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By now, we have all found some version of a new normal when it comes to working out at home. With a moratorium on those routine visits to a gym or workout classes over the last few years, it’s been a solution for fitness lovers who are staying extra cautious.
While there are plenty of equipment-free options for keeping your body moving, a home gym certainly doesn’t mean you need to skimp on the accessories that make you feel like you can tackle all the workouts you want whenever you want. Whether it’s high-tech gadgets, old reliable tools for weight and resistance training or products that help you stay comfortable and maintain good form, there’s a wealth of at-home workout gear for you to build the workout area of your dreams.
Read on for a few of our favorite fitness gear that’ll fit perfectly in your home:
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An All-in-One Machine
If an all-over body workout is what you want, an all-over body workout is what you’ll get with this rowing machine from Hydrow. According to the brand, when you use the workout essential, you work up to 86% of your body’s major muscle groups. Doing just one workout! Plus, it comes with a whole library of recorded workout classes with fitness professionals guiding you through each session. In addition to rowing, there’s a massive library of yoga, pilates and strength-training workouts for you to enjoy using this rower. What’s more, it’s designed to fit into small spaces and can be stored upright in a closet when needed.
Is it something you were really good at in your playground days? Yes. Is it a workout tool that is simple, takes up next-to-no space and is amazing for cardio? Also, yes. Especially as temperatures warm up, there’s a huge appeal of giving yourself 10 minutes of jump rope outside.
Looking to tone up? Then you definitely want to add a kettlebell to your list of at-home fitness products. Kettlebells help you achieve a leaner, tighter figure by working your body as one unit without wasting too much time. High-rep sets of kettlebell swings, snatches and clean and jerks get your body in major fat-burning mode by building strength in the lower back, shoulders and hip flexors. Another perk? You can totally tailor kettlebell workouts to your body’s specific needs, making it more intense with higher reps and more advanced moves or taking it slow and steady.
All true workout gurus know that dumbbells are where it’s at. Sure, they may be small (depending on the weight you use), but they will certainly make you strong and mighty! Dumbbells are inexpensive , versatile and easy-to-use weights that can be added to a variety of workouts and help to improve your cardiovascular fitness, burn calories, build muscle and increase endurance.
Of course, I had to throw a yoga mat into the mix! By now, we’ve all heard of the amazing physical and mental benefits of consistent yoga practice, so there’s really no excuse to not own your own mat (not to mention it’s way more sanitary). So go ahead, improve your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, perfect your posture, curb your cravings, calm your mind, boost your immune system, improve your balance (and the list goes on) all from the comfort of home.
Adding resistance is certainly one way to work every major muscle group in your body. Regardless of your fitness level, resistance bands are a great way to add a little more challenge to your at-home workouts. These bands come in a variety of resistances — including light, medium and heavy — allowing you to adjust the intensity of your workouts and helping you boost stamina, flexibility and range of motion. They can even take the place of dumbbells and weights for basic moves such as bicep curls. And the best part? Resistance bands require basically no space to store, and you can also easily stash them in your suitcase when you’re on the road.
A version of this story was published July 2015.
Before you go, check out a few of our favorite workout recovery accessories for your post-exercise self-care: