At the start of the new year, many people make working out a new priority. However, gyms can get crowded, expensive, and confusing. A great alternative to a gym membership is working out at home. If you are just beginning your workout journey, you may be unsure what equipment is right for you to purchase. Exercise bikes, yoga mats, and jump ropes are all good things to buy for an at-home workout.
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Best At-Home Workout Equipment
Working out may look different for each person, depending on the areas they would like to target. If you are exercising from home, you may be interested in a wide variety of exercises, from yoga to HIIT workouts. Visiting the gym can be overwhelming for many people, especially if it's a new experience. We have compiled a list of the best at-home workout equipment that is relatively affordable and can work well for those with small spaces:
- Best Overall: Exercise Bikes
- Best for Cardio: Jump Rope
- Best for Resistance Training: Ankle/Wrist Weights
- Best for Stability Training: Exercise Ball
- Best for Stretching/Core: Yoga Mat
Exercise Bikes: Best Overall
If you are only looking to purchase one piece of workout equipment for your home, an exercise bike is an excellent choice. They are great for a wide variety of exercises and are effective in burning calories and body fat. Compared to other cardio equipment, like treadmills or stair climbers, exercise bikes don’t put as much strain on your joints but still provide a great workout. Therefore, this is great for those looking for low-impact exercises.
You can typically find guided cycling videos on Youtube, where instructors will tell you the pace and intensity to go at. Depending on the video, you can target your legs, arms, and glutes all with one exercise. If you are looking to increase your strength and endurance, definitely consider purchasing an exercise bike for your home. Workouts that are 45-60 minutes will be the most effective. People typically do this 3-5 times a week.
Try these types of rides once you get an exercise bike:
- Cardio/Strength Combination Workout
- Hill/Speed Intervals
- 25-Minute Intermediate Intervals
- Power Intervals
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Jump Rope: Best for Cardio
Regular cardio exercises are essential for good heart health. Adding cardio exercises to your routine can help to ward off cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure. Cardio can also help you lose weight, get better sleep, and increase the amount of energy you have each day. There are many ways you can add cardio to your workout routine, and one of the best at-home cardio equipment you can use is a jump rope.
Jump ropes are very small, compact, and easy to travel with. A workout involving a jump rope can therefore be done almost anywhere. You can incorporate jump-roping into many workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Your heart rate will quickly escalate, and you’ll be able to feel the effect on your body almost immediately. Vigorous exercises such as jumping rope tend to be twice as effective as more moderate forms of cardio, according to the CDC.
Try these exercises once you purchase a jump rope:
- Jump rope jacks
- Alternate foot jumps
- Single foot jumps
- Backward jumping
Ankle/Wrist Weights: Best for Resistance Training
Resistance training, also known as strength training, helps to build the strength and size of your muscles. It also helps to improve bone density and joint function. The most effective workouts use a combination of both cardio and resistance training. It’s recommended to incorporate this type of exercise into your workout routine at least twice a week. You can follow videos on the internet to guide you through a resistance workout.
When doing resistance exercises (or even cardio), try using ankle/wrist weights. These are small weights (around two to five pounds) that you can wear on your ankles or wrists when working out. They will add a little challenge to whatever workout you are doing. If you are intimidated by lifting weights, this is a great way to get started. In addition, both ankle and wrist weights are relatively inexpensive, making them a great option for your start to strength training.
Try these exercises with your new set of ankle/wrist weights:
- Straight punches
- Arm circles
- Leg lifts
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Exercise Ball: Best for Stability Training
Stability training is useful for working out muscles that may be neglected in other parts of your routine. It will also help to improve your balance and tone your muscles. Stability exercises are essential to do in order to assist you with other types of workouts, like strength training or cardio. You gain better control of your body movements through stability exercises, and can therefore prevent potential injuries and accidents when working out.
A great way to incorporate stability into your workout routine is by buying an exercise ball. They are typically filled with air, making them lightweight and durable. Exercise balls are usually used during workouts, but can also be used in physical therapy sessions and even in the workplace. When training on an exercise ball, your body is forced to balance on top of doing the movements, which helps to strengthen your core and improve your posture.
Try these moves with an exercise ball:
- Leg curls
- Sitting down (healthier than sitting in a chair!)
Yoga Mat: Best for Stretching/Core
Before you do any kind of exercise, you should first be stretching out your muscles. Daily stress is trapped in your muscles, so relaxing your muscles will help you gain control over these parts of your body and regulate your blood pressure and immune system. Adding stretches to the beginning of your workout will increase blood flow and give you more flexibility. Stretching after your routine will reduce lactic acid buildup and reduce your risk of injury.
An excellent piece of equipment to incorporate into your stretching routine is a yoga/exercise mat. Yoga mats provide you with a good base no matter what kind of exercise you are doing. They help prevent slipping and falling, therefore preventing injury. Mats also provide a level of comfort when doing certain stretches/poses, which is great for those who may already have knee or back pain. They also keep your exercise space sanitary and are very easy to clean. In addition to stretching, you can use mats for the base of your strength training or core exercises.
Try these stretches on a yoga mat:
- Butterfly stretch
- Toe touches
- High knees
- Cobra stretch
Working out regularly is a great way to improve your physical and overall health. Exercising can help to reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost your energy. If you are new to working out, going to the gym can be intimidating. Luckily, working out at home is very easy and affordable. There is a lot of great equipment you can purchase to improve your at-home workout routine, including an exercise bike, ankle/wrist weights, and an exercise ball.
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