Exercise Equipment for Home Workouts - Rachel Trotta  

Exercise Equipment for Home Workouts

Exercise Equipment for Home Workouts

When it comes to exercise equipment for home workouts, it’s certainly easy to be seduced by big-ticket items like treadmills, exercise bikes, and rowing machines. And sometimes, these investments are the right choice!

But most of the time, I find that clients struggle to find space and storage for their home exercise gear. Even in large houses, there’s not always a good “home” for weights or cardio equipment.

In these cases, I recommend my three favorite pieces of home exercise equipment, which:

  • Are inexpensive
  • Are small and light
  • Are easy to store
  • … And offer tons of variety, both in terms of exercise choices and muscular engagement!

These three items are resistance band mini-loops, sliders, and a regular towel. Check out the video below to see what these items look like up close, and what they can be used for:

Buy Equipment Here

How to Buy

To purchase the bands and sliders, check out this Amazon product that includes them in one pack:

Exercise Demonstrations

To use these items effectively (rather than putting them in a closet to gather dust), try out the following exercises. Keep in mind that these are only a small sampling of the exercises possible with these pieces of equipment – if you want more ideas, check out my online offerings to find an online program that’s right for you.

Slider Reverse Lunges

For this lower body exercise, place one foot on the slider, and let it slide behind you as you use the front leg as the working leg. The front knee may track forward slightly, but just make sure it doesn’t go dramatically over the front foot.

You can either keep your back leg straight (as demonstrated), or you can create a 90-degree angle with your back leg, so that the knee lowers toward the ground with control.

Special note: make sure it is your toes that are grounded on the slider, not a flat foot. This will allow your heel to stay pointed toward the ceiling for optimal form.

Slider Pistol Squats

For this lower body exercise, place one foot on a slider, and allow it to slide forward away from you. However, don’t let your torso follow the movement forward – instead, lean backwards with your hips so that you are “poking your butt out” behind you.

In this exercise, your foot should be flat on the slider (instead of being on your toes).

The non-slider leg is the working leg.

Slider Side Lunges

For this lower body exercise, put one foot on the slider, and allow that leg to slide straight out to one side. However, don’t let your body “follow” the slider – instead, stay oriented over the standing leg, and “poke your butt out” behind you to really sit back onto the standing leg. This will cause you to lean over slightly, and that’s okay.

The working leg is the standing leg, but you will feel some inner thigh engagement on the slider leg.

Slider Arm Circles

For this upper body and core exercise, you can either perform the move in an all-fours position (like I am demonstrating at almost eight months pregnant), or you can do it in a tall plank position on your hands and feet (picture the top position of a push-up).

Place one hand on a slider, and draw circles first clockwise and then counter-clockwise with that hand. The goal is to keep your torso still – avoid rocking from side to side to compensate for the movement.

The core and the non-slider arm are the working muscle groups.

Banded Squats with Iso-Hold

For this exercise, place the thickest band (or if you’re really strong, two of the thickest bands) just above your knees. Start with your feet hip-width apart, and perform – for example – 10 squats and then hold the last squat for 10 seconds.

Pay attention to the band – watch yourself in a mirror to make sure that your knees are gliding in-line with your legs/feet, and aren’t wobbling in or out.

You can make this exercise even more challenging by holding weights!

The working muscles will be your upper legs and outer thighs, but you’ll also feel it in your glutes (butt) and this will also help to improve flexibility in your calves and ankles.

Banded Feet Step-Outs

For this exercise, place one medium band around your feet, and get into a “squatty” position with your knees slightly bent and your hips slightly back.

Then, carefully step from side to side, controlling the movement of your feet. Watch closely that you don’t let your feet “rebound” toward each other – concentrate on keeping your feet moving slowly and with control, maintaining a good distance between your feet at all times.

This exercise will be most effective if you do several sets of 30-60 seconds.

This exercise will mainly work your outer thighs.

Mini-Loop Archer Rows

For this upper body exercise, place – for example – your right foot forward and your left foot back. Then, hold a medium loop forward in your right hand and pull back on the loop with your left hand, as if you were going to fire a bow and arrow. Keep the front arm strong, and focus on keeping the “pulling” arm (the “back” arm) nice and close to the body.

The entire time, concentrate on keeping your shoulders low and feeling an effective squeeze in your upper middle back (the shoulder blade area). Don’t let the pulling motion pull your torso around – stay strong and firm in your position the entire time.

This exercise will mainly work the muscles of the backs of your shoulders and your upper back. This is great for postural discomfort relief if you sit at your computer a lot.

Band Pull Aparts (Hand Grip)

Plant your feet firmly with relaxed knees, and hold a light to medium resistance band in both hands. Brace your elbows into the sides of your ribs, and then open your hands like a book, all the way open to your sides (keeping your elbows in your ribs so that your arms create right angles).

The band should touch the front of your torso when you do this.

This exercise is best performed with higher reps (like 15-20) with more sets (like 3-4) – you will really feel it after a few sets!

While you are doing this exercise, be careful to keep your head still, not jutting your chin forward. Watch yourself in a mirror to make sure.

This exercise will mainly work the muscles of the backs of your shoulders and your upper back. This is great for postural discomfort relief if you sit at your computer a lot.

Band Pull-Aparts (Wrist Loop)

Hold a medium band out in front of you, looped around your wrists. Keep your arms “mostly straight,” with relaxed elbows. Squeeze the band taut by separating your arms, and then relax slightly. Keep tension on the band the entire time (i.e. don’t let the band sag, even when you “relax” slightly).

Just like the other band pull aparts above, it’s great to do lots of these.

This exercise will mainly work the muscles of the backs of your shoulders and your upper back. This is great for postural discomfort relief if you sit at your computer a lot.

Band Pull Aparts (Circles)

Hold a medium band in front of you, looped around your wrists. Keep your arms “mostly straight,” with relaxed elbows. Squeeze the band taut by pulling your arms apart stiffly, and then draw circles with your hands, alternating directions.

These three band pull apart exercises work great when done in tandem – high reps, lots of sets, one right after another. You’ll really feel it in your shoulders!

This exercise will mainly work the muscles of the backs of your shoulders and your upper back. This is great for postural discomfort relief if you sit at your computer a lot.

Bridges with Adduction Squeeze

Lie on your back and place a rolled-up towel between your knees. Your feet and knees should be squeezed together. Place your arms at your side. Lift your hips slightly off the floor, squeezing your glutes (butt) as tight as possible, while squeezing your knees and thighs together as tight as possible. Relax to the floor, and keep repeating.

This exercise will mainly work the muscles of your glutes (butt) and your inner thighs.

Single Leg Wall Sit with Adduction Squeeze

Brace your entire back against a sturdy wall, and then slide down so that your hips are level with your knees. Place the rolled-up towel between your knees, then extend one foot straight out in front of you. Hold. Focus on keeping your back against the wall, and your hips level (i.e. don’t sag to one side).

This exercise is quite challenging, and will work the muscles of your upper legs and thighs, as well as your inner thighs.

Need a Quick Workout Using This Equipment?

I have created three short workouts for you (15 minutes or less) that will allow you to squeeze in a quick round of exercise into your regular workday. You could literally take a break at your desk and break out these moves!

Band Workout

Perform the following five exercises as a “circuit,” which means that you will rest 15 seconds between each exercise and move through the whole set before repeating any exercise. Once you perform the whole set once, repeat two more times for a total of three times (15 minutes).

  • Banded Squats with Iso-Hold – 30 seconds of squats, 15 second hold
  • Mini-Loop Archer Rows – 45 seconds right side
  • Mini-Loop Archer Rows – 45 seconds left side
  • Banded Squats with Iso-Hold – 30 seconds of squats, 15 second hold
  • Band Pull Aparts (Hand Grip) – 45 seconds
Slider and Towel Workout

Perform the following five exercises as a “circuit,” which means that you will rest 15 seconds between each exercise and move through the whole set before repeating any exercise. Once you perform the whole set once, repeat two more times for a total of three times (15 minutes).

  • Slider Reverse Lunges – 45 seconds right side
  • Slider Reverse Lunges – 45 seconds left side
  • Slider Arm Circles – 45 seconds right side
  • Slider Arm Circles – 45 seconds left side
  • Bridges with Adduction Squeeze – 45 seconds
Combo Workout

Perform the following five exercises as a “circuit,” which means that you will rest 15 seconds between each exercise and move through the whole set before repeating any exercise. Once you perform the whole set once, repeat two more times for a total of two times (14 minutes).

  • Slider Side Lunges – 45 seconds right side
  • Slider Side Lunges – 45 seconds left side
  • Band Pull-Aparts (Wrist Loop) – 15 seconds
  • Band Pull-Aparts (Circles ) – 15 seconds
  • Slider Pistol Squats – 45 seconds right side
  • Slider Pistol Squats – 45 seconds left side
  • Single Leg Wall Sit with Adduction Squeeze – 15 seconds per side

Need more ideas for improving your fitness at home? Feel free to get in touch.

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