I don't do gyms. I've tried. The result is always the same. I never go. When I'm there, it just feels like a scene. I'd rather work out in my underwear at home, free of public eyes, then be able to jump right in the shower and get on with the day. I am also highly self-motivated. It's a gift I'm grateful for. I love movement. Rarely does a day pass that I don't do some kind of physical exercise. I also teach barre fitness and yoga, which helps. I love going to classes at my studio as well and learning from my fellow teachers, things that I can replicate at home any time I want. I would like to share what I do with those that feel the same, or are too busy with everything else in life to get to the gym.
As we age, we must work smarter and more often than when we were younger. This is fact. Our bodies don't bounce back after a lapse in proper diet or activity like it used to. This isn't something you can do for a week then never again. It is a lifestyle, a priority that you must make if you want to look and feel like the best version of yourself. I don't give the aging process much power. I am 38. I go to castings and report that I am 28, and no one bats an eye. I choose to still think of myself as that hot 25 year old as much as I possibly can. Our minds are powerful. If we think we look old, we probably do. If we constantly tell ourselves how old and fat we are becoming, our bodies will comply. But if you wake up and say good morning to your hot, youthful self each day, guess what your body does? Now, obviously it will take your showing up for yourself day after day to maintain a strong physique, but don't beat yourself up and workout as punishment meanwhile reminding your body how OLD it is - you won't ever achieve what you are chasing. This is important. I invite you to get some supplies that I recommend, and watch the simple, no frills videos that I post to see how to use the at-home equipment, but I also want you to work on your self dialogue. Your cells are listening. They are going to respond accordingly. I highly recommend reading You Can Be Younger, to better and further explain.
First item to get are these resistance bands. I call them magic bands. There are so many ways to use these guys to work a variety of muscle groups. I love these because they are pink and purple number one, but also because they come in different resistance levels, and pack like nothing, so you will never be without a way to tone your glutes, hamstrings, arms, and abs. You will love/hate them so much. They will be your favorite frenemy. An example series is below. All else you need is a countertop, chair, couch, etc, you'll see...
Secondly, gliders. So, so effective for core work. And fun. You will also be able to hit a variety of muscle groups here too. I like these because they are also pink and lightweight / travel easily. Glider example series below, also my 18 yr old Pomeranian, Mr. Jones makes an appearance. I told you these vids are real...
Thirdly, I love these ankle/wrist weights. The ones I own currently don't have the option to add or subtract weight, but I wish they did. I strap them on to do my hip and glute work, then wear them like bracelets for my arm series. Super handy. They still travel well because they aren't too heavy.
Fourthly, this pilates ball. This is a must. The 9 inch size is best. You will use this ball constantly, and you can deflate it and pack it as well. Placing it between thighs to work inner thighs, behind knees to work glutes and hamstrings, underneath back for core work, between ankles, the list is endless. Get it, you'll see! Got a kitchen or bathroom sink? All you need!
Fifthly, I love using a medicine ball. The one I noted is an 8lb ball but they make lighter and heavier versions. This is the weight I prefer for myself. Obviously you won't travel with this but it is nice to have at home for core / upper body work. And, its pink.
Hand weights are great to have if you want to lift more than your ankle weights to keep your arms tone and tight. I'm not into lifting heavy weights. I think its awesome, it's just not for me. I teach a very long arm series with lighter weight. They are also great to use for abdominal / core work. And the lighter ones are easier to pack.
I included a jumprope. Jumping rope is the best, simplest cardio activity you can do if you have the space. I know that if living in a big city without an outdoor area / high ceilings / space in general this could be tough. But here in LA, I take mine out to the sidewalk and pretend to be 13 again, and if you read that book I mentioned you will know why. I am actually tricking my cells into thinking we are 13, all the while getting my heart rate up and dying because jumping rope is hard AF. Try it! You don't need long. I go out for 10 minutes, go as hard as I can, then I'm done, dead and sweaty. It packs easy too. Your whole body will get a killer workout. Also, it comes in pink.
If you don't already have a yoga mat you love, get this one, or one by this brand. But I have this one in purple and it is for life. You will never have to buy another one again. I like that its not sticky like the jade mats, and has just enough padding for the bony parts, but that's my preference. It takes some wearing in, but once you've done so, you'll never want to leave it.
Also blocks are great. I do a lot with blocks in my classes. Maybe you won't travel with them. I use them for plank exercises, with the gliders, and also between the ankles and thighs. But if you practice yoga as well, they are good to have around. I also use mine therapeutically to regularly release my own psoas. I'll show you. They are also not mandatory, everything can mostly be done without them, so it's up to you. Block and band bum series below!
Okay, you are all set. Again this is a link to the entire home gym kit . To the best of my ability I will post vids to my YouTube channel / IG to demonstrate how to use your props. My life is about to take a total 180, so bare with me. I'll be posting updates to my instagram when a new vid drops so be sure to subscribe and follow ! To get a decent workout in I would spend 6-10 minutes on each large muscle group: upper body, hips / thighs, glutes, abs, but if you can only spend 5, that's okay too. Do what you have time for, and also get sweaty often. Run sprints, jump rope, do some form of cardio a few times a week to accompany these isometric exercises to see quicker results, but also because it's just good for your heart. I'm excited for your journey. Save time, money, and yourself from the gym selfies and judgement, and be a home body.
Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.
- Bo Bennett