The 11 best pieces of at-home workout equipment, according to a personal trainer
It may be a while until you feel comfortable going to a gym again, and that’s okay. Even as cities and states slowly start to open up, there will likely be new precautions put in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This will make our normal routines look a bit different than before. But any personal trainer or fitness expert will tell you that it’s important to keep moving, even if that means shifting your workout routine to be done strictly from home.
“Trying to preserve a sense of normalcy during times like this can be very helpful for maintaining mental health,” says Amanda Tress, certified nutritionist, personal trainer, and CEO of FasterWay. “By maintaining a workout routine, you’re releasing chemicals that help you stay calm and regulate your mood. Since mental health and physical health are so closely linked, continuing to exercise ultimately contributes to your overall wellbeing.”
Whether you choose to follow an at-home workout class online, use a workout app, or simply DIY it, you can really kick up the intensity (and boost your physical health) with a few easy pieces of equipment. Tress recommends looking for items that are easy to find, affordable, and versatile—and it never hurts to find items that are easy to store, too.
“You don’t need a wide range of equipment to work out at different strength levels,” she says. Instead, focus on these items—from free weights to resistance bands—that allow you to tailor your workouts to your specific needs. Plus, investing in a few pieces of good equipment to use at home will likely cost you less than that monthly gym membership. To get the most out of those home sweat sessions, add these items to your cart.
At-home workout equipment to try:
Shop It! $29.98, Gaiam.com.
First things first: You’ll need to set up a workout space for yourself, even if that means it’s in the middle of the living room or on your bedroom floor (no shame!). Start with a non-slip, cushioned mat like this one. It’s great for yoga, Pilates, and even weight lifting. Plus, you can roll it up and store it away when you’re done.
Shop It! $15.95, Amazon.com.
Resistance bands are some of Tress’s favorite pieces of equipment because they allow you to adjust the tension based on your own strength, and they’re super space efficient, too. Try using these bands while doing your regular squats or hip bridges for an added challenge.
Shop It! $15.98, Amazon.com.
Another item Tress says you should definitely buy for your at-home workout routine is a dumbbell—or, better yet, a set of dumbbells for maximum versatility. While this lightweight, affordable set is great to use, you can invest in more heavy-duty options later if you choose to really build out your home gym.
Shop It! $19.98, Amazon.com.
Kettlebells are another great addition to your personal weight set, as the ability to swing them around your body adds a healthy dose of cardio to your workouts. Grab one or two heavy ones to start, then build out your collection over time.
Shop It! $29.99, P.volve.com.
You can easily bump up the intensity of an ab workout without the addition of any weights thanks to these genius little sliders. They use gravity to help you really engage your core muscles as you push and pull them using your feet or hands on a bare floor.
Shop It! $22.97, Amazon.com.
Target your core and lower back muscles with this handy contraption that will totally have you feeling the burn. For the best results, use your abs to roll it away from your body and back towards your belly in a swift, fluid motion.
Shop It! $39.99, Amazon.com.
If you can spare a doorframe in your home or apartment, pull-up bars are an excellent way to gain upper body strength without using any additional weights. You’ll feel it in your chest, back, shoulders, and arms.
Shop It! $39.98, Amazon.com.
Adding ankle weights to your workout is a great way to increase the strength of your glutes, quadriceps, and calf muscles due to the additional resistance they provide. These ankle weights can also be strapped onto your wrists, making them extra versatile.
Shop It! $19.98, Gaiam.com.
The different ways to use an exercise ball are endless. From adding flexibility and motion to your regular crunches to doubling as the perfect work-from-home office chair, the exercise ball is definitely a worthy investment.
10Weighted Jump Rope
Shop It! $17.99, Amazon.com.
Start your at-home workout by jumping with a weighted jump rope for a challenging warmup. It gets your heart pumping and arms scorching. Plus, you can take this item anywhere for an easy, space-saving cardio boost.
Shop It! $38, Lululemon.com.
Now that you’re committed to working out at home, it’s good to have at least one foam roller to help with muscle recovery. These are made specifically to roll out tight muscles and increase flexibility, so you can take on tomorrow’s workout feeling your best.