I have spent the better part of 19 years working out in various gyms, and I love it. I love having access to the best equipment, and the motivating social environment. But sometimes I like to do my workouts at home, or I just simply don’t have the time, or even sometimes the motivation to hit the gym. For those times, I like to have a variety of options that I can use at home.
Here is my list of 10 pieces of home-workout equipment that don’t cost much, don’t take up much space and provide a variety of good workouts to improve your fitness in the comfort of your bedroom, basement or living room.
1.) A few hand weights. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a decent little arsenal of hand weights. Check local yard sales, Craigslist or discount fitness equipment websites, or even ask your local gym if they have any weights that they may be getting rid of to upgrade. Another, though pricier option, is to get a set of Bowflex Select Tech weights. You can sometimes find these on Craigslist, as well. They are a great option for saving space, and less bulky than Power Blocks.
2.) An adjustable weight bench. Again, this can be easily found on Craigslist or yard sales, or even check Wal-Mart. If you don’t have room for a bench, that’s fine. Many exercises, such as dumbbell bench presses, can be performed from the floor.
3.) Kettle bells. There are a number of great kettle bell workouts that can easily be found on YouTube. You can get a couple in light to moderate weights, or look for adjustable options.
4.) TRX: Body weight suspension training is a killer work out, and this is a fun option because you can easily take it anywhere! Hook up to a tree in your back yard, take it to the park, anchor it to your wall or door frame…the possibilities are endless! It comes with a DVD and instructional booklet, and there are tons of videos on YouTube to get ideas on how to use it. You can get one at TRX Training
5.) Foam Roller: Self-myofascial release is basically a way to get an at-home massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice. You can also use a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, or my favorite, Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls.
6.) Thera-band:Thera-bands are super cheap and a great way to incorporate resistance training into your at-home routine, without taking up a lot of space. They come in various levels of resistance, and can usually be bought in a set like the ones here.
7.) Swiss Ball: There are a variety of exercises that can be performed with a Swiss ball. The benefit to working on a Swiss Ball is that you engage more muscles to remain balanced. I like this one because it has various exercises printed right on the ball!
8.) Exercise bands: Again, another cheap alternative to bulky weights! They come in a variety of resistance and can often be purchased in packs. I have even found them at the Dollar Store!
9.) Chin-up Bar: A decent chin-up bar will only cost you around $20 at Wal-Mart. Hook it right to your door frame to perform chin-ups, and a variety of pull ups. Great way to target the upper back and bicep muscles without needing a bulky pull-down machine.
10.) Workout DVD’s: Seriously, these were a LIFESAVER for me when my oldest was a toddler and I was working long hours and going to school and couldn’t always get to the gym. Along with my Bowflex weights, bands and chin-up bar I used programs like P90X and, my favorite, ChaLEAN Extreme. DVD’s are also a great cardio option and there are so many to choose from, depending on what your preferences are. I love all of Chalene Johnson’s workouts, like TurboFire, TurboJam, and even the cardio DVD’s included with ChaLEAN Extreme. I am not a Beachbody coach, but I do love many of their workout programs!
And there you have it! There are several other options for at home fitness equipment depending on your interests and how much space you have. The key is to find something that you enjoy doing, so it won’t just end up in a closet or collecting dust.