After a year when many gyms were closed more than they were open, more people are making room for fitness at home. Perhaps you spent some of those months crushing outdoor workouts or getting inside with a minimum of equipment. (Wine bottles as dumbbells?) Now seems like the perfect time to start exercising at home more than a last resort.
Intimidated by the thought of adding a full gym in your home? Relax. All you really need is a few smart investments and a little space, according to Hannah Eden, master trainer at iFit, the interactive networked fitness platform that makes treadmills, studio bikes, ellipticals, and other cardio and strength equipment from NordicTrack and other leading home fitness brands.
“You don’t need a full gym to be able to move your body,” she says. In NordicTrack’s new networked home gym, Vault, for example, dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands and other accessories for an entire gym are housed in a mirror cabinet with an integrated 32-inch HD touchscreen that sits neatly in every room. This, along with other tips from Eden, can help you set up a home gym that’s right for you and your budget and motivating you to work up a sweat.
With a small budget
Make use of the things you already have.
“Using household tools or items for a workout is great,” says Eden. Fill water bottles with rice or stash books in a backpack for weights. Do you have a garden or access to the outside area? Stones or a pocket filled with dirt or sand can also serve as weights. “Just stick to one-sided exercises that are done with one side of the body at a time because you don’t know exactly how much weight you’re using and you don’t want to end up with imbalances,” says Eden. When you use your stairs for cardio, your heart rate skyrockets too.
Invest in small multitasking tools first.
Eden is all about versatility – that’s why she loves resistance bands. “Working with the resistance of the ligaments can produce the same response as weights to lose fat or gain muscle.” Their 5-pack of mini loop straps ranges from extra light to extra heavy and can be used for mobility, flexibility and strength training. Do you prefer more resistance? Buy a kettlebell or dumbbell for one-sided training, says Eden. There’s even a handle you can buy that turns a dumbbell into a kettlebell for more exercise options. And for cardio at home, you can’t go wrong with a simple jump rope.
Mini bands (pack of 5)
Hannah Eden Fitness
With a practical budget
Create your own training room.
Whether in the corner of your living room or in a second bedroom, a certain stain of sweat can help you better immerse yourself in what you’re doing, says Eden. And that space doesn’t have to be huge – if it’s big enough to fit on a mat, that’s all you need. (The mat protects your grout from hardwood or tile floors.) Buying an affordable stand for your smartphone and tablet instead of trying to see it while exercising on the floor will result in a studio-like experience too. Bonus: Everything Eden recommends is small enough to tucked away in a cute basket, under the couch, or in a closet.
Find your home workout community.
One of the most difficult parts of the fitness experience to recreate at home is the social element – both in terms of workout buddies and practical trainers. “Trying to be in control of your own programming at home is almost impossible, even for me!” says Eden. So once you’ve set up your space, “you find some kind of virtual community that blames you for showing up in that room,” says Eden. Eden trains classes through iFit, a $ 15 per month ($ 180 per year) membership platform with thousands of live and on-demand instructor-led workouts and interactive features that work with equipment from brands like NordicTrack, ProForm and Freemotion work. The platform was recently named “Best Immersive Fitness Experience” at the Women’s Health Fitness Awards 2021.
When you have money to pamper yourself
Choose the equipment that you actually use.
There are many super-trendy home fitness machines on the market right now. The best for you is the one that will give you the results you want while also providing steady motivation to keep you occupied and achieve your goals.
“Invest in a product that you expect more from,” says Eden. “There’s more than just one exercise on the NordicTrack treadmills, bicycles, and rowing machines. With iFit you can explore the world with the trainers. ”
Choose versatile tools that will optimize your space.
Home fitness equipment has come a long way. Gone are the days when an entire room had to be dedicated to a treadmill. For example, NordicTrack’s Vault offers a comprehensive home gym with a footprint of less than half a yoga mat.
“I’d focus on free weights and things that allow you to store equipment vertically to save space,” says Eden, referring to products like the Vault and NordicTrack’s RW600 rowing machine, which can be folded in half before being stored vertically.
Select-A-Weight dumbbell set
Commercial S15i Studio Cycle
Commercial X14i treadmill
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