At-Home Bone Health Workout, No Equipment Necessary

Updated: November 28, 2022

At-home workout woman

Isolation poses it’s challenges. But your bone health doesn’t need to suffer!

So today, I’m sharing a simple workout to help you keep your bones strong even if you’re stuck at home. 

Like most of you out there, my husband and I are on lockdown. Now, we’re both extremely active people, so it’s been challenging. We’ve had to get creative with our fitness regimens! Thankfully, there are many exercises you can do at home, without any special equipment…  

For this workout, I chose six such exercises, making sure to cover every major muscle group. I also built in some stretching to help with mobility. And since I’m not sure what equipment you have on hand, all you need for this workout is a little motivation and your own self!  

As always, feel free to modify any of these exercises to suit your needs. (If you’d like some more ideas, you could also have a look at our full osteoporosis workout routine. Just note that some of the exercises I shared in that routine require weights.)

I find exercise can also be a great way to get your mind off things. Relieve some stress…  

So let’s get started!

At-Home Workout

Warmup — 5 min

Don’t skip this part! Warming up helps ease your body into a workout. It gets your core temperature up, and your muscles limber. I chose these particular stretches to increase mobility throughout your entire body, which you’ll appreciate when you get to the real workout. 

Try doing each of these exercises for 30 seconds, repeat once — then you’re ready to move on!

1. Arm Swings (Criss Cross)

This dynamic stretching exercise warms up your shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back. It also increases mobility and gives you a nice cardio boost!

Here’s how to do this exercise: 

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and your arms stretched out to your sides, parallel with the floor. 
  2. Bring your arms all the way forward until they cross in front of you, and then bring them back to your starting position. 
  3. Repeat this movement at a steady pace for 30 seconds. 

Tailor this exercise to you: 

If it’s difficult for you to raise your arms parallel to the floor, not to worry! Simply lift your arms as far as you can comfortably go and perform the movement. 

2. Standing Hamstring Stretch

This stretch targets your hamstrings — the five tendons at the back of your knee. Just make sure you keep your spine straight. You should feel the stretch in your hamstrings, not your back!

Here’s how to do this exercise: 

  1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Place your right leg in front of your body with your foot flexed, your heel pushing into the ground, and your toe pointing up. You’ll need to bend your left knee slightly to get into this position. 
  3. Gently lean forward, keeping your back straight, and place both hands on your right leg.
  4. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. When you repeat, switch legs!  

Tailor this exercise to you: 

If your hamstrings are very tight, you may need to start with a less intense version of this stretch. To make this movement easier, you can place your front leg on a low bench or stool!

3. High Knee Marches

High knee marches are an excellent warmup! They engage your whole body, get your heart rate up, and prepare you for more complex movements. 

Here’s how to do this exercise: 

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Bring your right knee up to the level of your waist. Engage your abdominals to help get your knee up high. 
  3. At the same time, lift your left arm and bend your elbow forward. (Like you would if you were jogging!)
  4. Lower your right leg and repeat on your other side. 
  5. Maintain this marching movement at a steady pace, for 30 seconds. 

Tailor this exercise to you: 

Getting your knees all the way up to waist height might be a challenge. Don’t stress, just lift your knees as far as you can manage! The important part is to maintain this dynamic movement for 30 seconds to get your heart rate up. 

4. Lunges 

Lunges strengthen your legs and glutes and increase flexibility in your hips. Starting with a few lunges helps limber up your whole lower body by working several muscle groups at once!

Here’s how to do this exercise: 

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your back straight, and your abdominals engaged. 
  2. Step forward with your right leg and slowly bend both knees, until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your back knee is hovering above the floor. 
  3. Return to your starting position and repeat this movement with your left leg. 
  4. Maintain a steady pace, alternating between legs for each lunge, until 30 seconds is up!

Tailor this exercise to you: 

It can be tricky to maintain your balance while performing lunges, especially if you’ve never done them before! Alternatively, you can start with a kneeling lunge. In this version, you begin in a kneeling position. Then, you place one leg in front of you with your foot on the floor, and gently lean into that leg until you feel a nice stretch. 

