Love List: Home Workout Must-Haves.

During the days where there is no escape in sight, I always try to fit in some sort of physical exercise at home.  Whether it's a quick HIIT from an app on my phone mid-afternoon with my toddler and preschooler, or a gruelling circuit in the evening before bed, I make time.  Many workouts do not require any equipment at all, and others do.

I have a small supply of equipment on hand I've collected throughout the years that has been beneficial during at-home workouts. All of these items are inexpensive and easy to find at your local department or sports stores. I keep everything in one storage tub and it's always in sight.  Of course, your collection of equipment will reflect the type of workouts you are doing. And, if you don't have these specific items on hand, you can always improvise!  Throw a towel on the floor and grab a milk jug or a pair of soup cans for weights.

1. Exercise mat or yoga mat
For added comfort for your body while doing any floor exercises, an exercise or yoga mat is a staple.

2. Resistance bands
Resistance bands are one of my favorite pieces of equipment. The portable bands provide muscle-building tension that can give you an effective strength workout practically anywhere.

3. Kettlebell
I'm rather new to incorporating kettlebells into my workout routine and I've experimented with a few kettlebell workouts from Pinterest.  Most consist of whole-body movement exercises and a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility.  The off-centered weight from a kettle bell recruits more stabilizer muscles and works the targeted muscles through a wider range of motion.

4. Weights
Good ol' fashioned dumbells are great to have kicking around for a variety of arm exercises, even while you watch your favorite show.

5. Stability ball
Stability balls can be incorporated into Pilates, weight training and many other fitness routines to increase core balance and abdominal fitness.

6. Foam Roller
Foam rollers are great for stretching, core and lower-body exercise, balance training and massage relief. If we're watching a movie, you can usually find myself or my husband rolling out it bands. Yowza!

7. Medicine ball
I don't own my own medicine ball but I have one on my wish list.  I incorporate medicine balls into my ab and plyometric workouts at the gym.   Medicine balls come in a variety of weights and are often used for rehabilitation and strength training.


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