One of the biggest hurdles of a remote office is keeping up with a fitness routine. When all you have to do is roll out of bed and log into your email to kickstart the day — changing out of PJs not required — it can be hard to pencil in a workout. That is, unless you have an at-home gym set-up that you can schedule in at any time. Whether you want a one-stop cardio machine or are looking for items to help you stretch and tone, we've got you covered.
Here, everything you need to create an effective at-home gym.
If you need a little guidance...
Why does one at-home workout hour feel like four? With roommates, kids, pets, and Slack messages rolling in, it can be hard to focus in and complete a workout on your own — which is why it's extra helpful to have some kind of guide to follow. Luckily, during this tumultuous time, many instructors, apps, gyms, and studios are offering their guided workouts for free online.
A few of our favorites: Obé is offering live broadcasts of their workouts; Planet Fitness has daily live-stream exercise routines on its Facebook page daily at 4 p.m. PST; Peloton is giving new users guided yoga, walking, running, and more for 90 days free; P.volve is streaming free classes on Instagram Live and offering 30 days of free access to its streaming service with the code OnePvolve; Yoga With Adriene has a huge library of free yoga classes on YouTube; and Blogilates created a 14-day quarantine workout plan that you can follow along with.
If you just want to focus on cardio...
While Peloton might be the more well-known choice, the Echelon bike offers the same features and workout for a fraction of the price. While you have to use your own device or tablet to score the instructor-led classes, it'll still get you cruising (while raising your heart rate).
When it comes to treadmills, there are many great brands to choose from, but our pick is NordicTrack. The brand has options best for HIIT workouts, small spaces, and lower budgets, but according to Treadmill Review Guru, the best overall option is the Nordictrack x32i. While it certainly isn't the smartest budget buy at nearly $4,000, if you're looking to make an investment well worth the price, you can't go wrong. It inclines all the way to 40% and has an interactive touch screen and a very powerful 4.25 CHP Smart-response motor — it's basically a full home gym that provides HIIT training, killer run workouts, and more.
For an entire arsenal of full-body workouts at the touch of your fingertips (literally), you can't go wrong with the Mirror. Dubbed as the "Nearly Invisible Home Gym," the Mirror is exactly what it sounds like: A nearly full-body mirror that discreetly hangs on your wall. But once it's turned on, it transforms into an interactive trainer of sorts. You can select from a library of classes spanning all activities — from boxing and jogging to yoga and pilates — and get your sweat on with the instruction of a certified trainer.
If you want to tone and tighten...
A few simple moves can go a long way with the right gear. Here are a few of our go-to items to elevate a home gym. You certainly don't need them all — selecting just a few will give you a full, well-rounded workout.
There's no need to invest in a full set of weights — you just need one light and one heavy one to alternate between.
These are good alternatives to weights if your activities involve more movement and you don't want to have to worry about holding onto the weights (i.e. boxing, pilates, etc.).
This nifty accessory can be used flat on the ground (as pictured above) or flipped over for extra stability endurance. You can use it for squats, push-ups, lunges, straight balance exercises, and a variety of plyometric workouts. Each Bosu ball comes with a guide to workouts, so you'll have an endless list of workouts to try.
These round discs allow you to effortlessly glide your feet and hands around the room, allowing you to target specific muscles in your legs, arms, and core.
If you want something that takes up minimal space, resistance bands are your best bet. You can use to help during stretching, squats, and cardio.
A heavier kettlebell can amplify other moves to turn them into full-body exercises.
Jumping rope may seem easy, but it's actually harder than it looks. Once you have the coordination down, it becomes a heart-racing, sweat-inducing workout that will tone your entire body.
This nifty machine is fairly compact but can do a number on your abs.
If you're looking to do yoga and stretch...
The best place to stretch, plank, lunge, and recover.
When placed between your knees, this mini barre ball makes normal pilates and barre positions extra tough.
Made of sustainable cork, this high-quality yoga block has a firmness not found in foam blocks, and allows you to feel secure during moves that require a little extra flexibility.
Use the outer roller on the arms and legs and the interior grooved roller on your back to relieve tension.