Missing workouts and in-person fitness classes? January plus the continued Covid shutdowns mean there’s a surge in interest in fitness equipment, but unlike spring 2020 there are still plenty of options online for weights, ma
Missing workouts and in-person fitness classes? January plus the continued Covid shutdowns mean there is a surge in interest in fitness equipment, but unlike spring 2020 there are still plenty of options online for weights, mats, cardio machines and bodybuilding equipment.
When choosing equipment, several factors should be considered: What type of exercise will you be doing? How much space is there for the equipment (and is it easy to store when not in use)? Should it be stored away from toddlers or pets? What is the cost-per-use advantage over a gym membership? And how long does it take to set up or break down before and after a workout?
With all of that in mind, here are some basic pieces that are suitable for those new to “I’m trying a new online yoga instructor” or those who already have a fitness routine they love.
Fitness bands are a versatile item for resistance training, restorative movements, and specialty classes (like yoga and Pilates), as well as high-intensity movements like squats and lunges. They are also portable and easy to store, unlike a bike or workout bench. Go for affull (which includes handles and a carrying bag) or a single loop band.
Who is it ideal for: Anyone who wants simple equipment that personal trainers love.
Why we endorse it: Multiple uses and prices.
Where it could use improvements: These are looped strips (for a set of strips that are not connected, click here.)
Height/weight/dimensions: 10″ long.
CARDIO CLASSES ON DEMAND
Rowing is great for a low-impact, full-body cardio workout. This foldable rower from Echelon has a screen, app, and Bluetooth connectivity for live lessons, stats, and pairing with smart devices (like a FitBit). Although it works without a subscription, to take full advantage of the machine, it is recommended.
Who is it ideal for: Anyone who wants a “live” classroom experience at home.
Why we endorse it: Users appreciate the quality of the machine and its robustness. Up to 5 user profiles can be created.
Where it could use improvements: Without the class subscription (which comes at an additional cost), the rides are “freestyle” with no access to live video and minimal data.
Height/weight/dimensions: 86″ x 21″ (footprint).
JUMP INTO A NEW ROUTINE
There are a surprising number of trampoline fitness mini videos available for free online and fans of the workout say it’s a fun and thrilling workout. From the basics (bouncing) to more advanced moves (like twisting), it’s perfect for people bored with their cardio routine. Available at walmart, Amazon and canadian tire.
Who is it ideal for: Anyone wishing to shake up their fitness routine.
Why we endorse it: Energetic Cardio, users find the workouts challenging and fun.
Where it could use improvements: Need room to bounce.
Height/weight/dimensions: From 38″.
Trampolines are not the only fitness equipment that you will also find on a playground. Jumping rope is a very vigorous cardio workout (something we learned from watching boxing movies) and since 2022 ropes have gone digital. This Renpho Smart Jump Rope pairs with an app and tracks jump time, calories, and even tangles. Available at Amazon.
THE COMPLETE SET THAT TAKES UP SPACE
Prefer to buy a set that contains all the essentials? the BodyBoss includes resistance bands, resistance bar, foldable platform, ankle straps and door anchor. Because it’s intended for use at home or while traveling, it stores neatly and is easy to transport. Available at Amazon.
Who is it ideal for: Anyone who doesn’t want mismatched gear.
Why we endorse it: Convenience, free introductory course in the use of the equipment.
Where it could use improvements: Mixed user reviews.
Height/weight/dimensions: 16 pounds.
YOGA AND MORE
Even if yoga isn’t on the to-do list, a mat is useful for stretching and floor exercises. Spending a lot on a brand is not important when it comes to getting a solid option; this Halfmoon Essential Studio Mat is on sale at Well.ca.
foam blocks are recommended to help with stability when practicing yoga, but they can also be used for core-focused strength training routines (planks, glute bridges, and push-ups get even more difficult with blocks). Available at A.Mazon in a set of two.
THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WEIGHTS
To build muscle, burn fat and strengthen the body, it is recommended to incorporate weights.
- Simple dumbbells Amazon Basics has a 2, 3, and 5 lb set with a stand. These are covered with neoprene, which facilitates grip. Available at Amazon.
- Ankle weight add resistance without bulking up the leg muscles (these are popular in dance cardio classes). Available at Old Navy.
- For a heavier option in a tight space, this adjustable set includes 16 weights and a connecting rod that transforms it from two dumbbells into a single bar. Available at Amazon.