Free Home Workout Plan For Beginners

Free Home Workout Plan at a Glance

MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
Week 1rest20 min cardiorest20 min cardiorest25 min cardiorest
Week 2rest25 min cardiorest25 min cardiorest30 min cardiorest
Week 3rest30 min cardiorest30 min cardiorest30 min cardiorest
Week 4rest30 min cardiorest30 min cardiorest30 min cardiorest
Week 5abs: crunches30 min cardioabs: crunches30 min cardioabs: crunches30 min cardiorest
Week 6abs: crunches, bicycle30 min cardioabs: crunches, bicycle30 min cardioabs: crunches, bicycle30 min cardiorest
Week 7abs: crunches, bicycle30 min cardioabs: crunches, bicycle30 min cardioabs: crunches, bicycle30 min cardiorest
Week 8strength training30 min cardiostrength training30 min cardiostrength training30 min cardiorest
Week 9strength training30 min cardiostrength training30 min cardiostrength training30 min cardiorest
Week 10strength training30 min intervalstrength training30 min intervalstrength training30 min intervalrest
Week 11strength training30 min interval trainingstrength training30 min interval trainingstrength training30 min interval trainingrest
Week 12strength training, 10 min light cardio 30 min interval trainingstrength training, 10 min light cardio 30 min interval trainingstrength training, 10 min light cardio 30 min interval trainingrest

Here are some tips before getting started with your free home workout plan.

This free home workout plan is for someone who is just getting started with a fitness plan or for someone who hasn’t been working out much and wants to get back into working out again on a regular basis. It's based on my own research and experience.

If you’ve already been working out on a regular basis and are looking to turn things up a notch, I recommend the Six-Week Bikini Countdown: Tone your butt, abs, and thighs fast combining Pilates with select strength and cardio interval training workouts. I’m using it myself at the moment and it has some great workouts with beautifully illustrated instructions.

This free home workout plan will help you whether you just want to get back into shape, or whether you have bigger aspirations of running a 5 or 10k or a marathon. If you haven’t been working out at all and you want to start training for a race, this free home workout plan is a great starting point to get you fit enough to train for a race.

We start with 20 minutes of cardio. If that’s more than you can do at this time, start with 10 minutes and work your way up to 20 minutes by doing a cardio workout 3 days a week for 10 minutes at a time, adding 5 minutes every week or every other week until you can do a 20 minute workout.

Once you have built a solid cardio base, we will start adding abs, then strength training or pilates and finally interval training.

By the end of this free home workout plan, you will be getting a full body workout that energizes you and helps you accomplish your goals, whether it be loosing weight, gaining muscle, gaining overall fitness, looking better in a bikini, training for a race or whatever else.

Just remember, all in good time. You don’t want to push yourself too hard too fast and wear yourself out. The goal is to have lasting results.

Some signs that you are working too hard are: you’re feeling exhausted and fatigued after your workout, you’re not able to get a good night sleep, you still feel sore from your workout days later, or working out becomes a drudgery to you and that feeling doesn’t go away once you get into the workout.

If you start to feel any of these symptoms, first make sure you are getting enough nutrients (we’ll talk more about nutrients in a little while), then if you still feel run-down, take your workout level down a notch or two.

A great workout will leave you feeling challenged, yet energetic and ready to take on the world.

Nutrition

Some basic nutrition tips: be sure to stay hydrated. The average person who is not necessarily active should drink at least eight cups of water a day. If you’re working out, you probably need more than this.

Other liquids also provide a source of hydration, such as juice. If you’re trying to loose weight though, you want to stick to mostly water and maybe one glass of 100% juice a day.

It’s important to eat within that first hour after your workout. If you’re feeling exhausted after your workout, it may very well be because you’re not properly fueling up before and after your workout.

It’s good to have a well balanced meal, especially making sure to add a low-fat protein such as chicken, lean beef, fish or protein shake with a vegetable and a whole carb.

