5 Fitness Accessories You Need

A Roundup of Great Products

Even making it to the gym can be tough in the dead of winter. That’s why we’ve rounded up five fitness accessories to keep on-hand for the best at-home workout.

1. Resistance Band

These long, stretchy rubber bands are one of the most cost effective ways to tone up, plus they take up next to no room in your closet or drawer. Using them requires coordination and balance, which helps work out and tone your muscles. Once you master a more simple resistance band, move up to one with higher tension for more difficult exercises.

2. Exercise Ball

Use an exercise ball to help improve muscle balance, posture, core stability, and back and spine health. Try an easy warmup by doing squats with your exercise ball. Stand with the ball propped between your lower spine and a wall. Place your feet hip-width apart and slightly toward the front and keep your hands to your sides. Slowly bend at your knees and hips to reach a sitting position with knees over ankles. Return to a standing position, keeping the ball pressed slightly toward your back. Repeat several times.

3. Yoga Mat

Keep a yoga mat at home for days when you can’t make it to class, or just need some at-home relaxation. Before buying a mat, make sure it has a good grip so you won’t slide around as you move. Buy a more padded mat if your experience level is low, as you’ll want to slowly build joint and muscle strength to prevent injury. And last but not least, look for a PVC-free mat to avoid exposure to any toxins.

4. Kettlebells

Having dumbbells at home is a great idea, but to engage a greater range of muscles, opt for a kettlebell. The weight in kettlebells is distributed differently and thus forces you to balance weight with the supporting muscles in your forearms and core. You can do compound movements with your kettlebell such as squatting to pick it up, curling it to your chest, and finally lifting it over your head. To tone up and build endurance, consider swinging the kettlebell in front of you, then back down to your sides. You can find multiple step-by-step kettlebell workouts online!

5. Jump Rope

Another easy-to-store and simple-to-pack item, the jump rope is an at-home must have. It improves cardiovascular fitness and tones muscle all at the same time. It’s also super simple to use. If you’re looking for an easy workout that will strengthen your upper and lower body, burn calories, and work out your heart, jumping rope is the ideal solution. Not to mention, when done properly, jumping rope results in lower impact on your body than jogging.

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