If you're a busy Mom, you know that every minute of your day counts. When it comes to your fitness, its gotta be short and sweet in order to get crossed off your to do list.
One of the easiest ways to save time on your workouts is to workout at home. By the time you pack up all your gym stuff (and maybe even your kids who may or may not want to cooperate with your plan) and drive to the gym, it's already been 30-45 min and you haven't even worked out yet!
You don't need a lot to get started on home workouts and you don' have to invest a ton of money. Here are my top 5 pieces of home fitness equipment to get you started on your home workouts today. Plus I've included a bonus home workout video for you to get you started.
Clear out the furniture, give the kids some toys and let's get the workouts going!
I absolutely love dumbbells! Anyone who has trained with me knows that I believe that strength training is the key to fitness (and tighter butt as a side bonus.) Any exercise you do on a gym machine can be done with dumbbells. In fact, I prefer free weight exercises to machines simply because they create a much more functional movement pattern. I recommend having a couple of sets of dumbbells in your home gym. Usually one that is “heavy”, a medium weight and a lighter pair.
Beginners can start with 3-5 lbs for a lighter weight and 8lbs as a heavier one
Intermediate: light weight 5-8lbs and heavy weight 10-12lbs
Advanced: light weight 8-10lbs, heavy weight 15-20lbs
Dumbbells are typically priced around $1/lb and you can often save money and buy them second hand for even less.
If you are serious about working out at home, I'd recommend splurging on a set of Powerblocks. They are an adjustable set that consists of several different weights in one set.
Check out this Upper Body Sculpt Home workout with dumbbells to see what Dumbbell training is all about (and sculpt your tank top arms while you're at it!)
2) Resistance Bands
I can’t tell you how many times I have sent a client to the store to buy one of these inexpensive little gadgets. They are typically $15-$30 and when properly used can make a grown man cry.
Wrap them around a sturdy object and you can do chest presses, rows, wood chops ... The list goes on. The best part is that they are so light and portable. They are my go to equipment for the individual that travels a lot. Pack them in your suitcase and you have no excuse to skip your workout.
Similar to the dumbbells however, I recommend that you get one that has a fairly heavy amount of resistance. Too light of a band will not provide enough of a challenge to warrant results.
One of my faves is this band kit from Go-Fit. It has a few different levels of resistance as well as a door anchor and ankle straps.
If you're not sure how to use them, check out this Resistance Band Workout I created for you to do absolutely anywhere.
3) Stability ball-
If you have ever trained in a gym’s weight room you would probably have noticed a lot of benches lying around. We use these to sit on while we do our curls or to lie on for bench presses. If you are working in a small space (and on a budget) a stability ball is a great substitute for a bench.
I love doing chest presses or tricep extensions while lying on one of these because they force you to use your stabilizer muscles (the ones that don’t get worked while lying on a bench).
There are also a ton of other exercises that you can do to work your core as well. They range in price from $10-40. You don’t have to break the bank but keep in mind the cheaper ones deflate fairly quickly. Oh and yes size does matter when it comes to choosing the right one. Here is a brief guideline:
4'11" to 5'4" height: 55 cm ball
5'4" to 5'11" height: 65 cm ball
5'11" to 6' 7" height: 75 cm ball
While I would not classify the TRX as an "essential" piece of home workout equipment, it certainly packs a powerful punch for a couple of straps that weigh no more than 2lbs. In a nutshell it is a strap with 2 handles that you hang with a door anchor (or you can buy a special anchor to mount it to your ceiling if you are really hardcore!)
Originally invented by the navy seals, the TRX leverages your bodyweight against gravity to allow you to perform hundreds of exercises. While it is often a tool for elite athletes it can also be used for the average Joe or newbie exerciser. Due to the nature of suspension training, any exercise can be made easier (or harder if necessary) simply by changing the position of your body to the door anchor.
A home kit can be purchased for around $200 which may seem pricey but it is well worth the price when you consider its portability and versatility.
Check out www.trxtraining.com for more info.
5) Foam Roller-
This cylinder of foam may look like nothing but a big pool noodle but it packs a powerful "mobility punch". Rolling your muscles over this handy tool is similar to getting a massage. Called "self myofascial release", it alleviates knots and tight spots so you can get back to the "home gym" in no time. In addition to relieving tight muscles, it also helps to increase your range of motion which is key for injury prevention. Long story short...it keeps you in the game!
If you've never used one before, it can be a little awkward (and sometimes slightly painful) at first. Stick with it...it gets better. Like anything, this works better if you are consistent with it. Plus, your kids will love to play with it.
Check out this video from Fit Bottomed Girls
So there you have it. A short and sweet list of the essentials to get you started on your home workout journey. All items can be purchased at your local fitness store or most big box stores. You can save a bit of time by shopping online as well and having it delivered right to your door (read...you don't have to pack up your kids!)
Once you have a few pieces of equipment in your home, you will be so much more likely to to get started on a fitness program and most importantly to stick to it.
If you're looking for more workouts to do at home, check out our Online Fitness Coaching packages as well as the "Fit in 6 Challenge" starting on Monday March 20th.
My Fit Coach designs Online Fitness and Nutrition Programs with the busy Mom in mind. Our workouts can be done absolutely anywhere because we recognize that Mom's need major workout flexibility!
Having the equipment is step 1, but having a plan (with accountability) that gets you using it is the key to making home workouts a lasting habit.