National guidelines recommend that adults do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.

Aim for a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes per sessions.

Why move stronger

Did you know that inactive adults lose 3% to 8% of their muscle mass each decade? To help keep your muscles and bones strong as you get older it's important to include strengthening activities into your week.

Lady doing overhead press with dumbells
Source: Obesity Canada

Doing strength activities can also:

  • boost your metabolism
  • stabilise blood sugar levels
  • improve posture
  • reduce musculoskeletal pain and injury
  • improve energy levels
  • elevate HDL good cholesterol levels which protects you against heart disease

How to move stronger

Many people think you have to join a gym to do strength training. The truth is, strengthening your muscles doesn't have to involve doing weights; yoga, pilates, calf raises, squats, push-ups and sit-ups also count as strength exercises.

A family performing a pilates exercise

Check out our beginner, intermediate and advanced level workouts that are designed to help you get stronger in the comfort of your own home - no special gym equipment required!

Did you know?
Only 23% of Australians meet muscle strengthening guidelines, and 72% of Australians report doing none at all.

Strength exercises you can do at home

Squats

squat demonstration

  • Start by standing up straight. Bend at the knees and hips to squat down.
  • Your hips should always be higher than your knees, and while your knee can come past your toes a little bit, make sure they don't protrude too far forward.
  • Pause and then slowly rise and return to starting position.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Wall Push-ups

push-up demonstration

  • From a standing position, place hands on a wall, shoulder width apart.
  • Bring your feet away from the wall – the further your feet are away from the wall, the harder the exercise will be.
  • Standing on the balls of your feet, bend at the elbows to lower your body towards the wall (you should be almost close enough to kiss the wall).
  • Push back, straightening at your elbows.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Calf Raises

calf raise demonstration

  • Place your feet on the edge of a step, with your heels hanging over the side.
  • Stand up on the balls of your feet.
  • Rise up by standing onto your toes, keeping your knees straight.
  • Lower back down again, dropping your heels below the level of the step.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Bridges

bridge demonstration

  • Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on the ground.
  • Raise your hips up into the air, keeping your stomach muscles turned
  • Your knees, hips and shoulders should be in a straight diagonal line.
  • Slowly lower yourself back down.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Clams

clam demonstration

  • Lie on your side, and bend hips and knees.
  • Make sure one hip is lying above the other.
  • Bring your top leg upwards while keeping your feet touching.
  • Slowly lower the leg down to the starting position.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Superman

superman demonstration

  • Position yourself on your hands and knees.
  • Make sure your hands are directly under your shoulders with weight through the outside of the hand, and a soft elbow. Your knees should be directly in line with your hips.
  • Raise your left arm forward, and kick your right leg back, and then alternate to your right arm and left leg. Try not to let your hips or lower back overly dip to one side throughout this movement.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Squats

squat demonstration

  • Start by standing up straight. Bend at the knees and hips to squat down as far as you comfortably can.
  • Your hips should always be higher than your knees, and while your knee can come past your toes a little bit, make sure they don’t protrude too far forward.
  • Pause and then slowly rise and return to starting position.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Push-ups

push-up demonstration push-up (knees) demonstration

  • Place your hands on the ground. For a modified version, place your knees on the ground (B), otherwise have your toes on the ground (A)
  • Keeping your back straight, lower your body down towards the ground, bending at your elbows.
  • Push back up to the starting position.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

1-leg Stand

1 leg stand demonstration

  • Stand tall with your hips, knees and toes in line.
  • Transfer your weight onto a single leg, lifting the other just off the ground.
  • When stable, tip forward at the hip. Move your back leg towards the ceiling and body towards the ground.
  • Drive your hip forward and come back into starting position.
  • Switch sides once you have completed 10 repetitions on the first leg, then move on to the next exercise.

Sit-ups

sit-up demonstration

  • Lie on ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands on your thighs
  • Lift your chest upwards, sliding your hands so that your fingers reach toward your bent knees, keeping your chin tucked in.
  • Lower back down slowly
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Lunges

lunge demonstration

  • Stand up straight
  • Take a big step forward with your right leg to get into a split stance.
  • Lower your back knee towards the ground until your front knee is bent at roughly 90 degrees and maintained behind your toes. Push-up with your front foot into starting position.
  • Switch sides once you have completed 10 repetitions on the first leg, then move on to the next exercise.

Step-ups

step up demonstration

  • Place your entire right foot onto a stair in front of you.
  • Push-up with your right leg muscles to bring the left foot up onto the stair.
  • Return to the starting position by stepping down with your left foot first, keeping your right foot on the step, ready for the next repetition.
  • Repeat with the opposite leg
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Jump Squats

jump squat demonstration

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Start by doing a regular squat, then jump up powerfully
  • When you land, lower your body back into the squat position. Land as quietly as possible, and control your squat down.
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

V Sit-up

v sit-up demonstration

  • Start on your back with your legs lifted from the hips at a 45 degree angle and with your hands and shoulders off the floor.
  • Lift your torso and bend your knees
  • Straighten your legs and slowly lower your torso back to the floor
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move onto the next exercise.

Burpees

burpee demonstration

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat
  • Place your hands on the floor directly in front of you, shifting your weight onto them
  • Kick your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels.
  • Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  • Reach your arms over head and powerfully jump up into the air.
  • Land and immediately lower back down into a squat, ready to go again!
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Walking Lunges

walking lunge demonstration

  • Stand up straight
  • Take a big step forward with your right leg to get into a split stance
  • Lower your back knee towards the ground until your front knee is bent at roughly 90 degrees and maintained behind your toes.
  • Push-up with your front foot into starting position.
  • Stand back upward and this time step through with your back leg to complete another lunge.
  • You should feel this in your legs and buttocks!
  • Switch sides once you have completed 10 repetitions on the first leg, then move on to the next exercise

Push-ups Plus Row

push-up row demonstration

  • Place your hands on the ground. For an easier version, place your knees on the ground, otherwise have your toes on the ground.
  • Keeping your back straight, lower your body down towards the ground, bending at your elbows.
  • Push back up to the starting positio
  • Lift one arm up by your side, bending at your elbow.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades back together
  • Return your hand to starting position and repeat entire movement again (this time lifting with the other arm).
  • Perform 10 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.
  • If you have hand weights or dumbbells at home, you can use them to make it harder!

Mountain Climbers

mountain climber demonstration

  • Start in a push-up position Without changing the posture of your lower back (it should be arched), raise your right knee toward your chest. Pause, return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg
  • The faster you go, the more you will puff!
  • Perform 20 repetitions, then move on to the next exercise.

Plank - Front

plank demonstration

  • Position yourself on forearms and toes on the ground.
  • Keeping your back straight, hold this position.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, however stop if you start to feel lower back tension/pain.