Can’t Go To Gym? 16 Fun Beginner Home Workouts: No Equipment

If you rely on organized group exercise classes but can’t get to the gym, here are 13 fun beginner home workouts you can follow and do online.

By Annie André ⦿ updated January 10, 2024  
Shoes you can wear for a home workout
Shoes you can wear for a home workout

If you love group exercise classes but you’re stuck at home with the kids, social distancing or too lazy to go to the gym, many of us look for alternative ways to stay in shape and fit.

Here are 13 fun beginner home workouts that mimic the motivation of an instructor-led gym class; no gym or group classes are needed!

Sound familiar? I love the idea of working out at home, but…

I love staying fit, so exercising and working out are both an essential part of my weekly routine; however, I get bored easily. 

  • I don’t jog because jogging for 10 minutes feels like agonizing hours or torture to me.
  • I find swimming laps in a pool painfully dull. 
  • I can never stick to a self-led home workout routine of squats and pushups. Plus, I cheat. 

Annie Andre with my husband and son at the Spartan Race in Castellet France about to jump over the fire pit

To stay motivated, I take instructor-led classes at the gym.

You name it, I’ve probably done it: Kickboxing, CrossFit, Thai kickboxing, yoga, step classes, Zumba, Pilates and more throughout the years. When my husband and I moved to France, we trained for our first obstacle course, called the Spartan Race. The following year, I flew to Montreal to see my family and participated in the Prison Break race in Quebec.

I panicked when we went into confinement.

When the world went into confinement, I needed to find a home workout that could keep me motivated and mimic the motivation I received from instructor-led group classes. Even though I swore up and down I could never stay motivated by working out at home, I discovered a whole new world of online workouts that are sometimes better than going to the gym.

me and some friends after a Zumba class in La Garde France: it's also a great Beginner Home Workout you can do at home

Fun beginner home workouts you can do at home.

1) Online home workout classes in another language.

Kill two birds with one stone and improve your foreign language skills by watching fitness videos in another language.&

Here are a few examples of French Fitness YouTubers.&

Here are some French terms which you can use to search for exercise videos on YouTube. 

Home workout = Séance à la maison
Fitness Workout = Séance de fitness 
Cardio workout = Séance de cardio
Abs at home = Abdo à la maison
Thigh abs butt (this is a popular class at many gyms in France) = Cuisses Abdos Fessiers
Burn fat = Brule grasse

If you’re a French language learner and Yoga enthusiast, you might be interested in reading Yoga In French: 39 Yoga Poses In French and English: Printable PDF

2) Latin Dance home workout for beginners

I know Latin music lovers will love burning off calories while dancing to some fast-paced Latin music.

30-Minute Cardio Latin Dance Workout

3) Learn to belly dance for FREE

This may sound strange, but I’ve always wanted to learn to belly dance. I found this amazing site by Coco, who teaches people of all levels how to belly dance with confidence, and it’s free

NEW:  ESSENCE OF BELLYDANCE™ FREE Online Training - Track your Progress!

4) Learn to street dance

There are over 600 dance classes on the Steezy website, with new releases every week where you can master a variety of street dance styles, including urban, dance popping, housebreaking, dance hall, jazz-funk, and more.

I wasn’t going to mention Steezy because it’s not free, but the features blew me away.

As you watch the videos, you can do various things, such as switch views of the dancers from front to back. If you can’t get a specific movement right, you can loop the video to replay and slow the video’s speed until you get the moves down right. The most interesting and unique feature is the ability to see yourself dancing on a split screen (if you have a camera on your computer). 

Unlimited monthly membership costs roughly 8 USD if you pay annually. 

Image from Steezy website where you can find Beginner Home Workouts to learn many street and urban dances

5) Dance exercise routine to your favourite song

Don’t judge, but I really like the song Dance Monkey, and the girls over at Shine Dance have a really good dance routine set to the song. 

Dance Monkey. Tones and I.  SHiNE DANCE FITNESS™

6) Hip Hop Tabata Dance home workout

If you like Hip Hop, then you’re going to love this 30-minute Tabata dance workout. Tabata training is a popular form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), consisting of eight rounds of ultra-high-intensity exercises in 20-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off intervals. 

30-Minute Hip-Hop Tabata to Torch Calories

7) 50 Min. Barre Workout You Can Do at Home

I tried the Barre workout, an energizing full-body workout, for a few months, and it was tougher than it looked. Although the main focus is not weight loss, you’ll definitely feel slimmer, improve your posture and feel toned. 

