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It’s the middle of winter, and snuggling in front of the fire with a warm blanket is way more appealing than exercising these days… We get it! It’s hard to stay focused on your goals of keeping a healthy, fit figure, when you’re buried beneath layer after layer of clothing trying to stay warm.
But even if you live in a warmer part of the US where the winter blues don’t hit you as hard, the days of beaches and bathing suits are still likely many months away.
It would be much easier to stay motivated if you didn’t have to leave your house at all to work out because you already had some exercise equipment in your own home. Then you wouldn’t feel like you had to dress to impress in fancy exercise gear. Heck, for certain exercises like yoga, you wouldn’t even need shoes!
You can push past the snow, ice or even simple lack of drive with some easy home gym equipment essentials. And then even when the weather warms up, you can stay ahead of the game by getting stuff done in the comfort of your own home (in your PJs if you choose)! Because hey, whatever works right?!
Here are some super simple home exercise equipment basics that tone and tighten, proving that you don’t need big machines or even dumbbells to get the job done. The best part about these workout tools is they’re highly portable, so you can take them with you anywhere (like for outdoor workouts when the weather warms up).
5 Home Gym Equipment Tools Everyone Should Own
The perfect yoga mat
Everyone needs a comfy place to exercise, and with a yoga mat that place can be anywhere you choose — even right next to your bed! Many people mistakenly think that to work out at home you need an entire room or area dedicated to fitness, but you don’t. Really, you just need a comfortable place to move around without injuring yourself.
A quality yoga mat is an extremely functional spot to do your workouts because it provides your body with extra padding and cushioning, protecting your joints from injury. Many mats also conveniently roll up and come with a handle, so you can easily transport them to other locations (like to work out classes at the gym) or take them on-the-go. Moisture-resistant mats will help wick away sweat and non-slip grips will keep the mat, and you, in the same place for your entire high-energy routine.
- Thick yoga mat that’s well-cushioned
- Carry-away handle
- Non-slip grip
- Moisture-wicking technology
Keep your mat in a place that is most convenient for quick workouts. That can be near your bed, in your office, or even in your car during the summer.
A well-placed yoga ball
Another one of those “staple” pieces of home gym equipment, there is so much you can go with a good gym ball! For one, you can take your entire routine that you do on the ground and switch it to on the ball! Sitting on a stability yoga ball while you do push-ups, sit-ups, planks and pretty much anything will add a whole new element of challenge while sculpting new parts of your body. It can also greatly improve your core balance.
These balls are also extremely versatile. They can even be used as a chair in place of a normal one to help alleviate back problems by promoting proper spine alignment. They can also help improve your posture and stability.
- The right size ball for you (based on your height)
- An included hand-pump for easy re-filling
Be creative and use your gym ball in inventive ways. Use it as a chair at your desk for proper back alignment, and in your workouts to spice things up. For instance, instead of normal leg lifts, hold the ball between your legs and then do the lifts. You’ll work additional areas of your glutes, hamstrings and quads than you would with the regular lifts.
An expert ab-sculptor
I know… ab workouts kind of suck. But maybe it’s because most of them are played out. If you have to do one more crunch, you’re going to lose it, right? But with abdominal exercise equipment like core sliders, you can get beach-ready abs while enjoying yourself.
Just put the sliders under your feet and move. You can do mountain climbers, planks, knee tucks and more… they all work that inner core.
- Something lightweight for travel
- Double-sided sliders that work on rug and hard wood flooring
While sliders will effectively sculpt your mid-section, they can also tone up the rest of your body as well including your thighs, glutes, hamstrings and arms. Switch up your exercises to use the sliders under your feet and hands for the best results.
While dumb bells are heavy, and often big and bulky, you can sculpt your body just as effectively with lightweight fitness bands. These bands come in varying sizes and tension strengths so you can personalize your workouts accordingly.
Many of these kits come with hand grips so you can easily create resistance by stepping on the band and then pulling up. Some also come with ankle straps or pieces that allow you to attach the bands to any door hinge. In this way, you get the same resistance that you would if you were using the fitness bands on a workout machine, except with much less space needed.
- A kit with bands of varying tensions
- An ankle strap or door hinge attachment
Thin resistance bands with handles are the most popular type. But also consider thick, flat, circular resistance bands to switch up your workouts. They’re also great for building muscle in your arms, legs, abs and chest and provide a steady stream of tension ranging from light to heavy.
The perfect pre or post workout shake
Along with some simple home gym equipment tools you can use to shape your body, the ideal protein shake can make all the difference in your energy levels and results. Choose a diet shake with an optimal amount of protein (15-20g) and fiber (5-10g). Also, make sure it has plenty of vitamins, minerals and superfoods for added nutrients.
Have a meal replacement shake before your workout if you’re most interested in a boost of energy that helps you work your hardest. Have one after your workout for muscle recovery. The protein goes to your muscles, where it heals the “micro tears” in the tissue, repairing and assisting towards more muscle mass.
- A healthy, clean shake with well-balanced macronutrients
- A shake powder with no sugar or artificial sweeteners
Many protein shakes come in delicious, mouthwatering flavors, and you can change them up even more by making smoothie recipes. Use your favorite healthy ingredients such as nut butters, fruits, veggies and more to create shake creations you’ll look forward to each workout.