By Gary Farfan  /  

10 functional training exercises for the best home workout

We’ve written before about the best home workouts, but today, we’re going introduce you to functional training and share the best HIIT exercises to do at home, or from anywhere.

Now we’re gonna let you finish, but are you ready for the best home workout of all time? 

Sounds pretty great, right?

Let’s get to it.

best home workout

Functional training…in your living room 

One of the biggest challenges of leading a healthy lifestyle is finding time in our busy schedules to set aside for exercise.  

Another challenge is choosing training that you can do without equipment, from anywhere–remove the barriers to success. 

And finally, even after you’ve found exercise you can do at home, making sure it’s not a repetitive and unnatural movement that we weren’t built to make and that could result in injury. That’s why we love functional training: it’s what we evolved to do.

But what makes the best home workout? Variety? Intensity? Accessibility? Check, check, and check. Functional training provides one of the best home workouts you can make because it meets all these requirements.

So, stick to stick to functional training for the best home workout. We swear by it. You can do it from anywhere and it takes very little space. It’s exercise without equipment.

These high intensity (HIIT) exercises can be done in short, efficient intervals that will strengthen your muscles and improve your cardiovascular health.  

Are you ready for the best home workout, entirely with functional training?

Get your sweat on now!

The Best Home Workout (With Videos)

Below you’ll find a list of exercises you can easily do in your home each and every day. We’ve also added them to this YouTube playlist on our channel for you.

So let’s get you sweating with the best home workout you’ve ever had.

1) Burpees

Classic of classics!  Ideal for working the cardiovascular system and your lactate tolerance.

Given that you’re mobilizing a lot of muscle chains all at once, this movement is convenient for those days when you don’t have much time and all you want is a quick session.

Advantages

You’re activating almost the whole body.  The muscles used are: deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectorals, obliques, abdominals, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calfs.  Using a global selection of muscles is part of what makes this functional training.

Since energy is sent to many muscles all at once, the heart and lungs are stretched to their maximum capacity as well.  It is by far the best exercise to burn calories fast!

How to do it

A burpee is a complex movement divided into 4 parts.

  1. Start off standing, legs slightly apart and arms stretched out close to the body.
  2. Drop to the ground face down, cushioning the fall with your hands till the whole body is completely touching the ground.
  3. Keeping your hands down, jump the feet forward to level with the hands.
  4. Stand up finishing with a vertical jump and clap behind your head.

What to keep in mind

The clap should be behind your head.  The chest must touch the floor. 

Beginner notes

There are a lot of different versions of burpees to get you started and to build up your skill.  It’s important to follow a precise technique for any functional training, even if it means completing a lower level burpee like a “Semi Burpee” shown above.

  1. Start off standing with legs slightly apart and arms close to the body.
  2. Go down into a squat till the hands touch the floor.
  3. Step both feet back one at a time to a push up position.
  4. Walk feet back into the squat position.
  5. Stand up with a vertical jump and clap behind your head.

Functional exercises, video guided, super efficient. Do it in privacy from anywhere.

Get Started

2) Squats

Great exercise for your legs.  Lots of variations allowed.

Advantages

The squat is a staple of functional training to help get your legs in shape along with strengthen your jump (you know, to hop over rocks while chasing a mammoth, or over a spider when trying to get to the toilet in the morning). It is very beneficial for those who spend a great deal of time sitting down because it not only relieves your stiffness, but also improves your overall posture.

Squats have a bad reputation for wearing out knee joints, but studies indicate that they are only dangerous if they are not done correctly with or without weights.

How to do it

To get them right, you must:

  1. Start in a standing position, legs shoulder-width apart, back straight, and knees over your feet.
  2. Bend the hips and knees to about 90 degree angle without letting the knees go past the line of your feet on the floor.  You can also stretch your arms out in front of you at shoulder height.
  3. Rise back to your original position.

What to keep in mind

Always keep your back straight.  As you flex your hips, the knees shouldn’t go in front of your feet. Keep going down till your hips are in line or below your knees.

