Top 10 At-Home Exercises for Total Body Toning

A few weeks ago I shared my 11 Life Hacks for Moms relating to all things LIFE, more specifically how to balance the nutrition side of it as a busy mom…no scratch that…as a busy “human” (mom, dad, man, or woman). This week, we’re talking about the “E” word…the word that scares most moms because we have no time to fit it in!!! I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about…exercise. #Eeek. Don’t you feel a bit overwhelmed just at the mention of the word? I get it…I used to be the same way until I realized I didn’t actually HAVE to carve out a full hour at the gym to meet my fitness and body goals. I mean, let’s face the reality…we just don’t have that kind of time most days!!! Luckily, being fit and feeling good about your body doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of time spent in the weight room.

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Along with my good friend and fellow mommy (of 6!), Deborah Goodman (go follow her if you don’t already—I love her), I’ve compiled a list of our favorite total body moves that can be done in the comfort of your own home whether your kids are running around you or not. Each of the movements requires minimal equipment or can even be done with just your body weight.

 

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With some basic knowledge of these movements, you can structure phenomenal workouts to get you the results you are looking for…AT HOME! PS: Even if you are in great shape already, these moves will kick your booty when done right!

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To make it easier for you to understand movement standards, I made a couple of vids for you, with a recap and notes below each. First up…the stability ball!!!!

    1. Hamstring Roll-Ins: These will activate your posterior chain better than anything else I’ve done at home. Nice and controlled is the name of the game here.
      • For Extra Glute Stimulation, add a Band: As you roll the ball up, press outward with your knees for additional medial glute stimulation.
      • Advanced: Single Leg: This one can be tricky, so be patient with yourself.
    2. Plank Ball Roll-Ins: The muscles targeted here are the shoulders and the core. Balance and coordination are also challenged.
      • Beginner: Tuck 
      • Advanced: Pike
    3. Stability Ball Push Ups: These chest, shoulder, and tricep moves take balance to another level. 😉
      • Beginner: Hands on Ball: Activates core and challenges balance.
      • Advanced: Decline with Hands on Floor: Only attempt these once the beginner ones have become very easy for you.
    4. Toe Touches: No, not cheer jumps! These toe touches are core and ab moves. WARNING: Those with Diastasis Recti should NOT do this unless cleared by a doctor.
      • Beginner: NO BALL: Simply lift toes into the air touching with your hands.
      • Advanced: Pass ball from hands to feet, then feet to hands as you contract your abs.
    5. Standard Ball Crunches: Diastasis Girls…these are okay to do. Ensure you breathe out and draw in as you contract! Focus on pausing and squeezing vs fast quick pulses.
      • Beginner: Ball High 
      • Advanced: Ball Low: Feel free to add weight.

Note: Don’t have a stability ball? Get an amazing one here.

Next up…resistance bands!!!

    1. Lateral Squat Walks: Keep toes pointed forward and knees pressing OUT, over your toes. Be aware of keeping weight in your heels.
      • Modification One: Stay Low: This helps keep that burn the entire time. I do it this way half the time, and the vacation above half the time.
      • Modification Two: Forward/Backward: Keep your weight in your heels as much as possible, and stay low.
    2. Air Squats: By adding a band to this simple move, you will activate your glutes MUCH more!
      • Advanced/Cardio Modification: Pop Squats: This can be done with an aerobics step as well, but when I band these, I do them on flat ground.
    3. Hip Thrusts: Traditionally done with a bench, I take it to the floor and just use a band occasionally. LOVE THESE…you will control the resistance with the amount of pressure you give with your knees pressing outward.
    4. Squat Kickbacks: I’ve found that by using a grippy band for these, the band will stay high and not drop to your feet. Great for the booty!!
    5. Side Hops: Takes those lateral squat walks to another level by adding in a cardio component.

NOTE: The bands I’m using in the video are listed below…

Orange SlingShot Hip Circle (size Small/Medium)
Black Grippy SlingShot Hip Circle (size Large/XLarge)

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Dumbbells

You can add weights or dumbbells to many of the exercises above for added resistance and load. If you don’t have dumbbells and don’t want to spend money on them, use gallon water jugs. They’re the cheapest 8 lb weights on the market! 😉

Recommendation

Look at each of these moves as a la carte menu items that you can mix and match as you please. My recommendation is to pick 3-5 each session and perform 3 sets of each for starters, working up to 5 sets of each. An appropriate number of reps for each set is anywhere between 10-20, and make sure to take a day of rest between each muscle group. So if you are working predominantly glutes and legs one day, do upper body or cardio the next day before working those hot buns again.

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So ladies…get your band and your ball, and get moving!!

