Exercising at home has become the new normal. Fitness equipment ordering has skyrocketed in the last couple of weeks. Well known equipment manufacturers like Peloton and Assault Fitness are essentially sold out of their core products.
When we think about working out at home our minds go first to the stationary bikes, treadmills, and door hanging pull-up bars. In reality, we don’t NEED these things to stay fit at home. Are they helpful? Sure, but they are not the end all be all of at home fitness.
There are plenty of smaller, more affordable pieces of equipment you can have at home to enhance your exercise experience. These are our top 5 favorites.
1. Weight Vest
The weight vest has become a staple in the CrossFit realm. It’s almost as common as barbells and plyo boxes. Personally, I consider it to be the most valuable piece of equipment that I own.
A standard women’s weight vest is 14lbs, while the men’s standard is 20lbs. However, you can make your weight vest as heavy or as light as you want.
We like the weight vest because it can be used to enhance any workout that you’re doing. It also adds a new challenge to the bodyweight workouts that many of us are doing right now. You could even use it to do some Thrusters or Ground to Overhead.
2. Jump Rope
A classic jump rope can replace your stationary bike or treadmill entirely. You just have to USE it. If you belong to a CrossFit gym you have probably been encouraged to purchase your own jump rope to practice those dreadful double unders. I can tell you from experience that your coach is right. If you are not practicing double unders outside class time, you will probably never achieve them. Sorry…
A jump rope is good for more than just double under mastery. Try jumping rope for 15 minutes without stopping. It’s probably just as hard if not harder than running. Jumping rope can also improve body awareness and coordination. There is a right way and a wrong way to swing the rope.
3. Resistance Bands (Mini & Long)
Resistance bands are great for adding load to most body weight movements. They are also great replacements for dumbbells. You can use a long resistance band for movements such as curls, overhead presses, and even thrusters or front squats.
Mini bands can be used to activate small and large muscle groups. Wrap them around your ankles for some banded walks or banded bicycle sit ups. Use them on your wrists for pull aparts to activate the lats and shoulder muscles.
If you can splurge on some light weight dumbbells you can add tons of new movements to your at home workout routine. Things like Overhead Squats, dumbbell snatches, and Turkish Get-ups are compound movements that are going to challenge your entire body. Even with light weight!
Single arm dumbbell work will not only build strength, but also reinforce stability when used properly. Just owning a single dumbbell opens up many movement possibilities.
5. Yoga/Exercise Mat
A non-slip surface is necessary when you are trying to get a serious workout at home. Whether you are inside or outside, a mat is going to allow a stable, grippy surface for you to stand. It’s also going to absorb sounds (just a teeny bit)! If you’re trying not to tick off your downstairs neighbors you need to get a mat.
Exercise mats are also useful for post workout static stretching. Nothing hurts worse than trying to stretch on a hard surface. Your mat is going to give you extra padding to make stretching just a little bit more bearable.
That’s it ya’ll! Those are the 5 staple pieces of workout equipment we feel are best for at home workouts. You can do a multitude of exercises with any of these pieces. You don’t need to own all 5 either! Just 2 to 3 of them can build you a well rounded fitness routine inside your home.