Photo credit: Anchiy / Shutterstock
Getting a good workout in can be a struggle. Between work meetings, fun with friends and a million and one other things, fitness can often fall to the wayside—especially if you don’t have a gym nearby your home or office. But thanks to many awesome personal trainers and fitness experts (hello Kayla Itsines!), there are a variety of workout programs you can do at home with very little equipment—you won’t need to step out of the house or spend your valuable time rushing to the gym to squeeze squats or sit ups. All you need is some motivation (easier said than done!) and a few little things to get started.
Besides your favorite workout gear, here are some of the essentials needed for an at-home workout!
Though not an absolute necessity for every workout, a good exercise mat can be very useful, especially if you have hard floors. An exercise mat provides enough cushion when doing warmups, floor exercises and ab workouts. And because it also helps keep you from slipping, an exercise mat also makes most exercises safer, easier and more comfortable. Bonus: exercise mats are great for bringing to the park if you don’t want to pack a blanket—just throw it in your Punchdrunk Panda tote bag.
Photo credit: nata-lunata / Shutterstock
You can often use your body weight for most workouts, but dumbbells can help with strength training and building muscle—check out those biceps girl! If you’re a beginner, you can start with a pair of 3 or 5 pound dumbbells and as you progress with your workout (and your fitness level increases), you can level up your exercises by using heavier weights. Having a selection on hand can be helpful while you’re building up weaker muscles. Haven’t gotten a chance to snag a set? Try using cans of food or even a full water bottle as a stand-in.
Photo credit: Lucky Business / Shutterstock
Like dumbbells, resistance bands can help build muscle and strength and they’re super easy to store too! They can help make exercises more challenging and, therefore, make your muscles work more. Even adding them to a simple squat will whip your booty into shape and help with your posture. Now that’s a win-win. If you’re looking for easy exercises to do while you travel, resistance bands are a great solution—super light, portable and can help with a variety of exercises.
Photo credit: Luis Carlos Torres / Shutterstock
A stability ball or physio ball is a great way to target your core and can be incorporated into exercises for all parts of your bikini bod as balance is key. This means you’ll be activating all the tiny little muscles in your core to support yourself—it’s basically a workout without even trying! Add some dumbbells to make it even more challenging. Bonus: sit on your physio ball at your desk to get an ab workout in while working or studying (or browsing Pinterest).
Your favorite workout program
Photo credit: Kayla Itsines Facebook Page
Even if you’re just working out at home, following a workout program can help you stay motivated and mix up your routine. You can buy a workout DVD, find awesome workout apps, or check out exercises on YouTube—we recommend Tone It Up on YouTube the Nike Training Club app. If you’re looking to really kick it into high gear, hop on the trend and grab the Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide. Centered around a community of women worldwide, you’ll be motivated to stay on track with these short and powerful workout circuits. Make sure you have a timer on hand (your phone will do the trick) and some inspirational music, too!
These are just some of the things that will make working out at home effective and efficient, but not having any of these shouldn’t deter you from doing your workouts! You can be creative and find substitutes if needed. No exercise mat? How about borrowing your baby brother’s rubber play mats for a few minutes? No stability ball? Find a low bench instead. No dumbbells? Fill two 1L water bottles and use those as weights!
Can you think of other things that you’ll need for a home workout? Share your tips with us in the comments below!