Updated: Feb 16
As the saying goes, you can't outrun your fork. But when your food habits are in line with your goals, adding fitness to your healthy habits routine can help you sculpt your body, tone up and trim down and shed those last few pounds. And the benefits of strength training go far beyond pretty muscles! When you have a healthier muscular balance in the body, you're able to perform day-to-day tasks more easily, reduce pain and inflammation, lower your risk of injury and disease, and improve your quality of life.
But what happens if your job, lifestyle, or environment doesn't allow for traditional gym workouts? No problem! You can easily get an effective workout at-home! In fact, most of my clients enjoy having fitness tools at home and enjoy the freedom being able to workout when, where, and how it works best for them.
You simply need to know how to maximize your at-home workout. And I'm going to give you the tools to do it -- without breaking the bank or having to set-up an entire home gym (unless you want to of course!)
You may have seen these around the gym or spotlighted in a fitness magazine and thought, "what can these do for me?" But the question is, what can't they do?! Not only do resistance bands offer the ease of portability and storage, but they provide versatility to a number of fitness activities. They come in varying sizes, colors, and resistance/strengths to accommodate all fitness levels. Resistance bands have the unique ability to challenge muscles by offering varied tension within an exercise movement, enabling the user to work both the weaker and stronger muscles simultaneously.
Because the user is able to determine the amount of tension placed upon the muscle these bands are not only wonderful for those rehabbing a injury or just beginning a fitness program, but also the fitness enthusiasts. Using resistance bands in your fitness routine will help you address underused muscles, strengthening them safely in order to create a healthy balance within the body without placing the strain of conventional weight equipment - safeguarding your muscles, tendons, joints, and bones!
Free weights come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and of course weight loads. Starting as low as 1 lb and jumping up well over 55 lbs, you can really pick the weight that's most appropriate for your current fitness level. The great benefit to using free weights in your fitness routine is their ability to recruit and challenge balance and strength in ways that stationary machines cannot.
And their versatility enables you to use them in all sorts of movement patterns supportive of day-to-day activities. Because free weights encourage the use of stabilizer muscles you're able to more effectively build strength and make power gains, which makes them ideal for athletes and sport conditioning.
Adding free weights to traditional bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, planks, and sit-ups, can be a great way to boost your overall fitness, challenge your core, and build fat burning muscle. It really is amazing how much you can do with just a pair of 5 or 10 lb dumbbells!
You may have seen one of these in a fitness video, at your gym, or even at a friend's house and wondered, "what's up with the weighted basketballs?" That weighted ball is actually a wonderfully versatile piece of fitness equipment that can bring a whole lot of variety and dimension to your fitness routine!
They range anywhere from 4 lbs and up (8 lbs is typically the most popular and versatile) and some even come with handles! Because they are designed to be thrown and take a great deal of impact they provide more flexibility than traditional free weights and can be used in all sorts of exercises - such as planks, woodchops, sit-ups, squat thrusts, and more!
A medicine ball is a great tool to challenge your core, support balance needs, eye-hand coordination, and overall muscular power. They are perfect for explosive strength movements as well as flexibility exercises...and let's face it, they are just plain fun!
Sometimes called a yoga ball, Swiss balls make wonderfully versatile piece of fitness equipment if you have the room available to use and store it. The most common sizes are 55cm, 65cm, and 75cm. The size best for you is dependent on your height (see the chart of size recommendations below).
You can use a Swiss ball as an office chair to support proper spine alignment, for conditioning exercises like planks, sit-ups, push-ups, hamstring curls, and wall squats. They work great in place of a weight bench and are excellent for your stretching routine.
The imbalance of the ball helps you engage your core and muscles supportive of healthy balance, boosting balance, coordination and conditioning while fostering proper posture in a low impact way. It's no wonder why they're commonly found not only in gyms, but in physical therapy and chiropractic patient care!
Swiss Ball Recommendations based on height:
4'11" to 5'4" height = 55 cm ball
5'4" to 5'11" height = 65 cm ball
5'11" to 6' 7" height = 75 cm ball
Bottom line - bodyweight exercises are a wonderful way to support your functional movement needs. Physical activities such as squats, lunges, planks and sit ups can be done anytime and anywhere with little else required than your body to perform them. Finding ways to enhance these basic movements in order to gain optimal results and build upon your body's strength, cardiorespiratory, balance and coordination foundations is instrumental in maintaining long term health and fitness benefits. As you can see with the use of a few simple fitness tools you can easily add challenge to virtually any fitness routine. So now that you know, get ready - let's go!
Ready to make fitness simple, rewarding and fun so you can get strong, feel energized, and become the best version of you?Feel Strong, Click the link below to download my FREE guide: Kickstart Your Fitness. It's loaded with tips and tricks to help you sneak in daily exercise with a simple and effective 10-minute workout you can easily do in the comfort of your own home... so you can feel, move, and live your best!