Beginner notes

There isn’t a beginners version.  This exercise has to be done properly from the start.

3) Plank

Advantages

The plank has grown very popular for people wanting to increase their core strength. It’s one of the best exercises for abs and is a functional training classic. It makes our best home workout well-rounded by supporting the muscles we need most in every position!

It groups together muscles from the abdominal area as well as muscles in your arms and legs.  The many benefits offered are a strong, firm stomach, less back pain, and general flexibility in the posterior muscle groups.

How to do it

  1. Start laying on the ground supporting yourself with your forearms and toes.
  2. Keep the legs, trunk and head stretched out in a line parallel to the ground.
  3. Keep this position for as long as it is required (minimum 10 seconds) and rest before the next round.

What to keep in mind

Keep the body straight and the abs working.  If you think your bottom is sagging towards the floor it’s better to carry on with the knees supported.  (If you modify as needed and practice this movement, you’ll master the plank in no time!)

Beginner notes

There are a variation of planks to help get started on working the abdominal area. try following the instructions above but dropping the knees to the ground until you feel enough strength and confidence to do the usual plank.

4) Push ups

Advantages

This exercise mainly works on the larger pectoral muscle.  When done correctly, it works simultaneously on the anterior deltoids, the brachial triceps, and all the stabilizing muscles of the trunk.  This functional training movement will give you strength, shape, and agility to get up from the ground.

How to do it

  1. Lay on the ground face down and hands level with your chest.
  2. From there, push up with your hands to lift the body, keeping it in a straight line.
  3. Go back to the original position, supporting the chest (not the pelvis).

What to keep in mind

Be sure to squeeze your abdominals while pushing your body up to ensure that your body is straight and has correct form.

Beginner notes:

If you still do not have enough strength in your arms to string together consecutive push ups, you can rest the knees on the ground to support the posture.  Remember that technique is the most important aspect of any movement and if you think this way of doing push ups is easy, you’re making a big mistake!

5) McKenzie

This is the exercise to help your back recover from days of hard work and you’ll increase lumbar flexibility.

Advantages

This exercise arose from massage therapy and has been recommended by physiotherapists and chiropractics for the last twenty years. Its success is rooted in its simplicity.  It helps to correct back posture and works the muscles in the lumbar region.  These muscles tend to atrophy in most people because we sit for too long.

How to do it

  1. Stretch out face down with your hands on the ground at shoulder height.
  2. By pushing up, extend your arms completely raising your upper body and neck, but keeping your hips on the floor.
  3. Go back to the first position.

What to keep in mind

Carry out the movement to its fullest extent.  Keep shoulders relaxed and hips on the floor.  If the hyperextension is painful for you, avoid this workout.

Beginner notes

There is no beginners version. Remember this workout is very beneficial for those with back problems so you shouldn’t hesitate to do it often.

6) Lunges

Advantages

Lunges work on the whole of the lower extremities.  Among others muscles, they work on the glutes, abductors, rectus abdominis, and soleus. If you’re a runner, you’ll soon notice your increased pace and feel as light as a gazelle.

How to do it

  1. Starting from an upright standing position, take one step forward.
  2. Go down keeping your upper body upright till the back knee touches the floor.
  3. Return to the starting position by stepping your other foot backward.

What to keep in mind

Go down in a completely vertical plane.  The descent should be gradual until the knee reaches the floor.  The front knee should not extend beyond the line of the foot.

Beginner notes

This is the most basic version: there are no modifications of this movement.

7) Pull ups

For a long time, physical activity was an essential, life-saving part of being a human being.  If a predator attacked or fruits were needed from high branches of the tree, humans had to have the ability to lift their body vertically to get up it.  This is what we are essential doing with pull ups.

Advantages

Pull ups are a complete exercise that rapidly increases the strength in your arms and torso.  There are lots of variations of pull ups. They are a great indicator of your muscular strength and if you don’t have much time, just a few repetitions each day will keep your arms and upper body in shape.

How to do it

  1. Holding on to a bar with your arms extended, let your weight drop as you hang from the bar, but maintaining strength in your shoulders.
  2. From this position, bend the elbows and raise the body till your chin reaches the height of the bar, keeping your back straight.
  3. Return to the starting position.

