One of the things my therapist told me that I live by is this: your external environment influences your internal motivation. If you want to motivate yourself to work out, then adjust your environment to make it look like you’re already working out. What better way to do that than with these must-have items to build your perfect home gym:
8. Exercise Mat
I would say that an exercise mat is the most basic piece of equipment for your home gym. It’s the perfect platform for all your bodyweight-only workouts — whether it’s a strong and steady yoga practice or a high-intensity interval training session. Anyone who wants to work out at home needs an exercise mat because its non-slip surface prevents you from getting injuries plus it lessens the impact your body gets from the floor.
When I started working out with weights, the kettlebell was the first equipment I picked up. It is one of the most versatile weights out there. There are a variety of exercises you can do with it: legs, arms, abs, you name it. It’s a piece of equipment that doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home gym. Plus, it’s perfect for every fitness level.
6. Resistance Bands
If you want to get toned legs and a peach-shaped bottom, then resistance bands are your best friend. As cute as they look, they can actually give you a pretty good workout. The best part is that they’re so easy to carry that you can workout anywhere — bedroom, living room, maybe even the kitchen?
5. Sit-up Bar
We all know that in order to get those six-pack abs, we have to put in the work. Most of the time, work means doing multiple reps of sit-ups and crunches. But let’s face it, it’s not the easiest of exercises. This is where the sit-up bar comes in. Not only does it make sit-ups more manageable (and enjoyable, in my opinion), you also get more bang for your buck because the adjustable band that comes with it targets your arms too. Say hello to a chiseled tummy and toned arms in one go!
I know a number of people who refuse to pick up dumbbells because they think it’s only supposed to work the arms. To that, I would like to respond with a big resounding NO! Dumbbells are so flexible to work with. Sure, you can use them to strengthen your biceps and triceps with curls. But, dumbbells are also very useful in burning back fat, toning your legs, and firming up your abs. You can get a full-body workout with dumbbells alone! Plus, they’re small enough that you can tuck them in the corner of your home gym once you’re done.
3. Ankle Resistance Bands
If you’re tired of doing jumping jacks and high knees trying to tone your legs, then worry not because using an ankle resistance bar is an effective way to trim down your legs. Simply strap it on your ankle and let gravity do its work! You’ll get strong and toned legs in no time!
2. Med Ball
Medicine balls are another home gym favorite of mine because they are so fun to work with. You can work your core by balancing on it, lift the ball across your body to tone your arms. You can also release your stress by slamming it as hard as you can and burn calories as a bonus.
1. Jump Rope
One of the most inconspicuous home gym items is actually one of the most effective tools for burning fat. Did you know that 30 minutes of exercise with a jump rope can burn up to 450 calories? It’s lightweight, easy to store, and fun to work with. Maybe you can even do cool tricks as you improve.
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