A Total Body Workout at Home

This post was written by Wiley Ho in Fitness, Health & Wellness
woman working out at home

As we do our part and stick close to home right now, our bodies still need exercise to feel our best. Here is a challenging indoor workout for teens and adults to stay fit and strong.

This workout requires no special equipment, relying mostly on body weight exercises and circuit training. It was put together by Darrin Jones, the Fitness Centre Supervisor at Karen Magnussen since 2008. Darrin says the whole workout can be completed in approximately one hour, or it can be done with reduced number of sets. As he likes to say, “It doesn’t matter how much you do, just do something.”

Click on the links to view how-to videos!

Dynamic warm-up (10-15 minutes)

  1. Jog around the block
    Indoor options: any moderately vigorous activity that elevates the heart rate and body temperature, e.g., jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers
  2. 10 repetitions of body weight squats
  3. 5 repetitions (each side) can openers and can closers
  4. 10 repetitions (each side) of torso rotations: look as far around behind you as is comfortable and slowly return to front.
  5. 8 repetitions arm swings to hugs
  6. Arm/shoulder circles, 8 forwards and 8 backwards


1st circuit

  1.  Walking lunges: 10 steps one direction, 10 steps back to start
  2. Cardio 'break' 20-30 seconds of jumping jacks or skaters
  3.  10 push-ups (push-up variations: incline push-up against wall or knee push-ups)
  4.  Cardio 'break' 6 repetitions of sprint/jog (sprint 10 meters, jog/walk back to start, repeat). Indoor option: Stair jumps, double foot, 1-2 stair jumps.
  5. Plank 30 seconds from knees or toes.

Repeat 3 times, then move to 2nd circuit.

2nd circuit

  1. Bridge: lie down on your back with both feet on floor with knees bent at 90°. Squeeze glutes 'cheeks' until your hips line up between your shoulders and knees. Squeeze up and relax down. 3x 10 seconds
  2. Cardio 'break' 30 seconds of mountain climbers
  3. Single-arm bent row or 'Milk Jug Row' 3x 10 per arm
    Use a 4L milk jug filled, or partially filled, with water and the seat of a chair.
  4. Cardio 'break' 20-30 seconds of jumping jacks or skaters
  5. Bicycle crunch 3 x 16

Repeat circuit 3 times

Cool down (10 minutes) 

1. Quadriceps stretch (3x 30 seconds each side)
2. Seated hamstring stretch (3x 30 seconds each side)
Sit on a bench/chair/elevated surface. Put one leg straight out with heel on floor and other leg bent. Keep back flat and slowly lean upper body forwards (should feel stretch in back of thigh and into the calf). 
3. 'World’s greatest stretch' (3x 30 seconds each side)
Start by kneeling in a lunge position, bend forwards trying to put hand son floor in line with front foot (use yoga blocks or books if you aren’t able to touch the floor yet). Keep hand furthest from your foot on the floor, rotate upper body, trying to reach sky with your free hand.
open book stretch4. Open book stretch (3x 30 seconds each side)
Lie down on one side, bend top side leg until knee and hip are at 90°. Grasp top leg as you rotate upper body to open up chest and torso. Should feel the stretch in outer hip obliques and possibly chest and shoulder. 
5. Shoulder stretch (3x 30 seconds each side)
6. Angry cat stretch (10)
7. Cobra pose (3x 30 seconds)
8. Child's pose (3x 30 seconds)

Rest 2-3 minutes between circuit rounds and up to 5 minutes between circuit groups. Ideally, there should be little to no rest between exercises; rest as much as you need but as little as you can.

If you’re unable to do the full workout, do what you can. 

Darrin Jones would like to remind everyone, “The important thing is just do something!” Jokingly, he adds, “Being physically fit and active is how you survive the zombie apocalypse!”

Wiley Ho


Wiley Ho.

A long-time North Vancouver resident, Wiley works as a technical writer and is the current newsletter editor for the North Shore Writers’ Association. She spends her free time reading, hiking and discovering new things to try at North Vancouver Recreation & Culture!



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