This week’s Q&A session about your home workout comes from a question I received via Facebook:
Hey Susan! I am a single working mother of 2 young children and, over the years, have neglected my health and fitness. I am 25 pounds over weight but am ready to make a lifestyle change. I have been searching for a home workout that would best suit me and I find that your fitness philosophy really speaks to me.
My question is, what equipment do I need to purchase to take full advantage of your home workouts?
Thanks for your help!
This is a great question – one whose answer is many often wrongly perceived.
Many people I have consulted who are looking to lose weight and increase their fitness by doing a home workout think that they have to have those expensive and bulky pieces of equipment that take up a ton of room in their home.
That, my friends, is false.
You CAN purchase a treadmill, a stationary bike, a Bowflex, or Olympic weight set and racks. But those things are rarely the best for losing weight and increasing your fitness. But they are expensive, take up a ton of room in your home, and will most likely double as a clothes rack within a few short weeks.
The good news is that there are smaller and less expensive pieces of equipment that are awesome for any kind of home workout.
In fact, if you are penny pinching these days (and who isn’t) you can get away without buying any equipment at all.
By simply doing bodyweight exercises and bodyweight cardio will provide you an awesome home workout, especially if you are a beginner or haven’t been doing a lot of strength training with weights.
Best Home Workout Equipment & Gadgets
There are literally dozens and dozens of tools you could for a home workout to increase your fitness and lose weight. I will try to offer you a comprehensive list here so you have no excuses not to take advantage.
1. Your own bodyweight
This is especially great for beginners and as warm ups for more advanced home workouts.
No light weights, ladies. Play with the big boys and use a weight you can lift only about 8 times.
LOVE them! Functional and great for cardio intervals and strength building. Just don’t drop one on your head.
4. Stability ball
Outstanding for core work, balance training, and making all bodyweight exercises even more challenging.
5. TRX suspension system
This is the advanced version of bodyweight training and allows you to take a home workout outside to the playground. It’s an awesome total body accessory in your home gym.
6. Resistance bands
Allows you to work your back and shoulders when bodyweight training fails you. They also travel very well.
Non-impact cardio. I used this to help me lose 20 pounds when I suffered a severe running injury in 2007.
8. Jump rope
Awesome cario workout you can even use for interval training. Jump ropes come in a variety of weights and also travels well.
9. Battling ropes
It’s sort of like a jump rope for your arms. Great for using your upper body to do cardio intervals.
10. Gymboss GB2010 Black Softcoat Interval Timer
Awesome for timing entire workouts of strength training, interval training, or anything you need a stopwatch for. Beeps at you at the end of every interval so you don’t have to stop exercising to look at your watch. A total MUST HAVE. I personally use mine 5 days per week and it is extremely affordable.
11. Medicine balls
Good for slamming on the ground, throwing across the yard, or tossing back and forth with a workout partner.
12. Foam roller
This is necessary for anyone who wants to be able to walk upright when they’re 70. Simply roll over your muscles for self myofacial release.
This is a high tech pedometer that I wear 24 hours per day. It’s so advanced that it even automatically syncs up with my computer so I always keep an accurate log of how many steps I walk each day, in addition to stairs climbed, distance travelled, sleep quality, and food consumption.
14. Chin up bar
Even if you aren’t yet able to pull yourself up a chin up bar is a great piece of equipment to have for your home workout.
And the list goes on and on, but this will get you started.
Home Workout Approach
Now obviously, you can buy all of these items, just one or two, or simply just use your own bodyweight to get you started.
I recommend starting off with just your bodyweight, doing bodyweight exercises and interval training for your home workout.
As you get stronger, maybe about 1 month of working out this way 3-4 times per week, you can start to incorporate a new piece of equipment or two into your routine.
Aim for 1 new gadget or gizmo each month for variety. Just make sure you take the time to master each one and utilize it appropriately in your home workout.
The good news is that most of this stuff can be tucked away under the bed or stored in a closet out of your way when you are not using them. Of course, if you’re hardcore like me you just leave everything smattered all over your office floor where you workout.
Hmmmm….probably not the best idea. But it works for me. I find that having to look at all my home workout equipment, vs sticking them in the closet, keeps the fact that I have to workout right at the front of my mind since I can’t walk in the office without stepping over a kettlebell or kicking my stability ball.
In fact, in the home workout program I designed, I incorporate bodyweight exercises with dumbbells, stability balls, foam rollers, with a dash of kettlebells along the way. I have you progress very nicely from beginner to more advanced.
That’s how much I love these pieces of equipment for your home workout. I believe in them because they work – and I use them myself.