If you’re following along the Fitness at Home series, here’s a list of inexpensive exercise equipment that is completely optional and will only add magnitude to your workouts.
- Bench (not pictured). Jane Fonda style, very inexpensive and stackable. Price ranges from $45-$150.
- Stability ball (clear). It doubles as a chair! This can be used in place of the bench; it requires more stability and core support. If you’re choosing between the two, I’d pick the stability ball.
- Resistance bands/tubing. Another inexpensive way to get a strength workout in; tubing ranges from light to heavy and comes in circular tubes (as shown) and bands.
- Mat (pink). These are just great for anything and everything! They vary in thickness, colors, and technology; some have antimicrobial additives! (#themat)
- Dumbbells (the pyramid). These are a little pricey, mainly because you buy by the weight, but if you have a little extra “fit cash”, invest in some. Craigslist, gyms going out of business, and friendly neighbors are great resources to utilize!
A functional workout that hits every muscle group in under 50 minutes? Where do I sign up!?
Yes, another Get Ripped DVD review; I truly think these are the BEST workout DVDs for at-home exercisers! No matter how tight your workout space is, you can set up an at-home gym on any budget! I’ve taken the guess-work out for you when it comes to selecting equipment to invest in:
- a yoga and/or exercise mat. select one that’s slip-resistant (i use a gaiam yoga mat). great for core exercises, yoga/Pilates, push-ups, etc.
- a step and/or bench (thankfully my mother had one when she participated in step aerobics back in the day!) can be used for chest press/fly exercises, triceps dips, rows, incline/decline planks & so-on. sporting goods stores have a wide variety of these; choose one that when you lie down, your entire back is supported (neutral alignment)
- dumbbells. when you’re first creating your home-gym, look for dumbbells that come in bundles; usually 3,5,8 lbs. since you pay by weight, this will be cheaper. 3,5,8 lbs. are appropriate weights for toning and endurance-based exercises.
- resistance bands & tubing. similar to dumbbells, you can purchase these in bundles; light, medium, and heavy levels are available. great for travelers since they pack well.
- stability ball. replace your desk chair and you can work your core indirectly (another two-fer!). keep in mind* when you’re choosing a stability ball, choose one based on your height: 4’8″-5’5″=45cm. 5’6″-6′=55cm. 6′-6’5″=65cm. this will ensure you have a 90degree angle from hips-knees-ankles.
There are plenty of other tools you can purchase, but like muscles, building a home gym doesn’t happen overnight. Start with the bare essentials; as both you and your muscles get stronger, invest in more equipment! Search websites like craigslist and Ebay for slightly-used equipment.
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for..let’s review!
RED FLAG-This workout does not include a warm-up. I have not a clue as to why, but it goes from the main menu into the first track. A major no-no.
- Side Squats & Reverse Lunges. Probs my favorite track on the DVD; using your body-weight or dumbbells as resistance, you complete 2 side squats then 6 reverse lunges/side. A toning exercise while increasing your heart-rate.
- Up,Up,Down,Down Push-ups. Plank position, down to forearms then back up to push-up position. Intermixed with regular push-ups.
- Chest Press & Glute Bridge.
- Dead Lifts & Biceps Curls.
- Plie Squats & Upright Rows.
- Single-leg Bent-over Rows
- Elevated Side Squat & Lateral Raise (calorie burner & heart rate lifter!)
- Step-ups & Overhead Press
- Glute Extension & Triceps Kickback
Rating: B+. The no warm-up frustrates me, not only because it’s just plain safe to incorporate a warm-up before exercising but also to motivate me. If I’m feeling like I need a kick-in-the-pants to get me moving, I can usually count on the warm-up to do just that.
This past weekend, NC State URec hosted its first annual bench press competition. The turn out was great! All of the time slots were filled and spectators came and watched the event. Although the bench press competition was male dominant, there were 3 females who participated..myself being one of them. Thinking I didn’t need to practice weeks in advance (I workout-I got this!), I quickly found out how hard it was and realized there is so much more to the bench press than what meets the eye..the boys make it look too easy..
For a competition, there are certain rules that the lifter must follow in order for his/her rep to count. The most important and hardest rule I found was the
what-seemed-like-60 seconds“hold” at the bottom of the press. This not only depletes the lifter’s momentum, but also makes him/her regain the strength to press it back up. Easier said than done my friends. Think about the factors involved in a lift like this: breathing, body alignment, hand placement, total body strength and mindset. Needless to say I didn’t win (details people details) but it was still a fun experience and a learning one as well! Assuming that because I exercise regularly, I don’t need to practice is something I will take from this experience (along with achy pecs) and change the way I think and prepare myself in the future.
