Get Healthy in Your Home Gym
The very first time I began working out, it was in the living room of my mom’s house. I was in junior high. There were no weights, resistance bands or jump ropes. I was not familiar with heart rate monitors and FitBits were unheard of. My workouts were fueled by a drive for success and commitment to my goals. Along with a VHS tape, Your Personal Best, featuring Elle MacPherson and Karen Vogt, I broke a daily sweat and moved to the beats of “Ain’t Nothin Gonna Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder. Since then, my fitness goals have evolved, along with my home gym.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, build strength or work toward both, a home gym can offer a solution to a busy lifestyle. A home gym is a convenient solution whether you are short on time, prefer to get your sweat on in private, or are obsessed (like I am) with all of the latest gadgets and pieces of fitness equipment. So how do you separate the functional from the funny-looking? Below, I have listed six of my favorite products that I have found to be sweat inducing and results producing.
XBAR FITNESS SYSTEM
The XBAR is a resistance band inspired training device that offers over 100 full body exercises. Resistance band training is a very effective method, requiring your body to move against resistance through the entire range of motion. Picture the motion your arm creates when doing a bicep curl. A dumbbell feels heaviest as you curl, while resistance bands make your muscles work hard through the entire movement, especially at the top, when the band is most taut. This also stimulates the core muscles more, particularly when doing squats or lunges with the XBAR.
The XBAR does not require a lot of space and comes with three different levels of resistance bands and a door anchor, offering variations and modifications for all fitness levels.
www.xbar.com Save 10% with code BURNTHIS at checkout.
WAHOO HEART RATE MONITOR
The Wahoo Fitness TICKR monitors your heart rate, calories burned, and time plus distance and pace when connected to your phone. The TICKR’s dual band technology works with most smart phones and GPS watches. By monitoring your heart rate, you are able to increase or decrease the amount of work you are doing based on your goals. It is also a great way to track your progress.
As you become more fit, the same workload that once increased your heart rate to 140, may end up bringing it only to 130. This is because your body has become more efficient at handling the stress placed upon it. At that time, consider increasing the workload to continue improving your fitness level.
XBAR SLIDER PADS
Sliders make a traditional move like the mountain climber more challenging. As you are in this position, holding a plank and drawing one knee in at a time (with a foot on each slider), the quads and abdominals muscles activate to draw your knee in and flex the hip. With sliders you will use more muscles to balance your body in position. Additional shoulder stability is required and your chest muscles are used as stabilizers.
www.xbar.com Save 10% with code BURNTHIS at checkout.
Training with dumbbells offers several benefits that will improve your health and physique. Similar to resistance bands, strength training improves bone density and increases your muscle mass. Because muscle requires more energy to maintain, it improves your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day. Weights can also be incorporated into circuit workouts, which will keep your heart rate up and improve muscle endurance. Think “dumbbell squats for 30 seconds/jumping jacks for 30 seconds,” repeating similar sets and rounds for 20-30 minutes.
Purchase dumbbells online or at a sporting goods store.
The thought of jumping rope immediately takes me back to childhood, when I was the most uncoordinated person in gym class and would have rather had my fingers rolled over by a scooter than my face slapped with the plastic pieces of an old school jump rope. It was during a trip to New York City that I gave the jump rope another chance. The hotel I was staying in had a fitness center with very little equipment, one being a jump rope. I wiped away my doubt and anxiety to pick up the jump rope, only to wipe away my sweat 5 minutes later after a heart-pumping, high intensity experience. The jump rope can be used as part of a cardio circuit, or between strength training sets to make the workout more challenging and keep your body stimulated. The movement activates the calf muscles along with the arms and shoulders in particular. Because it is a weight bearing exercise, jumping rope also improves bone density. Purchase your jumprope online or at a sporting goods store.
GYMBOSS INTERVAL TIMER
One of the things I love most about high intensity interval training is it can be done anywhere, with little to no equipment. Several of my workouts consist of 30 seconds of cardio, 30 seconds of strength, followed by a 10 second recovery. Interval training improves your lung capacity, making your aerobic system stronger so you can function more efficiently. Studies have also shown that because HIIT increases the amount of human growth hormone in your body in the 24 hours following your workout, you continue burning more calories than you otherwise would have! Human growth hormone also slows down the aging process. The Gymboss Interval Timer allows you to set your intervals on a timer (it will either ring or vibrate) so you can focus on the intensity rather than the clock.
For workout ideas incorporating these pieces of equipment, visit www.inspirelinge.blogspot.com
ABOUT MEGAN LINGE
Megan’s fitness journey began when she was in high school, overweight and inactive. After joining her first gym in 1997 and making changes to her lifestyle, the extra weight dropped and her commitment to health and wellness continued to grow. Upon graduating from Illinois State with two degrees (Commercial Recreation and Program Management) along with an Exercise Science minor, Megan continued to work in the fitness industry. Her experiences range from commercial to corporate to governmental fitness programming. Megan is also certified as an AFAA Personal Trainer and has competed in two NPC Bikini Competitions. Her most recent accomplishments include being featured as a Rising Star in the August 2014 issue of Oxygen Magazine.
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