Most Beloved Home Exercise Equipment

kangoo_powershoepinkI’ve recently shared some of the myths that I feel need to be exposed around exercise and now, I want to share a little light what my favorite home exercise equipment is that I incorporate for some of my best and most effective exercise routines.

Before we dive in, let me give you a little background information. Up until this past May, I’ve belonged to a gym and I often utilized the gym to run on the treadmill or do other forms of cardio and attend yoga classes. When we moved this past April, we decided to cancel our membership as we have access to a few rec centers in the area and this was sufficient.

While I have always loved the effects of working out (body & mind component), there was a time when I had a negative relationship with it and felt obligated, like I ‘should’ workout. Often, I felt like I needed to do cardio because of what I was eating-to burn the calories. Not the best relationship to be in, but fairly normal, especially among women.

About a year or so ago is when I grew aware of this negative idea that I had around working out and that’s when I decided it was something that I wanted and also needed to change, for my overall health and happiness. It has taken some time, but I can now say I absolutely love moving my body every single day. Again, the greatest change has been that I vary my routine and do forms of exercise that I really do enjoy, always keeping it simple.

Here’s a snapshot of what my routine looks like. At the beginning of the week, I typically fit in a rebounding session on my kangaroo jumps where I will run to a nearby park, then perform various jumps. I might finish that up with a plyometric cardio interval when I get home and I also vary this. One day I might do one minute intervals and on the next I do a tabata style workout where I move for 20 seconds and rest for 10, performing the same movement for 4 minutes before switching to the next. The rest of the week is a mix of quick cardio bursts (like 20 minutes or so) on my kangaroo jumps-I’m in a phase where I can’t get enough of them (!), plyometric cardio intervals, or running outside mixed in with a Pilates mat class (like ball & props), or barre class. I haven’t been doing yoga recently but hope to increase that to at least one day a week, even at home.  In addition, I teach a couple barre classes during the week.

ultra-fit-teaser-01You can see, a lot of my workouts are home-based and I love doing a mix of cardio and strength training routines where I use my own body weight.

Though most of the time I don’t use equipment per se for my workouts, there are several favorite pieces that I do love and recommend.

Kangaroo Jumps: great overall cardio and toning workout, plus, they get the lymphatic system flowing which is really important to release toxins. Releasing toxins is essential to release weight, improve energy and digestion…there are so many benefits, I could go on and on.

Magic Circle: this is perfect for working those postural muscles that are so often fighting gravity. It is wonderful for toning the core, arms, and legs, especially the inner thighs and all those small muscles that are difficult to reach with other forms of exercise.

Foam roller: This is the latest addition to my collection and I love it. I often lay on it vertically, with the length of my spine resting on it or I use horizontally under my sacram to release low back tension. At times, I’ve laid on the foam roller while doing magic circle inner thigh work…it adds another dimension for core.

Hand-weights: while I don’t use them too often, I do have a pair of three-pound hand-weights that I like to use for various arms workouts. I use them if I’m doing my own barre workout at home and if I do the Beach Babe DVDs, they come in handy.

Playground/exercise ball: I love using it for abs and thigh work. Squeeze squeeze squeeze….great for toning!

Nike watch-sometimes I use this to track the distance of runs/hikes and currently, I use it a lot for the stopwatch feature for timing my intervals.

I also have some therabands that I don’t use too often but I think they are a great tool and highly effective. I teach two styles of barre classes and in one of the classes, we use bands for abs and arms and you can get such a deep burn!

I occasionally use my yoga block to sit on to open my hips. This is one of my pieces that I feel could get used more for a restorative yoga practice.

There you have it…my favorite at-home, exercise tools keep my home routines fun and effective! I’d love to hear what your most beloved home exercise tools are?

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