As we enter the holiday season with many parts of the world experiencing various levels of lockdowns and other COVID-19 related restrictions, it’s easy to be frustrated. The good news is that even without a full gym, you can get fit, build muscle and challenge yourself with very little equipment.
During the early days of quarantine and for four solid months, I had one 26 pound dumbbell. My dad had the other one. Along with a few bands, I worked out 5-6 days per week, never getting board or feeling unchallenged.
I also found creative ways to make things work like filling a small suitcase with books for Zercher squats and using canned food for lighter weight upper body work.
After long hours scouring websites and waiting in virtual lines for equipment drops, I slowly added to my arsenal of equipment.
If I had to start over now, here are the piece of home workout equipment I would prioritize.
Invest in three or four different types.
I did not believe adjustable kettlebells could actually work. But when I found these in May 2020, I was more desperate than skeptical and adjustable dumbbells were unavailable.
I am really impressed the Rep Fitness Adjustable Kettlebells. No issues with clanking sounds. They have 5 different settings between 35 - 55 pounds and are sold as singles.
There are an endless number of exercises you can do with kettlebells: swings, deadlifts, squats, rows, presses, core work and more.
For inspiration, check out Marcus Filly on Instagram.
I also share ideas in my workouts. You don’t need two kettlebells, but there are fun things you can do with a pair.
Side Note: Lifting heavy weight is a crucial factor in building muscle. Our bodies respond to the resistance. Of course, it is possible to get fit without lifting weights, but if you want to build muscle and fight back against age-related weakening, weights are key. Sadly, many women are afraid to lift heavy enough. A topic for another day. Just wanted to point out that if you can get your hands on a 25 pound dumbbell or more, don’t pass it up!
One of my favorite fitness professionals, Mrs. Sweendog, just launched a dumbbell only program, which I am sure you can pull off with kettlebells too. If I was in lockdown with my one dumbbell or my pair of kettlebells, I would scoop that up.
A very affordable and accessible way to bring heavier weights into your home training is a sandbag. I wish I would have thought of this in March. You can use this versatile apparatus in place of dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells.
The nice thing about a pull-up bar is that you can take it down easily when you aren’t using it. I have one built into my rack so I can’t speak to the quality of the door versions, but this one has great ratings on Amazon and you can use it for dips.