Move More At Home – Equipment

Which exercise tools should you get?

Bands, cords, tubes, weights – what do you really need?

Sometimes the most convenient and time saving way to exercise is to squeeze in a workout at home. There are plenty of body weight exercises you could do, but with a few simple tools you could increase the variety of your workouts.

Which Small Exercise Accessory Are Effective?

The best exercise equipment for small spaces needs to be space-saving, preferably multi-functional and highly effective.

Here are my 5 favorite can’t miss pieces:

1) Small Dumbbells

With a good set of dumbbells, you can target every major muscle group, including arms, legs and core. Get two or three different weight sets eg. 5,8,10 lbs. This gives you the freedom to choose the perfect poundage depending on the exercise you are completing.

A protective coating not only protects surface from damage, but also gives you a better grip, even with sweaty hands.

2) Mini-Bands

This type of resistance band is a loop band which can be wrapped around your ankles, above/ below your knees or used for upper body exercises.
Similar like other stretch bands, they come in different resistance levels eg. light, medium, heavy. Get a set of three different bands, but get started with a light one.

Pay attention that different companies use different color codes. A blue band might be a light resistance for one brand, but heavy for another brand.

3) Exercise & Stability Ball

A dense, inflatable ball is the most versatile piece of home gym equipment you can get. They are designed to tone, tighten and stretch your entire body. The challenge while working out on an unstable surface engages your core stabilizer muscles extra.

Your knees should be below your hips, when sitting on the ball

There is no one-size-fits-all situation with exercise balls. Instead, choose the size you need is based on your own height. Here an estimate:

Exercise Ball SizeYour Height
45 cm/ 18”< 5 feet (152 cm)
55 cm/ 22’’5-6 feet (152-183 cm)
65 cm/ 26’’> 6 feet (183 cm)

You can also use your leg length as a good indicator. When sitting on the ball and looking into a mirror at your side, your hips should be above your knees.

4) Resistance Bands/ Tubes

Resistance bands are lightweight, versatile and easy to stow in a gym bag or carry-on. Your ideal choice if you want to be able to train anytime, anywhere. You can use them on their own, or hook them to a door handle or rail.

The main difference between a band and a tube is having handles. Bands don’t have any handles, but tubes do. I prefer tubes with handles, since they are easier to grip and hold on to.
Get a light tube to start out with (resistance levels see mini bands).

5) Exercise Mat

With a home gym mat you can protect your equipment and joints from your hard floor. The right mat will provide a cushioned, durable, slip resistant surface for your workouts. You spine, wrists, hips or knee joints will appreciate some padding when doing floor based exercises.

1-3 inches thickness are helpful to cushion your floor exercises

Either a folding or a rolled-up mat version can be easily stored. 1-3 inches thickness is plenty of padding.

When starting out with your first own home gym, I would recommend to get the five exercise tools listed above. I consider them essential for creating and participating in fun home workouts.

Once you get settled in and used it for a while, you can always stock up on other exercise accessories. There are plenty of other functional tools like TRX suspension systems, kettle bells, bosu balls or weighted jump ropes to choose from.

An at-home workout can be just as effective as a studio session, and you might find that it’s easier to fit home workouts into your busy schedule.

If you have not done them already, give them a try!

Any question about a specific equipment you are thinking of buying? Just post it!

Check out my functional workouts where you can use the listed tools!

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