Listen, I love going to the gym. But let's be honest; not everyone has the time or the money for a fully equipped gym membership. As a mom, taking my daughter to the gym has become easier as she is now old enough to workout with me. But to be honest, I have at home, just what I need and do not have to pay a monthly member fee to workout in my room. Not everyone lives in a city that has a gym nearby their home. If you are single, childless and have all the time in the world, and can afford it, then go to the gym instead. It's great motivation and it gets you out of your comfort zone! I recommend it. However, I, like many, live in a small town and it is inconvenient on most days to travel 30 minutes to the nearest fully equipped gym.
For those, this article is for you!
First things first. Work with what you’ve got. “It’s a big misconception that you need fancy equipment or clothes, or have to belong to a fancy gym to get in shape and be healthy. We see these instagramers promoting top brand clothing and shoes ($60 for a pair of pants). You may feel sexy and confident in those pants, but please understand they are not necessary to meet your goals. You just need to know how to purchase only the items you need.
Here are my favorite items that I use almost daily!
1. Gliding discs
Not only do these discs ready help me work muscles in different ways, they truly bring a fun element to what could be a mundane workout on days I'm just not in the mood. When put under your hands and/or feet, gliding discs can help you slide on smooth or hard surfaces. You can get so creative with these, see my post about Gliding disc exercises. making them a great resource for easy to do lunges, great creative upper and lower body exercises. By incorporating this gliding motions into some of your favorite strength training moves—like lunges, planks and push-ups—you automatically add cardio to an otherwise stationary session. This extra movement will boost your heart rate and your calorie burn. They also improve your balance, mobility, flexibility, and functional fitness in the process. See the ones I have here. They are the most affordable for their high quality. I LOVE THEM.
2. Stability Ball
Ok, so not only is this a tool that your kids will want to play with and bounce around the house...but I is an affordable piece of equipment that you can do so many wonderful workouts with! I use it for glutes and core mostly, though it can be used for so much. Chick here for the one I use. It is thicker than most of the cheap ones that WILL pop if your kids play with them. This one comes in different colors and sizes.
3. Jump Rope
A jump rope is the easiest form of cardio you can do at home! It is also the fastest cardio at burning calories. It gets your heart rate up and works your entire body! I typically jump rope 50-100 rotations between weight sets at home. Click the picture below to see my recommendation. This one comes in any color you choose. Which, let's be honest...that's important sometimes :)
4. Ankle Weights
These wonderful things really kick my butt- literally! I recommend 5 pound weights. the 2 pound weights do not feel like anything is attached. They are perfect for doing glute, hip, and leg exercises. I do Pilates with them on sometimes (Mega burn). If you have a treadmill you can wear them while you walk or jog! So many options with these things! Click below for my recommendation.
I really do use my dumbells everyday. You can do so many workouts with them! I recommend starting with these weights for a woman: 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 pounds. The smaller weights are for beginner and for upper body workouts while the heavier ones are used for legs and glute exercises. This statement doesn't mean you can't use the heavy weight for upper body because I do!!! Dumbells are usually about $1 per pound of weight. I do like the rubber ones, it is just a preference of mine. The gripe is better than others I've tried. I have the ones I have linked below. I purchased mine from Academy Sports in person. But if you buy through amazon they are about $3 cheaper and free shipping. So if you don't have a sporting goods store with good prices nearby or are just a lazy shopper like me, here you go...
6. Resistance Bands
The beautiful thing about resistance bands is that you can take them anywhere. I have taken mine to work many times!!! Here are the ones I use. These are inexpensive but come with different resistance levels.
I also use the anchored resistance bands with the ankle straps for more workout options. These bands are the same quality as the $40 ones but save you tons. Also the straps are affordable and very comfortable. Do not purchase the single layered ones, they are uncomfortable!!! Use these instead.
Almost all resistance band come with instructions that include a ton of workouts. These are the ones I recommend. You can find these at your local Walmart as well.
7. Bench or plyometric box
Step-ups, box jumps, Split squats, or create your own HIIT style workout, alternating between strength moves and sprints up and down the "stairs.” Click here for the one I use. I use it for single leg squats so my other leg can go below the box, and for squat jumps. My daughter uses it for a step stool or a stage when she can.
8. Foam roller
I use my roller to massage my muscles, loosen back muscles, and to roll my cellulite (which help to reduce appearance). Foam rollers are designed to help break up your fascia, the fibrous connective tissue between your muscles. When this tissue becomes knotted up you feel “tight,” and it becomes difficult for your muscles to do their jobs properly. Rolling these tight spots helps increase overall flexibility and mobility, and allows your body to recover faster from tough workouts. Click here for my favorite one. I always thought they were dumb...and now I couldn't live without it. Do you want a post on ways to use a foam roller?
Not a week goes by that I don't use each of these items at least 3 times! Honestly, you don't have to waste your money on anything else to get a good workout. I added up the prices for the items I recommended and the total came to $160. That's 3 months of a gym membership and you get to keep your bought items forever, right? It's worth it. Don't waste your money on name brand stuff...Sorry for those of you that prefer it. If you can afford it, then by all means but it! But, I'm a teacher!
What is your favorite "At Home" workout item? Share with us!
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Just a girl trying not to suck at life and attempting to help other moms.
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