Xoxo,

Heidi

What I’m wearing:

Tights: Reebok Dance Shattered Glam
Shoes: Reebok Hayasu

Related reading:

Exercise… It’s A Family Affair!
No Time for Exercise?
#MomLife: 11 Life Hacks for Getting Fit
All About Exercise
Transformation Tip | 5 Minutes to Fight Fat and Get Fit
Commercial Break Workout: Total Body Blaster


59 Comments

  1. Pamela - July 27, 2017

    Hi Team Powell! I can only afford to get one band and I’ve seen you with the pink one as well as the black and orange mentioned above. Would you recommend the black or orange over the pink if I can only get the one? I’ll be doing the at home exercising and I’m 5’2 and 106 lbs. Thank you so much!

    • Team Powell - July 28, 2017

      Hi Pamela: You use different sizes for different exercises, so I’d choose the size that will allow you to do more of the exercises you’d like to do. Heidi outlines which band she uses for which exercises in this post. These bands are amazing! 🙂

  2. Barbara Faith - June 3, 2017

    I just wanted to say that one day I saw Chris on Dr. Oz and just caught him say that if you take your weight times eight and add 200, that is how many calories you should eat in a day to lose weight. I put the info in the back of my mind and went about my business. After a horrible dr. appt. where my weight was at its highest and my blood sugar was two points away from being diabetic, I decided to put the info from Chris into practice. Three months later, I am down 30 pounds! I never thought I would be able to lose weight again, so I just gave up trying. Thank you so much for that info you gave on Dr. Oz. I never really knew just how many calories you were allowed. Now as I lose, I adjust my caloric intake. I plan to continue until I reach my goal. I am a little nervous about that, because I am still not really sure how many calories I should be eating once I reach my goal, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. My husband is now doing it too. I think I can do this now for the rest of my life. Thank you! PS. I can’t wait to go back to the drs!

    • Team Powell - June 5, 2017

      Hi Barbara: Congratulations – this is awesome!!! You got this! 🙂

  3. Lindsey - November 16, 2016

    Is it important to have the black band for the two exercises you use it for in the video or could you use the orange band for all of them? Just wondering if it’s necessary to buy both?

    • Team Powell - November 17, 2016

      Hi Lindsey: Each band has a bit of a different resistance, but if you can only get one band, you should be fine!

  4. Chiristie sillanpa - October 29, 2016

    I love doing crossfit but unfortunately going to the box seems more like a luxury these days with my 2 daughters. This is a great workout for those days when dad travels and I just can’t get in. I especially like the ball push ups. Keep the great coming!

  5. Tabitha Bullock - October 29, 2016

    Having 2 littles, finding ways to make working out easier is a must! Awesome tips!!!

  6. Jocelyn Williams - October 29, 2016

    I’m going to start adding some today! ?

  7. Tamara van Wagensveld-Hanegraaf - October 29, 2016

    This is great. I am going to try this at home. I can do this when my daugther is sleeping 🙂

  8. Julie - October 29, 2016

    Can’t wait to try these! I need to get back into a routine at home!

  9. Connie Scotton - October 28, 2016

    Thank you for sharing these! I will need these workouts when I’m not able to make it to the gym after baby comes!

  10. Sarah Haynie - October 28, 2016

    This workout will be great for my all girls high school Personal Fitness class!

  11. Ashley - October 28, 2016

    I’m so trying these. I have a garage crossfit gym at home and in always looking for new different types of exercises to do.

  12. Anabelle Favela - October 28, 2016

    I am so grateful to come across this!!!! I’m constantly looking for workouts to do at home to help me out with my cross training for running. My family and I live in a small southern AZ town and it’s just easier for me to get in my workouts at home then going to the gym where there is no child care offered and its super expensive. My 18 month LO doesn’t mind me getting my workouts in at home either. I think she thinks it’s hilarious! Thanks again!!!

  13. Jill hird - October 28, 2016

    You are such and inspiration to me! Thanks for all the tips!

  14. Steffanie Stimpson - October 28, 2016

    I can’t seem to stick to anything diet/exercise wise…how do you stay motivated and on track while at home with a infant? I just can’t get the motivation, home workouts are helping but I need to find workouts to include my needy baby ?

  15. Shelley Muilenburg - October 28, 2016

    I really appreciate your take on these exercises. Nothing is too fancy or too involved. I’ve seen so many of your posts using a band that I have ordered one myself for home!

  16. Katie Phillips - October 28, 2016

    Blog #2 entry stroller giveaway l!!

    I love a great at home without! And love resistance band workouts even more!! Thank you for the challenge! I can’t wait to try these out when I get released to wiotkout again in 6 weeks. (I just had my 3rd c-section 2.5 weeks ago!)

