2020 seems to be the year of at home workouts.
Gyms are closed, people are stuck at home, the lockdown seems endless... If you acted quickly, you were able to get the remaining dumbbells on earth before they all sold out. Now if you want to try and find dumbbells, you might as well look on the black market. $2.00 a pound?! Ridiculous!
However, most people do already have small dumbbells or hand weights on hand at home, so that's good. Dumbbells are included in my list of essential at home workout equipment. No, you don't need a full gym set up in your garage to have an effective workout, even though that would be the preference to continuing to get optimal gains. So while you go place that order for a squat rack, barbell, and plates, you can see if you already have these pieces of equipment at home so you can start training.
I already mentioned dumbbells but I'll mention them again because load is so necessary if you want to make progress at home. No matter what weight you have, any dumbbell is better than no dumbbell because we can find a use for them.
Here's my recommendations as far as weights. I recommend to have a couple sets of dumbbells, or maybe adjustable dumbbells to make storage easier. Powerblocks are a bit pricey, but totally worth it as far as convinience and space-saving goes.
I'd have a few sets of dumbbells (hence why I suggest powerblocks).
For less trained individuals, I'd recommend a lighter set of 5-15lbs and a heavier set of 20-50lbs.
For more trained individuals, I recommend that your lighter set of dumbbells to be somewhere between 10 and 20lbs and your heavier set around 30-70lbs.
2. Resistance bands (long and short)
I also recommend that everyone have some resistance bands as well. Short bands for hip and shoulder movements and long bands for accessory work.
Long Resistance bands come in varying widths which dictate how much resistance they give you. Thicker bands have more resistance and thinner bands have less (obviously). I recommend having one skinny band (less than 1" thick) and one thicker band (0.5-1" thick) for at home exercises. You can anchor these bands to various objects at home (bannister, table, door jamb) to use for a variety of exercises.
Short Resistance bands are great for hip and shoulder exercises where the band loops around the knees, ankles, or wrists to provide resistance. The bands from Gladiator Gear are great for lower body exercises because of its thicker cloth material - no digging into your skin!
Bands are space-friendly and affordable. If you have anything at home, I recommend that you at least have bands!
3. Sliders or Foam Roller
Sliders and/or foam rollers are one of my favorite tools to provide resistance to exercises in different ways. Instead of using load for resistance, we can use friction.
You probably already have sliders at home that are used to move furniture. Great! Most people have a foam roller on hand as well - you can use that as well.
Some examples of what I use sliders and foam rollers for in workouts include:
So there you have a few staples that I love to utilize with at-home workouts. I find these pieces of equipment to be the most versatile and give you the most bang for your buck when it comes to workouts.
If you're looking for more help with at-home workouts - maybe you're just plumb outta ideas on what you can do at home - I have a solution for you!
I designed Strong At Home to be a logical, no BS, at-home workout guide that will help you maintain or gain strength at home with simple, easy-to-follow exercises. Strong At Home comes with 30+ workouts that target your upper body, lower body, full body, and mobility and core. These workouts have equipment and non-equipment options, and can be done with the equipment all listed in this post!
Why Strong At Home? I was tired of seeing "at-home" workouts on Instagram that involved a ton of jumping around and adding a band to every single exercise (LOL to that because I have a band around my knees on the cover of Strong At Home). Anyways, I wanted to create a logical program that made sense to do at home for people who were serious about getting and staying strong while they had limited gym access.
Strong At Home is made for you if you want like simple, effective, and time-saving workouts.
Worried that you won't understand how to do the exercises? This guide comes with instructions on different methods used in this program as well as video demos linked to each exercise!
And yes, there are non-equipment workouts available in this guide as well!
Click here to read more about Strong At Home and to purchase!
About the Author
Laura Su, BS Exercise Science, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Powerlifter, Entreprenuer
I'm just a girl who fell in love with movement in high school and now wants to bring the freedom that exercise brings to everyone else.
I started working out with the desire to look a certain way but eventually found the sense of accomplishment and clarity that training for performance brought. Now I want to help everyone, especially women, to learn how to train and eat for their health and performance and realize that when you do that, the looks you desire are simply a positive side effect.
In my spare time, I enjoy powerlifting, horseback riding, sleeping, and hanging out with my boyfriend. I hope you enjoy my posts and keep reading along!
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