Ok "must have" might be a little strong. It is certainly true that all you really need to get in a good workout is your body weight and some space to move. Most of my weekly workouts and the workouts in my MIND.BODY.SOUL. Kick Start Challenge are set up this way. They are convenient and efficient, and get the job done. However, to effectively target ALL your muscle groups and movement patterns, some equipment may be necessary. I have a list of 4 “must haves” below. These all together will run you well under $100. Some you might have already; others, I’m thinking.... Christmas wish list!
A Set of Dumbbells (Ideally two sets)
Dumbbells will help access muscle groups that are more difficult to access with your body weight. For example: the overhead shoulder press. Handstand pushups are a possibility, but many of us will need to work up to pressing our whole body weight ;)
To best choose the weight, head over to Target or your local sporting goods store and play around. Choose a weight that you can lift over your head in an overhead shoulder press 15 times with good form on every repetition; on the 15 repetition it should feel like you can’t do any more. If you can easily do 16 – 20, go up a size. Ideally, get two sets. Get one as described and one more set the next size up. Shoulders tend to be the weaker muscle groups, especially in women, so you will use the lighter one for most shoulder exercises while the heavier weight can be used for most everything else.
Resistance Bands with a Door Anchor
Number one, resistance bands are extremely portable. I always take one with me in my duffle bag or suit case when I travel. I mainly use my resistance bands to train my back, butt, and core, but there are perfect for the whole body. Plus, they allow full range of motion, including twisting which is difficult with free weights (dumbbells).
I like the Black Mountain ones available on Amazon (where I buy pretty much everything in life. I wish they paid me like my grocery store). They have a nice soft handle and come with a door anchor. I suggest you start with medium or heavy. For what I will suggest using them for, you can adjust the resistance yourself by varying how close you stand to the door anchor.
Training on the ball is one way to work your deep core stabilizing muscles. Just by sitting on the ball, you’re able to activate the stabilizer muscles and improve your posture. This is just one of many benefits to adding a stability ball to your workout routine.
Choose your stability ball based on your height:
If you are 5'0" - 5'4" you will require a 55cm (21.65in) Exercise Ball
If you are 5'5" - 5'11" you will require a 65cm (25.59in) Exercise Ball
If you are 6'0" - 6'3" you will require a 75cm (29.52in) Exercise Ball
If you are 6'4"+ you will require our a 85cm (33.46in) Exercise Ball
Foam rolling (or more specifically self-myofascial release) is essentially self-deep-tissue-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. Foam rolling aids in the recovery of muscles and increases muscle mobility. Therefore, foam rolling can help you train harder, prevent injury, and even improve the look of your muscles.
I like the long ones (36 inches) because you can move around on the them more easily. Start with the regular foam ones before you upgrade to the harder plastic mold ones.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks.
I will step through each of these pieces of equipment and show you the best ways to incorporate them into an efficient, effective full body workout right in your living room.
Now go add what you don't already have to your Christmas list wish list!
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