5. Doorway Stretch 

Here’s how to do this exercise: 

  1. Stand in a doorway and rest your right hand flat against the doorframe, with your arm slightly higher than parallel to the floor. 
  2. Bend your elbow so your fingers point up. 
  3. Gently lean into your raised arm until you feel a nice stretch. 
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on your other side the next time around. 

Tailor this exercise to you: 

Once again, if it’s difficult to raise your arms too high, simply place your hand on the doorframe a little lower down, or wherever feels comfortable to you!

Workout — 25 min 

Now that you’re nice and limber and your body temperature is up, you’re ready to tackle some more challenging exercises. The following movements work a range of muscles in your lower body, core, and upper body. Note that if you follow the link for detailed instructions, you’ll find variations for each exercise.

For this workout, do two sets, and take a 30 second break between each exercise!

1. Clamshell, 2 sets of 15 repetitions

Note: Perform one set on your right side and one on your left.

For detailed instructions, visit our hip strengthening exercises page

2. Front Squats, 2 sets of 15 repetitions

Note: I’m using a resistance band in this video, but you can easily perform squats without one. Without a band, you can try holding your arms out in front of you, or in a prayer position in front of your chest.   

For detailed instructions, visit our resistance band exercises page

3. Kneeling Pushups, 2 sets of 5-15 repetitions

Note: Again, I’m using a resistance band in this video, but you don’t need one. Simply, do these pushups without. Also, you may need to adjust the number of repetitions, depending on your strength. Keep in mind, it’s more important to do these properly, then to do a lot!

For detailed instructions, visit our resistance band exercises page

4. Side Plank — 2 sets of 5 repetitions

Note: Perform one set on your right side and one on your left! For each repetition, hold your side plank for 20-30 seconds.

For detailed instructions, visit our planking exercises page

 

5. Superwoman — 2 sets of 8 repetitions

Note: Make sure you don’t strain your neck while performing this exercise. Keep your neck straight and your gaze toward the floor! 

For detailed instructions, visit our spinal exercises page

 

6. Glute Bridge — 2 sets of 15 repetitions

Note: At the top of your bridge, try holding for at least 2 to 3 seconds. 

For detailed instructions, visit our glute bridge exercises page.

At-Home Workout Takeaways

I know when you’re stressed, exercise can be the furthest thing from your mind…  

But it’s a bit of a catch 22, because exercise can actually make you feel better! It floods your body with feel-good endorphins, provides a welcome distraction, and of course, benefits your bone health. 

So I hope you’ll give this simple, 30-minute workout a try. And again, feel free to mix it up however you like! It’s your workout. Make it work for you.

Article Comments

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  1. clara Regier

    March 29, 2020 , 7:19 pm

    Thank you these look helpful. I am a senior and have neglected exercise. I will have to do what I can to get back into it wisely Clara

  2. Megan AlgaeCal

    March 31, 2020 , 9:47 am

    Thanks for sharing with us, Clara!!

    We’re glad to help in any way possible and hope you enjoy these exercises! And yes, when getting back into exercise… focus on slow and controlled movements to stay safe. You’ll do great, Clara 🙂

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  3. E. Ruth Bradford

    March 30, 2020 , 9:08 am

    Thank you, very kind and
    generous of you as always!

  4. Blaire AlgaeCal

    March 31, 2020 , 9:48 am

    We’re happy to help, E! We hope you enjoy these exercises ??

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  5. helen lockwood

    March 30, 2020 , 9:27 am

    Many of your customers are elders with limited mobility due to osteoporosis!! These exercises do not take that into consideration as you direct people to get up and down off the floor which is hard, dangerous or impossible for many people. Please consider offering alternatives to the floor exercises for the many who need them.

  6. Blaire AlgaeCal

    March 31, 2020 , 9:46 am

    Thank you for sharing your concern, Helen – we appreciate your feedback! When it comes to exercises, recommendations are very much dependant on the individual. Prior to the implementation of any exercise routine, we must advise a discussion with your doctor or a physical therapist/physio regarding your limitations. ❤️

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  7. Julie

    April 1, 2020 , 4:58 am

    I share Helen’s concern, as I also was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. Healthline offers suggestions for safe exercises at this link:
    https://www.healthline.com/health/managing-osteoporosis/exercises-to-strengthen-your-bones#1

  8. Megan AlgaeCal

    April 3, 2020 , 12:15 pm

    Hi Julie, thanks for sharing!

