By Melissa Urban
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I love fitness toys—adding something new to my gym bag makes my workouts fresh and exciting, and helps me brush up on much-needed skills like mobility. Today, however, you may find your normal fitness routine completely disrupted with gyms, schools, and childcare closed. Never fear! You can get a great workout at home with just a few pieces of equipment. Today I’m sharing my list of four pieces of at-home fitness equiment—things you’ve 100% seen me use if you follow me on Instagram.
I’m focusing on keeping them budget-friendly and space-friendly (no giant squat racks here), while ensuring you have maximum versatility in your workout routine. Bonus: some of these toys are kid-friendly too!
Lebert EQualizer Bars ($109)
If you’re only going to get ONE new piece of equipment for your home gym, THIS IS IT. You’ve seen me on these in the gym, but I also have a pair at home. My son loves doing “gymnastics” on them, and they’re super sturdy. These are one of the most versatile tools I’ve ever used, which makes them perfect for everyone from total beginners to semi-pro gymnasts.
Their IG feed features tons of variations for moves like dips, rows, squats, presses, burpees, core work, HIIT moves, and more; the bars come with an exercise video; and a quick YouTube search will give you a ton of additional inspiration. You could easily build a month’s worth of workouts around this one piece of equipment, and never get bored. Click here to purchase your set directly from Lebert.
Yoga Mat ($30-$100)
You need one of these even if you don’t do yoga or TMAC Fitness. It transforms your garage, backyard, or grassy park spot into a personalized workout space without banging up your hands, knees, or back. Use it for yoga or HIIT, core work, meditation, and breathwork; a cushioned yoga mat will make all of your workouts more comfortable. I like the Manduka Pro mats, but they’re pricey ($90+). A good value option is the Gaiam 6mm Cushioned Mat ($28).
Kettlebell ($20-$100 based on weight)
A kettlebell is the second most versatile tool you can have in your home gym. It not only does everything a dumbbell can do (press, squat, deadlift), it’s also perfect for beginner cardio conditioning moves like swings, plus core and total body moves like the Turkish Get-Up.
If you only get one, I recommend women start with 15 – 25 lbs, and men with 35 – 55 lbs. (If you buy two, get a lighter one for pressing, and a heavier one for deadlifts and swings.) I like the Cap Barbell; the SPRI or Lifeline models are great too. Look for KBs that have a rounder (vs. squared off) handle, and avoid “competition” KBs with huge bodies.
Gymbee Booty Bands 3 Resistance Bands ($36)
Glute activation is so hot these days! (Translation: reminding your glutes to “turn on” with a series of targeted exercises before you squat, lunge, or deadlift.) These bands are great for that, but ALSO great to simply add resistance to any lower body exercises. They come in three sizes/resistance levels, and the best part is that they’re wide, soft, and STAY PUT. (No snapping up towards your crotch as you move, or digging painfully into your thighs.) Use them for glutes, hips, legs, and lower back; search for “glute activation drills” or “booty band workouts” for tons of inspiration. I like the Gymbee Booty Bands 3 Resistance Bands.
I hope these four versatile tools will help you round out your home workout routine, and keep your family moving and healthy during this stressful time. Stay tuned to my Instagram for home workout ideas, too!
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