“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.” ~Henry Hartman
All-in-all, the event was a success and tons of fun to be a part of and work with an awesome team, watch the participants push themselves (safely) and be a part of something that will hopefully happen annually!
^Some members of Team Fitnasty!
P.S. The overall male winner benched 505lbs!! Is that not insane!?
Today’s workout seemed like it was over once it started! (Love those I got myself to the
pink treadmill then finished up with a toning circuit in my “korner” (long story short-I’ve worked out in the same corner since I was a freshman and my gym buddies refer to it as KK (Katie’s korner)..corny I know.. :-r (I just found all these smiley codes-cool!)
Treadmill: it looks a lot more than it is; every minute you change your speed=5 minute/round
- 1 minute @ 6.5mph
- 1 minute @ 7.0mph
- 1 minute @ 7.5mph
- 1 minute @ 8.0mph
- 1 minute @ 8.5mph
- repeat 2x-rest or complete the same format except play with the incline to catch your breath.
Toning: 3x-12 reps
- rear delt. row
- dead lifts
- chest press
- overhead press
- triceps kickbacks
- biceps curls
- side plank hip drops
During the weekends, I try and do my workout first thing in the A.M. then I have the rest of the day to do whatever! It’s a healthy habit to get into.
Today’s workout was a quickie; I started on the treadmill (too hot to run outside) then finished with a mini circuit.
HIIT Treadmill workout: 31 minutes
- 1 minute sprint (varied between 8.0-9.0 mph)
- 45 seconds jog (6.2-6.5 mph)
Mini Circuit: 25 minutes
- walking lunges with a hip extension and shoulder press-2X
- squats with calf raises (holding dumbbells in front of my shoulders)
- squat into a good morning (holding dumbbells in front of my shoulders)
- single arm diagonal shoulder raise (think of a one sided “Y”)
- on a stability ball-bent leg glute presses
- stability ball “T” “Y” “I”" fly’s
The HIIT treadmill workout left me extremely
sweaty-excuse me-glistening and I was glad it was over. The mini workout was a lot of shoulder work, which is OKAY since my chest and back are still sore from the Deck of Cards workout-more on that later!
Equipment needed: Dumbbells, resistance band, stability ball, mat
Perform each exercise 2X through before moving on to the next exercise. Use heavy enough weights (with good form!) to challenge yourself (the last rep should be tough).
- Single-leg Tilt
- Weight in left leg-lift right leg in front
- Extend left arm to shoulder height
- Tilt forward from hips-swing leg behind you as you try & touch hand to foot
- Stand & repeat
- Single-arm Chest Fly
- Lay upper shoulders on stability ball
- Weight in right hand
- Slight bend in elbow as you lower weight
- Lift & repeat for reps/opposite arm
- Single-leg Row on Ball
- Place 1 knee on ball-slight bend in opposite knee
- Weight in opposite hand-palm facing behind
- Lift weight to ribs
- Lower & repeat/opposite arm
Curtsy Lunge & Hammer Curl
- Weights in hands
- Lunge diagonally back with right leg and curl weights to shoulders
- Return to center
- Lunge diagonally back with left leg and curl weights to shoulders
- Triceps Push-ups & Leg Lift
- Lie on right side-left arm bent in front of chest, fingertips towards head (bottom arm can be resting on floor in front of stomach)
- Extend left leg from hip
- Straighten elbow and lift upper body off of the ground (leg remains lifted!)
- Lower & repeat
- Switch sides to complete set
3-way Jump Squat
- Feet under hips-10 reps
- Feet wider than hips-10 reps
- Plie squat-10 reps
- Lay down-loop band around feet-hold handles and make an “X” with tubes
- Lower legs as you make little circles in 1 direction
- On the way up, reverse the circles
Complete each exercise in the circuit back to back with little rest in between. Do each circuit 2-3X through. Remember: breathe, drink H2O, and proper form.
- Squat & Overhead Press
- Plank & Row
- Right Lateral (Side) Lunge & Biceps Curl-Left Lateral (Side) Lunge & Biceps Curl
- Plie (Sumo) Squat & Lateral (Side) Raise
- Reverse Lunge & Medicine ball Rotation (towards front knee)
- Side Plank Hip Push-up
- Seated Russian Twist
- Scissor Abs
*Track your progress!