    Yes, it’s always best to listen to your body and follow what you’re comfortable with. Please feel free to skip the exercises that don’t feel safe for you… but we do hope you’ll be able to benefit from some of the other ones! 🙂

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  9. Cathy

    March 30, 2020 , 11:41 pm

    You guys are fantastic. Thank you so much. 🙂

  10. Blaire AlgaeCal

    March 31, 2020 , 9:39 am

    It’s our pleasure, Cathy! Thank you for your kind words ❤️

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  11. ellen davis

    March 31, 2020 , 2:02 pm

    Good efficient routine to target bones needed for strengthening . Appreciate modifications; length of time very doable. Instructions + clarity! Will definitely incorporate for self

  12. Megan AlgaeCal

    April 3, 2020 , 12:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing your feedback, Ellen!!

    Glad you enjoyed the workout and please do continue on with it ?

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  13. Jane Maiorana

    April 1, 2020 , 12:17 pm

    Thanks for this SOOOO much. I’m also walking 40 minutes/day and am beginning to practice slow/fast walking between mail boxes (my runner daughter taught me this!). Am 78 and love to work out..miss my chair yoga and have osteoarthritis in spine.

  14. Megan AlgaeCal

    April 3, 2020 , 12:20 pm

    You’re so very welcome, Jane!!

    Wow, you are amazingly active… love hearing that you are practicing slow/fast walking too! Keep up the great work and feel free to check out some of our other exercises here ?

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  15. Claudia

    April 11, 2020 , 5:28 am

    Please send me your posts on staying healthy I’m 71 and appreciate all you do ,

  16. Blaire AlgaeCal

    April 13, 2020 , 1:16 pm

    Hi Claudia,

    Thanks for reaching out! It’s great that you’re interested in learning more about staying healthy ?

    Feel free to check out the rest of our blog for healthy recipes, exercises and nutrition info here. Let us know if you have any questions! You can also call our Bone Health Consultants at 1-800-820-0184 or email [email protected] for more information ❤️

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  17. Doreen Child

    August 23, 2020 , 4:52 pm

    These are great exercises. Would you ever do a sequence of balance exercises?

  18. Megan AlgaeCal

    August 25, 2020 , 9:07 am

    Hi Doreen! You may be interested in our article on 4 Balance Exercises To Reduce Fall Risk and our Guide to Yoga.

    Let us know what you think of these! 😀

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  19. Lupita

    November 20, 2020 , 6:33 pm

    Thank you for the exercise lessons. I have been taking algae cal for about 15 years now, since at the time I was 50 and had a bone scan that said I had 70 year old bones. I have been very religious in taking my algaecal and I surf every week. I have been fine, so I am grateful for algaecal!

  20. krishni pahl

    February 12, 2021 , 5:46 pm

    Hello I have osteoporosis and scoliosis and I was wondering if things like jumping jacks, high knees were acceptable? thank you

  21. Megan AlgaeCal

    February 25, 2021 , 8:57 am

    Hi Krishni!

    We checked in with Dr. Emma Gasinski, Physical Therapist. Here is her response for you:
    “Yes! As long as those exercises do not cause pain, those are okay to do. Start slow and it is recommended to get your form looked at by a professional to prevent any increase in pain through the joints the longer that you perform the exercises. Doing jumping activities as well as the high knees increases the force through the legs which ultimately places stress through the bones, which is optimal for bone health. It is important to remember to wear shoes with good support and to progressively train up to the jumping jacks. Make sure to be in a safe place to prevent falls and pick up objects around the area. Good luck with your exercises!”

    Hope this helps 🙂

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  22. Barb

    February 11, 2022 , 5:14 am

    Has your bone density increased since being on algaecal? Have you had a dexa scan

  23. Suzanne Murphy

    April 20, 2021 , 12:12 pm

    I have ostioporosis as well as spondylolisthesis. Are these excercises safe for both?

