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For those that are still looking to put together their own home gym or are committing to a healthier lifestyle in 2021 and treating themselves to some new fitness gear – this blog post is for you. During the pandemic I have slowly added many new pieces of equipment to my home gym and have tried new fitness products. So look no further; I have compiled some of my favorites below!
1. Massage Ball Set
I have a foam roll that I use frequently but I bought this massage ball set to really help with isolating specific areas of my body to help with my mobility and sore muscles.
The set of three massage balls I got from PlyOpic on Amazon comes with one spikey ball, one smooth ball, and one trigger point ball so that you can have the perfect hardness and pressure point. I love how they come with a mesh bag so that you can keep these all together.
2. Aerobic Step
Having a classic aerobic step is a great addition to any home gym. It takes up a minimal amount of space and can be used for a large variety of exercises and workouts. My favorite part of this product is that the steps are adjustable, and it doubles as a perfect bench for me to perform my hip thrusts on.
3. Jump Rope
Another piece of equipment that requires minimal space is a jump rope. This jump rope I purchased from Amazon is extremely light weight and fast. It is also very inexpensive and adjustable. It is the perfect way to get my heart rate up and warm up for my workouts. I look forward to using this more outside next year and plan to take this with when I travel.
Get a full body workout in with TRX suspension training. You can attach the TRX to any door, beam, tree, or pole. This fitness equipment piece is on the pricier end, but if you are looking to invest in something that you can use for a long time and can use for your full body this is a great piece! I love TRX for challenging my balance and core. The TRX set I purchased from Amazon came with a small book of suggested exercises.
You can also find TRX suspension trainers (they have two versions) at the TRX site. Note that the TRX site currently has a New Year sale if you buy one suspension trainer, you can get a second item of equal or lesser value for 50% off.
5. Manduka Yoga Mat
I already have one of these Manduka mats and I bought another one for my husband this year to join me in my quarantine yoga workouts. The Manduka eko lite yoga mat (4mm) has a great grip and thickness to it. It is durable if you take proper care of it (I have had my own for many years now). Another positive is that this mat is eco-friendly and non-toxic! It does collect dust and dirt easily, but this is minimized if you keep this rolled up and rinse it regularly.
6. WODFitters Resistance Bands
These WODFitters resistance bands are my favorite bigger loop resistance bands to use for assisted pull-ups and added resistance on other exercises. These bands come in many different sizes for different weight resistance. You can combine bands of different strength to get the perfect amount of resistance. These bands are another great item for traveling since they are small and you can get a good full body workout in with just these bands!
7. Hip Thruster Plates
These Thruster Plates from Bret Contreras (aka “The Glute Guy”) have been one of my most used pieces of equipment during quarantine. When I was looking for weights, everywhere online and in stores were sold out. I found these in-stock online and figured that these would work perfect for both hip thrusts (which is what they are specifically designed for) and to use for my other barbell exercises (squats, deadlifts).
These plates have an extra three-inch diameter compared to standard plates so when they are resting on the ground with a barbell, the barbell sits up higher allowing for more room between your legs and the barbell during hip thrusts. I have larger thighs, so these plates are just what I needed so that I am not uncomfortably pinned under the barbell. It is very east to stack additional standard plates with these since the thruster plate elevates the barbell a bit higher than standard plates. I also bought the standard Olympic barbell (45 lbs., no center knurling, 190K psi min tensile strength) from his site to go along with these plates and I have not been disappointed!
8. Cable Pulley System
This cable pulley system has been one of my most recent additions to my home gym so I haven’t used it too much yet. However, I was looking for a way to perform cable exercises and I found this pulley system on amazon for a steal.
This pulley system comes with two different size cables: 70 inch and 90 inch), one 360-degree pulley, a loading pin, tricep rope, and straight bar. Since I have a shorter squat rack, I have found the 70 inches to work great with my set-up.
I have two sets of the Gymshark camo leggings and sports bra, and these have been my favorite go-to workout set! I think these are great quality leggings for the value. The material is thick enough that they are fully squat proof and they have held up well through my more intense workouts and many washes (I always air dry my workout gear). The camo leggings hit me at just the right spot on my waist, just above my belly button but not super high-waisted. The back of the leggings has a small scrunch which makes your butt look fantastic (who doesn’t want that?!), and the camouflage hides any sweat (a must for my leg days!). The bra is also medium to high support, which I was pleasantly impressed with given the v-neck design. The crop top long sleeve is usually too warm for my workouts but perfect for warming up or lounging around. I love the loopholes that the top has. I own all items in a size M and they fit great on my frame (5’2”, 135 lbs.).
Gymshark has recently released a new version of their camouflage line with new colors, but they currently have a 30% off sale on some of their older versions/colors.
2. Callus Remover
If you are like me and you don’t like to use weightlifting gloves but also hate the build-up of calluses from weightlifting, I have found this SandBar tool to be helpful in smoothing out my calluses. Another essential in my gym bag, a quick use of this on my calluses after deadlifts or back day help smooth them out and heal my skin.
If you are the opposite and you cannot stand gripping weights without some kind of protection, I also own a pair of Barehand gloves. Since I do not like the thickness of a full weightlifting glove, these minimalist gloves give just the right amount of protection for your grip.
3. Apple Watch
I have been an Android user my whole life up until this year. I switched to an iPhone just so I could get an Apple Watch. I have the 2020 Apple Watch SE and I love the smart watch and fitness features of it. This watch is water resistant, gives me wellness reminders, tracks my heart rate, steps, stairs climbed, and sleep. It is easy to respond to text messages from my watch, check my calendar for the day, or listen to music or podcasts without having my phone nearby.
4. Cooling Towels
These 3-in-1 pack of cooling towels have been a staple of mine in my gym bag. Soft on my skin and lightweight, they are just what I need to wipe my sweat during my cardio workouts or leg days. In the summer, I like to use them after running or biking outside by dipping them in cold water and placing around my neck. Note that since they are thin, they may not be the best for those who sweat a ton and would prefer something more absorbent.
5. No Bull Trainers
Flat shoes are a must for leg day workouts. I am a big fan of Converse Chucks, but I decided to splurge on a pair of No Bull Trainers this year. I would say that they do live up to the hype as they are now my “go to” lifting shoe. I loved the simple design of these shoes and the fun sole. They come with two different sets of laces. I was surprised with how light these shoes are even though they also feel supportive especially for side-to-side movements. I did have to order up one half size as I needed enough room in the toe for high intensity workouts.
The Hydrojug is the perfect water bottle for ensuring that I get in my daily intake of water. Holding approximately 2.2L, this jug carries the minimum recommended amount of water that I need to get in daily.
It is also dishwasher safe, has a wide mouth lid (makes it easy to add ice), and a handle. I also have the carrying sleeve which helps insulate my jug to keep my water cool and includes a pocket to keep my phone or car keys. The carrying strap makes it easy to take places. Besides my gym workouts, I have found this jug useful for carrying water for my dog when we go to the dog parks. Use my discount code TFITT10 at the link below for 10% off. *
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My full name is Kristina, but I have gone by my nickname, Tina most of my life. I’m just a regular human, trying to better myself each day and I am so excited to be a part of the Hunkiedoriee team! In this blog, I’ll be sharing my experience, tips, and favorites for fitness and travel. I am a National Academy of Sports Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT). My goal is to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, put yourself first, love who you are, and live a happier life.
Some of my favorite things besides traveling and fitness, are coffee, fashion, red wine, the ocean, dogs, steak, smiling, sleeping in, talking.