Having a home gym is not a fantasy attainable for only the rich and famous. Creating a workout space at home doesn’t have to be expensive or take up a ton of room. These 5 tools are never far from my side whether working with a client or in my own workouts.
#1: Foam Roller
Foam rollers have been used for years as a self-massage tool to aid in recovery, decrease pain, and improve mobility. There are many varieties of rollers that offer different density and size options. Some even have groove patterns or bumps so you can really isolate tight spots. I have this trigger point roller in my living room for daily personal use.
#2: Lacrosse Ball
The foam roller is great, but it can't really get to all the spots. In comes the lacrosse ball. This ball is firm and is perfect for digging into those hard to reach spots like your shoulders. The tacky surface won't slip as easily as a tennis ball. They are inexpensive and easy to keep in your desk or workout bag.
#3: Resistance Bands
Building strength does not require large pieces of equipment or heavy stacks of weight. Resistance bands offer a low cost, low space way to strengthen your muscles at home or on the go. Resistance bands have a different tension arc than other training tools, meaning they get “heavier” as you stretch them. This means you’ll be training your muscles differently than you do with weights or machines. Curls and rows are classic upper body exercises that are great with resistance bands. My training bag has a green & red Xertube and red and blue Braided Xertube from SPRI. The light single tubes are perfect for shoulder work while the braided tubing provide enough resistance for rows and presses. Add in a door anchor and you have a home cable tower.
#4: Yoga Strap
A yoga strap allows you to stretch often tight muscles like the hips, legs and back from the safety and comfort of the floor. I've used pieces of rope I've had laying around (which are never comfortable) and expensive stretch straps (that never live up to the hype or price) but I always come back to a simple yoga strap that I can just pop in the wash after it's been on my feet a bunch.
#5: Swiss Ball
Swiss balls take up more space than any of the other items on our list but they can double as your office chair, keeping your core more active while you're working. You probably already know the Swiss ball is great for crunches but you can also use it to take the place of a bench for exercises like chest press and skull crushers. Since, you're holding your body in a bridge, your glutes, core and legs will be working to stabilize you.