There are always times we wish we could workout in the comfort of our own homes. Even with gym memberships, there are times we may not want to make it outside to workout. The only problem? It’s extremely expensive and pretty unrealistic to go out and buy expensive workout machines or an entire set of free weights for our homes. Luckily, there are small, inexpensive pieces of equipment that help you rely on your own bodyweight to gain strength, which is arguably much better for you.
So forget expensive cardio and weight machines, and opt for these strength enhancing, versatile pieces of workout equipment for infinite full-body workouts. Most of them are perfect when traveling or when you just can’t make it to the gym. Read on to read about the only four pieces of workout equipment you’ll ever need.
1. BOSU ball
The BOSU is a half flat, half rubber dome-shaped piece of equipment, that resembles half of an exercise ball, allows for a variety of workouts. According to Dr. Mercola, the BOSU ball requires people to stabilize their bodies, making an average workout move more intense, thus burning more calories. The BOSU ball is used for cardio, strength training, stretching, and building your core. Essentially, you can get a full-body workout on this one piece of equipment.
There are plenty of awesome, free tutorials online to help you with maximizing the benefits of BOSU. The BOSU ball can be used as a light weight, help you balance during core exercises, increase your squats and lunges, as well as be a great tool for mountain climbers and step-ups.
TRX is a suspension trainer that leverages gravity and bodyweight to perform exercises. It is a fitness tool that hangs from the ceiling, or any sturdy anchor, and has handles on each end. This band can hold up to 1,400 pounds. According to the TRX website, you are able to adjust the intensity of your workouts “because you can simply adjust your body position to add or decrease resistance.” TRX is used by professional athletes, the U.S. Military and is being implemented into millions of gyms worldwide. Even some of Hollywood’s best trainers always carry a TRX trainer with them, touting the band’s versatility and travel accessibility.
All you need with the TRX is something to anchor it, whether it’s a ceiling hook or a sturdy anchor of some sort. The TRX website says that one of its major benefits is the cost efficiency because with one piece of equipment you can train every muscle in your body. Not only that, but its portable, durable and suits a variety of lifestyles, like yogis, runners, military personnel, pro athletes, beginners and many more. TRX combines a pull-up trainer, an ab wheel and almost any other device into one. Plus, bodyweight training is incredible for you! This is a must-have in your fitness arsenal.
3. Resistance bands
These bands allow us to perform strength-training exercises without weights and are extremely inexpensive. They can give us a full-body workout, or increase the intensity of push-ups and other exercises. They are perfect for traveling because they take up virtually no room in your bag and can be used in a small space – no gym required. Resistance bands create a better range of motion and more muscle stimulation compared to free-weight exercises, and are safe to use on your own without a spotter.
Dr. Jim Stoppani told Bodylastics, “Many individuals using elastic resistance report that they can feel a difference, such as a stronger burn in the muscles and greater muscle fatigue, as compared to when they use free weights.” Like the TRX trainer, resistance bands are easily transportable and provide workout versatility.
Not exactly portable (if you’re traveling by anything but car), kettlebells are one of the best pieces of equipment to have in your home gym. Kettlebells engage your core by using strength and endurance and are fantastic for fat loss and conditioning because of the reliance of power-endurance. Power-endurance is the ability to produce movements over an extended period of time. Kettlebells are fantastic pieces of equipment for those looking to increase their strength and overall power.
Essentially, kettlebells also make you breathe more because the muscles that assist your breathing are engaged more. When you are doing kettle bell exercises, you are also getting in some great cardio. When you perform kettlebell swings, your center of gravity is constantly changing which helps engage your core and power for both athletic and daily activity. Add kettlebells to your home gym ASAP.