At Home Fitness Tips & Equipment

Now that we are all social distancing, the gym is temporarily not a safe place. While I’m going to miss lifting heavy I NEED endorphins to keep my cool. A time of heightened anxiety mixed with a lack of exercise could put me in a state of panic. Luckily, the only equipment required to work up a sweat is your body so for those of you on house arrest, voluntarily quarantined or just don’t feel like leaving your house I’ve put together my five favorite ways to move outside the gym.

*Disclaimer – I am not a doctor or medical professional. Please check with your physician before starting any new workout programs.

**All Amazon links in this blog post are affiliate links.

Yoga With Adriene

Yoga with Adriene is my favorite way to wind down after a long day. I’ve rambled about Adriene on here a couple times but she is 100% worth the hype. She has a yoga for everything! Yoga for when you are hungover, yoga for when you are anxious and some faster paced yoga when you want to get a sweat on. Adriene’s at home yoga programed is designed to require little to no equipment – you honestly don’t even need a mat. I’ll be relying heavily on her yoga videos to keep me sane during my voluntary quarantine.

Blogilates

Cassey Ho, creator of Blogilates, was the first fitness influencer I found. My first ever blog post on here was about starting her program PIIT28 back in 2015. I’ve tried all of her programs at this point. In college I loved her apartment/dorm friendly workouts and post grad she helped wean me back into fitness with the aforementioned PIIT28 program. Cassey is 110% pep! Even though her workouts are no to low equipment she can make all of your muscles burn in a 15 minute video. At this time I personally recommend her free sample PIIT28 videos or anything from her apartment friendly series.

Home HIIT

If Cassey isn’t your cup of tea but you still want to get your sweat on there are SO many other home cardio options. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is my go to cardio. It’s quick, effective, equipment free and still kicks my ass. Some of my favorite fitness influencers who post free HIIT routines are Natacha Oceane, Whitney Simmons and Nikki Blakketter but honestly if you search on youtube SO MANY will come up. If you really want to challenge yourself with HIIT you can purchase resistance bands on Amazon to up your strength.

We also invested in a pull up bar, foam roller and some yoga blocks to help us stay agile while we are sheltering in place.

Play Outside

This only works if the weather is nice and you’re not literally on house arrest BUT nothing boosts my mood and lowers my anxiety more than being outside. I used the word because there is so much more you can do besides walk and run. While right now you may way to avoid touching things like monkey bars or slides, there are still other ways to get in that sunshine. In addition to running you can stretch in the sun, practice a walking meditation, sit outside or go on a bike ride. Sunshine, when we have access to it, helps lower tension and increase endorphins. Apologies if you are trapped in an eternal winter – things will get sunnier eventually.

Dance Party

In the end it’s all about getting your heart rate up and burning off a little tension. If blasting David Bowie and shaking your butt is what makes you happy then hop to it – no need to formalize anything. This is especially helpful for all my fellow extroverts out there who are slowly losing their minds being trapped in their houses. Dance it out babies! Or sing it out! Lay on the floor and roll it out – whatever feels good for you!

These are my top tips for keeping your body moving while we practice social distancing. I’ve posted about this on my Youtube as well. Video included below.

It may feel like a strange new world out there but at least we can keep ourselves healthy and happy with a little in home movement. Let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas on how to beat cabin fever. I’ll be dancing in my living room if you need me.

But Really Tho What Do I Need for the Gym?

But really tho, I haven’t always been good at working out. Need proof? Here’s my first ever blog post about trying Blogilates PIIT28 post grad. Growing up I danced and did gymnastics but after high school I only dabbled in fitness when I had a RunDisney race sneaking up on me. In college if I did work out – I only did cardio. 

There’s nothing wrong with loving cardio or choosing not to lift weights but my 30 minute stints on the stair stepper while watching the Daily Show didn’t get me where I wanted to be physically. After I started doing PIIT28, everything changed. I started getting targeted fitness influencer content and through my own research I learned that lifting weights was the best way to lose fat and change my body in the way that I desired. Now that I’ve learned the error of my ways via fitness influencers like Nikki Blackketter and Whitney Simmons I’ve retired my cardio bunny lifestyle and started pushing heavy things around. My fitness goals went from being small to being strong. 

