At Home Workouts & Fitness Faves – You can get a GREAT workout in at home!
Here are some of our favorite workouts + fitness gear to get started.
Growing up, I thought I hated exercise, mostly because exercise in my mind meant gym class. And gym class usually meant team sports. I was always pretty good at the things we did in gym, I just never really enjoyed them. It wasn’t until high school and then college that I realized that I LOVE exercise, I just don’t love team sports. Go figure.
As an adult, this has come in handy, when money was tight and a gym membership didn’t make sense financially, or when my kids were small and couldn’t make it past the 10 minute crying policy. At-home workouts are also great for a busy schedule, and right now, they’re totally my jam.
For the last many months (and the better part of the last 9.5 years), I’ve been doing at-home workouts. Some are longer, some are shorter, but I thought I’d share the best of our at-home workouts and fitness faves. Nothing too expensive or time consuming here, and all are things I’ve tried, tested, and come back to time and again.
OUR FAVORITE AT-HOME FITNESS EQUIPMENT
1. A FITNESS TRACKER.
I’ve had a few different fitness trackers over the years, but I really like this one. It helps track your sleep and you can sync it with your phone and other apps (like My Fitness Pal) if you’re also monitoring your nutrition. This one is $80-100 depending on when you buy and what sales are going on. It’s been worth every penny for me so far. I have hopes of picking up one of these in the next few months!
2. A FOAM ROLLER.
If you struggle with tight leg muscles or tightness in your hips, I really recommend getting a foam roller. There are lots of stretches you can use to alleviate tension (it cleared up IT band issues I had last year), but you can also use it to exercise your abs! I have the 18″ foam roller and it works like a charm. (More about why I love a foam roller here)
3. A GOOD WATER BOTTLE.
I’m a big water fan and I’ve found I do much better getting in plenty of water when the water tastes good. I got one of these insulated cups for Christmas and it’s basically changed my life! Your water stays cold for HOURS and it tastes fresh and delicious all day long. I like that it comes with both a straw lid and a flip lid, so you can switch back and forth depending on your preference. (It also works for hot drinks, if you prefer that route!)
4. A GOOD YOGA MAT
Michael and I each have a plush, cushy yoga mat. They’re the 6mm (extra thick) kind, so they stand up to lots of use for stretching and yoga. They’re also great for doing push-ups, planks, or crunches during other workouts. Plus, a fun happy color is always a great perk during a workout.
(p.s. our kids actually love using these too for Cosmic Kids Yoga)
5. A SET OF HAND WEIGHTS
Last year and this year, I’ve been working on building muscle and that means adding weights to my workouts. I’m definitely still building strength, but these adjustable hand weights have been a great move for us, since I can just add weight or take away weight depending on my needs (rather than needing to store a bunch of different sets)
6. AN EXERCISE BIKE.
If you’ve been looking for some fitness gear but are on a budget, I HIGHLY recommend this exercise bike. We got one of these exercise bikes last year and absolutely LOVE it. It’s definitely simple and straightforward, but it’s got everything I need for a good workout. I like that I can crank up the resistance or adjust my stance to increase the intensity during a workout or take it nice and easy if I just want to move while I respond to emails or read a book.
Besides the super-affordable price (around $150) and lots of great reviews (4.5 stars with over 6600 ratings), this exercise bike has another big perk: it’s basically SILENT, which means I can use it in the early mornings without waking anyone up. There aren’t any beeps, it rides completely smoothly and only makes any sound when you adjust the resistance (it’s just a “click”). Plus, you can stream workouts on a phone, tablet, or TV if you want to follow along with a class at home.
Last perk: it folds up and has a small footprint, so it doesn’t take up a ton of space. YAY!
AT-HOME WORKOUTS I LOVE:
1. MOMS INTO FITNESS WITH LINDSAY BRIN.
I’ve sung the praises of Lindsay Brin before, but her Core Firing Sequence (CFS) series is amazing at teaching you how to activate and use the different parts of your core. She has quite a few free workouts on her site. (She even has a diastasis recti section if you’re dealing with that!) She also has a paid streaming service that is both FULL of workouts and resources, specifically created with moms in mind.
This is my go-to workout on busy days. I did a full review here. The workout is literally 7 minutes long, though you can do as many rounds as you like if you’ve got more time or need more challenge. I do 1-2 rounds of this several times a week and my planks and push-ups have really improved over the last year. At less than $3, it’s cheaper than any workout DVD and you can take it anywhere with you on your phone or tablet without using data. Find it on iTunes or Google Play
3. TRACY ANDERSON 8-MINUTE ARM WORKOUT.
This is an excerpt from one of her Mat Workout DVDs, but it’s HARD. I always feel really ridiculous when I do Tracy Anderson workouts because the movements are so strange and awkward, but they do a great job targeting muscles I don’t use regularly. This one is still a little awkward, but I have NEVER worked my arms out harder. And you might think to yourself “what’s 8 minutes?” but you try it and then talk to me.
This was the first exercise DVD I ever did (back in high school) and I still pull it out regularly. Suzanne Deason is the instructor and the whole thing is very energizing and calm. It’s a great intro Pilates DVD if you’re a beginner, but there are 3 levels of difficulty shown on the screen at the same time, so you can easily expand your poses as you gain capability. It’s about 45 minutes long and it’s a good mix of core work, flexibility, and strength.
This is an intense hour-long workout that will definitely have you breathing hard. I checked it out from the library many times before deciding to get my own copy. It’s great for strength, endurance, flexibility, etc. Also, I love Bob Harper. There, I said it. He makes you work hard without shouting at you. I can’t help it.
This is my #1 yoga recommendation if you’re new to yoga, short on time, or doing it with your husband. Michael had never really done any yoga at all and had virtually NO flexibility, but this was a fantastic DVD for getting started. There are 5 different workouts, and none of them is very long. If you’re pretty stiff or just getting back into things, you may benefit from having a yoga block to help you, but it’s not strictly necessary.
This is my favorite yoga YouTube channel. It’s 100% free to enjoy and she’s fantastic at walking you through yoga at all different levels. She has TONS of different workouts, sequences, and challenges to choose from, whether you have 5-10 minutes, 15-30 minutes, or an hour. And she’s soothing and gentle in all the right ways without taking herself too seriously. Love her!
What are YOUR favorite at-home workouts?
I’m always looking for inspiration. Shout them out in the comments and shop the widget below for my favorite picks!