Getting a full workout indoors often means having the right equipment. So what kind of gear should you have when winter pushes your fitness inside?
Once the weather turns and winter rolls around, exercising outdoors becomes problematic and uncomfortable at best, and dangerous or even impossible at worst. The solution – take your workout indoors.
But getting a full workout indoors often means having the right equipment. So what kind of gear should you have when winter pushes your fitness inside?
Let’s break this rundown into two sections. First, we’ll look at a few essentials that every fitness enthusiast should probably have around regardless of the season. Then we’ll throw in a few things that can bring your indoor gym to the next level.
Personally, I was pretty skeptical of the kettlebell for a long time. What can it accomplish that you can’t with a dumbbell or two? Now I can report that, having spent some time giving it a whirl, the kettlebell is indeed a powerful tool with its own benefits.
Kettlebells come in all sizes, from a handful of pounds to large muscle busters, but whatever size you get, the advantage I’ve experienced is that kettlebells force entirely different motions from dumbbells, delivering workouts to all the little in-between, connective muscles that usually get missed. I recommend alternating week to week between dumbbells and kettlebells, which will deliver toning all around.
A yoga mat is a highly versatile piece of equipment. From pre- and post-workout stretching, to providing you with a soft surface upon which to perform your ground exercises, to establishing a non-slip surface when you need a bit of extra stability for standing motions, a yoga mat is essential.
I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll do it again and again – the jump rope is one of the most powerful pieces of workout equipment you can own. Besides allowing you a solid cardio workout from the comfort of your own home, if properly used a jump rope actually delivers a higher calorie burn than most alternatives. It also works out your upper body (especially if you get one with weighted handles), helping to tone arms, shoulders, chest and back.
Now let’s take a look at a few things that are more advanced. These are all larger pieces of equipment that tend to require more space. While they aren’t essential, they can definitely help bring your workout to the next level:
Stationary bike stand
This is an outstanding tool for the avid bicyclist. When rain, darkness, and ice make outdoor cycling unsafe, a stationary stand allows you to bring your bike training indoors. The best part about a stationary stand is that, unlike a traditional stationary bike, it is paired with the bike you already have, meaning when it’s not in use you can fold it up and store it away. This also allows you to continue training on your competition bike.
A rope resistance system
These come in a range of forms, but one that has gained notoriety in recent years has been the Exer-Genie. Tools such as these can be used to simulate a wide range of motions, from rope/sled pulls, to rowing, to swimming and more. Essentially, this allows you to bring a range of outdoor workouts inside. And typically speaking, these systems don’t even take up much space.
A heavy bag/speed bag
Punching bags are fantastic fitness tools even if you can’t imagine ever having to punch someone. Not only will a stretch on the bag deliver a solid cardio burn, but with proper punch technique you’ll be working out practically every muscle in your body – especially your upper body and core.
A traditional weight bench
Finally, let’s go with an oldie but a goodie. Weight benches come in all varieties, from your basic bench-press setup, to elaborate contraptions capable of delivering virtually every workout imaginable. Even with the typical bench, you can do a whole lot more than just presses.
For the true fitness addict, you can’t beat having your own weight bench. Sure, it takes up a bit of space, but if you’re serious about fitness, you’ll make room for it.