As a busy mom, it’s not always possible to get to the gym, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your gym style workout.  By investing in a few simple and affordable pieces of equipment, you can transform any space – even your living room – into your own personal home gym. 

Dumbbells

Dumbbells allow for a full body weight workout in a very small space.  They are available in a variety of shapes and styles, and come in a wide range of different weights.  So no matter what your fitness level, you can choose the right amount of weight for yourself.  Cost: About $1 per pound

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a little less intimidating than dumbbells and take up far less space.  They come in tube form with handles or flat without handles.  They use resistance instead of momentum, and you can use them to perform many exercises you would normally do with machines or free weights at the gym.  Cost: $10 – $30

Stability Ball

Stability balls are great for intensifying traditional ab work.  Because the surface is unstable, you engage your core muscles with every move in order to stay on the ball.  Even exercises like push-ups, chest presses, or tricep extensions can be done on the stability ball, which will target your core muscles as you work to stabilize yourself.  Stability balls come in different sizes, so make sure to purchase one that’s appropriate for your height:

5’4″ or less = 55cm ball

5’5″ – 5’11” = 65cm ball

6’0″ or taller = 75cm ball

Cost: $20 – $30

Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are great for floor-based workouts like yoga and Pilates, but they can also help cushion your back during crunches and your knees during push-ups.  Cost: About $20

Step

Yes, you heard me…a step!  Before you start shaking your head, hear me out.  A classic step can be used for more than just step aerobics!  You can also use it as a weight bench by placing risers under each side.  It can even be used on an incline by increasing or decreasing the number of risers on one side.  A step is also great for plyometrics and weighted step ups or stair climbs.  Cost: $50 – $100

Your Body

Exercises that use your own body weight, like push-ups, planks, squats, and crunches, require no equipment at all. Cardio exercises such as jogging in place, jump squats, burpees, speed skates, and jumping jacks can also be done without any equipment.  Cost: NOTHING!

Remember, the most important thing you can bring to your workout space is YOU!  Whether you have the latest fitness equipment or just the floor space between the couch and your kids’ toys, you will only get results if you stay motivated and consistently do the work!