We all have those days where we just can't make the gym. Either we got stuck at work late, or missed our alarm in the morning. Maybe we had a shorter lunch break than usual. Fret not, here are 5 pieces of equipment you can use at home that will still give you that great workout.
A set of dumbbells, or two. Aim for at least a set of 1-3lb dumbbells and a set of 5-20 lb dumbbells. That way you can either tone or strengthen. To tone, take your lesser weighted dumbbells and do more repetitions (reps) and sets. Try for 3 or 4 sets of 10 – 15 reps each. For getting stronger, reach for your heavier dumbbells and go for 2 or 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Try doing some chest presses on the floor, then some standing rows. Add in some deadlifts, bicep curls, tricep extensions and shoulder presses for a great whole body workout!
A stability/physio ball. These are giant, inflatable balls that offer a great way to workout and have fun! Whether you just sit and roll around on them, or do some crunches, you are guaranteed to get a wonderful core workout. Once you advance, you can also try putting your feet on the ball and hands on the ground. Hold this as you would a plank, keeping your tummy tight and tucked, no butt in the air or curved back! Another great thing about the stability ball is that it trains your balance as well. This is why it is crucial for you to get comfortable and stable before you try crunches or a plank using it. If you aren't quite stable, use a wall to stabilize the ball. You can also stand, back to the wall with the ball between your back and the wall. Slowly lower yourself into a squat or lunge. This is a great way to get used to how they are supposed to feel. Be sure you keep your knees in line with your ankles and don't let them go over your toes.
A Yoga or Pilates mat. This is great for any workout so you're not laying directly on the floor. I'm not saying that your house isn't clean, just that its much more comfortable to lay on a mat than on a hardwood floor to do exercise! Plus, the mat would help stabilize your stability ball so it doesn't slide around on a carpet. This is great for your cool-down and stretching part of your workout!
A stopwatch or timer. This is a FANTASTIC tool for you to use! Cheap too! You can set up a circuit with different stations of alternating weights and cardio. Set the timer for a minute and aim for a minute of one, then re-set and to a minute of the other. You'll be sweating in no time! For some cardio drills you could incorporate jumping jacks, shadow boxing (don't fully extend your elbows or knees here, keep them soft), jogging/running in place, and dancing.
A jump rope. This is a versatile way to get a hardcore cardio workout! Once you master it (elbows by your sides, use your wrists to turn the rope, use the balls of your feet to jump, and keep your knees soft) you'll be getting fit before you know it!
So these are just a few relatively inexpensive, space saving devices that are going to help you immensely in the long run! Just remember to always warm-up and cool down for at least 5 minutes each. And STRETCH! A great warm-up would be to go for a nice walk outside, weather permitting. For a more enjoyable workout, grab your stereo, favorite CD, or Ipod and before you know it you'll be rocking out and getting healthy! For more information, call the (570) 253-2083 or visit us online at ymcawayne.com.