Gym nerves are real. We are not always confident enough to workout in front of others so we stay home. Maybe you just prefer working out at home because it’s more convenient for your schedule. Or maybe you’re forced to workout from home because of a pandemic. If any of those have applied to you or do apply to you, I’m sharing my at home gym essentials. Over the last 10 weeks of quarantine, I have fallen in love with my home workouts and more importantly the equipment I have access to. I’ll start out with the “if you’re only going to get a few things these are a must have” equipment first and then move into more “these are a nice touch” kind of items:)
THE MUST HAVES:
By far a staple of the at home gym. I recommend having 2 sets. One of a higher weight and one of a lower weight. I have quite a few sets but my most used are 5 pounds and 3 pounds. I do a lot of high repetition exercises (like barre) so I need a lower weight. Pick two weights that will work for you.
A YOGA MAT
Working out on a hardwood floor or a carpet is just not comfortable. A mat gives you a little bit of comfort. If possible work out on a hardwood floor because it provides more support for your ankles and mainly wrists. I have to workout on carpet and can definitely tell when I’m not entirely stable because my wrist begin to kill. The carpet may seem fine and level, but the squish of the fibers can create an uneven surface. I do any arm exercises straight on the carpet because my mat makes my wrist even more wobbly, but abs get done on the mat. Of course if you are on hardwood then all exercises will be completed on the mat. I’m just not that lucky.
The holy grail. I recommend having this at home whether or not you exercise at a gym. I purchased this a few months ago when my back was killing me. We had been practicing a forearm stand in yoga, and along the way it seemed like I had pulled a muscle in my side when I tried to practice at home. The next day I could barely walk and stretching was not helping. My friend let me use her foam roller and it was a saving grace. Hours later I had totally forgotten that I had any back pain at all, it was gone. When I first started my exercise ebook, I was so sore it was the only thing getting me through day to day. Now I just make sure to foam roll once a week on my rest days so my muscles stay loose and open up.
The following I also LOVE to use quite frequently, but you’ll get by without them. But if you can, definitely go for them.
I have a set of 3 small booty bands, and one longer one. I use the booty bands a ton and definitely recommend getting them. I use them for glute activation before workouts and even add them in to add an extra little burn. These are also super helpful to pair with dumbbells when doing movements like hip thrust and squats. If your weights are on the lower side and you are used to heavier weight, then these booty bands will add a great deal of tension to work your muscles in the meantime. Leg day staple right here.
I got these sliders for at home barre workouts and am loving them. Even though I have been doing a workout program lately and less barre, I still incorporate them in! These are great to use to activate the core almost immediately. I usually lean back as if I was going into a boat pose, keep my feet on the floor and slide one leg out at a time. THE BURN IS REAL SIS. I’ve also used these to activate my outer glutes. I go into a narrow squat position and slide one leg out at a time. OOF. These definitely are not a must have, but if you’re ready to step up your game, this is where it’s at.
Another purchase I made for at home barre workouts, and I have used it so much. Even when I’m not doing barre, I’ve been incorporating it. I add it to add a bit more stability to harder exercises or add it when I need a bit more challenge on others. Try doing some narrow squats on your toes with the ball in the middle. Or stay in a narrow squat position and pulse your legs inward, squeezing the ball. OWWWW your legs will be on fire, you’re welcome. Both of those are classic barre staples and now I just kind of add that knowledge into other exercises to fit my needs. I have loved the extra support and challenge the ball brings so much, I simply deflate it and bring it on vacation with me! This isn’t your normal gym staple, but for home, I highly recommend it.
Totally not necessary to have but a nice little addition. I usually go for a walk daily, but some days I just don’t feel like it so I go out for a bike ride. Peaceful and easy activity that gets you a bit of cardio.
Oh my god these are killer. I used these in a home pilates workout the other week and was hurting. Who knew at home mat pilates in 30 minutes could burn so bad. Mine are 2 pound weights and they add an additional element to any lower body work I might do on the mat.
Do you have any of the items I’ve mentioned above?
Happy home workouts!!