While we’re on the subject of gyms, let me share with you my thoughts about at-home gym equipment.
Because I often attend gym classes that use all kinds of exercise equipment, I’m always wanting yet another new toy. I ambitiously think, hey I could do this at home! As if my butt can lift off the black hole that is the couch. So let me preface all of this by saying that I hardly ever use any of my at-home gym equipment. I do use them but most, only a few times a year. Here are the items I do use – even if infrequently.
- Foam roller – It helps tremendously with sore muscles. Sometimes no amount of stretching works as well as rolling pin the heck out of your legs or sides – like a self-massage. I don’t know though, sometimes I wonder if maybe I could have just used the one at the gym and saved the space. Ok this is a take it or leave it.
- Yoga mat – It’s not just for yoga. The grippyness of it helps when I use a foam roller, or if I just want to do some stretching or calisthenics. I probably use this the most regularly – as in, I aim to use it at least once a week.
- Jump-rope – This is a very effective cardio equipment. It’s portable and takes up minimal space. The few times a year I use it, I jump for 5-minutes at a time (with minimal breaks) with squats and weightlifting in between the jump roping repeating three or four rounds. It’s an effective workout. I don’t use this a lot because at the end of the day, I still need to take it with me to a place that has the room to skip rope, which ends up being a gym. So… I could just use the gym rope. BUT! This one is tailored to my height and it’s to my liking so I jump rope more now that I have my own. I am glad I have it for the times I want to do cardio but don’t feel like running. Realistically though, I use it maybe a few times a year. Which I suppose is still more than I used to jump rope, which was hardly ever.
That’s it! That’s all I have or would get (for now)
The other items I have and why I wouldn’t recommend them:
- Weights of any sort – This includes kettlebells – which I almost got, but thankfully decided against it. While I like kettlebells and other weights, they’re heavy! They can dent the floor when you drop them, which will happen. And they take up a good amount of space because they will eventually multiply. Lets say you get a set of 5 lb dumbbells to start. Eventually, that gets easier as you get stronger and then you’ll need to buy the 7 lb or 8 lb ones. Then the 10 lb. So on and so forth. Or if you choose to stop with the craziness, the sets that are too easy aren’t really going to be as effective and you basically have dumbbells that you’ll never use. A better alternative to weights, resistance bands. For use at home, they’re definitely better than dumbbells. These things are light, portable and just as effective and frankly more versatile than dumbbells. I didn’t get them though because I can’t see myself really using them enough to justify owning them.
- Exercise balls – These big balls take up space. I rarely use them except as auxiliary chairs when we have more people over. Yes, there are some moves I can do with them but I can do similar moves that activate the same muscles without the balls just as effectively. Mine is more furniture than exercise equipment.
OR save your money and just do what I do most days, which is sit on the couch watching Netflix or YouTube.