Home Gym Essentials: For When the Going Gets Tough

Okay so I know we’ve all bought home exercise equipment at some point in our lives, that we let collect dust after a month. Maybe you’ve even gone as far as having an exercise bike that became a clothes rack. Well now it’s time to start fresh. Whether you’re trying to save money or you need a workout routine that is weatherproof, you may want to consider a home gym. I’m prioritizing my work out this month to beat the winter blues. These are the items I’ve had in my home gym for the past four years.

Exercise Ball. So first I should share that I have back problems. Because of this I can’t do crunches on the floor. I can’t remember how I first heard about exercise balls as an alternative to crunches for those with back problems. If you’re short on space it can be kind of annoying, but this Black Mountain exercise ball comes with an air pump and can be deflated between workouts. I would recommend not deflating it, since the extra step might give you an excuse not to workout. But maybe that’s just me. If you’ve never used an exercise ball here are some sample exercises to get you started.

Free Weights or Medicine Ball. My sister introduced me to medicine balls to improved core strength a couple of years ago, and now I can’t live without it. It’s really improved the results I see in my ab workout. I also use it for squats and lunges. I feel like it helps my form and prevents me from getting sloppy. I’m prone to get a little sloppy and loose my form when I start to get tired. You can also hold free weights during crunches or squats, but I’ve found it easier to keep my form with the medicine ball.

Yoga Mat or Exercise Mat. I always do squats and crunches on some sort of cushioning to prevent knee injury. I also do yoga exercises for back pain when I’m having a particularly bad back day. If you don’t have back problems, you can use mats for for crunches. I wouldn’t recommend doing core exercises directly on hard floors. Also just as a point of comparison, gym mats offer more padding than yoga mats. Yoga mats, however are more offer less traction and are ideal for floor movement, which is why they are ideal for transitioning between yoga poses.

What do you have in your home gym? What are your go to workouts when you exercise at home?

By Cara

I'm a 29 year old urban planner who recently bought a home. I'm trying to build my dream home/garden while sticking to a budget and keeping my sanity.

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