7 Exercises for people that don’t have time to work out

This article is aimed at helping people who have such hectic work, family, or social lives that they really don’t have enough time to spare to join a gym or even leave the house!

School Of Personal Training Posted Aug 31, 2018 Future Fit Training


The most commonly used excuse for not working out is not having enough time. Sadly, this is often just that … an excuse. A simple issue of not wanting to do something so not prioritising it!

However, on many occasions this excuse is perfectly valid. If you have small children, work 60-hour weeks, or spend valuable time volunteering then you probably don’t have enough time to attend a gym for one hour three times per week.

We will describe seven exercises that you can do, even if you don’t have any time to spare.

Exercises for people that don’t have time to work out

Exercise #1 Cardio Machines

Getting an exercise bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine for your home may seem like almost a cliché, but its actually a really effective way to increase your activity while staying at home. You can use a cardio machine while its raining, you can use a cardio machine while watching your favourite TV show, you can jump on it for 10 minutes while your dinner is cooking. Yes, cardio machines can be expensive, and can take up space, but as a solution for not having enough time to train they’re perfect.

Exercise #2 Box Squats

A box squat is a regular squat where instead of hovering with your thighs parallel to the ground, you instead squat down until you are sitting on a chair/box/bench. This exercise is great for people who are starting out and haven’t got much lower body strength, it’s also a perfectly good exercise in its own right. You can do 10-20 box squats onto a chair first thing in the morning, or just before hopping in the shower. Once you have built enough strength you can progress towards reals squats.

Exercise #3 Mountain Climbers

A great high-intensity exercise that can be performed at home with no equipment. All you need is a stable surface to hold onto while you perform them. Hold onto a stable surface and stand at a 45-degree angle. Alternate between each knee, pushing one forward towards your chest then the other, keep your abs braced and your back flat throughout.

Exercise #4 Kettlebell Swings

We can’t remember which fitness expert first mentioned the kettlebell swing at home routine, but they were a genius. The idea is that you purchase a kettlebell and leave it in the room that you spend the most time walking in and out of (bathroom, kitchen etc). Every time you walk past the kettlebell you perform 5-10 kettlebell swings. Do this throughout the day and you’ll eventually rack up a ridiculous amount of swings per day.

The beauty of this is that each set will only take you 30 seconds or so and will barely break a sweat, but cumulatively you will burn hundreds of calories. Kettlebell swings can be a lot of fun too!

Exercise #5 Step Ups

The step up is a fantastic exercise that will improve any training program, however in this case we are literally talking about walking up and down steps. In life, whenever possible take the stairs. Don’t take the lifts or the escalator, just use the stairs (unless we’re talking 200+ stairs of course), it won’t make much difference to your travel time, and it’s a fantastic way to burn calories.

Exercise #6 Push Ups

Depending on your current level of strength you may need to make these push ups very easy, starting with wall push ups, then progressing to box push ups, push ups on your knees, regular push ups, and then more difficult versions (plyo push ups for example). You can do these first thing in the morning, just before you have a shower, immediately before dinner (you may get funny looks from family/housemates at first) or just before brushing your teeth.

Exercise #7 Walking

Easily the least exciting of all the exercises mentioned, but probably the most important. Hitting your 10,000 steps per day target is an amazing way to lose weight and improve fitness. But if 10,000 steps is a bit much, even just adding 500 steps to your usual step count can make a big difference. Walk to work, walk the kids to school, take the dog out for a second walk each day. Make a conscious effort to walk faster and you will save time too!

Final Thoughts

The important thing to keep in mind when reading this article is that you need to establish a routine. Even the busiest person on earth could still find 5-10 minutes out of their day to exercise, but people don’t prioritise fitness. If you scheduled in a time to exercise each day (just like you schedule time to brush your teeth, have a shower, eat breakfast etc) you would easily be able to fit it in. The issues that people have are when they leave exercise as an afterthought.

Learning how to use a kettlebell is probably one of the smartest moves you can make too. They are necessary for kettlebell swings, kettlebell deadlifts, and kettlebell goblet squats. All exercises that are quick to do and perfect for home workouts. If you are interested in learning some new exercises, or would like to learn how to teach others, why not try our kettlebell course