Before I married my husband, who is a Personal Trainer, the thought of doing a home workout made me cringe. I had tried workout DVD’s but quickly got bored with them, and most of the time, I ended up just sitting on the couch watching them as if they were TV shows.
Maybe it was fact that the couch seemed so much more comfortable, or that I was easily distracted by the Runner’s magazine sitting on the table or by my Instagram feed, but I used to have a hard time getting in a good workout when it was just me and the TV.
So, when I got married, I not only scored an amazing husband and my very own personal trainer for life, but I also inherited all of his fitness equipment. There were ab balls, medicine balls, bosu balls and foam rollers. His gear bag was filled with resistance bands, kettle bells and this thing called a TigerTail. He had a plyometric ladder, a band with loops in it to help you stretch and something called a TRX.
For awhile, I had no clue what most of this stuff was, nor did I know how to use any of it. But it wasn’t long before my husband taught me what do to with all of this equipment and before I knew it, I was getting toned at home!
See if you can relate to the following scenario: It’s a busy day and you have every intention of going it to the gym today. In fact, you have already decided that you’ll go to the 5:30pm spin class and then do an upper body routine in the weight room. But by 5:15, you’re right in the middle of an important email and you still have a ton of things left on your To-Do list… not to mention a few errands to run and dinner to make. Plus the traffic at this time of day is insane. Needless to say, you don’t make it to the gym that day.
I don’t know about you, but that scenario seems to occur more often than not. So for those times when you just can’t make it to the gym or when that workout DVD just isn’t cutting it, here’s a few of my favorite pieces of home fitness equipment that are affordable, easy to use and will help you get in a great workout from home.
1. TRX – This is probably one of my favorite fitness contraptions ever! It is so versatile and I always get such a great workout with it. Simply anchor it to a door, a tree branch, a swing set or any number of other things and adjust the straps to do any number of body weight exercises, including modified pushups, body weight rows and tons of ab strengthening moves. It’s also super lightweight and easy to pack in a suitcase. And that means that we never have an excuse not to workout when we travel.
2. Ab Ball – Summer is right around the corner and who doesn’t want sexy abs? I know I do! Not only can you do tons of great core and back exercises with this ball, but I find that by simply sitting on it while working at my desk or while watching TV, I end up doing more sit-ups throughout the day and during commercial breaks.
3. Indoor Bike Trainer – An indoor bike trainer is a must have for anyone who is training for a triathlon. And even if you’re not, it is an awesome piece of equipment to have as it can transform any bicycle into a stationary bike! So no matter what the weather is like, you can get a great cardio workout with an indoor bike trainer.
4. Foam Roller – We all know how important stretching is to help prevent injury and reduce soreness. I don’t know about you, but there are some muscles that I just can’t seem to target with normal stretching. Enter foam roller. This dense foam roller will massage and target those hard to reach areas like your back, IT band and hips. It is also a great way to relax your body after a busy day as it helps reduce stress and tension in your muscles.
5. Tiger Tail – Like the foam roller, this isn’t exactly a piece of workout equipment per say, but boy is it amazing for massaging sore muscles, relieving knots, aches, cramping and stiffness! Simply hold both ends and slide it up and down your muscles, applying as much or as little pressure as you need. It’s portable and smaller than a foam roller, so it’s perfect to use on the go or to take along with you when you travel.
6. Yoga Mat – A yoga mat is the perfect platform on which to do your stretching, your yoga routine or just about any strength training workout. If you have hardwood floors or are doing an outdoor workout, then a yoga mat will provide just enough support and cushion. These mats are also great to use with the ab ball as because they help prevent it from sliding away. They can also help keep your hands in place when doing various yoga poses or working on your planks.
7. Bosu Ball – By using the Bosu Ball for various exercises like squats, lunges, sit ups and push ups, you will not only be strengthening your muscles, but you’ll be improving your balance and coordination as well as targeting many of your smaller muscles which will really help you tone up fast! My favorite exercise to do with the Bosu Ball is stability squats. I flip the Bosu Ball upside down and carefully stand and balance on the flat part. Then I try to do 10-15 squats. Talk about a challenge!
8. Resistance Bands – Resistance bands are an inexpensive and fun alternative to free weights and workout machines. There are countless exercises and movements that you can do to strengthen almost every muscle in your body. As you get stronger, you can increase the resistance and challenge yourself by stepping further away from band. Resistance bands are also perfect for doing combination moves like a squat/chest press or a lung/shoulder fly.
I’m sure we all can agree that life is busy! With work and school and cooking dinner and parties and errands and soccer games, sometimes, there just isn’t enough time in the day to make it to the gym. But by having a back up plan and investing in a few key items, you can get in a great workout from home AND avoid the traffic on the way to the gym!
Another great alternative to purchasing these 8 items is to invest in a treadmill! And as you can see, this site is full of useful information, reviews and tips to help you find the perfect treadmill.