Unless you have a decked-out home gym (yay for you!), at-home exercise equipment is probably lying on your bedroom floor or not so sneakily stashed beside your dresser. And before you know it, kettlebells, yoga blocks, dumbbells, and foam rollers have taken over your closet or become an unsightly doorstop. (Do you know how to Build the Perfect At-Home Gym?)
One piece of shiny equipment aims to change all that. At first glance, the Ubarre ($185; bestustudio.com) looks more like a decorative end table accessory than a piece of workout equipment—and that's exactly what Kodi Kitchen, co-creator of the Ubarre and actress-turned-fitness-entrepreneur, had in mind.
"It's geared to be a piece of chic workout equipment," Kitchen says. "You can have it on the side table or desk and it doesn't compromise décor. I have them all over my house."
In gold or silver metallic (other colors and finishes in the works), the Ubarre passes for an artsy accent piece so you'll comfortable leaving it out, which is pretty much the point. Those dumbbells collecting dust under your bed aren't exactly screaming 'use me!', but a pretty, gilded 4- or 8-pound Ubarre you pass by every day—now that could get you moving. (Need inspiration? Check out these at-home workouts.)
And how you get moving is total up to you—the Ubarre's versatility is only second to its modern aesthetics. Kitchen says the Ubarre can be used during Pilates, yoga, barre, and to up the ante of traditional strength training. "You can easily turn a lower body move like a squat into a total-body move quickly, by doing a curl or an isometric hold, with the Ubarre," says Kitchen. This type of static squeeze helps you maintain good form and engage chest, back, arms, and core.
Here, Kitchen shares three ways to use the Ubarre to stretch and strengthen—no matter how you prefer to work out.
Reclined Hamstring Stretch
A. Lie down, back flat against the floor with legs extended straight down, feet flexed. The Ubarre should be against your chest, with U-opening facing down.
B. Bring left knee to chest, grab ends of Ubarre, and loop it around ball of left foot. Extend left leg straight up, feeling the stretch in the hamstrings. Keep lower back on floor and hips centered. Hold stretch for 20 seconds, then repeat with right leg. That's one rep. Repeat three times on each side.
Relevé Plié Pulse (with Ubarre Squeeze)
A. Stand with heels together, toes apart, squeezing the Ubarre in both hands to engage core. Draw shoulders down back and raise heels a few inches off the ground.
B. Begin to plié, bending knees to squat while making sure knees track along same angle as toes, heels remaining lifted. Slowly pulse up an inch, down an inch, focusing on keeping pelvis tucked and breath controlled. Complete 30 reps, then rest. Perform 2 more sets. (Like this move? Then you'll love this At-Home Barre Workout.)
Single-Leg Lunge with Biceps Curl
A. Lunge forward with right leg, forming 90-degree angles with both knees. Holding Ubarre in right hand, extend arm straight out in front of body.
B. Maintain lunge form, and curl Ubarre in toward body, creating a 90-degree angle with elbow. After completing 15 reps on each side, rest, then perform two more sets. (Sculpt strong, lean legs with the Top 10 Moves for Thinner Thighs.)