Home workout challenge to get you into the exercise habit

The idea of this home workout challenge is that over the course of a month you build up a full body workout that you can continue to do on a regular basis once the challenge is finished. The post includes instructions for all the exercises and the challenge schedule broken down into 5 sections. At the end of the post you can download a PDF of the full challenge schedule.  The workout includes 2 exercises for each of the following:

  • Cardio fitness
  • Lower body strength
  • Upper body strength
  • Ab strength

Home workout challenge

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Home workout challenge exercises

#1 side leap

Home workout challenge side leap

  1. Start by standing with your feet close together.
  2. Raise your right knee, then jump sideways to the right, leading with your right leg.
  3. Follow through with your left leg, bringing your left foot close to your right.
  4. Now lift your left knee and repeat to the left.

#2 Mountain climber

Mountain climber

  1. Get into an all-4s position on the floor. Make sure your hands are directly below your shoulders.
  2. Take your legs out behind, keeping your back slightly curved.
  3. Now bring one knee at a time in towards your arms.

#3 Squat

Squat exercise

  1. Have your feet a little more than hip distance apart, parallel or slightly turned out.
  2. Bend at your knees and hips as you lower into squat position. Aim to get your thighs parallel with the floor and then come up again.
  3. Straighten up gently, don’t jerk your knees backwards.
  4. Avoid arching your back or rounding your shoulders.

#4 Lunge


  1. Stand with your feet about hip distance apart.
  2. Make sure you keep your abdominal muscles engaged, your shoulders relaxed down and your back straight throughout.
  3. Take one leg out behind you and touch your toes to the floor. Make sure you keep your feet hip width apart.
  4. Now bend at both knees, so that you lower your body towards the floor. At the end of the movement, your thighs should be parallel with the floor, your front knee should be bent to 90o and in line with your ankle, your back knee should be just above the floor.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat on your other leg.

#5 shoulder press

Home workout challenge shoulder press

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance.
  2. Start with your elbows bent and hands either side of your shoulders, palms facing forwards.
  3. Extend your elbows, lifting the weights above your head.
  4. When your arms are straight, reverse the movement and bring your hands to the starting position.

#6 woodchop

Home workout challenge wood chop

  1. Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip distance.
  2. Keep your hips facing forwards as you bend your knees and rotate your upper body towards the right. Reach your arms down towards your right knee.
  3. Then straighten up and swing your arms across your body to reach high to the left. Your right heel should lift as you reach to the left.
  4. When you’ve done all the reps to this side, repeat to the other side

#7 bicycle crunch

Bicycle crunch

  1. Start with your feet in the air and your hands behind your head.
  2. Extend your right leg to a 45° angle with the floor.
  3. At the same time, bring your left knee towards your upper body and lift your right shoulder off the floor to reach your elbow towards your knee.
  4. Now extend your left leg and bring your left elbow towards your right knee.
  5. Keep alternating for the given number of reps.

#8 Scissors

Home workout challenge scissors

  1. Start in the same position as for double leg stretch above.
  2. Straighten your legs so that they are vertical.
  3. Making sure you don’t let your back arch, lower and raise one leg at a time.

Notes on doing the workout

Before you start, please read these general exercise safety guidelines.

You should do this warm up before each workout.

Stretching after the workout isn’t essential, but will help to improve your flexibility. See here for a stretching routine.

You will need some sort of cushioned surface for the abs workout. If you don’t have a mat, then you can use a folded blanket or something similar. The upper body exercises will be more effective with hand weights. If you don’t have any, you can improvise with small bottles of water. You will also need to wear shoes that will cushion impact for the cardio exercises. 

Home workout challenge schedule

The number of reps shown are the total reps. If an exercise needs to be done on both sides, do half the reps on each. So 16 side leaps means 8 to the left and 8 to the right for example.

Days 1-6

Part 1

The first 6 days introduce the cardio exercises.

Days 8-13

Part 2

After a rest on day 7, you keep doing the cardio exercises and start adding the leg exercises.

Days 15-20

Part 3

Another rest on day 14, then the arm exercises start on day 15.

Days 22-27

Finally, after a rest on day 21, the ab exercises start on day 22.

Part 4

Days 29 & 30

Part 5

Day 28 is the final rest day, then the last 2 days of the challenge build the reps up to 20. Once you’ve done the challenge, aim to continue doing the complete 20 reps workout 3 times a week.

Sign up for My Fitness Planner updates and get the free printable download link e-mailed to you:

After you sign up, you’ll get 2 e-mails, one will have a link to your printable download and the other will be a welcome e-mail.

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