women working out at home

14 Ways to Re-create the Gym at Home

Exercise equipment doesn’t have to be super fancy, overly complicated, or Bluetooth-enabled to be effective. Regardless of your fitness level, you can get a solid workout with a few functional tools, a killer playlist, and some willpower. What’s keeping us motivated these days is getting back to basics with easy lo-fi workouts and DIY routines that focus on the fundamentals for total-body toning. We rounded up the tips and tools you need for mastering planks, squats, push-ups, crunches, and more—plus a supporting crew for postworkout recovery.

  1. GAIAM Neoprene Hand Weights 3lb
    GAIAM Neoprene Hand Weights 3lb goop, $7
  2. GAIAM Neoprene Hand Weights 5lb
    GAIAM Neoprene Hand Weights 5lb goop, $10
  3. GAIAM Neoprene Hand Weights 10lb
    GAIAM Neoprene Hand Weights 10lb goop, $18
  4. Early in the pandemic, demand for hand weights skyrocketed. It became so rare to find dumbbells in stock that we were using soup cans for a little extra challenge in our routines. But a can of minestrone soup is hard to hold. These classic hand weights have a grippy shell and an angular shape, so they don’t slip out of your hands or roll (and scratch) your floors. Even three-pound hand weights can be helpful for hitting arm, back, and core muscles.

  1. GAIAM Restore Ankle Weights
    GAIAM Restore Ankle Weights goop, $18

    Weighted bangles are no doubt 2020’s favorite accessory because a small boost can make a big difference when motivation is low. These two-and-a-half-pound ankle weights help you get more out jumping jacks, mountain climbers, scissor kicks, downward dogs, and walks around the block. And as Gerda Endemann, our senior director of science and research and the most reasonable person on our editorial team, says, “Why wouldn’t you wear these whenever possible?”

  2. GAIAM Evolve Balance Board
    GAIAM Evolve Balance Board goop, $80

    For sneaking in a micro exercise when you’re not actually working out, try a balance board. Balance boards keep your legs, lower back, and core muscles engaged by challenging your stability—try it at your standing desk (or at the kitchen counter, if you’re using it as one) or whenever you’re standing for a long period of time. And we all know by now about the negative impact of that prolonged sitting has on our bodies, so consider this a good excuse to get up from the chair and stand more often.

  3. GAIAM BOSU Pro Balance Trainer
    GAIAM BOSU Pro Balance Trainer goop, $160

    This classic gym standby, the BOSU ball, intensifies any bodyweight exercise and is super versatile and great for any level of fitness. BOSU stands for “both sides up” or “both sides utilized,” so with the round side, try core work like crunches, bridges, oblique twists, and tricep dips. Flip it over and go for push-ups, burpees (lift the ball with you as you jump), and mountain climbers.

  4. GAIAM Total Body Balance Ball Kit
    GAIAM Total Body Balance Ball Kit goop, $20

    A balance ball is good for working your core and building strength in your arms, legs, back, and glutes. For your lower body, try doing leveled-up lunges or pikes to planks. For your upper body, lie down with your belly on the ball for back extensions and dumbbell curls. When you’re not working out, the ball doubles as a chair for improving posture and stability. This kit also comes with a DVD for more workout inspiration plus yoga and Pilates routines.

  5. Drea Wheeler Resistance Bands
    Drea Wheeler Resistance Bands goop, $40

    Whether you’re going low-intensity or all out with an HIIT routine, stretchy exercise bands are a favorite for adding extra resistance in leg workouts. The grey ones offer the lightest resistance and fit around the ankles for standing kickbacks (these work your glutes and hamstrings) or side leg lifts (to strengthen hip muscles). The pink and black are medium- and heavy-resistance bands that can be worn above the knees for lateral steps, squat jacks, and hip bridges. Plus, the bands tuck away in a drawer, which makes them both space-saving and effective workout tool.

  6. JaxJox Kettlebell Connect 2.0
    JaxJox Kettlebell Connect 2.0 goop, $229

    Having a whole set of old-school kettlebells would take up a lot of room, but with the JaxJox you can go from twelve to forty-two pounds in seconds. Thanks to the genius stacking weight system, it’s easy to switch from goblet squats to swings. It also doubles as a fitness tracker and analyzes your performance using real-time metrics like reps and average power, so you can see your progress over time. If you’re looking for an even smaller kettlebell, try this five-pound guy (get two for upper-body workouts).

  7. WTHN Acupressure Mat Set
    WTHN Acupressure Mat Set goop, $65

    A massage probably isn’t in the cards for us anytime soon, so instead we’re turning to self-massaging tools to soothe our sore muscles. On the most basic level, all you need to do is lie down on this acupressure mat, relax, and let the tiny raised plastic points stimulate your body. But if you want to step it up a notch, there are a ton of positions to try that invigorate pressure points in the feet, arms, and hands.

  8. HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket V3
    HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket V3 goop, $500

    If you want a good sweat without the workout (we don’t blame you), this infrared sauna blanket with layers of amethyst, tourmaline, and charcoal has you covered. It’s especially great for loosening stiff muscles and giving you that just-out-of-the-steam-room glow.

  9. Therabody Theragun Mini
    Therabody Theragun Mini goop, $199

    It’s the same Theragun that we know and love but smaller, quieter, and more portable. This little percussion massager has three speeds for hitting tight spots, knots, and cramps, and you can run it for 150 minutes on a single charge.

  10. LoRox Aligned Dome
    OPTP LoRox Aligned Dome goop, $28

    When we filmed Lauren Roxburgh taking her Aligned Life kit for a spin many moons ago, we were struck by the versatility of the domes. They were designed to be used on both sides for completely different effects. Use pebbled side as a self-massager (it’s amazing on the scalp), or flip them over and use the smooth side as a stability tool for yoga poses and core work.

  11. Manduka The Restorative Bundle
    Manduka The Restorative Bundle goop, $162

    This is everything you need for an at-home yoga studio in one kit, whether you’re starting out or more advanced. Cork blocks help you modify poses by either easing or deepening them. Use the strap to stretch tight hamstrings and shoulders. And try the rectangular bolster under your spine for restorative postures while on your back.

  12. Glacce Rose Quartz Crystal-Infused Water Bottle
    Glacce Rose Quartz Crystal-Infused
    Water Bottle
    goop, $80

    Created by two friends who grew up together in New Orleans, these crystal water bottles look gorgeous, reduce the amount of plastic water bottles thrown away as waste, and remind you to stay hydrated. Rose quartz is the stone for nurturing all matters of the heart and reminds us to love one another and be kind to ourselves.

  13. goop Wellness High School Genes
    goop Wellness High School Genes goop, $90/$75 with subscription

    Exercise is important—and so is giving your body the right vitamins and supplements. Our metabolism changes over time, and if you need a little extra support, this protocol is made for women who feel their body isn’t responding as it used to. If you’re not noticing changes even after working out and eating healthily, it might be time to try High School Genes, which supports healthy glucose and energy metabolism with ingredients like chromium, green tea, Chinese cinnamon, and alpha-lipoic acid.

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