If it’s hard for your to eat immediately after your workout, maybe just eat an apple until you are ready to eat a meal, but be sure to have something.

My favorite post workout meal is a protein shake with added vitamins and minerals. I mix it with low-fat milk or juice. Then about two hours later, I eat a well balanced meal of chicken breast, salmon or tuna with veggies and a healthy carb such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta or whole wheat bread.

About 1 ½ hours before the workout, I eat cereal such as oatmeal or cheerios or a bagel with almond butter and a banana. Then about fifteen minutes before my workout, I eat a Gu to give me energy during the workout.

For more nutrition tips, check out the runners diet. As part of this free home workout plan, we offer a 30 minute consultation to talk about your diet and ways you can improve on it.

I encourage you to take advantage of this offer since it is free to you and it will help you get the most out of your free home workout plan.

To get your free 30 minute nutrition consultation, click here.

Keep a Journal

This is something I've only started doing recently and it really makes a difference. It gives you something to look back on, giving you a feel for why you did well or why you did bad on a given day. It's also great to look back on your progress and feel good about the transformation you’ve made. And it helps you hold yourself accountable since you’re writing everything down.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. You can just keep notes in a notebook or diary. If you want to do something a little more formal, try this The Ultimate Workout Log: An Exercise Diary for Everyone.

Get Plenty of Rest

Just as important as getting in a good workout is resting. You don’t want to do the same workout two days in a row because your muscles tear themselves down when you are working them and build themselves up again while you are resting.

In addition, you want to get plenty of sleep which promotes fitness and weight loss.

Celebrate Your Success

It’s not all about the end result. Celebrate your success day to day, week to week. Keep it fun. That’s what makes it all worth while! ;-)

If you need someone to celebrate with, just holler! ;-) We will soon be adding a forum to this site where you can celebrate with other runners as well.

Weeks 1-4 of Free Home Workout Plan

The first 4 weeks of this free home workout plan, we are building a solid cardio base. Pick from one of these cardio options or if there is some other cardio workout you prefer, select that. You can even mix it up a little. Have fun with it.

No interval training at this point, just a solid easy to moderately challenging cardio workout.

Here are some Cardio Workouts to Choose From

Running

Since this is the running-mom site, we’ll start with running for a cardio option. If you already own a treadmill this is a great opportunity to dust the thing off and put it too use.

If you’re looking at buying a treadmill and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, I recommend looking on Craig’s List or at a garage sale.

If you’re running a lot on the treadmill, it is going to wear out fast, so the cheaper models just aren’t worth it. That’s why you’re probably better off getting a better treadmill used than getting a cheaper treadmill band new. For treadmill reviews, google: treadmill doctor. Going for a run outside is also a great option. I much prefer it to running on the treadmill. You can bring your child with you, but if possible, I recommend getting your baby’s daddy or someone else to watch your kid(s) at least once every other week, just so you can get a feel of what it’s like running without the jogging stroller.

This is especially important if you are planning on running a race, since most races, for safety purposes, do not allow you to push a jogging stroller. Also later in this free home workout plan, when we add interval trainings, these are easier to do without the stroller.

But if you are not able do arrange for a sitter, no worries, all running, including interval trainings can be done with the stroller. I do it all the time. I may not go as fast and it may not be as easy, but I definitely get the benefits of these speed session!

My favorite option by far is to take my baby running with me. You can tuck your kid in the jogging stroller and go for a run. The benefits of running with a jogging stroller are:

1) It’s a great way to get out with your kid, get some fresh air and sunshine for both of you. Also since young kids are so impressionable, you will leading a good example of a fit life early on.

2) You feel like you’re accomplishing something. This is the one activity of the day, that my baby helps me accomplish rather than hinders me. Everything else I do, when I’m cleaning, he’s behind me making a mess, when I’m working from my computer, he’s trying to type next to me. But when I go for my runs, he’s in the jogging stroller, leaning forward expectantly or laying back going for a nap, either way he is my little cheerleader.