  17. M. Celeste Dunn - October 28, 2016

    Love this short workout, just need to do it.

  18. Paula Young - October 28, 2016

    Heidi inspires me!!

  19. Kenna - October 28, 2016

    Im SUPER excited to try this workout! Since learning to balance working full time, being a mom and continuing to workout more than 2 days a week, at home workouts have MADE IT POSSIBLE! And not only that but working out at home shows my daughter that it’s healthy and fun! She loves to “wok out” (she’s almost two) and she does squats, KB swings, burpees, push ups and high knees. That keeps me going knowing I’m doing something right ❤️

  20. Patricia Priest - October 28, 2016

    Totally need to try this since it’s hard to go anywhere to work out when the baby tends to want to nurse as soon as I leave him home with daddy lol.

  21. Deneal Sena - October 28, 2016

    Love this post! I’m a stay at home mom of three girl (6yrs, 5yrs and 9 months) and a caregiver for my husband who is a disabled veteran so the only exercising I get is what I can do at home so I’m constantly trying to find things I can do at home and exercises that my husband can do as well. You and Chris are huge inspirations for us!! Thank you!!

  22. Melissa Kowalski - October 28, 2016

    What a great workout plan, especially with all of the modifications! I am 7 months pregnant and will be encorporating this along with the modifications into my workout plan this week!

  23. Chelsea Orchard - October 28, 2016

    At home exercises are the best thing for a busy mom!! ?

  24. Alisha - October 28, 2016

    This is so great for those days I can’t make it to the gym!! Thank you for all the blogs I read them all!!

  25. Liz Wann - October 28, 2016

    This is awesome! And so helpful when I do not have time to go to the gym! Thanks!

  26. Rebecca Horton - October 28, 2016

    Hi, Heidi!!!!
    I really love and appreciate all you’re post and tips. I read every single one. I don’t typically comment, I didn’t know you actually received the comments. Now I know and will take time to let HPowell know how much I appreciate all the sunshine she beings into my life!
    I love this particular work out as, it is fast and mommy approved!
    Always ♡ Rebecca

  27. susiehurfy - October 28, 2016

    I have a little one and a busy schedule (and no extra funds!) and so am unable to make it to the gym to make use of expensive equipment … this post is so helpful giving me ideas of new things I can try at home to get (and keep!) in shape. Thank you!!

  28. Allyson Ziskind - October 28, 2016

    This will be the first workout I do when I’m done with this pregnancy. I own an infant rescue swim school, but am dying to own a baby and me boot camp as well where I can make mommas really work!!

  29. Nicci Kamarainen - October 28, 2016

    I love your blog posts about at home workouts! They’re always so simple to follow and work so well (for me anyway).

  30. Brittany Ellenthorpe - October 28, 2016

    Thank you for the workout tips! I love then so much.

  31. Megan - October 28, 2016

    Love this! I suffer from FBS (flat booty syndrome) hopefully I can do these on the days I can’t make it to the gym!

  32. Kris - October 18, 2016

    I have lost 106 pounds and now I have the bat wings. Can you suggest any excercises to tighten the arm skin? I am a single mom and am so depressed I can’t even enjoy the weight loss because I can’t afford a skin reduction surgery.

    • Team Powell - October 19, 2016

      Hi Kris: Congratulations on losing 106 pounds! That’s amazing! You’ve done something that so many people only dream about doing! You really can’t do exercises that tighten skin, exercises strengthen the muscles under the skin. However, here’s a workout post that might help: http://heidipowell.net/11298. 🙂

  33. Justine - October 18, 2016

    What about exercises geared for people with bad knees or limitations cause we are overweight?

    • Team Powell - October 18, 2016

      Hi Justine: With knee issues, or any health limitations, it’s best to discuss any exercises with your healthcare team first and then follow their recommendations. They are the best ones to help you figure out what will work best for you since they understand the nature of your issues and can work with you on a one-on-one basis.

  34. Adeline - October 18, 2016

    Heidi

    I am from Ireland and I have been watching you guys for so long, I am over weight and desperate to get it off once and for all, My story is a very dysfunctional and painful one. I don,t want to broadcast it here but I have tried to contact you personally but alas I have been unsuccessful. Please can you help!

    Many thanks

    • Team Powell - October 18, 2016

      Hi Adeline: Thank you for your comment! You can learn all about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program – the same program they use on their show – in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and follow all the links within the post too. Choose a cycle, and go! You can do this!

  35. Katie Humphrey - October 16, 2016

    Thank you soooo much for putting these together! I am in the middle of my own transformation and I have been looking for something like this to change it up and add to what I have been doing. I am down 30 lbs and you have been and you guys are such an inspiration…You and your family/team are awesome!!!

