At home fitness is hotter than it’s ever been. It’s no surprise, as many of us are nearing a year that we’ve been home and away from regular gyms, with many studios still shut down around the country due to the global pandemic.
As cases continue to spike across the nation, there’s no time like the present to get your home gym together. Luckily, transforming a corner of your home into a gym can be incredibly simple and cheap. Whether you’re in a home or a studio apartment, there are plenty of ways to maximize space, albeit a living room, basement, or even a kitchen, if need be.
We asked 3 of the nation’s top fitness trainers what tools they always keep on hand at home to help them (and their clients) stay in fighting shape. Whether for virtual fitness classes, your favorite YouTube channel or even your tried and true routine, these items will help you maintain a routine at home (and your sanity).
Branden Allen – @SweatDC
My 3 favorite pieces of workout equipment for home workouts are 1) Minibands/cables: I take these everywhere! These are so versatile and allow you to work both upper and lower body without having a ton of weight. Minibands/cables can turn the most basic exercises into the most challenging exercises. They also can be used for prehab and rehab for those trying to prevent injuries or recovering from an injury. 2) TRX (suspension cables): The simplicity of suspension bands is really met with so much versatility and the ability to get an amazing full body workout. The suspension anchors from any door, which makes it very easy to use. Also, if you like to workout on the go it’s light and easy to pack away (I personally take it with me every time I travel). The range of exercises you can use with a TRX are almost limitless, from squats to pushups, to plenty of core work. 3) A towel: While it may sound comical, grabbing a towel on a hard surface can allow for a great workout. Simple because we all can find a towel at home, and effective because it will add a major challenge to those at home workouts most people are already accustomed to doing.
Vic Williams – @TheBoxingGuy
My favorite piece of equipment is my Polar H10 Chest strap, which is a heart rate monitor that allows me to track and manage the level of intensity at which I’m training and the energy systems being used. Having this piece of technology, which has been determined to be 99% accurate and is used in many clinical trials, allows me to be much more intentional with my training, whereas I’ve found that many other wrist wearable technologies out there have many limitations. Using this strap is a significant aid in helping one think about and begin to understand what adaptations they want to elicit, as well as how to best achieve them. As soon as I started using this tool, I realized that I was working way too hard on my “easy” training days, which held me back from working as hard as I could on my high intensity days. Coming in at a price of about $90, I think it’s well worth the price given that I use it during every training session.
Thomas Boatswain – @JTWFit
My favorite piece of home equipment is a kettlebell. In the past, many people disregarded it but nowadays it’s a must have. Although it may have an odd shape, the kettlebell allows you to do the same movements as a dumbbell but offers a more dynamic feel with the velocity needed to move the object. I can go from curling and squatting it to swing variations that will keep your heart rate high. More importantly, you don’t need a pair of kettlebells for a successful workout, one can get the job done!