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I haven’t had a gym membership for almost two years, and that’s not only saved me a beaucoup of money, but I actually enjoy my home workouts better than I ever enjoyed working out in a gym. When I went to college, I would run/walk or drive to the Rec on campus, because I paid for it in my tuition and fees and it was convenient. They had plenty of toning and cardio machines to choose from (my favorite was the elliptical), free weights galore and an area upstairs where I liked to do my toning circuits. However, when I moved home with my family for my senior year, I was too far away to workout at the Rec on campus and too cheap to buy a membership at a gym in my hometown. So I spent some of my birthday and spending money on a pair of free weights and a workout mat, and have slowly grown my home workout equipment since then.
I know I’m never going back to paying for a gym membership. There are so many videos out there for workouts you can do at home, and with the small gym here at my apartment (with ellipticals, stationary bikes and a treadmill), I’m set!
So here are some of the workout equipment I use on a very regular basis. I would love to someday have a room in my apartment or house dedicated to a home gym, but for right now it’s all in a corner in my living room. But with these essentials, you can do almost any workout and save hundreds of dollars a year by getting your sweat on at home. It takes some investment at the beginning, but it’s so so worth it in the long run!
These are absolutely essential for almost any workout! I use 5 lb and 8 lb dumbbells, and they work great. Someday I’d love to have a whole set of them, but for now these two weights are all that I need.
I love this workout mat, because it’s so squishy. Most mats I’ve come across are thin and just serve as a barrier between you and the ground, but this one is thicker and softer, which I love for workout moves that require you to lay on your back. Call me the Princess and the Pea if you want, but your back will thank you later.
I love kettlebells! They are so fun, and they make it easy to incorporate some cardio in with your toning workouts. Just be careful about dropping them… You just might make your husband jump off the couch and scare your dog. Not that that’s happened to me before!
These bad boys are perfect for traveling or adding an extra dimension to your workout. They are lightweight and easily stuffed into a bag (hence why they are great for going on trips), and they can be used with almost any workout move to add some extra toning in. Bonus: they are cheap and don’t take up much space at all.
If you are looking for something to help with fine toning, these mini bands will do the job, especially if you are wanting to target our glutes and hamstrings. They are also very lightweight and small, which make them perfect for traveling and storage.
This ball is great for adding a level of fun to a workout. You can do so many different toning moves with it that you can’t do with anything else and you can look like an idiot trying to balance on it while flailing around like a crazy person, wondering how the girl on the video can look so poised. But really though, this ball is great for ab and booty workouts and I personally like that it’s squishy and bouncy.
Bonus: Workout Videos
I mentioned above that I use workout videos when I get my sweat on! Over the years I’ve tried out many different things, like Pinterest workout circuits, random Youtube videos and so on, but my favorites are the videos from toneitup.com and BeachBody.
I love Tone It Up, because Karena and Katrina are so fun, bubbly, pretty and make me wish I was on the beach with them. Their videos are high quality, they use different moves all the time (so you don’t get bored), and they post a weekly workout schedule on their website every Sunday that I follow. It makes working out fun and easy! Most of their videos are free (score!), but they also have DVDs and exclusive videos for sale. They are worth the investment, I promise.
BeachBody is the company behind P90X, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, 22 Minute Hard Corps and about 20 other programs. I have done the 21 Day Fix and 22 Minute Hard Corps programs and their videos are short (30 minutes and 22 minutes respectively), tough and effective. These videos are different from the ones from toneitup.com, because they are in a more traditional workout video format (in a gym, with a trainer and people working out) and well… they yell at you (I’m such a baby). I prefer the Tone it Up videos, but these are great if I’m wanting to mix things up a bit.
What is your favorite workout equipment? And which do you prefer… working out at home or in a gym?