3) Pushing the jogging stroller gives you a full body workout. Your abs, your arms and upper body are engaged way more when you push your jogging stroller.

4) You automatically have something to carry your water bottle and whatever else you may need for your run. Just remember, you want to keep your load as light as possible, you do have to push it while your running after all. ;-)

Some Tips on Running and Pushing a Jogging Stroller:

1) Engage your abs. Hold your core in and think of running and pushing the stroller from your abs. Think of your abs as your powerhouse, and your limbs are extensions of your powerhouse.

2) Keep a good posture. Leaning forward is going to come natural for you especially when you’re pushing the jogging stroller or running uphill. But this is hard on your lower back. So you want to think upright posture.

However, a tendency when you are thinking about your posture is to tense your shoulders, and that takes energy away from your run and will make for a sore neck, back and arms later. So pay attention to keeping an upright posture, and also on keeping your shoulders relaxed.

You can find more tips on running with a jogging stroller here.

If you need help choosing a jogging stroller, click here.

Here are some more tips for the beginning running.

Walking

If running is a bit much for you, try walking. You can get a great workout from a brisk walk, with or without the jogging stroller. Just be sure to walk with purpose and pump those arms to help propel you forward.

Rebounder

Rebounding is quickly becoming a favorite workout of mine. If I was going to recommend one piece of equipment to a mom who needs a good home workout, it would be a rebounder!

The benefits of owning a rebounder are twofold. First, it's a great piece of workout equipment. Second, if you have young kids, they will love it. My one year old son loves bouncing on the rebounder and he can’t even walk yet. As soon as I give him free roam of the place, he goes right to the rebounder, climbs onto it (it’s about a foot off the floor) and sits there bouncing up and down.

He’s been bouncing on it all morning – that’s why I’ve finally been able to finish writing this. ;-)

What kind of rebounder should I buy?

Don’t waste your money on the cheaper rebounders. The springs we’ll break, you won’t get as good a bounce, it’s just not worth it. The top brands are Reboundair and Needak and they are absolutely worth it. I have a Reboundair. It cost me $200 because I got it wholesale, but they usually go for around $250-$300.

You can find a rebounder in my home gym store or go directly to the Needak site. What kind of workouts can I do on a rebounder?

Anything. Run in place, kick box, bounce, jumping jacks, dance, anything you do on a rebounder is easier on the joints and somehow because of the springs, you don’t feel it as much as when you’re doing it off the rebounder, but wow do you feel it when you get off!

My favorite rebounder moves: run in place. I’ll either bring my knees up really high like I’m jumping through the air or kick my feet back really hard. These things give me a great upper leg workout and strengthen me for the runs.

And it’s a lot of fun. You can just turn on some music and dance to the beat. Great for an interval workout.

Just remember starting out, you don’t want to get too carried way. And that’s easy to do on the rebounder! So if you’re new working out or you haven’t worked out in a while and you’re following this free home workout plan, you don’t want to incorporate interval training until week 10.

For now, stick with an easy bounce or jump or if you run in place, keep it an easy run.

Stairs

If you live in a house with some stairs in it or an apartment building, this is a great free home workout because it doesn’t require any equipment at all. You can just walk or run up and down the stairs.

If you don’t have stairs, you may consider investing in a step platform like this one: The Step F1011W Original Health Club Step. It can also double as a bench to do weights on when we get into some strength training later on.

Weeks 5-7 of Free Home Workout Plan

We are now ready to add some abdominal workouts to our free home workout plan. It’s important to have a strong core for fitness, for a better workout and to look good! ;-)

We’ll start with some crunches in week 6 and add some bicycle crunches in week 7. For a description of these workouts, click here. How many crunches should I do?

Start with three sets of 10 reps of each exercise. If you need an explanation of sets and reps, check out this article. On the third set, go for broke. If you get to ten and you feel like you can’t do any more, try to get in two or three more.

