Finding which in-home equipment is right for you

Exercising in-home options are endless. There really isn’t anything that can’t be recreated from the gym into your home. Sure, it might be different equipment but there is no body part that will be missed because you weren’t at the gym. Every item listed can be purchased via Amazon; however, we will help you save some money when appropriate.

Let’s cover the basics.

Bands

A resistance band offers continual resistance in both directions with is optimal for rehabilitation and time under tension for strength exercises. You can get just about anything done with set of bands.

We recommend “Body-Lastics” purchasable from Amazon. This set up resistance varies from 3lb resistance all the way up to 144 lbs. of resistance with only 5 bands. This is because they are clickable and can be merged together at any capacity to created different challenges and load. This set also comes with the door attachment, 2 handles, 2 ankle straps and if desired an outdoor attachment which can be used on a park bench or tree and avoid snag to the resistance bands. Our favorite part about these bands is the carabiner fastening which is the safest option of quality bands on the market to prevent bands snapping or popping. Do not try to save a buck on bands by buying used. Commonly bands are left in areas or varying climate which will diminish the integrity of the band. Also, any bands that are old or left unused for a decent period of time makes for more likelihood of the band snapping, resulting in annoyance or potential injury for the user and those around you. The set we mention here cost starts at $40. Bands, however, can range from $10 each to $100 per set.

Free Weights

Free weights are a preference for traditional exercises. Free weights have a different quality of transference as they relate more into an exercise of everyday life lifting; the resistance is only present when established against gravity. This is why proper training with free weights is crucial. The exercise and muscle engaged can change completely with the slightest angle change to resistance or to the lever from which the resistance is engaged. Depending on your level of training would change which sets of weights to buy. Most women do well with a set of 5 and set of 8lb dumbbells. 2-3lbs are great for working areas which have experienced a previous injury and are known to have extreme weakness or fast fatigue. 10-15lb dumbbells are great for slightly more advanced females and beginners for men. However, not the standard, I believe all men should have a set of 5-8lb dumbbells to work the stabilizer muscles. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen men chest press 45-65 in each hand and when I hand them a 5lb for their rotator cuff they’re dying. That was an accident waiting to happen and better to be avoided! Thankfully technology has created varying weights within a single dumbbell with adjustable dumbbells. Finding these on sale or which an individual that is selling their used equipment may be of value as long as the weights were well maintained indoors. Average cost is $1 per pound new, $.50 per pound used.

Stability Ball

For many, especially men, the next on the list would be a bench for lifting those weights. Personally, I would choose a stability ball over bench. The stability ball creates a better core challenge during all exercises plus you can be creative with a stability ball for a full body workout. Standard exercises can also be performed on a stability ball with a higher rate of performance by recruiting muscles for a more inclusive exercise design. Average cost is $10-20. The material of the stability ball matters. A slippery surface used on carpet becomes completed useless! It should be made with a non-slip rubber-like material.

Step

For men that really want a bench over a ball, the next set of equipment I would choose (still not a bench) is a step. A step can be adjusted in height to suit as a bench as well as for supersets and heart rate elevation of desired. It is an item that is often overlooked as a group fitness equipment, but it an actually be very versatile. Average cost is $20-80, largest influence being the brand.

Mirror

This is a MUST HAVE! If you’re going to be practicing exercise and you have any desire to avoid injury in your solo workouts, you need to have a mirror. It is one of the top mistakes to watch yourself continuously, as it will create an unaligned, non-natural posture. However, not having one would be a huge negative to setting yourself up for success. You do not always need a mirror, in particular for exercises that you perform on a regular basis. You do however need access to a mirror every now and then to be able to check alignment, positioning and engagement. It doesn’t hurt to have a little extra motivation from yourself as well. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy and you don’t need to have mirrors from multiple view points like many prefer. A single body length mirror will be appropriate for most functional use. $10 at a Walmart or Target, totally worth the investment.

For a fun challenge!

My personal favorite piece of exercise equipment is a Bosu. It is NOT recognized as a piece of functional exercise equipment because it is not functional in everyday life. How often do you stand on a surface such as this? Never. It is a lot of fun! The Bosu allows for new challenges and various unique practices that you otherwise would not encounter. It can keep things fun and prepare the body for the unexpected!