What to keep in mind

  • Keep your arms well extended during the descent.
  • Relax the occipital region.
  • Keep your back straight.

Beginner notes

This is one of the most difficult functional training exercises to master as a beginner, but it will provide you with the best home workout you’re after.

We suggest you master the pull up by starting with our step by step version of completing the pull up.  From there, you can increase the intensity  day by day.  Above you’ll see a video that explains how to do a pull up step by step.

8) Two Leg Mountain Climber

Great exercise.  It’ll definitely show your weaker points.  This movement is a little different than the traditional mountain climber–the cardio benefits it induces will leave you sweaty and feeling like you had the best home workout ever!

If want to work on your cardio endurance, increase the pace of your feet.  After completing multiple reps without rest, you will feel it working your. But if anything, your shoulder muscles will be the first to wear out.

Advantages

It mainly works on the cardiovascular system and lactic acid tolerance.  You will gain agility and resistance to help in your everyday life.

How to do it

  1. Start in the Mckenzie position.
  2. In just one movement, bring both legs forward to reach the hands, as outstretched as possible.
  3. Return to the initial position.

What to keep in mind

This is an explosive movement.  Try to keep as straight as possible after the jump.

Beginner notes

As a variation you can move one leg forward at a time until you are confident with this workout.

9) V-Sit ups

The chief function of the abdominal muscles is stability.  In this exercise you’re trying to reduce the support by using your extended arms as leverage to make the abs work harder.

This challenging core exercise is essential in creating the best home workout you can have, so don’t skip it!

Advantages

This workout is known to be one of the most effective for toning up the stomach: however it takes great flexibility to do it properly and avoid injury or shoulder pain.

How to do it

  1. Lie down on your back on the floor, arms stretched out above your head.
  2. Raise the legs and arms at the same time to touch your feet with your hands.
  3. Go back to the original position but without the feet or back touching the ground to start a new round.

What to keep in mind

  • Keep the arms and legs straight. Lift the trunk till you can reach the tips of the toes.
  • Go down with a controlled movement.  To modify, lift one leg at a time. Don’t worry if you if it’s difficult to reach your toes at first, don’t force it, your flexibility will increase over time.

Beginner notes

This exercise needs a certain amount of practice to be done properly.  To continue working working the abdominal region you can replace it with a half-v:

  1. Lie on your back on the ground with your arms by your sides and hands on your hips.
  2. Gently lift the upper body and legs without bending them and stay on the ground supported only by the buttocks.
  3. Lift the knees to the chest, bending the legs and trunk, keeping the hands on the floor.
  4. Go back to the former position without letting legs or spine touch the ground.

10) Star jump

Jumping is an action we’ve all done since we were younger in PE class. Recover this basic human function and enjoy yourself while having a good workout at the same time.

Advantages

The star jump raises the heartbeat considerably so you’ll be working the cardiovascular system. You got it, cardio benefits in minutes. That’s the magic of functional training.

At the same time, it lifts the body to its full height and improves posture.

How to do it

  1. From an upright position, hands on knees, jump straight up and extend the arms and legs backwards like a star.
  2. On landing, adopt the start position again.

What to keep in mind

Stretch out the fingers and toes during the jump.  Cushion the landing.

Beginner notes

As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve all jumped in our lives, so you’re you can do it!

 

Want to workout anywhere you like? Personal trainer on your phone.

12 Sessions Free

 

What’s next?

We’ve provided you one of the best home workout programs you could challenge yourself with above, and you can follow along with it in order on our Youtube video playlist.

If the exercises have become too easy, just search our channel for more variations of any of the exercises and you’ll find more challenging versions of each one.

Or, for a real challenge, get our workout app.

It costs less than a personal training session, and if you want to get stronger and still feel like you’re having the best home workout every time you do it, it will actually calibrate to your fitness level and adjust your reps, types of exercises, and intensity level!

It’s completely customized. 

 

Last updated:

Leave a Reply