I’ve found that most women want to tone up, lose weight, and get stronger. It’s not always convenient to get to the gym due to work and family life, so having some fitness equipment at home can help you to keep in shape. No, scratch that…you can get an amazing workout at home if you have the right equipment—so you can give that gym membership the “heave ho”.
I decided to write this post, after some of my female subscribers got in touch with me this week to ask what equipment they should buy—so I got out some of the gym equipment that I actually use to train my female clients, and took a photo of them on my lawn to show you…
If you’re not sure why you should train with resistance equipment instead of only doing cardio, then read this article: 5 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights
The Best Home Fitness Equipment For Women
#1 Resistance Loop Bands
These stretchable rubber loop bands are about 41″ long, not to be confused with the mini bands I cover later. There are so many exercises you can do with these to work that behind, such as kickbacks, side leg raises, squats, and band pull throughs. You can also tone up your upper body, by using them for rowing and assisted push ups. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your bands, as your man might be tempted to borrow them to for assisted pull ups.
Portability: a set of bands fits easily in a drawstring bag, so you can take them with you when you travel. They won’t take up much room in your closet either.
Cost: I’d always advise you buy a complete set, otherwise you’ll buy one, then buy another, and before you know it…you’ve spent twice as much as buying the whole set in the first place. Usually (but not always), they are coloured from Orange (the lightest resistance and cheapest), to Blue (stronger and more expensive). There is often an even stronger black band, but unless you’re using it to support your bodyweight and you weigh over 200 lbs, then you probably don’t need it. Expect to pay around £100 /US $100 for a complete set.
An awesome piece of equipment! Strength and cardio in one. When people ask me what treadmill to buy, I usually tell them to save their money and buy a few kettlebells! You should always get some one-to-one tuition from a Personal Trainer (PT) before attempting the kettlebell swing, otherwise you’re likely to injure your back if using poor technique.
Kettlebells are so versatile. You can work your entire body with a set of these. You can also do a lot of glute work. If one side of your body is stronger than the other, then you can use kettlebells to even you out.
Portability: Not very portable, but if you just had one kettlebell between 16-24kg / 35-53lbs, you could get a great kettlebell swing workout, taking up a lot less space than a treadmill. Kettlebells are great for HIIT.
Cost: Buying one is ok, but buying a set can get expensive. It’s another reason to get some sessions with a Personal Trainer, so you can experience which kettlebell weights are more suited to your current strength levels, and just buy those. You also get what you pay for—beware of cheap kettlebells, made in 2 parts, or with sharp seams. Buy single cast bells, with flat machined bases. A high-quality 44lb (20kg) kettlebell will set you back about £60 / US $55.
#3 A Barbell, Flat Bench, And Squat Pad
One of THE BEST exercises for a toned behind, is the barbell hip thrust. You’ll need a barbell set with weights (preferably metal). For home use, just buy the standard barbell set, not the larger olympic barbell. A 55kg /125lbs set will suit most women. You can also use the barbell for a ton of exercises to tone and strengthen your entire body.
To do the hip thrust you’ll need to rest your shoulders on a padded bench. You can buy benches which incline, but if the main reason you’re buying it is to tone your glutes by hip thrusting, then a solid flat bench will be more comfortable to lean on.
Resting the barbell on your hips is excruciatingly painful unless you have a barbell squat pad, so make sure you buy one.
Portability: Not portable at all. And this set of gear will take up a lot of space in your spare room or garage. But you’ll probably gain some love from your other half, as he’ll want to use the equipment too.
Cost: Around £250 / US $325 for all three
#4 Yoga Mat
You can lie on a towel or carpet, but it’s just not as comfortable as a mat when doing floor exercises for the abs and glutes. For a more enjoyable workout, aim to buy one that is at least 10mm / ½” thick.
Portability: You could pack a mat into a suitcase. They usually have a carry strap.
Cost: Around £20 / US $20
#5 Mini Bands
These aren’t as versatile as the resistance loop bands, and are much shorter, at around 12″ long. But as an additional item to compliment your other fitness equipment, then these can supplement your glute exercises such as side leg raises, donkey kickbacks, crab walks and fire hydrant.
Portability: Very portable. Small enough to pack a set of bands inside a sock when you travel.
Cost: Around £10 / US $10 for a set of 4 bands in a carry pouch.
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom
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