you need is an at-home workout program!
If you’ve never tried working out from home before, here are a few benefits you can expect:
- You can work out anytime you want
- You don’t have to pay for a gym membership
- You don’t have to worry about creepy people checking you out while you’re exercising
- You can control the cleanliness of your workout environment
- You don’t have to go out of your way to work out
- You can exercise at your own pace with total privacy (this is great if you’re self-conscious!)
- You can build a collection of at-home workout programs that you absolutely love and do whichever one strikes your fancy that day
The bottom line is that you don’t need a gym membership to get fit and stay active. Nope, all you need is a little bit of open space and a home fitness program!
I’ve tried quite a few at-home workout programs over the years, but here are the ones I think are the absolute best.
The Best At-Home Workout Programs for Women
1. PIIT28 by Cassey Ho
I love love love PIIT28! Cassey does an excellent job combining pilates with high intensity interval training. In fact, that’s how she came up with the name: Pilates Intense Interval Training, or PIIT for short.
Out of all the at-home exercise programs I’ve tried, PIIT28 remains one of my favorites, primarily because of Cassey. She’s bubbly and energetic, and her enthusiasm is contagious. I just can’t help but get excited when I exercise with her. That’s why I think PIIT28 is one of the best at-home workout programs out there.
But as much as I think PIIT28 is fun, it also kicks some serious butt! I’m huffing and puffing during the cardio moves, and my muscles are screaming during the strength training exercises. It’s fantastic.
Here’s what you can expect from PIIT28:
- The daily workout is only 28 minutes, but you should also begin each workout with Cassey’s 5-minute warm-up routine and finish with her 5ish-minute stretching routine. In all, you can expect to spend about 40 minutes exercising each day.
- The program is designed to last 28 days, but you only work out six days per week for four weeks. After you finish the 28-day program, simply start it all over again.
- You don’t need any equipment to do PIIT28, but it is nice to have a yoga mat, especially if you’re exercising on hard floors. I personally love a thicker fitness mat, but a regular yoga mat will work just fine.
- For each workout, Cassey has a video demonstrating the moves. However, once you feel comfortable with the routines, you don’t have to watch the videos anymore. Instead, you can use her printable workout sheets for an offline workout that you can take with you wherever you go.
- In addition to purchasing the actual PIIT28 program, Cassey recommends purchasing the PIIT28 companion timer app. It’s a one-time cost of $1.99, but it’s so worth it.
- You will probably want to die during the workouts if you’re a newbie, but that’s a good thing! Cassey will push you to achieve things you never thought possible.
- At the end of the 28 days, you will be so much stronger than you were at the beginning. When I did my first round of PIIT28, I didn’t lose any weight on the scales, but I definitely lost fat and gained some serious muscle. Josh even commented that my legs looked incredibly toned!
There are a couple different options if you want to buy PIIT28:
PIIT28 1.0. This is the version I purchased when Cassey first released PIIT28. I love it!
PIIT28 Power Pack. Since then, Cassey has released two more versions of PIIT28: PIIT28 2.0 and PIIT28 3.0. You can get the PIIT28 Power Pack which includes all three versions. I have not personally purchased this version, but it is a really good value if you want access to all three PIIT28 workouts.
Transformation Pack. Cassey also has a nutrition plan! For the absolute best results, you HAVE to combine proper nutrition with exercise. You just won’t see the best results if your diet is less than stellar. With that being said, you can get all three PIIT28 workouts AND Cassey’s nutrition plan when you buy the Transformation Pack.
In full disclosure, I have not purchased her nutrition plan because I already eat well on a mostly whole food, plant-based diet. BUT, if you need help in this department, I would definitely recommend choosing the Vegan Transformation Pack because those recipes stick closely to a whole food, plant-based diet.
No matter which option you choose, I love the fact that Cassey only charges a one-time payment. For me, a one-time payment is a must for my at-home workout programs!
2. Jane Fonda’s Aerobics Videos
Oh my heavens. How am I just now getting on the Jane Fonda fitness video bandwagon?! She’s the QUEEN of fitness, and she revolutionized the way women exercise. In fact, she’s the one who started the at-home workout movement.
Even though some people may have issues with her political blunder back in the 70s, nobody can deny this woman’s fitness prowess. Seriously, she kicks my tush with every video. I’m completely and forever hooked, and I’m convinced that she made some of the best at-home workout programs ever.