Now that I’m a regular on the weight room floor, a place that can be SUPER intimidating for women, I’ve learned that there are quite a few items I wanted or wish I purchased earlier throughout this journey. None of these items are essential, especially if you go to a gym that has extra resistance bands laying around, but they help me feel more prepared and confident for my workouts. I’ve broken this down into two lists: equipment and clothes. *Denotes an affiliate link.  

Equipment: 

Barbell Pad: https://amzn.to/3czHpoS *

If you’re trying to get a booty you will need one of these bad boys. This foamy cushion wraps around barbells to protect your hips while doing hip thrusts and your neck while doing squats or lunges. I refuse to do hip thrusts without one of these because they bruise my hips. 10/10 helper to booty gains. 

Lifting gloves: https://amzn.to/2vMDTHh *

I love lifting and I hate blisters so I adore these lifting gloves. They prevent blisters, help me maintain my grip on heavier weights and they prevent my super sweaty palms from dropping things. For a while I was using Brenton’s old lifting gloves and I recently was gifted a new pair and they are a MAJOR improvement. There are a lot of options out there so don’t hesitate to shop around for your perfect fit. 

Wireless Headphones: High End https://amzn.to/2VRZ7Ov * Cheaper Option https://amzn.to/333EbWC *

Much like weightlifting, I held out on wireless headphones for a bit. I have a very hard time finding headphones that fit on my small head and I didn’t want to go all out on any that I would be upset if they got hurt at the gym. After wrapping my Apple headphone cord around my neck at the gym one too many times I decided to give the cheaper ones a try. I love them. They adjust from my small head size to Brenton’s larger noggin. They have a really good sound quality and while they are not completely noise cancelling they’re pretty close.

Resistance bands: Long loop: https://amzn.to/3aAPuIb * Short loop: https://amzn.to/2xcxbKW *

Resistance bands are a god send. Long loop bands are perfect for full body resistance work, core work and assisted pull ups. Short loop bands are ideal for glute activation, added resistance on leg days and hip thrusts. The short loop bands I linked are fabric instead of rubber; I find rubber bands super uncomfortable as they either roll up or start to tear. We have had our fabric bands for two years and they show minimal wear and tear.

Rocking my wireless headphones and lifting gloves

Clothes: 

Clothes are a major confidence builder for me. I love to walk into the gym knowing that my outfit is on point and that my leggings won’t rip down the crotch again (you can visit my TikTok if you want to learn more about the tragic Gymshark leggings tear of 2020). 

Leggings: Queenieke https://amzn.to/38AABnQ *

Queenieke is my tried and true cheap legging brand. Are they as soft as LuluLemon? No. Are they durable? Yes. Are they 10x’s cheaper? Yes! I’ve purchased a couple different styles and I’ve loved all of them. My personal favorites are my all black ones but you can go wild with the mesh detailing and colors. 

Bras: Adidas https://amzn.to/2TMjPNd *

WARNING! I am president of the ibtc so if you have bigger ladies my advice here may be absolutely useless. Adidas sports bras are my go to and I really love that they are marked down on Amazon based on color. I personally love a loud color which makes this a no-brainer for me. 

Shoes: Adidas https://amzn.to/2PWcmKy *

I love Adidas because I have weird, wide, flat feet. Their cloud foam shoes are the only ones that support my archless life without giving me major ankle pain. If you are new to lifting and you want to do heavy leg days I highly recommend using a shoe like this for cardio/upper body days and a flat sole shoe for leg days. Old converse or vans are perfect for this but if you must buy a new pair might I recommend classic converse.

There are so many more fun things you can buy to feed your gym addiction but I consider these the essentials! Check them out, let me know what you end up buying and tell me if I missed anything in the comments.