Equipment Free Home Workout for Over 40’s
Exercise is great for your overall health, but it can become daunting when first starting out, researching different gyms and equipment. This can make the idea of exercising seem time consuming, expensive and difficult overall. However, the truth is there are many effective workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home with no equipment. This article is going to take you through an equipment free home workout that engages a range of muscles that are important for people over 40 to target. Even though this workout is optimised for people over 40, this is still a great workout for the whole family as it’s quick and simple, encouraging healthy habits within an ever-busy schedule.
Firstly, regardless of what exercises you’re going to be doing, it’s important to do a 5-10 minute warmup. This will gradually increase your heart rate, loosen your joints and prevent yourself from getting injured. While doing your warmup, make sure that you’re regulating your breathing throughout and perform at least 10-15 repetitions for each exercise.
Please note: If your blood pressure is relatively high, your doctor or nurse may prefer to lower it with medicines before you start exercising. If it’s very high, avoid any new activity without talking to your doctor first.
Standing Leg Swings
This warmup improves the mobility in your hips and helps prepare your lower body for exercise.
- Firstly, keep your back upright and then start swinging your leg back and forth, like you’re kicking a ball. If you’re having trouble keeping your balance, you can lean on the wall for support.
- Make sure to keep the movement fluid and bend your knee when your foot is behind your body. Allow your leg to go as high as your body allows you.
Leg Swings (Side)
Leg swings will stretch the muscles in your hips, allowing greater motion, making it ready for more intensive exercise.
- Stand up straight and start swinging your leg from side to side across your body.
- Make sure your foot comes across your body with as much range as you can without twisting your body to compensate. This will help make the warmup more effective.
Shoulder swings help warm up the muscles and joints in your upper body.
- Keep your back straight and put your arms out in front of you, one arm on top of the other.
- Swing your arms out to your sides, so that your arms are parallel with the floor, and bring them back in.
- Make sure that you alternate which arm is above the other for a more even stretch.
Circuit training is a type of workout that involves targeting different muscles in the body by rotating through a range of different exercises. For example, you can combine a mixture of body weight training, cardiovascular exercises and core exercises. Incorporating this range of exercises into one workout is what makes circuit training a great time efficient option.
In the beginning, leave yourself 2 minutes to rest in between exercises. When you start becoming more confident, try to reduce your resting time to somewhere between 1 minute and 90 seconds. You should be doing one circuit 3 times which will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
⏰ Repetition: 15 steps each side (alternating).
Step ups target the muscles in your legs and buttocks.
- Try to maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
- Next, drive your leg up, whilst also raising your opposite arm for balance.
- Bring the leg and arm back down and repeat on the other side, depending on difficulty you can go as fast or as slow as you like. You can even hold something like a book or carry a backpack with objects inside to create makeshift weights.
⏰ Repetition: 12-15 squats, taking at least 2 seconds on the way down and 1 second on the way up.
Body squats help improve your balance and increase your core strength.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor, making sure you don’t raise your heels. Then point your feet at 11 and 1 o’clock so that your feet are slightly facing out.
- Breath in and lower your body so that your thighs are parallel with the floor. Make sure your knees follow your toes during the squat, keeping your back flat throughout and your head in line with your spine.
- Then raise your body up, back to your starting position, whilst breathing out.
⏰ Repetition: 15 glute bridges, hold when hips are raised for 1 second on every rep.
Glute bridges help with building up your core and glute strength.
- Lie down with your back flat on the floor making sure your feet are not too close or far away from your glutes.
- Then, drive your hips up to the ceiling and lower back down, touching the floor slightly, before driving up again.
- While doing this exercise, make sure to relax your neck and arms, letting your hips do the work.
⏰ Repetition: 10 on each side, without alternating.
The superman targets your core and balance.
- First, get on all fours and make sure your back is flat.
- Next, raise your arm and opposite leg, stretching them out away from your body and then return them to centre. Make sure you keep looking down and try not to twist your body as this will make the stretch less effective.
⏰ Keep shadow boxing continuously for 45 seconds-1 minute.
Shadow boxing is a workout that engages your whole body.
- Keep your hands up and close to your chin. Try to stay on your toes, lightly bouncing and moving your body.
- Punch your arm out across your body and alternate arms. You can always increase your speed if you want to make the exercise more challenging.
⏰ Hold for 20-40 seconds, making sure your form doesn’t break.
The plank hold helps improve core muscles and stability.
- Make sure you have a flat back (neutral spine) and are on your elbows. If this position is too challenging, you can go on your knees or even do this whilst standing up leaning against a wall. Make sure you don’t hold your breath whilst in this position. You can make this position feel less intense by spreading your feet out further apart.
⏰ Repetition: 8-10 reverse lunges on each leg, making sure you alternate.
The reverse lunge focuses on improving the hamstrings and glute max.
- Start off by standing tall and move one leg behind you so that it’s slightly hovering above the ground in a kneeling position. You don’t need to fully bend all the way, just get to where you feel comfortable.
- Keep your hands on your hips to help you maintain your balance and alternate your legs throughout, making sure you keep your front foot flat.
⏰ Repetition: 20 deadbugs, alternating (10 on each side).
The deadbug will help you build core muscle strength.
- Keep your back flat on the floor with both arms straight up in the air and your knees bent off the ground.
- Engage your core and bring one of your arms back down behind you so that it’s in line with your head, whilst also moving the opposite leg straight out in line with the rest of your body.
- Return your arm and leg to the starting position and swap sides. Your arms and legs shouldn’t be touching the floor at any time.
These exercises might leave you slightly out of breath at first, but the more you practise the easier it will become. Blood Pressure UK advises that adults should do at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week in order to live a healthy lifestyle. These circuit training workouts are a great way to meet the 30 minute minimum, whilst also covering a range of exercises targeting the different muscles that are important to focus on as someone over 40.
Fitness Expert & Nutritionist
Major UK gym chain
Qualified personal trainer and nutritionist passionate about supporting people in their journey to better heart health.
Following university level education they joined a major UK chain of gyms where they have gained extensive experience in both exercise and nutrition.