A couple of weeks ago I shared five body-weight exercises that you can do anywhere. If you got started you should already be feeling and seeing the benefit of these simple but super-effective moves. To push things to the next level – without getting overcomplicated – there are three pieces of equipment you can use at home: medicine balls, TRX and resistance bands.
Unlike fixed machines at the gym, or even barbells, these three pieces of home exercise equipment can be utilized in a lot of different ways, so you can continuously adapt and work your muscles in new ways. You can find loads of information, tips, exercises and routines at Team Beachbody. Here are the basics.
Medicine balls: These are weighted balls that range from about as big as a baseball to the size of a basketball. Medicine balls are a great way to add variety to your routine. They help build your overall power, endurance, and flexibility, and are great for honing reaction speed. You can use a medicine ball to add resistance to ab work such as crunches, leg lifts or oblique twists; or for squats or lunges. Throwing and catching med balls is great for building reflexes, coordination and explosive power. If you’re working out alone simply toss and catch overhead while standing, which works your arms and shoulders, or lie on your back and toss it up, working your chest and back.
Resistance bands: These are a classic and so useful. They are simply big rubber bands of various weights (resistance) to give you a progressively tougher workout. You can use resistance bands in your daily routine for moves like overhead press, lateral raise, bicep curls and tricep kickbacks. You can anchor it to a tree or lamppost for chest and back exercises like butterflies or lat rows; or use it to add challenge to moves like squats and standing adduction and abduction. Plus, resistance bands are cheap, portable and make good emergency luggage-ties or dog leashes.
TRX: This amazing doohicky takes the principle of resistance bands to the next level. TRX is a suspension training system that uses gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises. It relies on a band system that allows you to control of how much you want to push things on each exercise by adjusting your body position to increase or reduce resistance. It was invented by Navy SEALS, so it can definitely push you to max fitness! Because you’re using your whole body it builds strength, coordination, balance, flexibility – and burns a lot of it really is an all-round.