10 Easy Ways to Make Your Home Workout Even Better (than the Gym)

September 7, 2019

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I'm Mickie. Co-founder and CEO of One Strong Southern Girl. Our team is here for you. We want you to remember us because we helped changed your life. 


What if I told you that you can have a home exercise program that’s just as effective as your gym routine?

Would you believe me?

It’s possible.  In fact, it’s easier than you think.

Let me explain…

It’s completely possible to create a home workout system that crushes (or at least matches) whatever you’ve been doing at the gym.

Because, let’s be honest.

Exercise is exercise.  And you can do it anywhere.

So, if we’re strictly talking about getting a great butt and a flat belly then you can absolutely achieve the same results with home exercise (as you can by working out at a gym).

A gym does two things really well–gives you options and creates ambiance.

Those are 2 very important things you need in your exercise routine–tons of variety and a space to workout that puts you in the mood.

But you can easily accomplish both of those things at home.

In fact, I’d argue that you can do it even better than the gym.

Why?  Because the gym is working hard to make everyone happy.

But the only thing that really matters here is what makes YOU happy.  And the steps I’m sharing with you below will help you DIY your home fitness program so that it fits you like your favorite pair of jeans.

*Now, I want to clear up a few things before we get to all the cool ways you can make an absolutely amazing home exercise program…

I’m in no way saying that signing up for a gym membership was a dumb move or that your gym doesn’t have the tools and programs to make your butt the talk of the town.

I had a gym membership for over a decade.

But I want people to understand that a gym isn’t for everyone and isn’t a necessity when it comes to achieving a healthy body.

If you can’t find a gym you love, don’t like exercising in a crowd, or don’t want to pay for a gym membership it shouldn’t keep you from being in the best physical shape of your life.

I stopped going to a gym when my kids were small and over time I began to prefer exercising at home.  And for the last 15 years, home is the only place I’ve exercised so I know how to crush it when it comes to home fitness.

So, let’s get started perfecting your home exercise program…

This post may contain Amazon (or other) affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. You can get more information about that here.


Pick the Good Stuff

This advice is for anyone who has ONE exercise video that they’ve been doing since 1985 and then regularly complains that working out at home is boring.

This is workout sabotage.

Invest in several exercise videos.

Don’t know which ones to purchase?

You can learn more about your choices by reading reviews of exercise videos on sites like mine before you buy them.

It’s worth your time and a little bit of effort to learn more about an exercise video before you spend money on it.

Another good idea—ask other people what exercise videos they use.

People ask me for exercise video suggestions nearly every day.  Try asking.

If you’re still worried about buying something that you might not like then use a exercise on demand service like Beachbody on Demand or Cathe on Demand for a few months.

Then you can actually watch and try out 100’s of different workouts before you buy them for your home library.

I recommend reading these articles for more information about On Demand exercise programs:

5 Reasons to Try Beachbody on Demand

How to Sign Up for Cathe Live or Cathe on Demand + Live

Forget the Gym–Workout at Home (Cathe on Demand vs. Beachbody on Demand)

Put It On the Flatscreen

Remember that big-ass TV you bought to watch Game of Thrones?  Now you can get your money’s worth.

And if you’re still using a 24″ television then it’s time to invest in something a little bigger.

Shaun T is very motivating in 65 inches.  Just saying.

And if you’re trying out an On Demand service then figure out how to connect your laptop to your fancy TV and Voilà!

You’ll feel like you’re on the set with the team.  It’s fun.

Fashion Matters

I know it’s tempting to workout in your PJ’s or sweatpants from high school when you’re at home.

Don’t do it.

Run out and get a couple pair of new tights and sports bras.  I promise it’ll make you look forward to your next workout.

There’s just something about having the right clothes on that makes a workout really kick ass.  (This is why I belong to 5 fitness apparel subscription programs like Sweatstyle and Wantable).

If you want more information about those (workout apparel subscription) programs you can check out these articles:

Have Good Tools

I know.  I know.  First I tell you to buy new exercise videos, then a big ass TV, a fancy outfit and now equipment?!  Wth!  Do I think you’re made of money?

Tell me this…

How much money did you spend last year on eating out?  What about on shoes?  Or your nails?  What about your hair?  I’m not even gonna remind you what you paid for that purse.

If you need some dumbbells, a mat, and an aerobic step so you can do more than one exercise video then go get it.  It’s an investment in your health (unlike eating out or any of that other stuff).

And don’t get the cheapest equipment they make.  C’mon. This is important.

Do a little research.  Some of the cheapest equipment can actually be dangerous.  (For starters, do NOT get a tiny exercise step.  I’ll have to come neck slap you if you spend your hard earned money on a little step with skinny supports under it because it was cheap.  You’ll kill yourself.  It’s not pretty when you flip that thing.  Buy an exercise platform (aerobic step) like this one for safety reasons).


Remember that gym you used to spend money on?  They have to decorate those places to make the whole city happy.

Well, guess who’s president of the Home Gym Design Committee? That’s right.  You are. 

