If you want to start a basic strength training routine that you can do at home, you will need some basics. Don’t worry! Hand weights are not required, and strength training will not make you bulk up – but it will help you tone up, look better, and live more independently.
I recently started a resistance band workout and wanted to share it with you – as well as some of my favorite strength training essentials.
Resistance Bands (and free Resistance Band Workout)
Resistance bands are flexible nylon, rubber, or latex bands that help provide greater resistance. Here is a quick video I put together using Phantom Fitness Resistance Loop Bands. I just got a set this week, and they were kind enough to share some basic exercise ideas. I put the movements together in a workout I thought I’d share with you. Forgive my form in some of the video. I’m not an instructor and am still learning as I go. As with any workout, please consult a doctor before beginning to make sure these moves are appropriate to you. Also, listen to your body.
While perusing the fitness clothing at a local retailer, I overheard a conversation between a rudely loud young lady and her mother. The girl saw me browsing yoga pants and decided to deride the very use of such clothing, declaring they served no other purpose than for wild women to show off their butts while grocery shopping. You wonder why I, with my agoraphobia, hate to shop?
Yoga pants do serve a purpose, however. If you run for fitness, then a loose-fitting pair of shorts is adequate. However, if you want to do yoga, Pilates, or weight training, I suggest a pair of well-fitting yoga pants without strings.
Loose-fitting clothing gets in the way of your hands and can restrict movement. Drawstrings can get caught between weights and pose a safety hazard.
Since they conform to your body, good fitting yoga pants stay out of they way. They don’t restrict movement and allow more freedom of movement. I like this pair from Prolific Health. I am very short, but their capris fit me perfectly. They don’t sag in the crotch area and are so comfortable; I could almost wear them all day.
If you want to see them in action, be sure to watch my video above. It’s what all the cool girls are wearing!
Sports Bra (women)
A sports bra is a must for females. If your workout top doesn’t have a well fitting, supportive built-in bra, it’s time to invest in a good sports bra.
Your regular bra simply will not do. Look for a bra that offers extra support and a mild degree of compression. You want just enough compression to keep bits where they are supposed to be during all that stretching and bending. In most cases, the straps on daily bras slip and slide. Look for a sports bra with a good racerback or one that crosses in the back. The straps will not become a distraction hazard.
I like the C9 Powercore Compression bra by Champion available from Target. I do not like the C9 PowerShape bra, though. There is a difference (HUGE) in these two bras. The Powercore bra is comfortable and cool. The Powershape bra is too tight, and the straps cut into my shoulders.
Get a good quality yoga mat. Most yoga mats are very thin (about 1/4 inch). While they are less expensive than their thicker cousins, these mats offer joints little protection from the hard ground.
I use the Silvan foam mat. It’s 1/2 inch thick and feels like I’m walking on memory foam. I’ve been using it daily for over a month and have noticed no signs of flattening. It has a grippy side and doesn’t slide around.
It’s also large enough that I do not find myself having to reposition frequently. I use this same yoga mat in the video, so be sure to check it out there.
Pilates Magic Circle
I love my Pilates Magic Circle. It offers excellent resistance. A proper Pilates circle workout provides strengthening and tightening for the entire body!
I’ve been using my Probody Pilates Ring for over a month, now and haven’t seen any weakening in it. I put it through its paces, too.
A good Pilates ring has padding on both sides of the grips so you can push and pull against its resistance more comfortably. Resistance rings like this help firm and tone the whole body.
Special thanks to Prolific Health for providing me with a free sample of yoga pants for testing purposes. They are honestly the best fitting yoga pants I’ve found in an eon.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.