Whether we are in this for the long haul or not, there has probably never been a better time to check out what type of home-based training space you have available to you… and perhaps with it, a little bit of training equipment that can go a surprisingly long way without breaking the bank.
When this all started- and you know what I’m talking about, so I wont waste any time mentioning it, fitness equipment was hard to come by. Everyone rushed to stock up on whatever they could find, and soon enough- trying to find decent fitness equipment was about as easy as getting a case of Clorox wipes.
Luckily- production has slowly started to catch up with the demand, and as of today- there are plenty of good options out there for getting yourself set up with a bit of home-fitness gear. And even if your local gym or health club is re-opening, it might not be a bad idea to have a few of these things in your own collection anyway!
Read below to check out my top five picks for at-home fitness equipment that can give you plenty of options when it comes to getting a decent workout.
1. The Stability Ball
The stability ball, or swiss ball is a great piece of equipment when it comes to functional core strength. It can also sub in as a bench for a variety of seated, or supine free weight exercises- at which point, an exercise that was originally an isolated, single anatomical plan movement, becomes multi-focal- since it now involves an added stability requirement.
Check out the Stronger BCSS Video Library for fun ways to put a Stability Ball to great use!
2. The Kettlebell
The design of a kettlebell is really what makes it more versatile that a dumbbell. The “loop” style handle lends itself well to a variety of gripping methods suitable for high-speed movements like a swing, or snatch. Meanwhile, it is just as user-friendly as a dumbbell when it comes to a lower-speed movement like an overhead press.
The kettlebell is my favourite training tool when it comes to unilateral lower body strength exercises like the rear-foot elevated split squat, controlled step down, or single-leg RDL.
Given the choice, I’d opt for a a few different sizes / loads of kettlebells over a rack of dumbbells in my basement in a heartbeat.
3. Resistance Bands
Don’t be fooled. Just because a set of resistance bands often packs up into a convenient travel-sized carrying bag doesn’t mean they can’t create some pretty tough work.
From high-repetition accessory strength drills to added resistance for a variety of high-velocity exercises (think drive phase mechanics for sprinting)- resistance bands have place in strength and conditioning that cannot be easily substituted.
What’s more- is that these bands provide an exhaustive list of opportunities for activation exercises and drills, often used as “primer” or “movement prep” exercises by athletes at every level.
Still not sure about resistance bands? Have a look at some of the warm-up and prep routines being used by your favourite professional athletes the next time you watch a live sporting event. I’ll be shocked if you don’t see a collection of resistance bands somewhere.
4. A Decent Yoga Mat
If for no other reason than to feel a little more comfortable and tolerant of the exercises you’re doing- get yourself a good yoga mat. This is especially valuable for kneeling exercises when a mat might take some of the discomfort out of the equation. And of course, any exercise that involves lying in the prone, or supine position.
If you aren’t already putting a mat down when you sweat- you might be surprised at how a few millimetres of extra cushioning might boost your enthusiasm for another set of push-ups or bridges.
Lastly, mats are easy to clean, pack-up, travel with, and store.
5. A Foam Roller & A Lacrosse Ball
If you know… you know. And that means you probably already have these tools within reach. But just in case this is new information- any athlete who is as concerned about taking care of their body as they are improving their performance should invest in a good roller and a lacrosse ball.
A roller is used primarily on larger groups of muscles to assist with myo-fascial release, and can actually stand to benefit an athlete on both sides of a workout. Meanwhile, a lacrosse ball- seems to be the perfect size to apply pressure in many of the “trigger points” that exist in oft tissue that are often responsible for the high-resting tension we experience after strenuous work.
Collectively, think of these two tools as your personal massage therapist. To learn more about ways to use the lacrosse ball and foam roller, be sure to check out the Stronger BCSS Video library!
If you’re already fairly well-equipped with a collection of home fitness equipment- and you’re looking for new and challenging ways to stay fit at home, remember that you can always get in touch!