Home BEAUTY BODY Best at-home workouts for a limited space

Best at-home workouts for a limited space


Scott Dickens is a two-time Olympic swimmer and Director of Strategic Partnerships at FORM

Scott Dickens

As a swimmer, I’m used to having an entire stretch of pool for my workouts. So naturally, one of the biggest challenges for me during self-isolation has been to adjust my workout routine to not only be completely land-based, but also fit into a much smaller amount of space. 

At FORM, we make wearable technology for swimming, more specifically smart goggles that display metrics in real-time while you swim. So suffice it to say, we are all about working out with intention. The same intention can be applied to exercising in a small space. It’s definitely doable, you just need to find exercises that can cram high impact into low square footage. 

Luckily, I’ve found a few exercises that allow me to fit a big workout into a small space.


  • The focus of Tabata is 20 seconds of all-out exercise, and 10 seconds rest. Choose exercises like squats, jumps, push ups, assisted push ups, speed skaters, burpees, lunges, split squats, dips, skipping, jumping jacks, etc. Choose between 4 – 8 exercises. Do 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off – 8 rounds (4 min total)

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training 

  • HIIT workouts can be done a number of ways. A favourite of mine is selecting 6 exercises and doing 5 rounds. For example, push-up, squats, burpees, core, shoulder press, curls. Do each exercise once, back to back, and then do that 5 rounds through for 30 minutes. For a longer workout, you can increase the total number of exercises or do the workout again with 6 new exercises.
  • Do 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off or 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off – 5 rounds

Deck of Cards workout

  • Each suit (spaces, clubs, hearts, diamonds) represents a different exercise, and each suit is 85 reps. Either go non-stop, or take 10-15 seconds rest after each card when needed. Choose four exercises to perform, or do two exercises per suit and divide by odd/even. Eg:
    • Squats, Pushups, Core, Split Jumps
    • Squats, dips, push ups, core

A few favourite core workouts of mine include:

  • Mountain climbers
  • Plank Variations
  • Russian Twists
  • Reverse Crunch
  • Side Plank
  • Dead Bug
  • Obliques
  • Standard crunch
  • Standard crunch legs out
  • Explosive in and outs
  • V sits
  • Alternating V-Sits
  • Leg lifts
  • Hip Plank – hips up, feet on ground, alternating legs out
  • Standing up exercises
  • Bicycle

Body Weight Leg and Arm Workouts

Depending on ability, do 3-5 rounds of 10-20 reps. Or pick 4 and do 50 of each. You can add weight to your workout by holding heavy objects like water jugs, or fill a backpack with heavy objects.

For legs:

  • Burpees
  • Jump squats
  • Jump lunges
  • Lunges
    • Back, front, side
  • Explosive Jumping jacks keeping core tight
  • Squats
  • Split Squats
  • Single leg squats
  • Wall Sits
  • Walking lunges
  • Broad Jump
  • Side to side speed skaters

For arms:

  • Push up
  • Push ups diamond
  • Push ups feet up
  • Push ups wide stance
  • Push ups narrow tricep
  • Push ups split stance
  • Dips on a bench, chair, stairs
  • Shoulder press – water jug, fill a backpack
  • Curls – water jug, fill a backpack
  • Rows – water jug, fill a backpack
  • Up-right rows – water jug, fill a backpack
  • Shoulder Raises – cans of soup, 5-10lb object
  • Chinups – if have you have the ability with home set up
  • Lateral raise – cans of soup, 5-10lb object
  • Bent over back flys- use objects of light weight to 5-10lb


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