No hefty monthly fees; no sweaty strangers—it’s no surprise that exercising at home is gaining more popularity. From body weight exercises to easy-to-follow fitness DVDs, you now have more options on how to get and stay in shape, in the comfort of your own home.
Ready to take your routine to the next level? Welcome home these four simple tools. They’re affordable, easy to use, and will effectively get you toned all over.
Get on the ball to score flat abs in a flash! Crunches become 38 percent more effective when done on this inflatable home equipment. It usually comes in three sizes—55, 65, and 75 centimeters; to get the right fit, remember that your thighs should be parallel to the floor when seated.
Give your muscles a challenge by swapping out your dumbbells for a medicine ball. The soft, weighted ball is as versatile as a dumbbell, but is easier to hold on to—something that’ll prove beneficial, especially when you’re performing dynamic moves that involve twisting, swinging, or throwing. These balls come in 2 to 30 pound weights, and if you’re a newbie, it’s best to start with a 4-pound one. Once you can rip through 12 reps of a particular workout without feeling fatigued, then it’s time to increase by 2-pound increments.
These foam tubes, which come in a wide range of sizes, are generally used for rolling out tight, achy muscles, particularly in the quads, hamstrings, and calves. Use it as part of your warm up to get your muscles ready for your workout, or save it for your cool down to relax sore body parts and unwind after an intense routine.
If you’re working on your flexibility via yoga or barre workout DVDs, this tool will come in handy. Lean on a foam block to maintain proper alignment during some poses or sit on them for extra back support. Keeping it stable while going in and out of some of the moves also helps shrink your stomach and tone your butt and thighs.