Let’s get real here for a second.
In fact, the equipment I have right now is minimal, and has mostly been acquired as gifts over the past few years.
Currently for workouts, I own a few different kettlebells, an awesome tiled exercise mat, a jump rope, two light exercise bands, and a new puppy. (Kidding on that last one. Sort of.) I also own mobility tools, including this foam roller and massage stick.
With the holiday season fast approaching, I decided it was time to add a few more cost effective and versatile pieces of equipment to my toolbox. I’d love the opportunity to kick my home workouts up a notch, and create an environment that will allow me to have some more variety, and build strength.
So, if you’re looking for ideas for what things you might want to add to your Christmas list – here’s a sneak peek at what I’ve researched and decided would be a valuable purchase.
PS – If you’re totally new to the idea of buying your own fitness tools and equipment, download my Home Workout Guide and check out the basic tools I recommend purchasing first.
5 Home Workout Tools I Have on My Christmas List
1. Adjustable Dumbbells ($50)
Adjustable dumbbells are incredibly useful because they allow for near-maximal efforts in a variety of movements. They can be used for both upper body and lower body exercises, and are great for both strength and interval training depending on the weight you put on the bar.
Up until now, I’ve mainly focused on using kettlebells for strength training at home, or have used items around the house like gallon water jugs or cans of olive oil. However, I’ll have much more versatility and will be able to add dozens of new challenging movements to my workout routine by getting a pair of adjustable dumbbells.
I plan to do moves like the overhead press and push press, squat to overhead press, weighted walking lunge, and romanian deadlift, to name a few.
2. Suspension Trainer ($40)
A suspension trainer is a fitness tool that includes a variety of adjustable straps and handles, which allow you to use gravity to perform body weight movements.
I recently became more familiar with suspension training when one of the strength coaches at my gym started adding it to our workouts. It’s great for pulling exercises, which aren’t as easy to perform as pushing exercises (like the push-up) with body weight training, and can be used for both lower body strength and core stability training. My favorite moves include the row, shoulder pull exercises, and the single leg lunge.
While the TRX Suspension Trainer is the highest quality, and therefore, the most expensive – I’ve opted for the WOSS Attack Trainer. For the price, it seems to provide great functionality and durability, and fits my current needs.
3. MB5 Massage Ball ($25)
I’m a huge fan of myofacial release tools, simply because they’ve made a huge difference in my own mobility issues, and help to relieve pain and tightness from workouts and the wear and tear of life. If you’re not already aware of my past injuries and issues, I’ll save you the hour or so and just say there are quite a few of them.
The latest mobility tool to hit the market is the MB5 Massage Ball from TriggerPoint Therapy, which is a 5-inch ball that can be used to work in deep areas of the hip, lats, and lower back. When I recently saw it in the store, it was love at first site. The ball is portable and lightweight, and I expect it’s something I’ll take with me when traveling – especially when flying.
I plan to use it to help release tension in the deep muscles of the butt, hips, and hard-to-reach areas of the shoulder – specifically, underneath the armpit.
4. Medicine Ball ($29)
A medicine ball is a weighted ball that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, and can be held, tossed, bounced, or slammed.
Personally, I find medicine balls to be the most useful when engaging the upper body in ballistic movements, like the ball toss or overhead slam ball. These movements are great to do in high intensity interval workouts, or after upper body strength moves (often called “contrasting” sets.)
After looking at some of the options, I’ve chosen a Champion Sports Leather Medicine Ball that’s about 12 lbs and the size of a basketball. I find this ball has the most versatility, and I like the fact that it doesn’t bounce so I can use it for wall balls or wall tosses without losing control of it.
5. Higher Tension Exercise Band ($23)
Resistance bands are bands with elastic qualities that can be used to build strength and improve stability. They come in a variety of strengths and sizes, and can be easily attached to stationary objects around the house.
Because they are affordable, and great for building functional strength, exercise bands are the first item I recommend purchasing if you’re interested in doing workouts at home.
Since I currently only have two lightweight bands, which I use for core and upper body movements, I’d like to add a higher tension band to my stash so I can start to do more strength-based lowered body work. I plan to use this band to do things like deadlifts, good mornings, and glute kick-backs.
Have other ideas for my Christmas list – or what to share what fitness tools YOU are totally loving? Share them below!