Daily exercise can make a difference in your overall mental and physical health. But if the idea of going to a gym, working out, and sweating in front of strangers terrifies you, you’re not alone. A home gym can give you the opportunity to get the same effective workout you would at a regular gym. Of course, you don’t need to have a ton of money or space for a home gym. With just eight simple and affordable pieces, you can achieve the body you’ve been wanting.
Resistance bands, also known as exercise bands, are the best piece of home workout gear you can own. Typically found online or in-stores for under 10 dollars, these bands can be used to increase the effectiveness of your home workout. While the price is pretty great, the best part about resistance bands is that you can use them anywhere. The benefits of a resistance band go beyond just price and convenience. Resistance bands are great for solo workouts and spicing up previously dull exercises. If you travel frequently, you know how hard it is to find time to exercise, let alone find space in your suitcase for equipment. Fret not! These bands pack up very neatly and can fit in even the smallest carry-on. Get a full body workout even if you’re on the road. Say goodbye to your tired excuses and say hello to the new fit and excuse-free you!
Who said working out has to suck? Celebrate your inner-child and get fit at the same time. Jumping rope is a great way to burn calories and get your heart rate up. A traditionally outdoor activity, with the right space appropriated in your home or apartment, can be done indoors. Now just looking at a jump rope, you’re probably wondering how something so simple can constitute as work out equipment? You probably remember jumping rope as something you did for fun, not for exercise. Who says working out cannot be fun? Trade in that old school of thought that exercise has to be miserable turn up your favorite old school jams, and pick up a jump rope!
Yoga is not just for housewives, and yoga mats are not just for yoga. Stretching your body in the morning for 20 minutes and in the evening for 20 minutes can have a significant impact on your health. Studies have shown that stretching can improve your mood, increase your flexibility, increase muscle strength, improve energy levels, and protect from injury. A yoga mat is also a great place for you to complete other exercise moves that require floor work. Crunches, donkey kicks, leg lifts, and other floor exercises can be completed on a yoga mat.
If you know anyone who owns a foam roller, then you’ve probably asked him or her at least once to please stop talking about it. That’s how great these are. Everyone needs one. Whether you choose a targeted foam roller with rivets and spikes for a more concentrated and intense massage; or the classic smooth foam roller, you’re going to enjoy all of its amazingness. Foam rollers are great for pre, post, and in between workouts. Foam rollers have been shown to increase flexibility in joints and muscles, reduce stress, and increase circulation. Before your workout, roll targeted sections of your body along the roller to gently wake muscles up. After your workout and in between workouts you can use a foam roller to gently massage tired, achy, or sore muscles.
Stability BallRelated: 8 Simple Exercises to Burn Arm Fat Fast
A stability ball is a great, multi-purpose piece of home workout equipment. Many offices are switching out the traditional chair for a stability ball. At a desk or during a workout, a stability ball is a great alternative for both the floor and a chair. A stability ball can increase your balance by activating your core during a workout or just typing away on your keyboard. If your floor exercises on your yoga mat have become tired or dull, switch it up and take it to the ball. Crunches done on a stability ball increase the effectiveness of each crunch as you attempt to balance your body. Be sure that you are not too unstable, as this can cause injury. Plant feet hip-width apart and firmly on the ground. If your feet are not firmly on the ground, it is likely that your stability ball is too big for you. With anything in life, size truly does matter.
Dumbbells are a great way to truly bring the gym experience home without the monthly bill. Purchased in-store or online, dumbbells come in the same weight increments as the ones found in regular gyms. Including dumbbells into your home workout can be beneficial to more than just your muscles. Even with a healthy diet and vitamin supplements bone density and loss are inevitable. Studies have shown that weight training can decrease the severity and prevent early onset of osteoporosis. The best part about using dumbbells at home is that you can include them in almost any workout and can be used standing up, balancing on your stability ball, or lying down on your floor mat.
Like dumbbells, a kettlebell is a great way to build muscle and strengthen your bones. Just 15-minutes with a kettle ball can increase muscle, decrease your chances of early onset osteoporosis, and burn fat. Like resistance bands, a kettle ball is a whole body workout. Most exercise equipment is used to target certain muscle groups. However, the use of a kettle ball utilizes your entire body. This is a great piece of equipment to own for those who often find themselves to busy to commit to hour-long workouts. Effectiveness + Efficiency= productivity, which is what you’re new motto will be after buying one of these.
Suspension workout StrapsRelated: 9 Ways to Exercise and Burn Calories on a Busy Schedule
Suspension straps are great for home workouts. Similar to resistance bands in that they can be used anywhere, they can be used alone, and they are a whole body workout. If you don’t like using free weights at home, a suspension strap is a great alternative for muscle building. Using the weight of your own body, a suspension strap helps build muscle, increase balance, and improve flexibility. Do not be intimidated by the simplicity of just two straps. This piece of equipment is for any fitness level! Just make sure you have a sturdy doorframe or ceiling hold to hang these straps from, and you’re ready to go!