Best at-home workout gear and additions
I'm a full-time personal trainer and over half of my clients are trained outside of a gym or fitness facility. Due to the diverse locations I train at, I bring along the needed equipment. No - I don't have a collapsible power rack or a trunk full of dumbbells. While I do switch out gear depending on the client, I have narrowed in on key pieces to execute every workout.
While equipment is not necessary for an at-home workout, it can enhance your training, especially if you workout from home regularly. These 5 are very versatile and can be used essentially anywhere. Here are my top staple recommendations -
2. loop leg band
If you were to add only one item to your at-home arsenal, a glute loop would be my recommendation. Create tension in a movement using a heavy loop or enhance any weighted leg exercise with a medium to light band. These are an amazing addition even inside of the gym. I would highly suggest opting for a cloth band over a rubber band for glute loops. The cloth is less likely to snap and will last longer. My favorite weighted and unweighted exercises to perform with these are hip thrusts, glute bridges, squats, hip abductors and any end-of-workout burnouts.
There are many options for glute loops on Amazon. M favorite brand is Ethereal. Amazon
2. Pull-up assist bands
Even though the name implies pull-ups, these bands can be used for so much more. My favorite exercise to use these for banded shoulder press, bent over rows, tricep extension, and extra hip hinge resistance. The band is a full loop and can easily be attached to doors, furniture or another workout partner. Be sure to check the weight and thickness of the band depending on your strength.
A substitute for these are tube resistance bands with handles. I do not like these but some people prefer them to the full loop bands.
Pull-up assist resistance band. Amazon
Tube resistance band with handles. Amazon
3. A basic pair of weights
Many people are hesitant to jump into the weight-buying game. They don't want to end up with multiple pairs of various dumbbell.s. Weights are not necessary but I always suggest to clients to purchase one set that you can do curls with. Meaning get a pair of dumbbells that are challenging to do 8-10 curls with. For me, this is 15 lb dumbbells. At that weight, it is most versatile to perform an array of exercises with - curls, shoulder press, flies, Russian twists, walking lunges, shoulder raises, etc. Some exercises will require a higher rep range or addition of banded resistance but it's a good place to start.
Various weight dumbbells. Amazon
If you are looking to spice up your equipment collection, there are a few other items I love to use but could make do without. They just make workouts that much more fun and convenient.
4. Foam Roller
Not for the actual workout but amazing for post-workout! Foam rolling is great for people who have back problems, lower back pain or spend a lot of time sitting down. I love it for rolling out sore muscles and posture maintenance.
Foam roller. Amazon
Sliders are great if you have access to carpet. I enjoy using these for ab movements, push-up variations, an assortment of lunges and balance work.
Floor sliders. Amazon