Okay, okay, so you can’t really call fitness gear "boring,” but there are some basics that are more, well, basic than the Peloton bikes, NordicTrack treadmills, and Bowflexes of the world. These essentials are great for a variety of workouts and are must-haves for both gym regulars and fitness novices.
Those looking to build a home gym might want to supplement these picks with bigger machines, but these basics are perfect for those of us who want the option to get a workout in if we can't make it to the gym or a studio class. Take a look at the options below—with these, you won't have an excuse for not getting some active time in.
You can do a lot with a set of dumbbells, and depending on your workout, you can tone and target so many different muscles in your body. Get multiple pairs of different sizes so you can change it up from time to time.
Not just for the playground, jump ropes are one of the simplest workout gear out there. The American Council on Exercise recommends investing in a jump rope because "it is an extremely effective form of cardiorespiratory exercise and doesn't require much more than a little space, a timer, and some creativity." You can even get your cardio on the go—since the jump rope is so compact and lightweight, bring it on trips to get some exercise in.
Who knew such a small band could do so much? Tone different parts of your body (like your arms, legs, and butt) with a resistance band.
A yoga mat will come in handy even if you don't practice. You can use it to do floor-work routines and stretches (you might want to opt for a thicker mat in these cases for more support and comfort).
Loosen muscles, increase blood flow, improve flexibility, and relieve pain with a foam roller. Trust us, you'll feel so much more relaxed and ready to take on any fitness move once you've foam-rolled.
You'll want to invest in another strength-training tool: the kettlebell. In a study by the American Council on Exercise, researchers found "kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, while also improving core strength and dynamic balance."
In addition to working out your abs, you can also use an exercise ball for upper-body moves and squats. When you're done with your routine, it can even stand in as a desk chair.
Next up: The Best Fitness Gear You Can Buy on Amazon—All Under $30
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.
Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019.
In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot).
She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.
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