Many of you are continuing to workout from home as we transition into winter and the New Year. Although you can still get results with just your bodyweight, being able to add external load/resistance is helpful. The problem is, bars, plates, dumbbells, and kettlebells can be super hard to find right now. When they are in stock somewhere, the prices can be outrageous. You can achieve a lot with simply some resistance bands, medicine balls, sandbags, or weight vests, and these tend to be a lot cheaper and more readily available than other pieces of equipment. Below is a list of some of my favorite, affordable home gym essentials for my clients! Happy shopping!
*Note: The links I have included for each type offer a higher quality, more expensive option, as well as an affordable option. Investing in durable, quality exercise equipment last a very long time if they are cared for and used properly. In addition to purchasing online, I highly recommend taking a day trip up to York PA to the York Barbell Factory (if you’re in the general area) for weights and strength equipment. Definitely call or check online to make sure they are open before going up there. Picking weights up from the local supplier is a great way to cut shipping costs. However if cost and location are big priorities for you, check out Facebook marketplace for used equipment or whatever used equipment shop is near you (like Play It Again Sports in Frederick, MD)
Resistance bands come in various sizes and styles depending on the exercise type and setup you have available. The purpose of resistance bands, regardless of type, is to provide a physical external resistance to your body without loading up weight. They're also ideal for small spaces since they virtually take up zero space in your home. We have TONS of exercise demos in our training app using this style of band. If you work with a a Straight Shot Coach, I highly recommend picking up a couple of sizes of this type!
Rogue Monster Bands
Medicine balls come in a variety of shapes, densities, and weights. While most people use med balls exclusively for things like throws, slams, and power exercises, you can do a lot more with them! The smaller heavier ones in particular are a great alternative for dumbbells and kettlebells. Larger, softer ones are great for outdoor exercises because you can slam them into the ground or wall, and they are durable
Sandbags are a great tool to have if you need very heavy loads, but do not have the space for a barbell. Their compact size allows them to fit easily in a garage or basement. Sandbags are perfect for carries, shoulder loads, squats, thrusters, and more! Some styles have handles that make them easier to pick up, while others are purposely designed to be just a bag of dead weight that you have to use strength, form, and focus to be able to lift.
Weight vests are a great addition to any bodyweight or conditioning exercise. They come in several sizes, and some even have removable weights to allow you to customize your level of load for different exercises! This is a great way to add load and weight to an exercise while still having your hands free! One of the nicest things about weight vests is the versatility. While many people use them for combat and military style training, they are also great for general fitness programs.
Max Loading 50kg Adjustable Weighted Vest Walmart.com
(You can pick up a bag of sand at Home Depot/Lowes to fill the vest with)
*note: I don't recommend using these for running, as they don't fit as tight as very expensive brands designed for that type of conditioning. These are best suited for adding external load to bodyweight movements.
These include gymnastic rings, speed/agility/quickness equipment such as ladders and hurdles, and mobility tools such as lacrosse balls and foam rollers. While these have a more specified use than most of the pieces mentioned above, they can really add another layer to your training and may be worth getting depending on what your goals are. Mobility equipment is especially helpful to EVERYONE, and plays a huge role in helping you move pain free!
Not sure what pieces of equipment make the most sense for your workouts? Just reach out to me! CLICK HERE and I'd be happy to chat with you about what equipment you should get for yourself or a friend or family member as a present!