Okay, for awhile there, gone were the days of working out in gyms, classes, and studios (Thanks quarantine)! Many areas are starting to allow gyms to open up, but I know a lot of people are experiencing anxiety over going back, and even as a personal trainer, I too, feel a little anxious over it. So in this post, I’ll be sharing the best home gym equipment!
Why you should invest in home gym equipment:
Quarantine has personally made me fall back in love with home workouts and I almost feel as though I’ve seen more gains over the past few months, than when I worked out at the gym consistently. I know at the start of the pandemic, people were going crazy over purchasing all of the home exercise equipment, to the point that you literally couldn’t find a set of dumbbells at any stores and forget even looking at Amazon. Totally understandable, but also not totally doable for everyone. And let’s be real – it can get REALLLLL expensive and frankly, a little unnecessary. You don’t have to have all the fancy equipment to get a good pump in, regardless of what your goals are!
I have always had the typical light-weight dumbbells at home and got on just fine with them. They did their job. However, over the last few months, I’ve programmed some of the best workouts i’ve ever done, utilizing a few pieces of at-home equipment I have been able to get my hands on over the past few months. The best part? They are AFFORDABLE, don’t take up much space, and so versatile. You don’t need a $1,000 squat rack or $500 set of dumbbells to get the job done!
Below I have linked some of the best home gym equipment and why I think they’re worth having in your exercise arsenal.
1. Jump rope
Jumping rope is SO under-rated. Before quarantine, I couldn’t tell you the last time I jumped rope, but let me tell you, there is a reason why athletes, boxers, and trainers alike, all utilize them in their training programs. Some of the benefits include (but are not limited to):
- They are portable (You can take it anywhere!)
- Improves Coordination.
- It’s FUN.
- Torches Calories.
- Reduces risk of injuring ankles.
- Improves Bone Density.
- Boosts cardiovascular (heart) health.
- Improves Breathing Efficiency.
Not only that, but they are incredibly affordable. I found a high-quality jumprope at Burlington the other day for $4 and the options on amazon are endless! Stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls are all great to take a peak at as well! You don’t need anything fancy, just a basic rope! Here is one on Amazon for $6, but like I said, you could totally find cheaper! I also have this one and it’s great!
Another incredibly affordable and versatile tool to have! The great thing about sliders, is you don’t even really need them.. have paper plates? That works! Have towels and hardwood floors? That works! You definitely don’t need to purchase them, if you can utilize what you already have around your home! But I highly recommend adding slider moves into your routines to keep things fun and fresh and they are great for working multiple muscle groups at the same time. They take basic moves up a notch. Doing mountain climbers? Add sliders – this adds constant core engagement, working your body even harder. I also love that they are small and flat, making them easy to travel with and bust out at hotels for if and when I want to move my body!
Here is the set I have.
Ahhh, the beloved kettlebell – something that I found so intimidating before I began working as a trainer. At the first gym I worked at, kettlebells were the weapon of choice and after months of training clients with them, I know why – because THEY WORK, so naturally they had to be included in my list of best home gym equipment.
Honestly, kettlebells are an incredible thing to have at home as they are SO versatile and can be an amazing boost to moves you may even already do. They are great because they allow you to Increase your strength, build up speed, and increase your endurance levels, all at the same time! They are also amazing for:
- Improving cardio levels.
- Improving grip strength.
- Bridging the gap between strength training & cardio – killing two birds with one stone!
They can also take the place of dumbbells, so they are a win-win. I recommend going for a heavier one (at least 15-20lbs) if you’re planning on getting just one! I will link a somewhat inexpensive but high quality one here! But they are definitely something I think is 100% worth the investment!
4. Aerorbic Step
Another tool that is great, but could easily be substituted for anything you have around the house. A chair is a great option (although a bit higher than a step). I am not kidding when I say, I have some of the best workouts when I incorporate my step. You can absolutely kill your entire body (but it hurts so good) – especially for burning out those muscle groups you may have trouble targeting. They can easily make any move more challenging – doing a sumo squat? How about a one leg elevated sumo squat? Talk about inner thigh burner. You can get a killer aerobic workout on them as well.
I would definitely keep an eye on what size you are buying, because some are teeny and may not be worth purchasing. I have an adjustable one, that builds up, so I can make it shorter/taller as needed. This is the one I have!
5. Booty Bands/Resistant Bands
We couldn’t close out the list without including the ever-so-loved BOOTY BAND. These are killer. I can go hard, working out my glutes, but they never get quite as good of a pump as when I incorporate my band (and they are great for glute-activation which is important for getting your glute muscles fired up and ready to be worked!) But that’s not it, they’re great for activating your hips, hamstrings, quads, and core as well! They also:
- Help improve join mobility
- Provide muscle-building tension (HELLO GAINSSSS & just a point that you don’t NEED weight to gain muscle)
- They’re small and easy to take anywhere.
- They are great for stretching/rehabilitation
Body-weight, resistant, exercises increase muscle/bone development
These are the ones I have and they are AMAZING quality. I usually only use the pink one (it’s tough, guys!) so if you don’t want to purchase the set, you could always try and find a single band! I would just read reviews to make sure they offer enough tension – It should be a challenge!
some more of the best home gym equipment:
Sandbell Sandbag – These are something that I absolutely love and don’t want to go without, but they aren’t necessarily necessary. Why I love them – they make you have to work to control the constantly-shifting center of mass (weight). This is amazing for building strength, stability, and endurance. They are great for slams, increasing your cardio, and improving overall core strength! You could probably find even cheaper ones with a little search!
TRX System – A little bit of an investment, but SO worth it. Great for traveling as it packs up tight and you can get full-body, killer workouts (and cardio!) I received some TRX straps for Christmas years ago and to this day, they are still one of my most used pieces of equipment. Definitely worth the investment, in my opinion! The possibilities are endless, so of course I had to include them in the best home gym equipment round-up!
Doorway pull-up bar – I used to think these were for “bro’s” but they are GREAT for ab work (especially those lower abs!)! I saw a huge change in my muscle definition by incorporating leg lifts into my routine. And obviously, they are great for improving upper body strength! I like to do a couple pull ups and chin ups daily and try and challenge myself each week, to do more. There is actually a lot you can do with these! This is another piece that you could probably find at a Marshalls or Tj Maxx for pretty cheap, too!
Yoga Mat & Foam Roller – You may be like, what? Duh. But really – recovery is often over-looked and underrated but should be a part of everyones exercise program. Not only that, but you can use your yoga mat for your workouts as well (any movements done on the floor, on your belly or back) as it offers more comfort! A good foam roller is also something I recommend to all clients as it’s a crucial part of muscle development and recovery.
If you have any at-home workout equipment you can’t live without, leave them in the comments below! I would love to check them out! XO.