Just because you are exercising at home doesn’t mean your workout routines shouldn’t be tough!!
When I first started doing extreme workout routines at home, my Christmas and Birthday list were all fitness stuff. lol! It can be pricey to create a home gym, but once you have it the equipment it’s yours forever. No monthly payments like a gym, and if you don’t like it you can resell it.
Here are my favorite pieces of equipment for home workout routines.
The Perfect Dumbbells for Any Strength Workout: BoFlex SelectTech Weights
These weights come in 2 different sizes.One set goes from 5 to 52.5 pounds and the other go past 100 pounds a piece! My mom and I split the cost of our first set nearly 6 years ago, and we still use them. They have a 2-year warranty too which helped us justify the big purchase. For women, even those lifting heavy, I love the 5 to 52.5-pound weights over the larger set. The weights are easy to adjust and they go up by 2.5 to 5lbs at a time to keep you challenged. Since I’m getting married and moving out, my mom and I just bought us a new set of SelectTechs so we don’t have to fight over the first pair. lol!
Quickest Way to Increase Your Strength and Calorie Burn: Wrist Weights
Sometimes the 2.5 to 5-pound increase with the Bo Flex weights’ is too big of a weight jump. So I sometimes use 1lb wrist weights. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when it comes to smaller muscles like your triceps and even shoulders it can make a difference. I also like to wear the weighted gloves or ankle weights during a cardio workout — every extra pound helps you burn more calories!!
If you want an extra challenge to try a Weighted Vest.
A weighted vest is so versatile! I bought mine too when I was walking on the treadmill every day in college. Even 10 lbs can help you burn more calories every time you walk or run. While it helps burn more calories and works your core as you walk, it is also AMAZING for building up to a pushup! I was terrible at push ups and always skipped them because I was terrible at them. I started on my knees and did as many as I could, then I added the weight vest and did as many as I could on my knees, theeennnn one magical day I did one on my toes!! Then 12!!! (Here is a quick tutorial to a proper push up)
Best Way to Track Your Progress: Polar FT4
We also split the Polar FT4. The color and easy-to-use format sold us on this particular model. When you are working out at home to a tough exercise routine, you need to know how hard your heart is working. The FT4 gives you a max calorie burn heart rate range and will beep if you above or below it. Basically, this pretty pink monitor keeps you in a calorie-burning zone and safe throughout any of your workout routines.
You can also pause the calorie-burn if something, or someone (like Izzie!!), interrupts you.
Get the Most Accurate Weight Distribution: Lightweight Adjustable Barbell
A barbell allows you to hit new muscles in a new way. I love using a barbell for a squat in Les Mill’s Pump. You could not distribute the weight perfectly using dumbbells like you can with a barbell. The barbell is also really helpful when you are doing back exercises because your grip effects what muscles are worked.
Another Way to Maximize Your Cardio Work out at Home – Step
A step can allow you to have a greater range of motion. What the heck does that mean? It means you can burn MORE calories in every workout and also challenge your muscles more by focusing on the lower half of the move. I use my barbell and step for tricep skull crushers and chest presses! It is also a calorie scorcher when you are doing cardio workouts.
And What You Need For Your Cool Down: a good yoga mat
Yoga mats aren’t just for yogis. They are a must if you are on a hardwood or tile floor when you do core workouts at home. If you are doing ab holds or planks it helps your elbows. If you are doing crunches, it helps you from cheating by moving your feet too much. Plus, it is a nice cushion against your lower back.
Other Cool Things for Your Workout Routines
- SweatyBands to keep the hair off my face.
- Good tennis shoes!!!
- Resistance bands if you can’t afford weights yet.
- Stability ball for challenge push-ups and ab workouts
- My favorite workout supplements