The home became many things these past few months: an office, a movie theatre, and a gym. And while the first two configurations may not require much additional special equipment, it’s a bit tough to get the same workout in your living room — lifting old textbooks for weights and just narrowly missing kicking over a vase — as it is at your favourite gym.
That’s why we reached out to a fitness expert for tips on how to improve our home workouts this fall. Fitness coach Beverley Cheng is a pro when it comes to helping people establish routines that fit their lifestyle, no matter where they’re working out, making her the perfect person to recommend some must-have fitness products.
“I love using this step to increase the range of motion of any exercise,” Beverley says. The Aerobic Step is a must-have for cardio workouts at home, and this one is sturdy, has a non-slip structure, and features adjustable height options. “You’ll get way more out of each rep by elevating your front foot during reverse, stationary, or curtsey lunges,” she tells Daily Hive.
The best thing about these resistance bands, Beverley notes, is that “the variation allows you to progressively overload over time, something that can be challenging to do at home.” Choose between light, medium, or heavy resistance for a workout that suits your training needs.
If you’re focusing on your lower body in your workouts, this Fabric Squat Band will take your squats to the next level. “You can make a simple body weight squat much harder by just placing the band around your thighs and driving your knees out against the resistance,” Beverley recommends. Plus, it packs away easily, making it a good choice for those with a small apartment and limited storage.
Don’t be intimidated by this hefty-looking contraption! It’s actually lightweight, installs easily in a door frame, and includes multiple handles for a variety of lifts. Beverley recommends using this to work on your grip strength (just by hanging) or to practice chin-ups. “This bar will also open up so many new challenging ab exercise alternatives in the form of knee raises and straight leg raises!”
The best part about a multi-use fitness product is that it can be used in a plethora of ways but won’t take up a ton of space. Keep yourself loose and limber between workouts with this variable roller. “Use the two different foam rollers to roll out your quads, lats, or glutes,” Beverley advises, then “use the handheld roller to relieve those tough-to-get places.”
“You don’t need super heavy weights to stay strong and healthy while indoors,” Beverley says. This 10 lb coated dumbbell will add some weight to your workout, helping to tone and sculpt muscles. Order two and slowly introduce them to your at-home exercise routine. “My favourites are renegade rows and dumbbell squats,” she says.
Looking for a way to make your workouts a bit more challenging? “Ankle and wrist weights are a great way to increase the resistance throughout your entire workout,” Beverley says. These are adjustable and work for both ankles and wrists, giving you a hands-free way to add weights to your routine.
Every at-home gym needs a yoga mat, and this one is reversible, comes in fun colours, and is non-slip. Whether you’re using it for yoga, mobility sessions, stretches, or for your workouts, rolling out a mat helps to set the tone for your fitness routine. Plus, as Beverley advises, “carpet burn is a real thing!”
An exercise ball will create a pathway for many new exercises that you’ll be able to do at home — and this one deflates and comes with its own pump, so you don’t need to worry about trying to tuck it into a closet when you’re done with it. Beverley says, “Try holding a forearm plank (with your forearms balancing on the ball) and I promise your abs will be on fire for the next couple days!”
The key thing to remember is to make your home gym work for you, whether that means picking multi-use products that are easy to store or focusing on particular aspects of your workout that could use a boost with the right tools. GoZone makes it even easier to shop for fitness gear with its colour-coded lineup, too. Who knows, by the time you have your home gym set up, you might not even miss your old one.
GoZone is available exclusively at Walmart, both online and in-stores.