Real Talk — These Are the Only 4 Items I've Actually Needed For My Home Gym
As a fitness editor, I've been incredibly privileged to have a pretty well-stocked home gym for a few years now. Bands, weights, a jump rope that counts every step I take, trackers galore, a fancy weight that doubles as sculpture art (true story): you name it, and I've hoarded it. And up until very recently, most of it gathered dust in the back of my closet 99 percent of the time. However, like many, I've recently found myself clearing space and powering up my laptop for some at-home streaming sweat sessions.
At first, I brought out all of my gear from hiding, assuming this would be its time to shine. But after a few months of indoor training and nearly a week of virtual HIIT workouts through Barry's #SocialFitnessing challenge, I've come to realize I really only need four things to get me through even my most intense workout.
Although it's amazing to have a fully stocked weight set and equipment for days, I've realized I can manage just fine with nothing but a few key pieces, my own bodyweight, and some classic motivation. In fact, going forward, I'll be donating — from a safe distance — all the gear that previously accumulated dust to friends who are looking to outfit their own workouts.
In the meantime, check out my pared-down but highly effective must-have list for a realistic at-home gym.
UA RUSH™ Sports Bra
Although not "gear" per se, my workout apparel needs to be ready to work as hard as I do. I always opt for a supportive yet comfortable sports bra with all my workouts, but when working out at home, I especially pay more attention to options that are equally functional for workouts as well as work. A longer crop like the UA RUSH™ Sports Bra ($45) is ready for my HIIT workouts but can also easily pair with a cardigan for my next work call or virtual happy hour.
Gaiam Classic Solid Color Yoga Mats
For years, I had a number of different workout mats in varying thicknesses. But I've found that a midweight one like the Classic Solid Color Yoga Mat ($30) is a great option for yoga, Pilates, and HIIT workouts. The 5 mm thickness allows me to do everything from Warrior One to crunches with ease. Plus, the "sticky" texture of the mat means I won't lose my balance while moving about.
All in Motion 5lb Hand Weight
Just the other day, I found myself chatting with a friend about our love of a five-pound weight. As someone who is confined to a smaller NYC apartment, a five-pounder is easy to store, is suitable for most toning-based workouts, and can partner up with another five-pounder for a heavier (but manageable) lift during my workout. What's more, options like the All in Motion 5lb Hand Weight ($8) are quite affordable and easy on the eyes.
Gold's Gym High Density 18" Foam Roller
Believe it not, I've had the same foam roller for nearly eight years. And it's yet to lead me astray. This Gold's Gym High Density 18" Foam Roller ($15) hits the sweet spot in terms of density and size. It's a must for anyone who is running regularly or strength training and needs to work out muscle kinks and avoid injury. Plus, a foam roller can even be used as an accessory for bodyweight exercises.