What Do I Choose?!
Can’t seem to make it to the gym? Work out at home! You’re already there, so you have no excuse! No idea what to purchase for your super fun home workouts? It can be overwhelming, but I’m going to try to make it easier on you with some suggestions that won’t cost you a fortune. The following suggestions will link you to Amazon. If you are on a super tight budget, then look on Craig’s List or use the app Let Go. You can usually find free weights for sale on either site. Do NOT be tempted, however, to buy the NordicTrack that has been in someone’s basement since 1984.
The first thing you will need is a mat. If you buy nothing else, this is necessary to provide cushion for your wrists, knees and back and to give you a non-slippery surface to work on. My favorite mats are by Airex. They are fairly expensive, but worth it…..no bad chemical smell, they last a long time and provide both cushion and a non-slippery surface. Their Fitline series is more affordable with a range of $45-$80. Amazon Basics makes a mat that looks similar to the Airex, but it does not hold up (tears easily) and does not provide the same traction. For $17.99, however, it’s arguably an OK choice. If you already have a yoga mat, that will work.
Second piece of equipment I’d recommend is a set of dumbbells. What weight to get should be determined by your current level of fitness. If you are just starting out, or haven’t worked out for more than 5 years, then a set of 5 lb. dumbbells should be plenty to start with. If you’ve been working out over the last year – consistently or not – 5 lbs. would be good to start with, but you will quickly need something heavier, like 8 or 10 lbs.
There are a few different finishes on free weights – vinyl, neoprene, or just the plain metal finish. Neoprene is probably the most comfortable in your hands and easy to grip. Vinyl is easy to grip. Paint/metal is the easiest to clean and usually costs a little less. Here are a few options:
Resistance bands are great because they offer varying amounts of resistance.
The farther away from the anchor point of the band, the more resistance you will feel. They are inexpensive and you can take them with you (when you travel…..because you are going to work out when you travel now, right?). I prefer the ones with foam handles over hard plastic. They cost a little more, but are much more comfortable to use. You do not need to purchase a whole system of bands. One – or possibly two – are all you need. The one shown here, is green with 10-12 pounds resistance. Perfect for beginners. The next one up is black and offers 15-20 lbs. and would be good to have for exercises utilizing bigger muscle groups. These come with a door anchor and are very versatile.
The last thing – if you are wanting more and have more money to spend – is a BOSU Trainer. You can do everything from core to cardio on these things. They do take up more room and are definitely a higher price point, but well worth it.