Hello from Ives & Christy
Our desire is that the ula and us blog inspires, educates, and provides practical tips and tricks to help you conquer your individual summits.
You can create a home gym without breaking the bank.
Below are some of our favorite and must-have pieces of equipment to help get that sweat. Improvise and create an awesome home workout when you don't feel like hitting a group fitness class, you are crunched for time (AKA ALL MOMS), or when on vacation. Click on the images below to open the link to purchase or browse the item.
You can get the essentials for under $150, which is less than a monthly gym membership in most cities!
Yoga Mat, $20 (Range $15-$50)
A yoga mat is great to have if you want to ensure a cushioned space -- no thank you rug burn or stiff hardwood. We love a lighter yoga mat that is easy to travel with and has some grip so you aren't slipping and sliding when sweaty. To be honest, Christy and I both have lululemon mats, but we also have Gaiam ones. There are lots of options with varying thickness levels, organic vs non-organic, cute patterns, etc. Don't break the bank on a mat for HIIT workouts, but if your focus is primarily hot yoga, you may want to splurge a bit more.
Set of Medium and Heavy Dumbbells, $30 Medium and $45 Heavy (Range $20 - $60)
We like the neoprene option because they are easy to grip and gentler on your floors. Two different weights are great to have on hand so that you can utilize mediums for bicep/shoulder work and heavies for lower body/chest/back work. We use 10-12 lbs for medium weights and 20 -25 lbs for heavier weights.
For lighter weights (2-5 lbs), save money and use household items like canned goods, wine bottles, or cleaning product bottles.
Mini Loop Resistance Band, $20 (Range $15 -$20)
You will want a set of looped mini bands that range from light to heavy resistance. These are hands down the biggest bang for your buck, since they are lightweight and a more affordable option over dumbbells. Perfect for travel and for home workouts, neither of us travel without! These are a staple for our Burn & Brew fundraisers, because they are an easy way to intensify any move. We love to throw the heavier resistance bands on above our knees for leg/glute work. The lighter bands can be an alternative to dumbbells for bicep/tricep/shoulder work. You can even wrap them around your feet to intensify a bicycle crunch or a plank jack/leg lift. These bands are small and compact which is definitely nice to have when your travel.
Tube Resistance Band Set, $15 (Range $15-$50)
Tube resistance bands differ from loop minibands. They can be utilized with just your bodyweight or wrapped under a bench or static object such as a post to create anchored resistance. We recommend getting a set with various resistance options. We have wrapped these bad boys around a fence/post or even a tree (when camping) and used them for unilateral lunges with a forward twist. Alternatively, attach to a higher post and utilize for lat pull down or a chest press. You can even stand on the rubber tube to perform lateral shuffles, upright rows, or bicep curls.
Jump Rope, $12 (Range $10-$30)
For those of you who don't love running or may be limited by injuries, a jump rope is a great option to have to get your heart rate up. Have you tried to jump rope recently? What was a fun recess activity is no joke as an adult. Let us know if you get the coveted double under!
IF YOU WANT TO SPLURGE or ADD ON SOME MORE FUN TOYS:
Adjustable Dumbbells (Range $160 -$350)
These dumbbells allow you to have a range of weights at your disposal. Definitely a pricey option, but also great if you want variety and have a small space. This was a must for Christy post baby, needing to get a workout in during nap time and living in a 800 square foot home. PowerBlock and Bowflex both have adjustable dumbbells on Amazon. Take a look and see if you feel this splurge is worth it. Buying two sets of dumbbells is around $75 so if you want to dish out an extra $100 or more to have a full set then this would be a wise investment.
Sandbell --Individual or Set (Range $40-$165)
If you need to get some aggression out or want a functional piece of equipment that will challenge your balance, core, and strength --look no further than a sandbell. Most exercises that can be done with a kettlebell, can also be complete with a sandbell. The neoprene is easy to grip and you can hold onto an edge for swings. Get that heart rate up further with a squat to overhead press with a slam. The possibilities are endless.
Agility Ladder Set (Range $10-$60)
A fun set up for an outdoor workout. Definitely not necessary, but a ladder makes it easier to target fast twitch reflex circuits. You can target speed and lower body by doing drills in and out of the ladder rungs. Alternatively, you can work your core and shoulders by walking hands in and out of the rungs while in a plank. The parachute is also a fun toy to add resistance to sprints. Use the cones to run suicide runs or set up stations.
Chances are that you already have some of this equipment on hand so you may just want to add a few pieces to your toolbox. We also picked budget friendly options with links to Amazon to purchase and have delivered to your home. There is always a cheaper and pricier option and it depends on your purpose for the equipment. Let us know what you decide to buy! We would love to create workouts tailored to what you have at home.
Hopefully, you feel a bit more inspired to invest in these toys and step up the home workout game!
Ives & Christy