Maybe you’re trying to save some money by cancelling your gym membership, or too lazy to get to the gym (me, most days), or there’s a pandemic going on in the world that is keeping you house-bound, having a few pieces of gym equipment around your home is never a bad idea.
You DO NOT NEED to buy a Bowflex, ab-twister, or other machine that will likely collect dust or dry your laundry. I’ve got a few favourites, listed below, with links to Amazon so you can still get them while self-isolating (and if you’re a Prime member, you’ll have them tomorrow).
*Note — this is not a sponsored post (although if Amazon wanted to give me some money, that would be ok).
Things you can use around your house
I’m not here to tell you to use bags of flour as weights. I think that’s silly. Have you ever picked up a bag of flour and not come away looking like you’re covered in coke? Maybe a bag of rice would work, but still.
This section is really only for two things:
Chair: tricep dips, box jumps (depending on sturdiness)
Towel: in lieu of a yoga mat or sliding disks (which you’ll learn more about below)
Worthwhile investment pieces
yoga mat — you can get a cheaper one than this, but I’m on board with eco-friendly at the moment. A yoga mat is not the most necessary piece (see towel above), but it’s definitely a luxury in your at-home gym. If you’ve got hardwood floors, the mat will help you with grip and if you’ve got carpet, it will still help with grip and keep your Lulus from getting linty on the floor.
light weights — I’d recommend 5lbs. You can use both in one hand for single grip moves (tricep overhead extensions or skull crushers, single-arm row, sit ups) or have one in each hand for more challenging moves (front raise, lateral raise).
tension bands — I. Love. Tension bands. They are lightweight, good replacements for dumbbells, and easy to pack and take on trips. You can find whole workouts online for tension bands (just Google it).
booty bands — all the same advantages of a tension bands, more focus directed on the booty. You can def be creative and use these for some shoulder and chest work as well.
sliding disks — to get more creative with your lunges, to be under tension for longer, to do fancy push ups and mountain climbers. They usually have a side to be used on carpet and a side to be used on hardwood. I don’t feel like the hardwood-floor side actually works that well and you should use them on a towel (see above). These are also great for travel.
skipping rope — this is my favourite piece. You don’t need anything fancy or weighted or with crazy handles. Great for travel, great for cardio at home.
*Another note — the Dollar Store, Winners, and second-hand stores are also great places to get discount equipment.
Start with the small pieces, and if your at-home practice is really working for you, consider these:
Cardio: Being that we live in Canada where running or cycling outside for more than half the year is unreasonable, I can make a case for a treadmill or a stationary bike. But make sure you’re going to use it. Build the habit before you invest (by running outside or at a gym) and do your homework. Find something durable and basic. You don’t need the fanciest treadmill or bike unless it is going to be your main workout.
Dumbbells or kettlebells: getting a more full set. I recommend 8lbs, 12lbs, 15lbs, and 20lbs. I’d go to Walmart for this (and they deliver).
For free apps, I like GymNext Flex Timer.
For paid, I’ve been using the Tabata Pro – Tabata Timer, but it looks like you can use it online for free here.
Spotify, all the way. Start with the free account, but you might find it worthwhile to get the paid. No ads, more specific searches, total control over your playlists — only $9.99 per month.