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10 Best Conditioning Exercises for Beginners To Do at Home

Boost your overall fitness level, strength, and endurance with these at-home exercises.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Starting a conditioning routine at home can be a great way for beginners to improve their overall fitness levels and build strength, endurance, and flexibility. Whether you're new to exercise or looking for effective workouts to perform in the comfort of your own home, these are the 10 best at-home conditioning exercises for beginners that I highly recommend.

Incorporating these exercises into your workout routine can be a fantastic way to kickstart your fitness journey without the need for a gym membership. Whether you're looking to improve cardiovascular health, increase endurance, or build overall strength, these beginner-friendly exercises offer a diverse range of benefits for individuals of all fitness levels. Remember to start slowly, focus on proper form, and gradually increase intensity and repetitions as you progress.

Keep reading for my top 10 conditioning exercises for beginners to do at home. And when you're finished, don't miss Here's How Long You Need To Walk Every Day for Weight Loss.

Jumping Jacks

how to do jumping jacks demonstration

This list of the best conditioning exercises for beginners kicks off with jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are a classic conditioning exercise that gets your heart rate up and engages multiple muscle groups, including your legs, arms, and core. They are an excellent choice for beginners as they are low-impact and easy to modify based on fitness level.

Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Jump your feet out to the sides while simultaneously raising your arms overhead. Jump back to the starting position. Perform three sets of 20 to 30 repetitions.

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Bodyweight Squats

woman doing squats

Bodyweight squats are a fundamental exercise that targets the lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. They help build strength and endurance in the legs, making them perfect for beginners.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms extended in front of you for balance. Lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if sitting in a chair. Keep your chest lifted and your back straight. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your heels to return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.

Pushups (Modified)

illustration of modified knee pushups

Pushups are a fantastic exercise for strengthening the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Beginners can start with modified pushups, which are performed on the knees instead of the toes, to build strength gradually.

Start on your hands and knees with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest toward the ground by bending your elbows. Keep your core engaged and your back flat. Push through your palms to return to the starting position. Perform three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

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plank pose

The plank is a static exercise that engages the entire core, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. It helps improve core strength and stability, making it an essential exercise for beginners.

Start in a high plank position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core, and hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. Keep your hips level, and avoid sagging or arching your back. Perform three sets, gradually increasing the hold time as you progress.

Glute Bridges

glute bridge

Glute bridges are a great exercise for targeting the glutes and hamstrings while engaging the core and lower back. They help improve hip mobility and strengthen the posterior chain, making them ideal for beginners.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Press through your heels to lift your hips toward the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. Lower your hips back down to the starting position. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

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Bird Dogs

illustration of how to do the bird dog exercise

Bird dogs are a beginner-friendly exercise that targets the core, lower back, and glutes while improving balance and coordination.

Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Extend your right arm forward and left leg back, keeping your hips level. Hold for a moment, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions per side.

Standing Calf Raises

illustration of calf raises

Standing calf raises are a simple yet effective exercise for strengthening the calf muscles, which are important for stability and mobility in everyday activities.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding onto a stable surface for balance if needed. Press through the balls of your feet to raise your heels off the ground. Hold for a moment at the top, then lower your heels back down. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.

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High Knees

high knees

High knees are a cardiovascular exercise that also engages the core and leg muscles. They help improve coordination, agility, and endurance, making them ideal for beginners.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Quickly drive one knee toward your chest, then switch legs, alternating in a running motion. Pump your arms to increase intensity. Perform high knees for 30 to 60 seconds. Perform three sets with a 30-second rest between sets.

Jump Rope (or Imaginary Rope)

jump rope

Jumping rope is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise that improves coordination, agility, and lower-body strength. Beginners can start with an imaginary jump rope if they don't have a physical one.

Hold the handles of the jump rope in each hand, ensuring the rope is behind you. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and the rope positioned behind you. Swing the rope overhead, and jump over it as it passes under your feet. Land softly on the balls of your feet, and maintain a slight bend in your knees. Continue jumping for 30 to 60 seconds, gradually increasing the duration as you build endurance. Perform three sets with 30 to 60 seconds of rest between sets.


inchworm exercise

This list of the best conditioning exercises for beginners wraps up with the inchworm. Inchworms are a full-body conditioning exercise that targets the core, shoulders, and legs while improving flexibility and mobility.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend forward at the waist, and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Walk your hands forward until you are in a high plank position. Perform a pushup by bending your elbows and lowering your chest toward the ground. Walk your hands back toward your feet, and stand up to return to the starting position. Perform three sets of eight to 10 reps.

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
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