Plus, I love feeling like I’m part of the 80s fitness craze with all the leg warmers and big hairdos I see in every single one of her videos. And the music is just plain fun!
And while we’re on the subject, can we PLEASE bring back the high cut fitness leotards?! I just want to wear one so badly! LOL
Here’s what you can expect from just about all of Jane Fonda’s workout videos:
- The aerobics routines will get your heart rate up and burn some serious calories. While it does take me a few tries to get the choreography just right, I don’t think any of her routines have been too complicated to learn.
- The strength training moves will work muscles you didn’t even know you had.
- Jane’s ab workouts will especially work muscles you didn’t know you had. Seriously, my core is sore all the way around–front, sides, and back!
- Each of her workouts has everything you need: warm-up, cardio, strength training, cool-down, and stretching.
- Even though the videos are straight out of the 80s, I find that the moves are still relevant and widely used today. Plenty of moves that I’ve done with newer routines (from Cassey Ho, Jillian Michaels, the Tone It Up girls, and plenty of other trainers) are present and accounted for in Jane’s routines.
- As with PIIT28, you don’t need any equipment other than a yoga mat to do Jane’s videos. Sometimes she recommends holding onto a chair for stabilization, but I rarely need to.
You have several options if you want to buy Jane Fonda’s workout DVDs:
Jane Fonda’s Original Workout. This is where it all started. This video has two sections: a 30-minute beginner version and a 60-minute advanced version.
Jane Fonda’s New Workout. This is a follow-up to the Original Workout, and it rocks! It also has a beginner version and an advanced version. This is probably my favorite Jane Fonda workout DVD.
Jane Fonda’s Workout Collection. This is the ultimate Jane Fonda collection if you like to mix things up throughout the week.
3. Jillian Michaels’ HIIT Videos
Even though I don’t do her workout videos nearly as much as I used to now that I’m obsessed with PIIT28 and Jane Fonda’s aerobics videos, Jillian is the one who got me started on my fitness journey. Her videos definitely deserve a spot on the list of best at-home workout programs!
Jillian is a tough trainer, and her no-nonsense approach will kick your butt in gear and push you to the limit. And the best part is that her videos make you work smarter, not harder. That’s the whole approach behind High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short.
Basically, Jillian wants you to get maximum results in the shortest amount of time, so she requires you to give it all you’ve got for the duration of the workout.
Here’s what you can expect from Jillian’s HIIT routines:
- In each 24-minute video, she packs in your warm-up, cardio moves, strength training exercises, ab work, and a cool-down stretch session.
- She uses a 3-2-1 method to rotate you through the moves. 3 minutes of strength training, two minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.
- You do need some light hand weights and a mat for these workouts. I started with 3lb weights and worked my way up to 8lb weights. Your needs will depend on your fitness level.
- Sometimes you may need to adjust the moves a little bit. For example, jumping lunges hurt my knees, so I replace them with static lunges instead. Jillian usually offers a modified version of her moves, so do what works best for your body.
- In my experience, sometimes her routines go a bit too fast for me to have perfect form. I have to go a little slower and perform the moves with more control so I don’t end up injuring myself. This is one of those instances where quality of execution is definitely better than quantity!
- You may hear a curse word or two in her videos, but they’re very infrequent and mild. Personally, this wasn’t a deal breaker for me, but I thought you should know just in case it is a deal breaker for you.
Here are some options for buying Jillian’s workout DVDs:
She has tons and tons of videos to choose from, but these are the ones I’ve personally tried.
30 Day Shred. This is the first video I ever bought from Jillian. It’s definitely a good one, but be sure to go a little slower so you can execute the moves with perfect form.
Ripped in 30. I actually like Ripped in 30 better than 30 Day Shred. Jillian slows it down and emphasizes quality over quantity.
6 Week Six-Pack. This video doesn’t use the 3-2-1 system, but your core will still be on fire afterward!
final Thoughts on These Home Fitness Programs
So there you have it. These are some of the best at-home workout programs to get you healthy and fit without having to join a gym. They’re fun, and they all combine fat-burning cardio with strength training exercises to give you a full body workout.
By working out at home, you’ll be able to tailor your workouts to your own schedule and get healthy on your own terms. No gym membership required!
Be sure to give one of these programs a try, and let me know what you think when you do!
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What about you? What do you think are the best at-home workout programs? I’m always looking for new ones to try!
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