6 must-have home fitness equipment essentials
Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simplest methods of movement, such as walking, jogging and body weight exercises, can be the most beneficial means of getting and staying fit, and most home fitness equipment essentials are affordable and easy to find. This is great news, as it means you can achieve an effective and well-balanced exercise regimen without emptying out your wallet.
Having access to a few pieces of home fitness equipment essentials can boost motivation and add variety and intensity to your workouts. Whether you’re thinking about creating your own home gym or just looking for some portable items to enhance your workouts on the go, fitness instructor Libby Boerger offered a list of six must-have home fitness equipment tools to get you started:
- Resistance bands: Resistance bands are bands or tubes with elastic properties that can be used for muscle strength and endurance exercises. They come in various sizes and degrees of intensity and are incredibly versatile and portable. Resistance bands can often be purchased in variety packs containing light, medium and heavy resistance. If you’re new to exercise, choose the light resistance band or look for the variety pack.
- Jump rope: When most people think of jump ropes, they think of playing with them as children. However, jump ropes can add variety and options to at-home cardio. Jump ropes are not one size fits all – matching the rope length to your height is important. A quick way to determine jump rope length is your height + 3 feet (92 cm) = rope length. When choosing a jump rope, find one that can be adjusted to your height or one that is already at the length you need.
- Dumbbells: Dumbbells are a great tool for concentrating on upper body strength and can be used to add extra intensity to lower body strength exercises such as lunges or squats. Dumbbells are sold in pairs and range in weight from 1–100 pounds or more. If you’re new to strength training, choose a pair of 3–5 pound dumbbells. If you want more variety and are willing to invest a little extra, purchase a light and a heavy set or look for a pair of adjustable dumbbells.
- Stability ball or balance trainer: A stability ball is a large, air-filled ball that can be used to challenge balance, core strength and stability. A balance trainer is an air-filled, dome-shaped half ball mounted to a hard platform that can be used in a similar way to the stability ball. When shopping for a stability ball, keep in mind that they come in different sizes. Taller individuals will need a bigger ball, while shorter individuals will need a smaller ball. Check the product packaging or do an internet search for stability ball size charts before purchasing.
- Yoga or exercise mat: A mat is essential for kneeling exercises, as it provides cushion for your joints. Using a mat will also prevent you from slipping on your hardwoods or picking up carpet lint and other debris every time you perform an exercise lying on the ground.
- Foam roller: A foam roller is a recovery tool used to massage areas of soreness or tightness either pre- or post-workout. Foam rollers come in different sizes and densities, and not all are created equal. A 24-inch foam roller is useful for your legs, but spring for the 36-inch foam roller if you plan to use it on your back. For the best results, choose a foam roller made with high density material.
In closing, when it comes to picking out home fitness equipment essentials, try to choose products that offer educational resources on proper/safe use of equipment to get the most out of your at-home workouts!
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