For daily gym-goers (like myself), bodybuilders, or people who just enjoy moving their bodies, we’re all searching for our best at-home options. The gym can be therapy for some people: It’s a judgment-free space where you’re allowed to sweat, cry, lift, or do whatever your heart desires. Mostly, it is a space where you can go to work on yourself. But, just because those doors closed doesn’t mean that me-time has to stop. While the gym can be motivating, at-home workouts can be just as effective, they just take a little extra motivation. Luckily, there are plenty of online workout classes and at-home workout equipment available to help. It’s all up to you and what works for your body. But, if you know you need equipment for an effective workout, we’ve rounded up the best at-home workout equipment for you to try your hand at.
Unlike the resistance bands catered to the booty, there are longer resistance bands that can help your entire workout. The colorful rubber bands may not look intimidating, but they’re actually a serious workout as they force your muscles to really work. The possibilities are endless with these because all of your muscles can be strengthened from different movements. You can go from performing back row exercises to shoulder presses without the weight of dumbbells, while still feeling the same effects from the resistance. The weight of the bands varies by color, but they can easily be combined for even heavier weight. My favorite part is that the rubber material can be enclosed in doors for additional workouts that would normally be done at a gym.
“You cannot do better than a kettlebell in my opinion … because -they enable you- to do ballistic movements like swings and cleans, and then, when you’re ready for it, snatches as well,” Sinkler says. She adds that studies show resistance training can also offer cardio benefits if you lift light weights quickly, which make kettlebells a good option if you want to tackle both aerobic and strength training indoors.
The first thing you should invest in for home workouts? Weights. Didio recommends dumbbells from five to 20 pounds for women, depending on your current fitness level, and pairs from eight to 30 pounds for men. Here Didio demonstrates a 15-minute full-body workout using two pairs. If you buy a range of weights, she also recommends a weight tree to keep them nicely organized.
While you may not be going to your usual yoga classes, that doesn’t mean you can’t hit the mat. Yoga mats provide a cushion for your body when working out, whether it’s yoga moves or ab workouts. Not to mention, working out with a mat can improve your stability since the mat has a grip on the surface it lives on, thus saving you from injury and creating a safe, stable workout space for you. And, mats can usually roll up and fit in a corner when you’re done so it doesn’t get in your way. You could even throw your dumbbells down the center of it when it’s rolled to save space.
Like most people, you probably ditched your jump rope on the schoolyard decades ago and never looked back. But there are many benefits to the practice that goes beyond the playground or boxing ring. You can skip rope just about anywhere, and the workouts can help improve your cardio, footwork, and overall health. And with the current coronavirus pandemic turning our homes into our gyms, a jump rope is a great piece of gear to have on hand to get in some extra cardio without taking up a ton of space or equipment.
CrossRope brings an extra heft to your jump rope workouts, with a simple clip system that allows you to switch between light (green, a quarter pound) and heavy ropes (white, half a pound). The handles are heavy-duty, too, with extra grip to help you hold on even when you’re sweaty. There’s also an app available to give you routines to do to get your sweat on. Want a challenge without busting out your phone? Try a workout switching back and forth between the ropes like a drop set.
“The Airex mat is a corrugated foam mat. It makes you feel like you’re at a fancy gym,” says Didio, who uses hers for everything from burpees to ab exercises, to planks. “To spend the extra money on a really fancy little mat is a luxury, but I love it.”
Working out is all fun and games until you wake up the next morning and your muscles are beyond sore from the work you put in. While Epsom salt baths are a great way to relieve this pain, there’s a tool made just for this: The massage gun. It’s stimulating performance is a helpful component to ensure that muscles are getting the proper love they deserve.
Hello, core! A strong core can help you in many ways, from overall balance to improving your posture. Insert The ab roller. It’s a tool that looks pretty simple, consisting of a wheel and handles with grips, but the movement can be quite challenging. Rolling the wheel while on your knees for just a few reps will leave your abs sore and, eventually, your core stronger.
If I’m being honest, there have been times that I’ve completely canceled a workout because I forgot my headphones. I know it’s absurd, but music can be the driving force of motivation to push through a tough workout. A Beyoncé song has never steered me wrong during workouts. A pair of headphones is the perfect accessory to help you zone out and focus on your workout and only that. Working from home invites many distractions, but plugging in your headphones and turning the music up loud sets the tone and for the next 30 minutes, hour, or however long you need.