You’ve made the decision that it’s time to start (or maybe get back to) a home workout program. Way to go you!!!

But now your thoughts turn to the expensive tools and gadgets that you’ll need to get started. 

You’re adding up the cost in your head and dealing with the overwhelm of actually learning how to use this new-fangled gear. You start wondering if you’re really into this fitness thing anyhow….

Take a breath.

I’ve got you!

 

Home Fitness does NOT need to be complicated or expensive…

And you don’t need a big space to get in killer shape. Some of the best workouts I’ve had have been done in hotel rooms using just bodyweight or a few small air-filled balls. 

So let me take you on a tour and strip it down to the essentials. Here are a few of my favourite pieces of Home Fitness Equipment. It’s all you need to get started.

 

An image of Tosca Reno's recommended home gym equipment

 

Dumbbells 

 

 

An image of Tosca Reno doing a bicep curl on a stability ballBicep curls, shoulder raises, weighted squats. There is a dumbbell exercise for every muscle group in your body. Dumbbells are essential tools to have in your home gym. The world is your oyster here!

Many people ask me how much weight they should use and this can be tricky to answer because it all depends on your strength. I recommend that you invest in a light set and a moderately heavy one as well. You can always add to your collection as you get stronger (and you will!)

Here’s a suggested equipment guideline that will give you an idea of where to start:

Beginner

Light: 5lbs dumbbells
Moderate:  8 – 10lbs dumbbells

Intermediate: 

Light: 5 – 8lbs
Heavy: 10 – 15lbs

Advanced

Light: 8 – 10lbs
Heavy: 15 – 25lbs and up

These are my favourite set of Dumbbells. 

Stability Ball

 

An image of Tosca Reno on a Stability ball.This big bouncy ball is a versatile piece of gym equipment, allowing you to activate extra muscles while simply sitting on it.

A stability ball also provides you the option for modifying movements as needed. For example, you can use it as a back support for squats.

Advanced exercisers can use it in place of an exercise bench for exercises like chest presses or skull crushers. And trust me the glutes will get a good workout here too!

When it comes to choosing your ball, it all comes down to your height. If both your feet touch the floor when you’re sitting on the ball, you’re in good shape.

This is stability ball is what I recommend.

Here’s a reference guide based on height to help you when you’re purchasing: 

45 cm 5′ and under
55 cm 5’1″– 5’8″
65 cm 5’9″– 6’2″
75 cm 6’3″– 6’7″
85 cm 6’8″ and taller

 

Resistance Bands

 

 

 

I love resistance bands because they allow me to get a great workout even when I’m traveling! 

Resistance bands come in varying intensities from easy to extra hard. I recommend purchasing one heavy and one light band to get you started.

A heavier band will provide enough resistance to target larger muscles such as the chest, back, and legs.

A lighter band is great for targeting smaller muscle groups like shoulders, biceps, and triceps. And if you want a good pump, use two at a time!

Purchasing tip:

There are two types of resistance bands; those with handles and those that are one long continuous loop.  Both are effective and each offers different work out options. 

Handles are great for upper body exercises like bicep curls and rows. Whereas the continuous loop can be ideal for squats or even assisted pullups.

Mini Bands

 

Don’t let these little elastic loops fool you… They pack a big fitness punch!

These bands are used to help you stabilize and recruit many muscles that don’t normally get activated during your usual fitness program. Mini bands incredibly versatile, portable and low cost too.

Much like resistance bands, mini bands come in varying intensities, making your workout easier or harder, depending on what you’re using. 

One of my favourite mini band exercises is this “Banded Squat” you see here. By adding the band around your legs you’re adding an extra layer of glute activation (think booty) that you may not get from the regular squat variation.

An image of Tosca Reno doing a squat with mini-bands and a bender ball

Kettlebell

 

 

Oh, how I love a kettlebell!

Kettlebell lifting is often easier to do than regular Olympic lifting with dumbbells.  

Kettlebells teach you how to recruit the power in your hips and they challenge your muscles differently than machines or dumbbells because there is no predetermined path to follow.  The kettlebell’s odd shape forces you to use the main muscle groupsThe Kettlebell swing is a powerhouse move that strengthens your glutes, hamstrings and your core while giving you a really solid cardiovascular pump too. This challenging swing recruits your entire posterior chain.  For that reason, It’s a key movement in my 3 E’s of Wellness Blueprint Program.

An image of Tosca Reno swinging a Kettlebell

Bender Ball

 

 

I adore bender balls for their incredible kinesiologic cues when training abdominals and other body parts. 

They ensure a deliberate focus on lower abdominals particularly.  These pilates originating balls, come flat so you can pack them in your suitcase when you’re on the road. I use these every year on my Costa Rica retreat and they are always a hit. And I used them again on my recent Danube Wellness Cruise. 

Here’s an exercise for you to try:

 Core Crunch with Bender Ball

  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and keep the ball on it.
  • Lie on the ball, and place it between the small of your back and buttocks.
  • Place your hands behind your head, knees at 90º angle, and hip-width apart.
  • Inhale, and while exhaling, do normal stomach crunches.
  • While coming down, you will notice that you are going further down the ball, closer to the floor.
  • Do 3 sets of 20. Increase the number of sets over time.

An image of Tosca Reno with a bender ball working out on a yoga mat.

 

Yoga Mat

 

 

 

When performing floor exercises you may want to have a little cushion between you and the floor. There is nothing wrong with protecting your joints!

I use my yoga mat for core exercises like planks, deadbugs, or glute bridges. And of course, you can always roll it up and take it with you to yoga class. They’re very versatile!

Do I need to have all this gear Tosca?

Of course not! The real magic in fitness happens when you get started with whatever you’ve got. And that just might be your running shoes for now. 

Start with a few of these pieces of equipment, learn how to use them and over time add to your collection. Many of my favourite workout pieces are low in cost and I assure you they are an incredible investment in your health.

And if you’re feeling completely lost on how to actually put all this equipment to use, I cover it ALL in my 3 E’s of Wellness Blueprint Program. It’s the most comprehensive wellness program I’ve created to date.  It includes video instruction and cueing from yours truly so you’ll always achieve proper form and technique. Join the waitlist HERE.

So that’s my list of home gym faves! I’m curious, what’s on your Home gym wishlist? Which piece of equipment will you be purchasing next?

Tell me about it in the comments.

I’m wishing you many happy, sweaty workouts in your newly decked out Home Gym!

I’m always listening,
Tosca

 

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