With the advent of workout apps, YouTube fitness channels, and online trainers and nutritionists, it’s never been so easy to workout at home. All you need to stay fit is your body, right?
But if you’re looking to turn your living room into a personal gym, we suggest investing in equipment. And no, we’re not talking about bulky, expensive items like the squat rack you see at your local fitness club. The equipment we’re talking about is made to fit within your budget and your space. Ready to kick your workouts up a notch? Here are 5 small pieces of equipment to start with, plus which types of exercises they’re good for.
#1. A YOGA MAT
Let’s begin with the basics. Sometimes, all you need is space to move, so mark your workout territory with a good-quality mat. It will give you a lot of mileage, whether you want to start practicing yoga or simply perform bodyweight exercise. Invest in a sturdy, non-slip mat that will help protect your skin and joints from hard surfaces. While planks and push-ups will never ever feel comfortable, at the very least, you’ll have cushion to plop yourself down on afterward.
GREAT FOR: Bodyweight training. Because it involves compound movements (using more than one part of your body), it’s great for building strength all over. If you’re looking to build and maintain lean muscle, don’t forget to include sit-ups, those dreaded burpees, and mountain climbers as a complement to your strength training routine. These moves also help improve coordination and mobility! Simple, yet so effective.
Dumbbells are cool and all, but have you ever tried a kettlebell? These babies are super versatile, and give you the freedom to perform a wide range of exercise. You can use them as you would your dumbbells. Or you can use them to do everything from heart-pumping kettlebell swings to core-sculpting Russian twists. If you’re looking for a good weight to start with, 8 kg is ideal for beginners. (Side note: If you tend to get sweaty hands, you may choose to wear training gloves. The Harbinger Flexfit Gloves will not only prevent kettlebells from slipping through your fingers, they’ll also protect your palms from painful calluses. Cute and practical!)
GREAT FOR: Functional training. you’ve probably heard the term being thrown around, but for simplicity, it just means building strength for the activities you do every day. This happens when your joints and muscles are trained to work as one coordinated unit. Some moves to get you started: goblet squats, swings, snatches, and rows.
#3. RESISTANCE BANDS
When some people see resistance bands, stretching and therapy immediately come to mind. Yes, they’re a rehabilitation staple, but they’re also your best bet to squeeze in strength training on the go. Resistance bands activate your muscles in the same way weights and machines do, without taking up as much space and putting too much pressure on the joints. They’re also easy to use and absolutely safe, especially if you’re just a beginner. Already established a routine? Resistance bands are a quick (and very challenging!) update to your go-to moves. Plus, They’re so affordable for what they are, which is basically, ultra-effective exercise equipment you can take with you anywhere.
GREAT FOR: A targeted toning session. Whether you want to define your arms, legs, abs, or booty, a resistance band will get it done. For this, we love the Fitique Nutrition Booty Band Loop Resistance Bands. They come in a variety of resistance levels, giving you so much workout possibilities. Loop them around your thigh or ankles, and start feeling the burn.
#4. JUMP ROPE
Ah, the classic jump rope: simple, cost-effective, and yet unbelievably powerful. Wonder why you always see elite athletes skipping away in their training montage? It’s because jumping rope is a equivalent to a full-body workout that conditions the body and burns calories like crazy (10 calories a minute? Yes, please!). Plus, it sculpts your arms, shoulder, legs, and core. Low cost, fast results, plenty of fun.
GREAT FOR: A quick and effective cardio workout. The Harbinger Power Speed Rope is far from your old playground friend. It’s designed to reduce wrist and arm fatigue, is fully adjustable, and made with non-slip grips made with molded rubber. Perfect for jumping higher, faster, and longer.
5. FOAM ROLLER
Before you get carried away with all these new workout possibilities, just remeber: your body needs to recover. You can make recovery extra-productive with a foam roller. It gets you the benefits of a massage right at home. Roll it over the sorest parts of your body and discover how the gentle micro-movements relieve tension in your muscles, allowing you to truly relax. This practice also helps improve blood and nutrient flow, movement, and range of motion. Overall, foam rolling can decrease risk of injury and speed up recovery time. Meaning: more time for training and more results.
GREAT FOR: Before and after a workout. Use it as part of a warm up to prime your body for some heavy lifting. Or use it after a workout, like an intense HIIT sesh, to help cool down and relieve tired muscles. We recommend the Triggerpoint Mobipoint Massage. It’s super compact, which means you can bring it with you anywhere, any time you need some relief.
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