Your guide to building an "at home gym"
In order to live an active lifestyle, you don't need to belong to an expensive gym, buy fancy equipment, or attend boutique fitness classes every day! I understand unpredictable schedules and early mornings, so creating a gym at home is the perfect way to save time and money. My staples for staying in shape at home include a mat, jump rope, gliders, resistance bands, ankle weights, hand weights and a foam roller.
No matter what exercises you choose to do, you are going to want to have a comfortable mat. ProSourceFit has great options for yoga and Pilates mats that vary in thickeness and length, so if you're on the tall side like me, or have knee trouble and want extra padding, you have options.
Great for indoors or outdoors, jumping rope is the perfect way to get your heart rate up - no fancy cardio equipment necessary. Jump rope is ideal whether you are doing intervals as part of a circuit or looking to break your record.
Gliders (also known as sliders) are ideal to intensify any core or leg workout! From mountain climbers to lunges, these sliders work on wood, tile, and carpet surfaces. Sliders are such a small but effective piece of equipment because they increase the difficulty of functional movements due to friction.
Resistance bands are great for toning, building strength, and increasing mobility in the lower body. Bands target legs, hips, and glutes as these bands can be placed at the thighs, knees, or ankles. I love this set of bands because it is a variety pack with light, medium, and heavy resistance that you can choose between for different workouts. A major plus about resistance bands is that they take up almost no space and can be easily transported if you are traveling!
I love ankle weights to tighten and tone your thighs and glutes by intensifying any bodyweight exercise without heavy weights or machines. For lighter resistance ankle weights stick with 1-3 lbs., and for heavier resistance opt for 3 or 4 lb. weights. Trust me, if you are doing high repetitions of exercises, a couple of pounds feels a lot heavier than you would think!
I recommend 2-5 lb. hand weights to keep at home or carry on the go for full body sculpting. Dumbbells of this size can be used to increase resistance during cardio exercises such as walking, jogging, boxing, or dancing, in addition to strengthening various muscles in the arms and upper body.
Do not forget to stretch! Stretching is vital to lengthen and loosen stiff muscles. Think of a foam roller as a way to get an extra stretch and give yourself a massage post workout. Foam rollers are great to reduce tension, get rid of knots, and increase range of motion throughout the body. I foam roll after each workout, as well as beforehand or at night depending on how my body is feeling.
Keep an eye out for some recommended exercises and my favorite home streaming workouts next :)