We are already inundated with advertisements about fitness equipment and in about a week it’s about to get crazy with the New Years Resolution push. I’m often asked what I think about many of the dozens (if not hundreds) of fitness/workout items we come across on a regular basis but I’ve found that it’s difficult to review them all, particularly on a case by case basis. Instead, the best way for me to relay the value of what’s out there is simply by sharing what I find valuable enough to have at home myself. These are the products I believe in and use and feel are pretty universal for most people seeking a general level of fitness. This is by no means an exhaustive list of everything worthwhile (and I get new things and discard things every year) but gives a pretty good overview of the things I think are worth having if you’re not using playgrounds for your fitness… 🙂
The Fitness Equipment I Have At Home
I don’t have a dedicated gym space at home, so most of this stuff is in a closet, storage dresser or the corner of my garage. I’ve tried to include an Amazon link* to as many as I can in case any of these interest you, although much of this can be purchased at sporting good stores or even places like Target. (*many of these links got messed up so I will try to fix that asap)
Here’s what gets used often:
Lacrosse Ball – one of the best and most versatile muscle treatment tools out there, and you can buy them for a few bucks almost anywhere.
Foam Roll – if you can lie down, you can benefit from the foam roll. There are dozens of varieties but I’ve found the simple 3 foot roll to be most versatile.
The Stick – sounds simple but great at working out knots and tight muscles. Once again I stick with the basic stick or travel stick.
Slingshot Hip Circle – the best tool for hip and glute work that I’ve found. I have both the large and medium size.
Exercise Ball – takes up space but these big exercise balls are extremely versatile. I have an old school ResistaBall but almost any will do.
TRX – one of my favorite exercise tools that you can take anywhere for all levels of fitness. The basic TRX works wonders- most people don’t have a need for the fancier versions.
Pullup Bar (doorway) – I would prefer a permanent pullup bar but since that’s not an option this movable version works well.
Jump Rope – small but very effective conditioning tool. Tons of options here but I lean towards a speed rope or simple metal rope.
Medicine Balls (4lb, 8lb, 20lb) – I love med balls but have kept it simple for the sake of storage. I have both small dense and a slam ball.
Ab Roller – an old school but top notch core killer. There are several variations on the concept now but I actually have two of the good old fashioned kind.
Kettlebell – one of the kings of home fitness, I have a 35 pound KB and might get another couple at some point soon.
DBs (3, 5, 10, 40 pounds) – Same here, dumbbells are great but can’t store that many. I have pairs of the lighter weights, a single 40lb and likely a pair of 20’s soon.
Resistance Bands (with handles & super bands) – great for pulling, rotations and stretching. A must have in both handle version and superband version.
Trampoline (small) – one of the overlooked fun tools in fitness. But the mini rebounders are awesome and portable, even to the playground for ninja warrior activities.
Trampoline (big) – not really part of my home gym per se but it gets used a lot, particularly the kids. We have a 12′ trampoline that fits me well and is perfect for the kids.
Razor Scooter – although not a “fitness” tool it is great for getting in shape. I have an adult version that’s a bit bigger than the youth size.
Sled – just got it and can’t wait to work it into my (and the kids’) playtime. You can either push or pull this simple sled, with added weights from plates or children. 🙂
Here’s what I have but don’t use that often or use for a while, then cycle out of the rotation:
Bars (12 & 15lbs) – a couple of light barbells that get used from time to time but less often than the other stuff.
Gymnastics Rings – had to bring these down when we redid our patio cover but as soon as I can figure out a way these rings are going back up in the backyard.
Rope (climbing and tug-o-war) – great for a few things but don’t get used a lot. The climbing rope is similar to the 40′ battle ropes and the tug-o-war rope is shorter, a little thinner and has anchoring loops on each end.
Weight Vest – only 8 pounds but it totally changes the game for a lot of exercises. This compression shirt vest spreads the weight around and feels very comfortable to wear, like a thick weighted shirt. This gets used for a period and then off for a while.
Ankle Weights – 5lb weights add a new element to many exercises and aren’t limited to your ankles. So many versions of these but once again I keep it simple.
Boxing Gloves – don’t use these often but are a nice smaller size tool to have. I have 16 ounce gloves.
Rock Climbing Holds – these are up at the moment due to the patio remodel but are versatile ways to work grip. I have a collection of a bunch of different small holds.
Slackline - another one that goes through periods of dust collecting but is a really fun balance and core tool. I like the basic slackline.
Grip Tools - a collection of holds and a few forearm/finger squeezers.
Yoga Blocks - come in handy from time to time, I keep a couple on hand.
Exercise Mat - every once in a while the grass or rug won't do and I need a mat for something on the floor.
There's quite a bit more of valuable exercise tools out there but as of Dec 2017 these are the things I have and use personally. I'm probably forgetting something and if so I'll update this down the road.
What I would have if I had more room or did more workouts at home...
P.S. I used to have a VersaClimber but it took up too much room so I sold it a few years ago.