Thought this might be of interests and I would love to hear your input.
(I have two gyms that I belong to, one that is for hard core BBing, and the other for the masses and swimmers)
Should I consider these for those sick days@ home work outs?!?
Creating an at-home gym can be affordable and easy—especially when you don't spend big bucks on bulky treadmills and weight machines! With just a few small pieces of equipment and your own body mass, you can get a toning, calorie-burning workout without leaving the house. WD spoke with personal trainers to get their must-have home exercise items, favorite fitness routines and useful tips. Find out how you can make your at-home sweat sessions a success.
“Jumping rope is great for a full-body cardio workout and even better for fat burn,” says Bonnie Matthews, fitness trainer and contributor to Oz Blog, the blog for Dr. Mehmet Oz's website. Not only are jump ropes inexpensive (they range anywhere from $4 to $30), but you can do all sorts of interval training with them, too. For an intense workout, Matthews suggests you “jump hard and fast for two minutes, drop and do push-ups for one minute, then burst right back up and do two more minutes of hard jumping." Do at least two or three sets, eventually building up to more. Jump ropes are also great if you travel a lot, since you can just throw one in your suitcase, according to Gina Harney, personal trainer, nutritional advisor and blogger at The Fitnessista.
Workout mats offer great cushioning for your body while you’re exercising, and can be purchased for under $20. “An exercise mat makes great padding for your back during crunches and for your knees during push-ups,” says Ryan Karnes, fitness supervisor at Texas Health Fitness Center. They're also great for floor-based workouts such as yoga and Pilates. To keep your mat in tip-top shape, clean it with one part lemon juice mixed with two parts water. "It disinfects the mat and leaves it smelling nice without damaging the nonstick surface,” Harney says.
The great thing about dumbbells is that no matter what your fitness level, you can choose the right amount of weight for yourself. Available in a wide range of prices, shapes, sizes and weights, dumbbells can be included in many types of strength-training exercises. “They offer great resistance and engage all the stabilizer muscles. Try lateral raises, dumbbell bench presses, overhead triceps presses, curls, overhead shoulder presses and lunges with weights,” Karnes suggests.
Resistance bands are unique in that you can use them to perform exercises you would normally do with machines and free weights at the gym. “They offer resistance instead of momentum, and using bands protects the joints more than dumbbells,” Karnes says. They’re only about $10 to $30 and you can perform biceps curls, chest presses, triceps kick-backs, shoulder shrugs and so much more.
Foam rollers are great for relaxing and massaging your muscles. “A foam roller is one of the best investments you can make for injury prevention,” Harney says. “It’s called the ‘poor man’s massage’ because it’s inexpensive and provides the same benefits for a fraction of the price.” Ranging anywhere from $10 to $40 depending on thickness and size, it can relieve tight body parts such as the buttocks (gluteal and piriformis muscles) and leg muscles (iliotibial band, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves). Karnes even recommends “stepping on it to do calf raises and using it for abdominal exercises, as well.”
Exercise balls average around $20 and are great for engaging the core muscles. “Anything you do [on your back] such as chest presses and triceps extensions can be done with an exercise ball, which will target your core muscles as you work to stabilize,” Harney says. Looking for a great way to spice up your traditional abdominal workout? “Incorporate dumbbell exercises such as bench presses or ball squats,” Karnes suggests
Exercises utilizing your own body weight, like push-ups, require no equipment at all. Matthews says other examples of exercises you can do just using your body weight include planks, crunches and squats. Harney’s favorite full-body workout? Jog in place for one minute, do jumping squats for 30 seconds, regular squats for 30 seconds, wall or full push-ups for 30 seconds, plank for 45 seconds, burpees for 45 seconds, calf raises for 30 seconds then alternating lunges for one minute. Repeat one to two times, two to three times per week.
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but Cabbage with a College Education.