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Is a traditional gym absolutely essential to living a fit and healthy life? No — in my opinion it’s not! Let’s take a dive into some home gym essentials that can give you the same great workout offered in a traditional gym.
Over the years, my fitness journey has changed and evolved as other areas of my life have also changed and evolved. In the beginning, all my time was spent in boutique studios hiding at the back so no one would notice if I didn’t know what I was doing. When I moved back home to start teaching, there were no studios, so I joined a traditional gym. About a year ago, my in-laws gifted me with their old treadmill, so I decided to cancel my gym membership in favor of saving ever-precious time. Now that we’ve moved to a new city and finally gotten settled into our new house, I’m still working out at home and only at home. It’s proven to be one of the greatest decisions I’ve made in this busy, busy season of life.
In our three-bedroom home, we’ve designated one of the extra bedrooms as the dog’s room/husband’s firearm and cutlery storage center/home gym. With no kiddos right now, this still leaves us plenty of space for guests if we happen to have some! Since cancelling my gym membership, I’ve cultivated a collection of equipment that’s working pretty great for me!
1 // A Collection of DVDs
I’ve already talked about some of the best DVDs for a home workout, so of course it’s at the top of my list. I don’t think you need to have lots of fancy equipment to get in a good workout (although it helps). With most programs, you just need a DVD player and a set of dumbbells or two. My all-time favorite home program is Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED. It’s fantastic! For some of my other favorites, check out this post. DVD programs are fantastic budget options if you want to get your sweat on in the comfort of your own home, but not go all out garage gym style!
Again, it’s totally possible to get in a good workout with nothing more than your own body, but having some dumbbells certainly helps! They can be expensive, running around $1/lb., if you buy each set individually. I went for years and years with just a 5 lb. pair, but in the last couple of years I’ve added 10s, 12s, and 15s. If you don’t want to wait out adding to your collection and don’t mind dropping some cash up front, try out adjustable dumbbells like the Power Block line or Bowflex SelectTech.
2 // Kettlebells
I’m not sure how or why I went so long through my fitness journey without using kettlebells! My mom had one and used it alongside a Jillian Michaels DVD, but I never gave it a shot until I saw the Love Your Body with Kettlebells video. <– A great workout and still one of my faves! Anyway — I went to visit my husband when he was out of town for work one weekend and our hotel didn’t have a fitness center and I wasn’t comfortable going for a run in an unfamiliar area. I thought, “Well, I really would like a KB anyway, so I’ll just buy one and work out in the room!” I have two that I use interchangeably depending on the move!
3 // Box or Step
Now, since we’re talking “essentials”, a plyo box doesn’t necessarily fit the bill since you could surely use a kitchen chair for step ups. However… Jumping is a different story. 🙂 I kept getting visions of our chairs collapsing beneath my weight after a box jump, so I decided to add a plyo box to my must-haves list.
Your turn: Where do you prefer to workout? Home or gym? Studio or outdoors?