FREE Full Length 50 Min. Barre Workout You Can Do at Home

8) 30-day Glutes home workout for beginners

Blogilates is a popular fitness channel on YouTube that has a 30-day, 1000 glutes challenge and hundreds of Beginner Home Workouts. 

Day 1: Butterfly Bridges! | 100 Glute Challenge w/ Physics Girl

9) Zumba classes online

Most Zumba classes typically use four different types of dance: cumbia, merengue, reggaeton and salsa. 

This non-stop 30-minute Zumba compilation is a fun home workout with a little bit of everything. 

ZUMBA fitness cardio workout full video

10) 20-minute jump rope workout

If you’ve ever jump-roped for more than 10 minutes straight, you know what a great overall workout it is, whether you’re trying to lose weight, build strength, or get fit. It’s also a very portable exercise you can do while travelling or on the go because all you need is a jump rope.

Unfortunately, jump roping can get boring or repetitive, so I always play music on Spotify while I workout. I recently discovered an audio home workout app called “Crossrope. It’s been a game-changer for me. The app has a built-in workout timer and guides you through each short but intense workout with intuitive audio. I use weighted jump ropes by cross rope. 

Crossrope: The Fun Jump Rope Fitness Experience

Weighted jump ropes that help you get a full-body workout in half the time. Great for quick workouts on the go and while travelling because they fit in your bags. Download the app and follow the HIIT workouts. 60 day returns and lifetime gurarantee.

Shop Now

Alternatively, there are countless jump rope workouts you can find online like this 20-minute jump rope workout. If you don’t have a jump rope, mimic holding one. 

20-Minute Jump Rope Workout

11) Home workout for beginners on Amazon Prime

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you have access to Amazon prime video, which means you can binge exercise all the yoga and pilates videos you want and more. 

12) Yoga workouts online you can do at home with your kids

Do Yoga With Me is a fabulous yoga workout website. They have hundreds of yoga classes for just about anyone from beginner to advanced. In addition to the yoga class for kids aged 3 to 8 and size yoga, they offer a variety of free classes in different yoga styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Power, Kundalini, Yin Yoga, restorative yoga and more.

They also offer a membership for US $99 Annually, which gives you access to premium content. 

You might be interested in reading:

how you can actually improve your French by watching yoga videos in French. 

Fun fitness video games you can do at home on your Nintendo Switch

Fitness video games: Beginner Home Workouts for you, your kids and the whole family

Nintendo Switch console photo: the fitness video games make great Beginner Home WorkoutsIf you have a Nintendo Switch and haven’t tried any fitness video games, you don’t know what you’re missing. 

I originally bought the Switch for my daughter as a birthday gift. I honestly thought I would never use it since I’m not into video games (anymore). I was wrong. 

Fitness video games gamify your home workout routine and reward you for performing different moves correctly. Many fitness video games track your daily efforts and progress, give you an estimated amount of calories burned and keep track of the time you spend working out. Some even let you track your weight. 

You won’t get ripped from fitness video games, but:

You won’t get ripped or build huge biceps, and it won’t replace your main workout routine; however, fitness video games will keep you moving, make you sweat, and keep you toned if you do it regularly. It’s also a great way to get the kids moving indoors. I play with my daughter, so I know firsthand that it’s a fun activity to do together as a family when you’re stuck indoors.

Here are my favourites for the Nintendo Switch. They may be available on other video game systems too. 

Nintendo Switch

The very first fitness video game we bought was Just Dance 2017. After playing it with my daughter, I soon realized it was also a great cardio workout for the whole family.

Depending on how much you weigh (the heavier you are, the more calories you’ll lose), you’ll burn between 200 to 400 calories per half hour of continuous dancing. So if you play Just Dance 5 days a week, 30 minutes a day, you’re looking at burning an extra 1000 to 2400 each week.  Of course, it also depends on the level of exertion at which you dance.

With Just Dance, you get to dance to the latest hits and learn choreographed dance moves while increasing muscle tone and improving flexibility without getting bored. My daughter and I both love Just Dance. The more you play, the better you get at the dance moves. 

Just Dance 2020: Full Song List | Ubisoft [US]

How Just Dance Works:

Just choose your song, grab a game controller, and follow the dancer(s) on the screen. The controllers track your movements and let you know how well you’re doing. 

