My Top 10 At-Home Fitness Essentials
Does the thought of getting yourself together to drive to a gym to put away your gym bag, and then go to the weight room, just to try to figure out what workout to do make you cringe? I've been out of the gym for a very long time. Only recently did I start going back because I was determined to get more visible. The only reason I strayed farther away from the gym is because several years ago I was working three jobs at one time. I couldn't bear to make one more stop along my work triangle. So, I decided to get a few pieces of equipment for my home that would help me along my fitness journey. Ten essential pieces that I deemed to be quite useful.
I didn't want to be bulky and to a body builder's or physique competitor's size, I just wanted to be the size I was when I ran track in college, have a flat stomach, maybe a few abs, have definition in my legs arms back and core, and be able to demonstrate exercises and drills to my track and field athletes. Coach can't let their student athletes out work them, right.
Another reason why I started to do more homework outs, was simply the money. Even though back then, I was working three jobs, none of them were in my field, and the majority of the money went to taking care of my home. I had to make it work. So I save myself time and money by not having a gym membership, and investing money in a few pieces of equipment that would assist me at home with the goals that I had for myself.
I want to share with you my top 10 pieces of home equipment that have help me increase my cardiovascular capacity, strengthen and tone my body, and disciplined me to performing the exercises correctly. Now that I marry my at home workouts and workouts at the gym, I have a great combination. But, if you have a gym membership that you find yourself visiting maybe once every other month, then keep reading and see how you can divorce the gym and create your own home gym for great affordable weight loss.
Number one. A stability ball. This will probably be the piece of equipment taking up space because it isn't compact. But this ball does so much that I couldn't leave it off my list. You can use this as a seat, for core work, upper, and lower body work. I suggest having this in your home essentials because even though it's a large, it's also one of the lighter pieces of equipment that you can utilize for many many exercises. Here's an exercise using a stability ball.
Number two. A body band. Not many people utilize body bands. These are usually pieces of equipment that are strictly in the gym scene, but you can still find it on Amazon. The body band is basically a huge human rubber band. This band allows you to do squats without a barbell and still have a good amount of resistance. You can also use this to do assisted pull ups. You can utilize this for stretching as well. I love this piece of equipment because I can again, use it for upper lower and for body exercises. I have a good demo of an exercise using a body band here.
Number three. A bosu ball. This may be my most favorite piece of equipment on my essentials list. Flat on one side, and a bouncy, semi-circle on the other, you can utilize this for balance, stability, mobility, and strength. You can challenge yourself in many ways with this ball. See me use a bosu ball here for a cardio exercise, and here for use in maintaining core stability.
Number four. A jump rope. The most simple piece of equipment on this list jump ropes have been around all of your life from very young, to the present, a jump rope can be your best piece of cardio equipment. One thing I love about jump ropes now, is that you can utilize them with weights in the handles. This gives you more of a challenge in your work out, they are by getting you stronger without you really even noticing it.
Number five. A yoga mat. Now, this seems simple enough, right? That's because it is. A yoga mat may not provide the ultimate level of comfort, but it helps you maintain your grip in certain stretches or exercises, and it flat out keeps you from getting dirty from the floor. You can roll it up and put it out of the way when you aren't using it.
Number seven. Kettlebells. Preferably, an adjustable one, so you can maximize space and still be able to increase weight. The one I have only goes up to 15 pounds, but I plan on getting another that goes up to 50 pounds. Kettlebells impart stability and strength, and little movements make a big difference when using them. I love that I can do big movements or small movements and still get a quality workout. Here's a big movement exercise as an example, and here's a small one.
Number eight. Lebert Equalizers. This equipment is great for a full body workout and can easily be transported. I can do flips, squats, pull ups, push ups, and even lunges with these things! Each bar weighs 2 pounds so you can use them as weighted equipment in some situations. This is probably the most versatile piece of equipment to have. See how I use them in this workout.
Number nine. SelectTech™ Dumbbells. This is the priciest piece of equipment, but they are very useful and versatile. The run around $300, but you get one set of dumbbells that range from 5-50 pounds. And you don't have random pieces all over the place. Definitely worth it, if you ask me. There are other brands out there available, but these are the ones I've been using, and until I change it up and get another set, I like them. Catch me doing some superman type exercises with them here!
Number ten. Your OWN body. This is definitely a no-brainer, but rarely do we keep in mind how much our bodies can do on their own when we just put them to use! After my Achilles injury, it was all I could depend on to get me back to a level of regular exercise. I PROMISE you, if you take care of it, it'll never let you down.
Having an at home gym is so useful and helpful when you are strapped for time in your day. And you may get to the point where your goals change, and you want to build more muscle once you've lost weight, in which case, a gym will be of more assistance to you. Go for it. While you're still trying to adjust to building in fitness to your lifestyle, I hope my top 10 list will get you along!