Monday, July 11, 2011

Equipment Essentials for Home Exercise

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

I was out and about yesterday and picked up this:

Exactly what I was looking for to kick up my own aqua cross training a notch and to challenge my clients.

I have said many times before, that fitness is free, but there are some things, like workout wear, that are worth the investment.

On that note, here are four pieces of equipment that I think are well worth the money to help you make the most out of your at home workout.

Stability Ball
I have talked about using a stability ball before in Having a (Stability) Ball, but I really think it is worth repeating.  This wonderful piece of equipment is affordable and adds diversity to your workouts.  Balls are quick to inflate and deflate, which makes them easy to store.  If you don't already have one, buy one.

Resistance Band
This simple little band is the key to most of the exercises I do with my clients. Their stretchy nature allows for a huge ROM so you can exercise multiple muscle groups at once. Most bands come in different resistance levels and I would suggest getting several levels so you are able to change and adapt your workout as needed.

These particular bands have handles, which make them great for the entire body. However, if you are planning to incorporate the band into your yoga or pilates practice, I would recommend the flat, long bands.  They allow for more stability and less slippage as you are performing your exercises.

Hand Weights
Now if your prefer to stick with just the resistance bands, that is totally fine, you can still get a great workout.  That being said, there may come a time when you need to push yourself just that little bit harder.  Hand weights can help you do just that (not to mention adding some variety to your workout),

I would suggest a set of 5lbs and a set of 8lbs to get you started.  Incorporate them into your workouts and see if you need to take the weights up or down.  Both the resistance bands and weights are a great addition to exercises performed on the stability ball, too. :)

Exercise Mat
I think a good mat is essential for a great workout.  It provides you with a non-slip, comfortable surface on which to perform your exercises and also works as a cushion when exercising from your knees or on your back.

Mats can vary in shapes, size and thickness.  Depending on your activity, you may want to have several different ones.  For example, a longer mat is preferred in yoga as you need to space for your postures.  However, a shorter, thicker mat may be all you need if you are just hitting the floor to do some ab work.

So, there you have it! 

What about you?  Which pieces of home exercises equipment can't you live without and why?

Stay Healthy,

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