You don’t need a gym to get in a great workout. Actually you don’t even need any equipment at all – here is a list of 10 great exercises you can do anywhere!
BUT if you are going to invest in some home exercise equipment, these are the pieces to get! Some are definitely not essential but can add a lot of variety to your home routine. Also, most of the stuff you can tuck away in the closet!
- Pull up bar – If you only have a pull up bar and your own body weight, you have more than enough to get in a killer full body workout! You can do chin ups, pull ups, wide grip pull ups, towel pull ups…any variety of pull ups to work your back. You can then do a variety of push ups and plyometrics to kill the rest of your body. Pull up bars for your doorway also aren’t expensive, costing only about $30. You can also easily store them away in your closet!
- Bowflex Dumbbells – One of the best presents that I ever got for Ryan in my opinion. Weights can add intensity and variety to any workout routine. I find that they are great especially for leg workouts since body weight exercises are usually the least challenging for the legs. And dumbbells like the Bowflex ones, give you a range of weights to use (ours go up to 52lbs) without you having to purchase a trillion different pairs.
- TRX Suspension Trainer – One of the most expensive pieces on the list, but also one of the most versatile. You can hang it from a door OR even use it outside! You can get a full body workout just using the TRX system. To name just a few exercises you can do: 1 leg squats, balance lunge, inverted row, push up, back flyes, chest flyes, pike push ups, climbers, knee tucks, jackknives…
- Resistance bands – You can get these instead of weights but I recommend using them in addition to weights. Not as good for challenging the legs, resistance bands are great for the upper body because they make you work through the entire range of motion. Also, they are great if you aren’t yet able to do full pull ups. If you have a door strap, you can hook one of the bands up and do a modified pull up. These are also a great thing to have if you travel often since they are easy to take on trips!
- Foam Roller – While this can be used for making workout moves more challenging, you most definitely NEED to have one of these at home for rehab/prehab purposes. You should be foam rolling before and after every workout in my opinion. Since I have one at home, I sometimes foam roll two or three times a day if I’m super tight or sore!
- Yoga mat – Not a necessity to have, but if you plan to do any stretching, crunches or yoga, it can be very nice to have a mat instead of just using a towel. It is also nice to have one on the floor if you do plyometrics…nice for any neighbors you may have that is!
- Medballs – Again not a necessity since you can use weights for many of the moves you do with a medball. BUT these are great to use to make push ups more challenging…push ups say like the Impossible Push Up! These are also a great addition to any home exercise equipment collection especially if you are able to bounce them or throw them at walls as that opens up a whole new range of exercise options!
- Box step – It is much safer to use a box step than a chair or couch for many moves. Also, if you’ve already bought just about everything else on this list, this is one of the last few pieces you need to be able to do just about everything at home! It is a great piece to use for decline push ups, step ups, balance lunges, box jumps, box shuffle…and many other moves!
- Stability Ball – This piece is cheap, but it takes up some space. It is a great way to add in exercises that work your core even more. It is sort of one of those pieces that you add in when you need to spice up your routine or want to take on some of Tony Horton’s ridiculous push up challenges!
- Jump rope – A great piece of cardio equipment! Easy to carry and store. The only downside is you probably have to do it outside. But if you want to add some cardio intervals to your workout, definitely add in jump rope. If you want an extra challenge, do double jumps instead!
Runner’s up: Sliders and kettlebells. Sliders are the things you use to move furniture. They are great to use to make leg moves and abs moves more difficult. Kettlebells are just a fun addition to have for cleans, snatches and swings but you can simply use the Bowflex dumbbells.
As long as you skip the Shake Weight and Sketchers Shape Ups, there are some great fitness gifts out there.
One year, I got Ryan Bowflex dumbbells, which were a great idea aside from the fact that I ended up with bruises trying to get the two 52lbs dumbbells up three flights of stairs (and hide them so they would be a surprise).
Here are 10 fitness gifts that I love:
1. TRX Suspension Training
2. Pull Up bar
4. P90x DVDs
5. Personal Training Sessions
6. The Primal Blueprint
7. Bowflex Dumbbells
8. Resistance bands
9. Yoga mat
10. FOAM ROLLER!!!!!
Please just don’t get any of the products on this website!!