What are some other options if I don’t want to do crunches? Here are some alternative ab workouts.

What if my back or neck hurts when I do crunches?

If you are having discomfort in your neck or lower back, there are some things you can do to help. Put a pillow under your lower back or use a small exercise ball like this one. For your neck, I find this The Ab Trainer Rocker very helpful.

You can also try alternative ab workouts from the list above. Do not continue any of these exercises if they are causing you to have pain. Instead talk to your doctor before continuing.

Weeks 8-9 of Free Home Workout Plan

Now we are ready to add some strength training to our free home workout plan for a full body workout of toning, strengthening and overall fitness.

There are a couple workout options available when it comes to strength training. Bellow are three options. The first two are my favorites.

Strength Training with a Resistance Toning Band

A great way to start strength training is to buy a resistance toning band. You can find one in my home gym store. It comes in light tension (green), medium tension (blue) and heavy tension (red). I recommend the medium, but it depends on how strong you are to begin with, especially in your upper body since that’s where we tend to be the weakest.

The great thing about this is that it only costs about $10 and it comes with a little booklet that gives exercise descriptions for a full body workout. There’s even a way you can attach it to your door for extra variations.

Pilates

Pilates is my top recommendation for a full body workout. It does so much! It helps with balance, strengthening your core, increases flexibility, improves posture, works out muscles you never even thought of working out and it doesn’t even feel like you’re working that hard. Yet afterward you feel great!

There are several levels of pilates so you can challenge yourself as you learn more. The important thing is to maintain the correct form. Instead of trying to do a lot in the beginning, it is way more important to do just a few exercises, working on your form.

For that reason, it’s hard to start out doing pilates at home by yourself without a certified instructor to check your form. I recommend getting a DVD that has very clear instructions and gives you lots of pointers. Pilates for Weight Loss is really good for this.

It’s not as entertaining as some workout DVDs. The instructor talks in a very slow, monotone voice, but her instructions are great. Start out with this if you are new to pilates or haven't done it in a while. Later when you get the form down, you can invest in a more entertaining pilates workout video.

Weight Training

For tips on weight training, check out this article. Week 10-11 of Free Home Workout Plan

Now that you have a good cardio base and some strength training under your belt, let’s add interval training to our free home workout plan.

We're still doing a cardio workout but instead of maintaining a moderate pace throughout the workout, you want to vary your cardio workout between higher intensity periods called “repetitions” and lower intensity recovery periods called “intervals” or “rest.”

To learn more about how to add interval training to your free home workout plan, click here. If you are completely unfamiliar with interval training, pick up a copy of The Interval Training Workout: Build Muscle and Burn Fat with Anaerobic Exercise. You may want to go ahead and order it now while you are just starting out with this free home workout plan so that by the time you are ready for it, you will be prepared.

Week 12: Final Week of Free Home Workout Plan! ;-)

This is our final week of your free home workout plan. Congratulations on how far you’ve made it.

Your "to do" for this week: add 10-20 minutes of LIGHT cardio work to your strength training days. In the book I recommend above, The Interval Training Workout: Build Muscle and Burn Fat with Anaerobic Exercise, this is referred to as active rest days.

The point of a light cardio workout is to promote healing between your heavier cardio workout days. You'll probably be encouraged at this point to see that what might be light cardio for you now would have been a strenuous workout for you in week 1 of this free home workout plan.

Congratulations on a job well done! We love to hear your success stories, or your stories of how you overcame defeat. Share your stories here. We may even decide to interview you and feature your story in Inspiring Running Moms. ;-)

Disclaimer

Running-Mom.com does not have any kind of certification or degree in health and fitness. This free home workout plan as well as all the contents within this site are from an experienced running-mom and should not be taken as professional advice.

Before beginning any workout regiment, including this free home workout plan, contact your doctor or physician to make sure you are healthy enough for such activities.

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