    • Team Powell - October 16, 2016

      Hi Katie: Congratulations on losing 30 lbs! That’s awesome!!!!

  36. christina - October 13, 2016

    Hi Heidi!!!!!

    I’m a huge fan of yours and you stand for!!! I’m a 39 year single mommy of 2!!!! I’ve been competing since 2009 unfortunately never received my pro card. But I have a hard time finding a balance if Im not competing I feel like I have no goals and is a little hard for me to stick to a plan. I am the type of person where I need it laid out in front of me!!! I’m 5 ft even and weigh between 112-115 and I just want to lean out some. I think I am a little too “stocky or blockey” I just cant seem to find my “happy” place….HELP PLEASE!!!
    @christinacodafit

  37. Jessica - October 13, 2016

    Hi Heidi…thank you for continually inspiring us all to be better! You’re always trying to motivate people to reach their optimal wellness and health goals. That’s an amazing thing! Thanks for all your advice!

  38. Rivany - October 12, 2016

    Hi Heidi,

    How tall are you? I’m 5’8, 135 lbs, I like to think I’m slim, but I have a hard time building muscle. I’ve been doing the butt workouts with mini bands because I developed snapping hip syndrome, so doing squats is painful. I saw some of your old pictures. You look so amazing now, muscular and defined. I eat pretty clean, but I also have lactose intolerance, so whey protein is out. I just want to build muscle. Please advise.

  39. Jessica - October 12, 2016

    Heidi,
    I loved the exercises you posted. What size stability ball would you recommend for a 5’8″ woman? There were three sizes in the link you posted?

    • Team Powell - October 12, 2016

      Hi Jessica: The ball should be right at about or slightly above knee level. 🙂

  40. Frnie - October 12, 2016

    Hi there, Im from philippines.. I would like to ask help to loose some lbs from my body.. Help me pls.

    • Team Powell - October 12, 2016

      Hi Frnie: You can learn about Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in this post: http://heidipowell.net/9060. And be sure and follow all the links within the post too. You can do this! 🙂

  41. Regina Salafia - October 10, 2016

    This is terrific, Heidi! I ordered the resistance band to challenge myself more as my husband and I continue with the America’s Fittest Couple Challenge! ?

    Instagram: Maintaining_Weight_Loss

  42. Jeannie Bangs - October 10, 2016

    Thanks for the videos. Question..do you need both bands or would either work for all exercises shown?

    Thank you!

    • Team Powell - October 10, 2016

      HI Jeannie: It’s best to use both bands if at all possible. Enjoy! 🙂

  43. Aude - October 10, 2016

    Hello Heidi,
    Where did you find your resistance belt ?
    Thank you sooo much !

    • Team Powell - October 10, 2016

      Hi Aude: There are links to both resistance bands in the post. 🙂

  44. Kristi Fisher - October 10, 2016

    Thank you Heidi. I will totally use this at home. I hve been doing wrkouts at home but been thinking about trying to get back to gym b/c I feel I am not getting bulk enough. I have weights and stability ball but not bands. I will get those. I do cardio a few times a wk (Mon, Wed, Fri I do 10 min HIITS on Treadmill and Sat 20 mins on Elliptical or ARCH machine & Sun, 15 mins on Treadmill.) What do you recommend a woman my weight and height & what I am wanting should do cardio wise. I weigh 118 lbs, size 0. I am 5’6 but I have been working out for years doing Hammer & Chisel, 22 min Hard Corps and of course following you and doing some of your exercises. I am basically wanting your body. That’s my goal!! I don’t take BCA’s but I have been told that is important. I do eat clean through wk at least 6 days a wk. Please help b/c you are truly what I idolize on body and of course your gorgeous hair.

    • Team Powell - October 10, 2016

      Hi Kristi: You’re doing awesome! It’s hard to give an answer to how much cardio you should do to reach your goals since your body composition could be different from someone else your same height and weight. If you do too much cardio, your muscle gains can suffer, if you do too little cardio, that can affect our goals negatively also. It would be best to work with a certified personal trainer who can help you put the correct program together for your goals and your body composition and who can help you make tweaks along the way. You can totally do this! 🙂

  45. Selina - October 10, 2016

    Glad to see an article geared to woman that have to work outside the home full time plus at home full time. Being at one time when I did not have to work full time, I loved my hour gym time. Since then I have had to let go of thinking that I needed a full hour and get my workouts in as I can. I will take my 20 -40 minutes rather than none. I wish there were more blogs and support groups for those in similar situation. Thank you!!

  46. Stacy Davis - October 10, 2016

    Awesome! This will absolutely help me at home! Thanks Heidi.

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