Hey Pretty Mamas,
If you are thinking about setting up a simple home-gym in your home (as you are getting ready to set up the nursery for baby) the following items can be purchased pretty much anywhere these days and are relatively inexpensive. Remember you don’t need much room, a sun room, den, bedroom, patio, or even if you would like to take your workout outdoors an outside concrete area will work well. If you don’t want to use any equipment and rather use body weight as your resistance, just buy a jump rope to use for your warm-ups, and for some of your Cardio/circuit training sessions. Even for the busy Mama that travels a lot, “Exertube” Resistance bands, and “Dyna-bands” are also a great way to add extra resistance to your workouts and they won’t take up much room in your suitcase or home-gym. If you are however looking to set up your own inexpensive home-gym the following items are some of my favorite pieces of equipment to work with. Please note that not all are in the picture above.
The big exercise or stability ball which came out of the Physical Therapy environment and made its way into the gym is a great exercise tool. These balls come in different sizes. Choose one that’s at least 55 cm or 65 cm in diameter if you are wondering which size to get. Some come with a weight in it but quite frankly you don’t need it. I like using the stability ball regularly with my Prenatal, Postpartum as well as my Body Transformation clients. It’s very versatile and can be used for many exercises from head to toe. It’s great for once you have had the baby as well, as you are healing it makes a great chair to sit on as it’s soft and won’t be as uncomfortable as a chair. You can even use it, with caution, to rock your baby as the baby lays on it.
The Medicine ball, is another great way to add resistance to your workouts. If you are just starting out I would look for one that weighs at least 6-8 lbs, and if you are a seasoned exerciser anywhere from 10, 12 up to 20 lbs will give you a great workout.
Dumbbells should also be part of your home-gym. If you are starting out, purchase 3, 5 and 8 lbs dumbbells to begin with. As you progress and become fitter you can add on and purchase 10, 12, 15 lbs up to 20 lbs weights. If you have already gained some of your strength back or have been lifting for awhile naturally you would start with a higher set of dumbbells for certain exercises. Some people like to buy the “PowerBlock” adjustable dumbbells, to keep their home-gym more organized, but a big sturdy bin or milk crate should work well to store your dumbbells in when not in use.
Resistance Tubes and Exercise Bands are also some of my favorite pieces for your home-gym. They come in different strengths, are portable if you wish to take your workouts on the road or to the park, and can give you a great full body workout.
A Yoga Mat, of at least 3 or 5 cm in thickness or a towel. A cushion for Prenatal workouts for extra support under your belly when doing certain exercises.
A chair, bench or step (optional) and a Bosu Ball which looks like a stability ball cut in half. The Bosu Ball is a fabulous device where you can do endless conditioning exercises from head to toe. One of my favorite’s.
Last but not least a Foam Roller is a great tool to work out any kinks you might have after working out and should be used pre or post workout.
If you are unfamiliar with some of these, google them, and see on YouTube how people are using these wonderful workout tools. Have fun setting up your very own home-gym. Finally, if you are looking to splurge on a piece of equipment, invest in a commercial grade treadmill or elliptical to complete your workouts. These are not must-haves in a simple, inexpensive home-gym environment, but if you wanted to add cardio equipment this is what I would purchase. You can always reach out to me if you have questions and I will be happy to help you design your own home-gym or a safe and fun workout program for you. Be well. Be fit. Be strong and always confident.