Best Home Exercise Equipment – My Top 3 List


I’ve been a dedicated home exerciser for the last 30 years. I’ve had boatloads of home exercise equipment from thigh masters, mini trampolines, dumbbells, yoga blocks, dyna disks, and Swiss balls to a Pilates ring.

It goes without saying that there have been both hits and misses among my long list of acquisitions.

I think I probably used my thigh master once – even though you can even train your pecs with it! – and I probably tried using the Pilates ring once or twice. It’s actually a mystery to me why I purchased the Pilates ring. I’ve never taken a single live Pilates class, I just got a set of Winsor Pilates tapes from my sister and started using them.

Getting a Pilates ring must’ve felt like a good idea at that time. And you can use it to tone your pecs too! :-)

But without further ado, below is my top 3 list.

Best Home Exercise Equipment Ever

1. Omron pocket pedometer.

Technically speaking, pedometer isn’t really a piece of (home) exercise equipment per se, but because it gets me moving, I think of it as exercise equipment. The best thing about my pedometer is that it’s extremely easy to use: I wake up in the morning, hang the pedometer around my neck and get going. I actually used to own a cheaper, mechanical model before my Omron pedometer but it was basically useless. It often stopped recording my steps if I accidentally aligned it even a little bit wrong.

I also have a heart rate monitor, but I rarely use it because it’s such a hassle to program. That’s why I usually wear it only on special occasions – like when I need to record my heart rate for an aerobic fitness test.

I have my Omron pedometer to thank for the fact that I started exercising again after I managed to rehab my runner’s knee two years ago. I can’t imagine living without it these days. (If you’re thinking about getting a pedometer for yourself, read this article too).

2. Hand weights.

You can’t really think of yourself as a serious home exerciser if you don’t own several pairs of dumbbells. :-) Dumbbells are actually so mundane and “uncool” that I almost forgot to consider them for my list.

I also thought hard about putting kettlebells on the list instead of dumbbells. Eventually I chose dumbbells because they are cheap, versatile and extremely easy to use. And you can use them as extra resistance in many bodyweight exercises.

I also feel that with kettlebells it’s very important to learn the correct technique first so you don’t injure yourself training with them. But if I had merely thought about fun, I would have chosen kettlebells.

3. Resistance tubing with handles.

I have used resistance bands for years and years. Every time my resistance band frays or snaps, I get a new one. That happened until I discovered resistance tubes (also called resistance tubing) with handles. Resistance training tubes with handles are even handier than the broad elastic bands.

My favorite use for resistance tubing is for exercising my upper back to counteract my tendency to hunch my shoulders. Lately I’ve been using a sturdy piece of resistance tube like a pulley for my FBB program. I simply loop the tube around my chin up bar.

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When I started thinking about my top three pieces of home exercise equipment, I realized they have something in common.   They are easy to use and they fit seamlessly into my lifestyle, causing minimal disruption.

So it’s really pretty simple. If you struggle to learn to use your piece of exercise equipment, you won’t use it. If a piece of exercise equipment is a hassle to use, you won’t use it. If it doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, you won’t use it.

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So, tell me what is *your* best home exercise equipment? Why?

Comments

  1. Lori says:

    It’s definitely my bike trainer! I now can ride my bike inside. It folds up when my bike goes back outside for the season and stays out of the way. Way better than an exercise bike because it feels just the same riding my bike all year instead of the difference of an exercise bike.

  2. Satu says:

    I can understand why bike trainer is your top piece of exercise equipment. It fits your lifestyle like a glow. I just wonder what Pixie thinks about it…

  3. Right now it’s my kettlebells! I’ve had them for a couple of years…love them!

    • Satu says:

      Hi Karen! If I learned tthe proper kettlebell technique, they might very well replace dumbbells as my favorite pieces of home exercise equipment…

  4. Deb says:

    Oh Satu, I’m bad about exercising at home! As you know from my posts, I love going to the gym and participating in classes – though that might change in the future.

    I do have some hand weights but I love the idea of resistance bands because they take up so little space AND you can do so much with them. Plus then there are so many body weight options (squats, push ups, dips etc).

    I love that you’re so dedicated to exercising at home. I really envy that!

    Deb

    • Satu says:

      Hi Deb! I think most people are bad at-home exercisers (my sisters and most of my friends are). Years ago I used to go to the gym several times a week but now I’m mostly exercising at home or outdoors..

  5. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Well, currently my only home exercise equipment is a yoga mat, a yoga strap, and a set of 5 pound dumbbells for doing pushups. I really would like to get one of those wheels with handles used to do AB exercises. They are supposed to be great. My oldest daughter likes kettlebells, like you do.

    :-) Marion

    • Satu says:

      I’ve seen ab wheels but for some reason I’ve neer lusted after them… I’d love to have a step-up platform for doing step ups, but they are pretty expensive.

  6. Satu, I think a timer is a great add-on. Using a clock on the wall will suffice, yet when I’m busting out bodyweight cardio sets the last thing I want to think about is math…like counting down the seconds before the next round.

    Mitch

  7. Satu says:

    Hi Mitch!

    I think you’re right about the timer. I used to go nuts when I did intervals. Now I have a Gymboss timer to take care of that hassle.. :-)

  8. Aimee says:

    Oh wow the Thigh Master! I had one of those back in the day. I am still on a mission to slim my thighs.

    I have a yoga mat, 3lb and 5lb hand weights and resistance tubing with handles. I use the yoga mat more than anything. I aim to work out at home twice a week, but it usually only happens once a week. I love the idea, just find it somewhat boring. I keep trying though.

    • Satu says:

      Ha! I’m glad I’m not the only one who has owned the thigh master…

  9. Going to a gym can be intimating and frustrating with people hogging the equipment. Doing something from the comfort of your own home is way better.

    Plus having to drive to the gym! No thank you. Most of us a too busy and don’t want to drive anywhere after work or on the weekend.

    Working out at home can be hard to do but not if you don’t have to worry about equipment.

    Thanks for this simple and cost effective list. Especially the thigh master!

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