Friday, March 7, 2014

Basic Equipment to Own [Fit Mamas Series, part 7]

To wrap up the series, I want to make some suggestions on some basic equipment you should own in order to be able to do a variety of workouts at your house.  Even if you have a gym membership, it is helpful to have a few basic pieces of workout gear at home because it allows you to fit in short workouts here and there during times you wouldn't be able to make it all the way to the gym.  If you are on a tight budget or don't want a gym membership for some other reason, spending just a few month's worth of gym membership fees can get you enough gear to be able to do a wide variety of workouts at home.  Here are some suggestions for exercise equipment I find helpful to own:


If you only get one thing on this list, I would suggest a good set a of dumbells.  And please, stay away from 1, 2 and 3lb dumbells!! Too many women lift light weights like these when they can and should be doing heavier weights.  If you are new to working out, you may need 3lb weights for some exercises for now, but try to use them temporarily and them put them away when you can work up to more weight. I would suggest getting a set of 5's, 8's, 10's and 12's to start off with, and expand when you get strong enough for more weight.

If you own some heavier dumbells, you can use them for most exercises you use kettlebells for.  But if you don't, I find kettlebells a worthwhile investment.  Consider getting a 15lb and 20lb kettlebell, and go heavier once these get too easy.

Yoga mat
Yoga mats are nice for any exercise that you have to get on the floor for, such as push ups or planks.  If you are really on a tight budget, you can use something like a beach towel, but a soft thick yoga mat is nice to have on hand, and you'll likely use it every workout.

Bosu ball
I see a bosu ball as a bit of a luxury as it is pricy and not absolutely necessary.  I myself just started using one in the past few months because of the rec center we joined.  However, there are tons of exercises that can be slightly modified or made more challenging by incorporating a bosu ball.  Consider a bosu ball once you already have at least dumbells, a jump rope and a yoga mat.  That being said, you can easily incorporate the bosu ball into every workout, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

Jump rope

A jump rope is relatively cheap, small and easy to store, and makes for a great workout.  Definitely include one of these in your workout equipment.

Medicine balls

As with kettlebells, you can get away with doing some medicine ball exercises with a dumbell, but there are many advantages to a medicine ball (it is easier to grip, and you can throw/drop it, which you can't do with a dumbell!).  Consider getting a few medicine balls once you have gotten some of the other basic equipment.  An 8lb and 12lb ball should serve the purposes you need them for.

Did you miss part of the series?  Here are the topics we covered:

Why Take Time to Work Out?

Fitting in Exercise for the Busy Mom

Practical Suggestions for Exercising

10 Minute Core/Balance Workouts

10 Minute Strength Workouts

10 Minute Cardio Workouts

What are your suggestions for must-have workout equipment?

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