When you first start working out at home it’s hard to know exactly what equipment you need to get started. From Bosu Balls to pull up bars, the internet is overflowing with workout gear. But, do you REALLY need it all? The answer is NO.
Adding just a few key pieces of equipment to your home workout arsenal will help you maximize your workouts. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend a pretty penny doing it! We’ve got the life hacks you need to get your home gym looking fabulous without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re flowing through a yoga class or need a little cushion while you workout on a hard surface, yoga mats are the perfect accessory for every home gym. Not only are they versatile, but yoga mats are great for keeping your hands and feet in place even when you work up a sweat.
If you’re not sure which mat is best for you, start by asking yourself a few basic questions. If you tend to work up a serious sweat during workouts you might want to buy a non-slip mat or maybe a light towel to keep your hands in place while you flow. Need a mat that won’t break the bank? Your local Target or TJ Maxx are great alternatives!
These are brilliant and can actually provide much more resistance than you might have imagined. Use these puppies to increase mobility and warm up before a workout. You can also use resistance bands to take your workouts up a notch. Not to mention they are also great “prehab” tools to prevent injury by strengthening the tiny muscles that keep your limbs feeling strong and stable.
Not ready to invest? No worries! You can also make DIY resistance bands with a pair of tights. If you have a pair of tights that have too many holes to wear (don’t we all!), recycle those into a homemade resistance band by double knotting the tights at the feet. Double loop the tights for increased resistance during your workout.
From yoga to high intensity training, an exercise or “stability” ball is great for getting the most out of your workouts. Not to mention it doubles as a core-strengthening office chair replacement! The instability of the ball forces you to use your muscles to balance while also toning the targeted muscles for that exercise. It’s a 2 for 1!
When selecting the right sized exercise ball for you, always compare the diameter of the ball with your height:
4’11” to 5’4″ height: 55cm ball
5’4″ to 5’11” height: 65cm ball
5’11” to 6′ 7″ height: 75cm ball
You can use your exercise ball as a weight bench replacement for pec flies and tricep exercises. This will take all of your workouts to the next level by turning upper-body moves into full-body exercises.
You can add light dumbbells into almost any routine as a way of “beefing up” regular exercises. From jumping jacks to Warrior II’s, dumbbells are great for adding that extra kick to your workout. When deciding between weights, always be sure to listen to your body during the workout. If your form starts to suffer, take it down a weight and remember FORM > INTENSITY LEVEL.
A great way to create your own dumbbells is to fill an empty gallon of milk with water. You can also grab a few old textbooks, canned goods or fill an old basketball with sand (don’t forget to tape the hole shut).
Now that you’ve read our recommendations, we want to know: Which workout prop do you swear by?