Exercise doesn’t need to be complicated. You can get a perfectly good workout at home without dumbbells, benches, or pull up bars. But, as a personal trainer, here are the three things I think every exerciser should invest in. And don’t worry, none of these are going to break your bank.
1. A Stopwatch
Okay, I know this seems too
simple to be a necessity, but just trust me here. I cannot tell you how often I see people wrecking their workouts because they aren’t timing their rest periods!
I know you may think you can accurately count seconds in your head, but you probably can’t. Or you’ll get distracted. Or you’ll pick up your phone and five whole minutes later (which will feel like 30 seconds) you’ll finally get to your next set or round.
So, just use a stopwatch to make sure you are timing your rests. Your workouts will be so much more efficient and every phone has one these days, so there’s really no excuse not to!
2. A Foam Roller
There is no question about it, this is absolutely the piece of equipment that I recommend most often. If you don’t have one, you need one, in my opinion.
Foam rollers allow you to basically massage out knots in your muscles. Knots in your muscles, or adhesions as we call them in the fitness world, will make you uncomfortable, alter your movement patterns, and eventually lead to injury.
Foam rolling (a.k.a. self-myofascial release) is essential to keeping your muscles healthy, maintaining flexibility, and reducing soreness. And, you can pick one up for around $30, so it’s affordable for most anyone.
3. A good pair of shoes
Are you pulling out the same grass-stained, 6-year-old sneakers you wear to mow the lawn when it’s time for a workout? If so, stop it right now and get yourself to the shoe store!
A good shoe is so important! You are putting a lot of pressure on your feet when you exercise, so you need to take care of them by giving them the proper support for the activities you’re doing.
For most people, a cross-trainer will be sufficient. If you’re doing power lifts, you’ll want to consider something with a more solid sole. If you’re doing plyometrics, jumping, etc., you’ll want something more flexible.
Not sure what shoe to buy? There are plenty of shoe stores that will assess you and help you find the right one.
Once you have these three essentials, you’ll be set for an efficient, safe, and comfortable workout.
Are you already using any of these? Is there anything you find to be absolutely essential to your workout that isn’t on the list? I want to hear about it! Let me know below.