These days, it’s become increasingly difficult to find any time for ourselves, let alone time for a workout. Daylight hours are limited, errand lists are long, and excuses for avoiding the gym are longer. So we don’t blame you if your current idea of exercise involves chasing after kids who are running in different directions or running between the car and the house carrying endless bags of groceries. Gotta count your steps where you can.
If you’re constantly telling yourself there’s just no time to go to the gym, let the gym come to you. With some essential fitness gear, you can turn your home into your own personal workout space and make it easy to sneak in some cardio sets in between loads of laundry. Here are our favorite pieces of home gym equipment that will help you stretch, strengthen, and sweat on your own schedule, free of crowds and weird smells (other than the ones that may already be in your home). And unlike some other workout products, you won’t have to spend thousands (mumbles desired bike brand under breath) to pedal your way into shape for Spring. #JustSayin
Foam rolling is an underrated and underutilized part of most workouts. Rolling out tight and/or sore muscles can help loosen you up during both warmup before and recovery after workouts, potentially reducing soreness. The TriggerPoint foam roller has a grid surface and a hollow core for durability. One Amazon reviewer said, “I wish I had known the ins and outs of foam rolling earlier in my life because I truly do believe it could have prolonged my ‘prime’ athleticism” and “If you’re into exercise and/or an active lifestyle but do not own a foam roller you better add to cart and check out.”
A durable yoga mat is key for turning your home into a home gym — having a soft, non-slip surface can provide extra cushioning for your downward dogs, body weight exercises, or even stretches in front of the television. The Gaiam yoga mat comes in lots of colors and prints, so you’re more likely to put it to good use rather than let it collect dust in the corner. Want the kids to join in? We love Cosmic Kids Yoga.
Resistance bands are one of the easiest and most affordable ways to instantly up-level your workout at home. This set comes with five color-coded bands of varying resistance, so you have something for days where you want some light assistance (X-Light) with your stretching as well as ones where you really want to feel the burn (X-Heavy). Best of all, resistance bands take up almost no space in your already crammed house, and they’re small enough to pack and toss in any bag if you want to transport your workout on-the-go. The set also comes with an ebook with illustrated guides.
If you’re looking for some light weights to add a little resistance to your workout, this set gives you options in the form of 3, 5, and 8 pound weights. Practice your barre isometric movements with the lighter weights or pick up a heavier pair for some regular strength training (you can also order all the way up to a pair of 15 pounders). These dumbbells have a neoprene coating so they’re easy to grip and won’t damage your floors if you have clumsy hands, and the hexagonal shape means you won’t be chasing after dumbbells that roll away halfway through a sweat session.
Remember as a kid when you used to do double dutch jump rope during recess? It turns out you were exercising without even knowing it. Jumping rope is a great form of cardio (it can burn around 540 calories per hour, though just a few minutes will get your heart pumping), and it doesn’t require any fancy, bulky equipment. The compact Survival and Cross jump rope has lightweight handles, a tangle-free cable, and is fully adjustable for various heights. You’ll be jumping, criss crossing, and double under-ing in no time.
After a long workout or just a hard day, there are few things that feel better than a little massage therapy. Enjoy some muscle relief right from your couch with a Theragun G3, a handheld percussive therapy massage device that has two speeds and four different attachments. The device has 40 pounds of force to get rid of knots and soreness, like a deep tissue massage in the comfort of your home. If the price seems steep, consider how much money you’ll save by not booking massage appointments. One Amazon reviewer said, “How often do you pay $100 or $120 for a massage or find yourself going to the Chiropractor as well. Considering that and the huge value of not having pain or much less post-workout burn–the Theragun has value behind it too.”
Yes, kettlebells may look kind of weird, but they’re great for an at home workout. Unlike dumbbells, kettlebells have an uneven distribution of weight (you hold the handle but the weight is below), which makes you work a little harder to compensate for a continually changing center of gravity. The result is that working out with a kettlebell can help strengthen your muscles as well as improve your balance. This one has a wide handle to allow you to grip it with both hands and a vinyl coated cover to protect your floors, and it comes in sizes from five to 50 pounds.
An exercise ball can help increase your flexibility and balance while stretching or working out on it. And the simple act of sitting on one can provide benefits to your posture and abs without you even realizing — by providing an unstable surface, your core is constantly activated to keep you sitting up. It has a non-slip surface and anti-burst coating, so put your fears of sliding off or popping the ball out of your head. Bonus use: It can help transport babies to dreamland, according to one Amazon shopper, who says, “Now it’s like my babies sleep kryptonite. No matter how fussy he may get, if I bounce on the ball holding him he clonks right out!”
The beauty of TRX is that it uses your own bodyweight and gravity to give you a full-body workout you can do almost anywhere. TRX can help improve your strength, balance, endurance, core stability, and more. You can make your workout harder or easier simply by adjusting where your feet are, which opens up a wide variety of workout variations for any fitness level. This TRX bundle includes a suspension trainer, indoor and outdoor anchors, a workout guide, and a bottle for your well-deserved post-workout shakes.
If you can’t get out of the house for a cardio workout, bring the cardio to you with a treadmill that has interactive personal training built in. This NordicTrack treadmill comes with a one year membership to iFit, which includes on-demand workouts you can stream on a 10” smart touchscreen. Enjoy a walk or run whenever it’s most convenient for you (plus you’ll never have to wipe off a stranger’s sweat before jumping on). Once you’re done with your workout, fold up the treadmill and store it out of the way to prevent it from becoming your family’s clothes rack.
Check out our other home and kitchen picks to help transform your house into a family friendly home.
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