One of my favourite things about the game is creating a playlist of songs to play in succession. This is very handy because you don’t have to stop after each dance to choose the next song. You just keep on dancing. I usually dance anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and I’m always out of breath and sweating by the end. 

and so you can attach the switch controllers to your wrists rather than holding them. 

You can order Just Dance Unlimited for 365 days here. After purchase, you can access the game in your games library.

photo of daughter playing fitness boxing on our Nintendo switch at home: fantastic Beginner Home Workouts

14- Fitness BoxingNintendo Switch

I love kickboxing and kickboxing with bags, so the idea of a Fitness Boxing video game sounded weird. After all, you’re not actually hitting anything. But then I remembered that Cardio KickBoxing, BODYCOMBAT and even shadow boxing are all no contact and can burn around 500 calories an hour.

So I caved and bought the game. It’s now my favourite alternative workout for days I can’t get to the gym. 

Fitness Boxing on Nintendo Switch - Get Moving Anytime, Anywhere

You can pick up a digital version of the Fitness boxing video game here. After you purchase, you access the game in your game library on your Switch. 

How fitness boxing works:

When you first start fitness boxing on the Nintendo Switch, you enter your vitals: Height, age, weight and fitness goals.

There is a “daily workout” calendar that tracks the amount of time you box, number of punches and fitness achievements in graphs. It will also give you an estimated or approximate BMI and keep track of how many calories you burn so you can keep an eye on your goals. You can even fight your friends in the ring.

The training starts slowly with a few punches and short combos, but as you progress and learn the new moves, the combos’ length and complexity steadily increase. As you progress, you can earn more songs and more challenging training circuits. If you prefer to work out with a buddy, you can use two sets of Joy-Con Controllers.

You perform all the punches and movements to the beat of instrumental versions of hit songs with a digital instructor. 

I have only three complaints about the game.

  1. The music isn’t great, but some people like it.
  2. My hands get sweaty from holding the controllers. I think I  might invest in some joy-con wristbands to keep them on my wrist or use my MMA boxing gloves.
  3. The voice of the instructor is loud and repetitive. I recommend going into the settings and lowering the voice or muting the voice. Don’t worry; it doesn’t affect the music level. 

15- Zumba: Burn It Up! – Nintendo Switch

If you love Zumba and dancing to world music, you’ll love burning off the calories with Zumba Burn it up. Depending on the level of intensity you exert while dancing, you can burn anywhere from 400 to 500 calories per hour of Zumba dancing. 

As with all Nintendo Switch fitness video games mentioned in this article, the Joy-Con controllers track your movements, but in Zumba, burn it up; you’re rewarded extra points for dancing with energy and flair. Pick your fitness-level songs and start learning the dances. 

ZUMBA® BURN IT UP! available now for pre-order on Nintendo Switch

16- Ring Fit Adventure – Nintendo Switch

The newest gamified exercise video game by Nintendo Switch is Ring Fit Adventure.- an adventure fitness game. 

Play it correctly, and you’ll definitely feel achy the next morning. 

The game comes with two physical accessories that each hold a game controller:1) a leg strap (to hold one joy-con on your thigh) and 2) a flexible ring (Ring-Con), which is essentially one of those resistance rings you use in Pilates or yoga. 

You play as a hero dressed in gym clothes. Instead of using buttons and a joystick to explore, you control your character through your movements. So, if you want your character to run forward and jump, you simply run in place and jump.

The experience is similar to Super Mario, adventure or role-playing games. As you travel from level to level and scene to scene, you try to accomplish various goals, gather ingredients to create magic smoothies and fight the bad guys.

Ring Fit Adventure Gameplay Trailer - Nintendo Switch Fitness Game

I’ve grown to love home workouts: 

Although I miss the social aspect of going to a physical gym, I love the convenience of and freedom of working out at home. Even for someone like me, who thought I could never succeed and maintain a home exercise routine. 

Try it for 30 days straight, and while you’re at it, try to fit in some of these classic body-weight exercises: Crunches, Push-ups, Planks, Squats, Lunges, Wall sits, Burpees, and Jumping jacks.

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Fun home workouts you can do without equipment

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a 'petite commission' at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my links. It helps me buy more wine and cheese. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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Annie André

Annie André

About the author

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.


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