If you’re anything like us, “going to the gym” these days looks like walking ten feet to the living room or moving the car out of the garage to set up your equipment. This pandemic has thrown our fitness routines for a loop. But there’s good news: with these five favorite pieces of equipment for in-home training, you can still meet your fitness goals, without ever stepping foot in the gym.
We’re all about HIIT workouts here – high-intensity interval training – which requires little more than your own body weight and a few essential pieces of equipment. The trick is to blend high-intensity cardio with targeted weight training. This combination torches calories and gets you to your fitness goals in less time.
Ready to transform your living room into a heart-pumping workout session? Let’s get started.
The kettlebell is a versatile and effective fitness favorite. It’s essentially a cast iron ball with a handle attached and comes in a variety of sizes, weights, and colors. Use them for swinging, lifting, curling, pressing, squatting – the possibilities are endless. And many kettlebell movements engage multiple muscle groups at once, all while raising your heart rate and strengthening your core.
They can also replace many of your everyday dumbbell workouts, too, making kettlebells incredibly useful. If you don’t have a kettlebell – or several in different weights – we highly recommend you get online and buy one today.
Go ahead; we’ll wait.
Speed Jump Rope
If you’ve been around CrossFit for any amount of time, you probably have a love-hate relationship with the speed rope. This lighter, faster take on the jump rope from your childhood has caused us all a fair share of shin welts, but it’s an easy, highly-effective cardio workout.
Even if you have yet to master the double-under, a speed rope is great for short bursts of high-intensity cardio during your workouts. Plus, it’s fun to relive your childhood days jumping rope at recess – and you don’t even have to worry about cooties.
For an even more effective workout, try adding resistance bands into the mix. They’re different from kettlebells and dumbbells because you’re working your muscles on both the contraction and release. Think of it as a “two-for-one” situation.
Resistance bands are elastic bands, either with or without a handle, that provide varying levels of resistance during exercise movements. There are countless uses for resistance bands, from amping up the intensity of your squats to adding an extra level to your bicep curls.
Plus, they’re so lightweight and small that you can take them with you anywhere. Pack them in your overnight bag once you finally leave quarantine to visit your friends or family. You can get a killer workout with nothing but some exercise bands and your favorite workout gear.
This one is great for working out and relieving stress. If you’re anything like us, there’s no better way to get out your frustrations that throwing heavy stuff. A medicine ball lets you do that, all while toning your arms, shoulders, back, legs, and core. I mean, what’s not to like?
While we love them for wall balls and slams, medicine balls are great for all kinds of workouts. Use them to add intensity to your ab workouts, as a base for your push-ups, or to tone your legs and glutes.
Like kettlebells, the medicine ball comes in all different textures, sizes, weights, and colors, so don’t limit yourself to just one.
Fair warning here: don’t try wall balls on your living room wall. Medicine balls and drywall don’t make good friends. Make sure to find a sturdy exterior wall than can handle the abuse.
While this might not seem like a piece of “equipment” per se, a yoga mat is definitely essential. Doing crunches, burpees, and other HIIT movements on solid ground can take a toll on your knees, ankles, and back. Using a yoga mat takes the shock out of these movements.
Plus, doing a yoga session on your recovery day can ease the stress of being in quarantine.
Bonus: Foam Roller
Alright, alright, I know we said five pieces of equipment, but we can’t leave this list without recommending a good foam roller. While it’s not something that will help during your HIIT workout, it’s integral to your recovery from the workout.
If you don’t own a foam roller, add it to your list. Your muscles will thank you.
What is your must-have piece of at-home gym equipment? Drop us a line in the comments below!