  24. Blaire AlgaeCal

    April 22, 2021 , 3:00 pm

    Hi Suzanne! We reached out to Emma Gasinski, AlgaeCal’s in-house physical therapist, and here is what she advises:

    “Yes! These exercises should be okay for you to do. As a general rule of thumb, stop the exercise if this causes increased pain in the lower back. If you do not feel confident with your form, it is recommended to see a physical therapist or other health care provider to go through these exercises with you to make sure you prevent future injury! Thanks for the question.”

    Hope that helps! Let us know if you have further questions 🙂

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  25. Elizabeth Scarpelli PT, FAAOMPT

    January 25, 2022 , 12:57 pm

    If a patient has spondylolisthesis, the bridging exercise should be done avoiding excess lumbar extensionl. If the patient keeps the transverse abdominals engaged and the action comes from her gluts and not the lumbar spine, she should be OK.

  26. Janet Boudreaux

    April 25, 2021 , 3:16 pm

    Hi!
    Just been through a 2nd kyphoplasty and 5 weeks of physical therapy. I was discharged and my pt said I could resume yoga along with continuing the home exercises he gave me (very faithful in doing them)! I wanted to make sure these exercises are ok for me after a kyphoplasty (1st kyphoplasty was 2 years ago). Thank you for always posting such very helpful exercises, recipes, etc.

    Janet Boudreaux

  27. Megan AlgaeCal

    April 30, 2021 , 9:11 am

    Hi Janet, great to hear about the progress you’re making and glad you enjoy our blog posts!

    We checked in with Dr. Emma Gasinski, our in-house physical therapist, about your question. This is what she advises:

    “Yes – these exercises will be a great addition to your exercise routine and should be performed without any increased pain. You may find some of the exercises are similar to what you were doing in PT as well! Enjoy!”

    Hope this helps and keep up the great work 😀

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  28. Lisa Gilbertson

    October 18, 2022 , 2:52 pm

    Do you have a printable option for these exercises? I lift weights four times a week and ride a recumbent bike every day for 50 minutes. Doctor told me to walk 30 minutes 4-5 times a week. I have had three foot surgeries and walking hurts my feet and I now have constant lower back pain. I wear top of the line walking shoes but low back pain persists even with stretching exercises before and after walking. I can not take Ibuprofen as I am allergic.

  29. Brianne Bovenizer

    October 19, 2022 , 12:43 pm

    Hello Lisa,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you are in so much discomfort, and truly hope you are able to find some relief soon! Exercise is an important part of keeping strong and staying healthy, however we of course also want to be mindful of how we’re feeling, and not push ourselves too much. Perhaps if your lower back is in pain, inflammation could be playing a role in this as well. That said I have provided a link to the article “The Top 5 Effective and Natural Remedies for Inflammation” on our blog that I hope you will find helpful. I have also sent you a printer friendly version of this article to your email, as requested! 🙂

    – Brianne @ AlgaeCal

  30. Charlesetta White

    November 12, 2022 , 9:24 pm

    Thanks I really need th exercise

  31. Brianne AlgaeCal

    November 15, 2022 , 10:21 am

    Hi Charlesetta,

    We’re so happy to hear you liked this article! for even more exercise ideas, check out our main blog page HERE! 🙂

    – Brianne @ AlgaeCal

  32. Sheila Schlesinger

    November 22, 2022 , 4:25 pm

    This is perfect for me

  33. Chelsea Dugas

    November 23, 2022 , 1:47 pm

    So happy to hear it, Sheila! Be sure to peruse the other exercise recommendations on our blog HERE! Enjoy! 🙂

    – Chelsea @ AlgaeCal

  34. Peg

    December 6, 2022 , 11:52 am

    What exercises are good for improving my hips? That is wear my done density is the weakest at this time.

  35. Shelby AlgaeCal

    December 6, 2022 , 1:03 pm

    Hello Peg,

    Thank you for reaching out to us! Gosh, we’re sorry to hear that you have low bone density in your hips, and certainly understand wanting to implement exercises to help target this area – I’m more than happy to help!

    Peg, you might want to check out THIS page for more ideas for exercises to strengthen the hips! That said, it’s always a good idea to check in with a doctor or physical therapist to ensure that the movements are safe, as we would hate for you to injure yourself!

    – Shelby @ AlgaeCal

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,
Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Dr. Carole McArthur
MD, PhD - Professor of Immunology, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; Director of Residency Research in Pathology, Truman Medical Center.,