With all of this time at home, I’ve been noticing tons of people being active outside. Since I live on a popular running route and my office faces the street, I definitely know who the regular runners are and it’s fun to see so many new faces out there! It seems like America might be becoming healthier in some aspects due to the pandemic. Silver linings. And I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but the phrase “at home fitness equipment” has jumped up in Google rankings by a whopping 80%. I thought that since so many people are looking that up, I would round up some things that I love having at home for working out.
This list is obviously not comprehensive, but it includes 10 things that won’t break the bank and will elevate your workout experience since we can’t use gyms right now. Tommy and I bought ourselves a Peloton this past January and have LOVED it, but that was a huge purchase that took considerable thought. While buying a piece of equipment like that was great for us, it very well may not be for you. You can get a fantastic workout in without a treadmill or Peloton, just by using your floor and a yoga mat (or carpet for that matter!) I do, however, recommend using the Peloton digital app since it’s free for 90 days and they have tons of classes beyond cycling. (You can read more about those here.)
Resistance bands are some of the cheapest (and most effective) things you can buy for your workout routine. If you google “resistance bands workouts” you’ll find TONS of exercises you can do with them. I love doing squatted band walks with them to strengthen my glutes. Here’s a great video to start with. I also use these for a lot of physical therapy exercises as I’ve been rehabbing my ankle after I tore a tendon and to strengthen my glutes since I have chronic SI joint issues.
Dumbbells are a great place to start when trying to make working out at home a habit. You can (usually) buy them pretty much anywhere that sells workout equipment and you can get them in plenty of different weights. They are currently are sold out in a lot of stores, but I found some here!) If you are wanting to tone your arms and do lots of reps, grab a lighter set around 5 lbs or lighter. Or if you want to lift more weight, start with 10 lbs and work your way up. We have 3 pound weights that we got with our Peloton, and I’m always surprised at how the arm sections burn my muscles out even with just 3 lbs. I also have 8 pound dumbbells. It works well to hold two dumbbells in one hand to get even more weight for upper body moves.
Pro-Tip: If you aren’t sure you want to buy a set of weights, start by using water bottles or 2 cans of veggies. These don’t weigh much but work perfectly if you’re in a pinch!
I found the coolest thing when I was searching for a Kettlebell to link for this post. This kettle grip locks around any dumbbell weight that you have to give you a kettlebell at home. It’s such a good piece to add to your gym without buying an actual kettlebell since those can get very pricey. This grip weighs less than 1 lb and can hold weight up to 55lbs. If you want to do kettlebell workouts and already have dumbbells, this is your next best friend.
An exercise ball is a jack of all trades. You can use it for your seat in an office (helps with posture!) or to work your abs, stability, and hamstrings. If you only want to buy one thing to elevate your workouts, this would be my pick. It’s super versatile. This is another piece of equipment that has a million workout videos. Hop on Youtube and search workouts with exercise ball and you’ll be set. My favorite are hamstring curls with a glute bridge = watch this video for instructions! You will be shocked by how hard this is – ha!
This is another weight that you can use easily at home. A medicine ball is a weighted ball that is perfect for ab workouts and partner workouts. If you are working out in a garage or outside and can slam it on the ground, that’s another great exercise to do with it.
If you don’t have a yoga mat already, it’s a great thing to purchase. I don’t like using the mats a yoga studios (when I was actually going to yoga studios!) anyway, since I’m never confident that they are sanitized well. (Yes, I’m a bit of a germaphobe.) I’m all about making sure my stuff is clean (hello pandemic!) and having my own is great way to make sure that’s happening. Plus, it’s a good way to give yourself a “gym” to workout on – it designates a workout space and mentally, that helps me. It also helps pad your knees if you’re doing any floor workouts. My favorite is by Lululemon since my hands don’t slip on it, a common issue I ran into with cheaper yoga mats. It’s not the cheapest you’ll find, but great quality and since I’ve used mine forever, it’s worth it to me. I’ve had mine for over 8 years.
TRX Suspension Trainer
If you’ve never used a TRX trainer, prepare to be SWEATY. They look like they wouldn’t be too hard since they only use body weight, but wowza they make you work. I recently learned that you can anchor them to doors or rafters to use in your home. You can take whole classes just using this TRX band. This is on my at-home gym wishlist!
Core Sliders are a super simple piece of equipment that make your at home workouts harder. Fun fact: you can use plastic plates as well! I recommend using these on carpet for the best results. You’ll find that these little things make your legs feel like noodles after a hard workout.
A jump rope is great way to do some different cardio! Work on double unders for extra cardio!
Wrist or Ankle Weights
If you like to do Pilates, ankle weights are a great way to add some more difficulty. These come in cute colors and are easy to wear. Again, these work well for my PT exercises!
Half Ball Balance Trainer
If you’ve ever used a Bosu Ball, this is the same thing! This balance trainer comes with a resistance band to use with it. I recommend these for lunges, squats, pushups (flip it over for this) and tons of other exercises.
I hope that these at home workout equipment recommendations are helpful for making your at-home workouts successful. Staying home is SO important right now, and until we are back to our gyms and workout classes, let’s make our most valiant effort to be productive with our time at home. Maybe your spouse will even join you for a partner workout!