Tag Archives: exercising

Top 10 Pieces of Equipment for At-Home Workouts

The pandemic over this last year has forced many people to change up their workout routine, equipment and even where they go to exercise.

With many gyms closed for several months to some still being closed, many people have had to rethink their workout regimen. At-home workouts have become SO popular over the years and 2020 I think sealed the deal for many, transitioning them from a local gym to exercising at home.

There are many benefits to working out from home, so if you can do it, why not?! You’ll not only save money but also time and gain flexibility as well. I find it so much easier to work out from home some days versus having to get out the door and drive to the physical gym.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love going to an actual gym and having access to all of the equipment and group classes, but there are many perks to exercising at home as well. 

Today I want to share my TOP TEN pieces of equipment to have at home for your home gym so you can work-out effectively and efficiently. I’ll preface this by saying that none of these items are more than $150 and you can likely purchase all of these pieces of equipment for under $1,000 and be well outfitted for your at-home workouts. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money outfitting your home gym, consider buying used from local friends or Facebook marketplace. You can also check stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls which sometimes have exercise equipment steeply discounted.

Without further ado, let’s dive in and find out my ten must-have pieces of equipment for at-home work-outs. 

*Yoga Mat/Exercise Mat: A yoga mat isn’t just for yoga. A non-slip exercise mat is helpful to have for floor exercises and stretching. 

*Dumbbells: Dumbbells are SO versatile and are necessary for strength/resistance training. There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with dumbbells. Consider purchasing a set with a stand to save space and also allows you versatility with various weights. 

*Medicine Ball or Slam Ball: A medicine ball is soft whereas a slam ball is filled with sand and is weighted. Both are incredible tools for functional and strength-based exercises. Medicine balls can be used for a variety of exercises including core exercises. A slam ball is a great tool to use to get your heart rate up with HIIT type exercises.

*Kettlebell: Another great piece of versatile equipment, especially for functional moves like swings, deadlifts, lunges, and squats. Kettlebells are great for toning and strengthening every part of your body, including your core. 

*Loop Resistance Bands: Loop resistance bands often times come with a few resistances (light, medium, heavy) and a little travel bag. These bands are typically under $15 and you can travel with them and use them virtually anywhere. Loop resistance bands are especially great for strengthening and toning your glutes and hips but can be used for a variety of exercises and stretches. 

*TRX Suspension Bands: The TRX Suspension Training system is a unique system that allows you to work your lower and upper body while also targeting and enhancing your core stability. All you need is a door or a solid backyard tree to hook the bands up to and you are ready to go! These bands are a bit more expensive, but you can do SO much with them and get a full body workout in any day of the week!

*Slider Discs: Slider discs are under $10 and take up barely any space, if space is an issue. A double win! You can also easily toss these in your travel bag with your loop resistance bands and get an effective workout anywhere! Slider discs are also great as a low-impact option that is easy on your joints while still strengthening your major muscle groups. 

*Jump Rope: Yup- a basic jump rope is one of my top pieces of equipment for at-home workouts. It’s cheap and effective! Jumping rope for even just 5 minutes is a great way to increase our heart rates and get in some good cardio work. 

*Stability Ball and/or Pilates Ball: A large stability ball can be used in a variety of ways including as a chair ;). You can use it to target your core, upper, or lower body. A smaller, Pilates ball is a great addition to your yoga/Pilates/barre workouts and can help with core strength and stability. 

*Foam Roller: While you won’t use a foam roller during your workout, it is necessary to help your body recover post workout. Using a foam roller for self-myofascial release (aka massage) is SO important for recovery and keeping your muscles loose and limber.

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Certified Personal Trainer
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Benefits Of Strength Training For Women

Benefits of Strength Training for Women

When I was in college, exercising for me looked like jumping on the elliptical or treadmill and doing steady state cardio for 30-45 minutes and calling it a day. Don’t get me wrong, steady state cardio like this is really beneficial for our heart health and cardiovascular system, however it should not be the only means of exercise. For a long time women thought they could just run or do the elliptical to lose weight and get in shape. That may work for a season but eventually you will hit a plateau and your body will stop responding to that type of exercise. 

One of my favorite ways to exercise and truly continue to challenge the body is through strength training. Thankfully there are a lot more resources out there now for women to help them in strength training. In fact, I myself created a helpful tool to teach women how to become their own personal trainers and implement effective workouts, mainly strength training. You can find out more about my Whole Body Fitness Planner at homebodysoul.lpages.co/wbfplanner. 

Strength training and lifting weights is a great way to transform your body composition (muscle vs. fat) and change your physique. The goal should not simply be to lose weight or be a certain weight but to be your healthiest self. Someone can be 130 pounds but carry more body fat than ideal versus someone who could weigh the exact same, look smaller and more toned, and carry more muscle and less fat. This is the ideal scenario because more muscle equals more calories burned at rest throughout the day. How? Why? Because the more muscle on your frame, the higher your basal metabolic rate which is basically the amount of calories you burn at rest throughout the day. We want that number high because that means we can workout less but still maintain our weight. You will still have to workout and exercise but you can make your workouts more efficient and less time consuming. I think we can all agree that that would be wonderful! 

Ok- back to strength training. Here are 3 benefits of strength training for women (just to name a few). Don’t be afraid to pick up the heavy weights and challenge your body! Strength is in the resistance and our bodies truly change in how they look, feel, and operate when we strength train, add muscle, and lose fat. 

  1. Strength training protects your bone health. Building and maintaining strong bones is vital as women especially as we age. One of the best ways to maintain strong bones is through strength training. Strength training helps support our bone density which naturally can decrease as we age.
  2. Strength training is a great low-impact exercise option. For those who have a hard time with high impact exercise, strength training is even more for you! When you work several muscle groups at the same time (i.e. compound movements) with little rest in between sets, your heart rate increases just like it would through higher impact exercise like running. 
  3. Strength training can improve your mental health. There is something empowering about lifting weights, especially as a female. This alone can help boost your mood and make you feel not only physically strong but also mentally strong and resilient. Lifting weights helps us to tangibly tap into our internal mental strength reserves, which can definitely come in handy when life happens and we need that put that mental strength to use. Studies have also shown that those who participate in strength training have a lower incidence of depression. 

I hope I convinced you to pick up the dumbbells and get to it! Are you ready to add in strength training to your workout regiment?!

Meghan Meredith
HomeBodySoul, Founder
Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Certified Personal Trainer
Connect with us!