This is one of the best things about a home exercise program.  It’s your space.  Make wherever you’re doing your exercise your gym.

Print some motivational quotes off the internet and slap them on the wall.

Buy a poster like this one or one of these, and hang it where you can see it when you work out.

Or grab some typing paper and write down “Reminder—I’m a Badass” or “Don’t Be a Wimp” or whatever phrases make you push yourself through a workout, and plaster them up in your exercise space.

Or hey, nail up a picture of Burt Reynolds (haha, yep, I’m old but not that old), Justin Beiber, or Ronda Rousey on the wall.

If there’s an athlete or musician that rings your bell then cover the whole damn room in their image.  Whatever.  I don’t care.  But have fun, make it work for you.

Keep It Clean

This might not seem important but it is.

Remember how we’ve been talking about how to avoid all those ways you can sabotage your home workout?

Our lazy human nature will pounce on this excuse like a girl on a loaf of bread after a week (or hour) of no carbs.  (It’ll only take me a second to disinfect this, scrub that and arrange those and then I’ll start my workout…which never happens.)

Listen up.

Remove the Diaper Genie from your exercise area.  Steam-clean the carpet where Buster peed or your cousin puked last year.  Don’t pile up the laundry or bills in your exercise space.

Your face is going to be in that carpet when you’re doing planks, push-ups and stretches.

And you don’t need anything to look at to remind you of what you need to do later.

Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Even if the rest of your house looks like the Tasmanian devil just spun through it, keep this one space organized and clean.

This keeps you from making excuses to avoid a workout.

Plus, it’s a safer place to do your jumps, lunges, kicks and all that other exercisey stuff.

Take It Seriously

Your home exercise program is important so act like it. Plan it out.

Having a plan is a very important part of making your home exercise program successful.

Don’t exercise on a whim.  Pencil it into your day.

Also, don’t start a workout in the middle of a load of laundry or schedule a conference call or a maintenance visit during the time you always do your workout.

If you know your bowels move every day at 10:46, don’t start your exercise at 10:30—c’mon don’t set yourself up for failure.

Pick a time that will be the easiest to maintain as much as possible.

It doesn’t have to be the exact same schedule day in and out but try to exercise at the same time as often as you can.

Then on those days you have appointments you can’t control do your exercise BEFORE your appointment.

Remember how you used to have to make sure you went to the gym at a very specific time to avoid a huge crowd or that guy in the corner that sweats and stares?

Well, now you don’t have to worry about crowds or creepers but you do have to plan around life.  Life happens at home. 

Don’t sabotage your home exercise program by not penciling in your workout as a priority.

At the same time every day PLAN to stop what you’re doing and go to your exercise space and be a badass for ten minutes or more.

Take your fitness seriously.  Make a plan.

Ban the Discouragers & Distractors

I’m not going to mention any names but you know that person who lives in your house and thinks it’s really funny to tease everyone?

They aren’t allowed in your workout space.

Also, you know those high-maintenance individuals who live in your house and ask for food and clothing and where they left their stuff all the time?

They aren’t allowed in your workout space.

Remember how I told you to make a plan?  The best plan is to workout when these people aren’t home but that’s not always possible.

So, make it clear to naysayers, jokesters, and needy barnacles who live with you that for one hour (or however long it takes you) no one is allowed to bug you.

The rule in our house that seems to work is that when I’m working out you better not come in the room unless you plan to exercise with me, someone is at the door, or you (or someone else in the house), is bleeding.

Form An Alliance 

You know how some things are easier to do if a bunch of people do it with you?

Find a friend, cousin, co-worker, or neighbor who has a home exercise program, too.

Become friends on social media or make them your texting buddy.  You need someone else to communicate with who you can vent to when exercising at home is crappy and who will be a cheerleader when your home exercise program is kicking ass.

An even better idea?  Sign up with that person to do a fitness event (a run or mud race) and train for it at home.

My sisters are my workout team.  We sign up for a race or mud event once a year.  We don’t live near each other (4 different states) but we communicate almost every day about our training (we all exercise at home) and then come together for the event.

It works.  It’s fun.  It keeps us from getting lazy and skipping a month of workouts.

Power It Down

Remember how we talked about banning discouragers from your workout space because they keep you from focusing?

This may be hard to do but you must turn off your phone when you’re exercising.

You know all those beeps, bongs, rings and alerts your phone makes to tell you someone emailed, texted, or breathed at your Facebook or LinkedIn account?  Guess what?  They’re distracting.

Make your fitness hour the most important thing you’re doing for that moment in time.

Nothing on your phone can’t wait until you’re done.

You’ll have better form, avoid more injuries and see better results if you focus completely on your workout.

I promise.  You know I’m right.  Just do it.

Good luck with your home exercise routine!

Is there anything you’ve found that makes your home exercise program easier to stick to?  Please share it with me.

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  1. Machelle says:

    From one southern girl to another you nailed it. I like your way of getting ideas across. Great information. Thanks a bunch.

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