While fitness classes and gyms full of treadmills, ellipticals, nautilus machines, weights, and recumbent bikes certainly have their place, sometimes it’s just not feasible to workout at a gym.
Perhaps you don’t live near a fitness center? Or, maybe your work schedule doesn’t match the hours that your local gym is open?
Maybe circumstances, like those we’ve seen this year with Covid, have forced you to look for at-home workout options? Or, maybe you’d just prefer to workout at home anyways?
No matter the reason, be it necessity or preference, if you’re going to workout at home, there are a few pieces of equipment that will enhance your at-home fitness endeavors.
1- Free Weights
Most resistance exercises include the use of free weights, also called dumbbells.
From weighted squats, to tricep extensions to bicep curls, chest presses, and on and on, free weights can help build muscle, and they don’t take up a ton of space in your home either.
Free weights are generally sold in pairs of dumbbells of differing weights: for instance, 5 lb weights, 10 lb weights, 15 lb weights etc.
Or, some folks prefer an adjustable weight set, which includes varying weighted plates and an adjusting mechanism allowing the user to switch weights quickly. These generally allow for a range of 5-50 lbs.
While other options are available for resistance exercises, some folks simply prefer free weights.
2- Resistance Bands
Another option for use during resistance exercises, but in a more space friendly package, are resistance bands.
Some would even say that the benefits of these bands ‘outweigh’ free weights. (no pun intended…okay, maybe it’s a little punny)
As opposed to free weights, resistance bands allow you to feel tension throughout the entire range of motion during each specific exercise. And, they are associated with fewer injuries and muscle strains than free weights.
Resistance bands are easy to travel with, take up very little space, and just a few bands can replace an entire set of dumbbells, while still allowing you just as much success (some say more) in achieving your fitness/muscle building goals.
Kettlebells are also a great addition to any home gym, offering both strength and endurance building capabilities.
Kettlebells boast the benefit of improving stability, balance, and coordination with their use.
They can be used for full body workouts, boost fat burning effects, cardiovascular fitness improvements, and can tone muscle.
4- Yoga Mat
While yoga offers some powerful fitness benefits like increased flexibility and strength and improvements in energy and overall athletic performance, you don’t have to do yoga to benefit from a yoga mat. (Though, obviously a yoga mat would be a needed addition for activities like at-home yoga or pilates.)
Many yoga mats are very affordable, and they make a great addition to at home workouts, especially if you are doing stretching or body weight strength training exercises.
Many find they are of great benefit for exercises where you find yourself on the floor on your knees or elbows or even for on-the-floor core exercises.
5- BOSU Balance Trainer
BOSU stands for bionic oscillatory stabilization unit. Some call it the blue half ball (though they come in other colors too) because of its generally blue color and the fact that it looks like a ball that’s been cut in half.
BOSU balls aid in improving strength, stability, and balance.
A variety of full body exercises can be done with and enhanced by a bosu ball.
6- Ab Roller
Another small, space saving, piece of equipment that can enhance your at-home workouts is an ab roller.
This piece looks simple, like a wheel with grips on each side, but it can provide a powerful workout for your core, lats, and triceps.
A strong core, especially, can provide many benefits from low back stabilization, to enhanced flexibility and balance, and even improved running speed.
7- Core/Exercise Sliders
These simply constructed discs are sometimes referred to as core sliders, sometimes as exercise sliders, and sometimes as gliding discs. Either way, you can get a powerful workout in with the aid of these simple tools.
Exercising while using these discs can amp up your intensity without causing strain on your joints. And, they can be used to target most all muscle groups.
The fact that they are inexpensive, small, and easily tucked away after a grueling workout make them a great addition to your home exercise equipment.
8- Pull Up, Chin Up Bar
Doorway pull-up/chin-up bars are great for at home workouts as they don’t take up much space, can fit in multiple sized doorways, and are usually inexpensive.
Primarily used for both maintaining and building upper body strength, they can target muscles in your back, chest, arms, and shoulders.
You can even use them in combination with resistance bands for assisted pull ups, or turn them over and use them on the ground for push ups and sit ups.
9- Jump Rope
Taking up practically no space at all (both the jump rope and the space needed to use it) and very easy to travel with, a jump rope can provide a powerful cardio boost to your at home workouts.
Far less expensive than a treadmill or recumbent bike, a jump rope (speed jump rope) can provide an effective alternative for those that have no desire to go for a run or a bike ride.
You can even find jump ropes that are adjustable to fit individuals of most any height.
10- TRX Suspension Training System
TRX stands for total resistance exercises. This suspension system includes training straps and anchors and is most often used over a door when incorporating at home.
The system uses your own body weight and gravity as the modes of resistance to bring a full body workout.
It can be used as a total body workout for burning fat, building strength, and improving flexibility, endurance, and balance.
And, we’ve only scratched the surface on the many options that are available as tools to enhance your at home workouts.
Everything listed above accommodates both space and wallet while being highly effective when used properly.
Of course, larger machines like treadmills, recumbent bikes, rowing machines, total body equipment systems, and others can be used as well for an effective workout even within the privacy and confines of your own home.
And if you’re looking for a super-efficient fat-burning follow along workout using the above equipment, check out the 3X Method I created that helped me lose over 100 lbs.
Using just 3 movements, for 3 minutes each, you can burn more fat than hours of cardio.