Yeah, yeah. It's nice to work out at a club—there's the camaraderie, the invigorating music, the sense that you're not alone in your efforts—but sometimes a girl just wants to work out at home, and save a few bucks in the process. So what does every home fitness gym need? We asked David Kirsch, trainer to celebs like Heidi Klum, Liv Tyler, Anne Hathaway and Faith Hill, and founder of David Kirsch Wellness Co. in New York City, to list the top five pieces of home fitness gym equipment. Here's what you really need to work out at home—and why.
- Medicine ball. Medicine balls are great because they can be used for
moves like lunges, abs exercises and core and lower back strengtheners. Yours should be between 4 and 10 pounds, depending on your level of fitness. "I like them for their versatility and the fact that they don't take up much space," says Kirsch. Try this slammin' moveball slam to work your butt, core and legs. Prices range from $20 to $35 at The Shape Store.
- Stability ball. Also called a resistance ball, core ball or balance ball, this giant beach ball–like apparatus adds major bounce to your workout. "An ordinary pushup is much more advanced and challenging performed on a stability ball," Kirsch notes. Why? Because the surface is unstable, which means you have to work harder to stay uprightstabilized—which means you engage your core muscles with every single move. Kick your abs up a notch with these three stability ball moves. See for yourself with this total-body toning routine.
- Resistance tubes or bands. These long rubber bands (some are tubular, some are wide and flat) are less intimidating than weights and even more versatile—you can target calves, thighs, glutes, biceps and triceps with a wide range of moves. And they take up no space at all. Here's why they work—and how to work them.
- Foam roller. This long thick foam tube isn't just for stretching, though it is a key tool for keeping muscles limber. You can also use it for exercises like this challenging triceps dip. You can find rollers in a variety of shapes, sizes, and densities at Amazon.com.
- Stairs. Stairs are great for doing lunges, step-ups, or simply getting a
cardio workout in without a pricey treadmill by running up and down a few
dozen times. If you live in a one-story home with no stairs in sight, that's no excuse to skip the cardio—you can always take a run around the neighborhood, or mix in jumping jacks or even a jump rope routine to keep your workout challenging and fresh.