I think you‘ll agree with me when I say:
It‘s really hard to burn heaps of calories when training at home which means slower weight loss.
The good news is that there are many tools to make your workouts at home more calorie demanding.
And the best part, they only require a corner in your room.
Sure, a treadmill and a barbell would be cool. But what if you did at-home workouts like resistance band glute workout or abs workout? All in the comfort of your own home with very little equipment.
Here‘s the list of 12 essential training tools that won‘t cost you fortunes, will fit in any corner of your home and will burn more calories (and fast!) than any bodyweight exercise would.
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1. TRX Suspension Trainer
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Have you ever wondered why every second gym in America has TRX bands? Because it gives you the ultimate body-weight workout. There‘s literally no exercise that you couldn’t do with TRX.
Apart from deadlifts…
Anchor it to the wall, a door, a tree, anything, really and you have the whole gym right there with you.
TRX suspension trainer is by far my number one suggestion for anyone who loves working out at home.
With TRX you train your core muscles, balance, coordination in every exercise you do. Along with that, it gives a variety of higher intensity exercises, it‘s suitable for any level and is portable.
When I’ve been traveling in Southeast Asia for more than 4 months, TRX was right there with me in my backpack everywhere I went.
Make sure to get a single-anchor TRX. Single anchor design allows for easy set-up and quick adjustments to ensure every workout is balanced and with maximized results
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Don‘t get mistaken by sliders‘ size. These discs that help you slide around on the floor look innocent, even lovely.
However, once you put them under your feet in a mountain climber plank pose or during a lunge, muscles start to burn.
In a good way, of course.
You can get these bad boys for as little as ten dollars! They enhance body-weight exercises like lunges and most core exercises by challenging you more while gliding across surfaces.
I started incorporating sliders to the exercises like reverse lunges, plank variations, and hamstring curls. I can tell you this for sure:
core exercises and hamstring curls are more challenging than any machine is!
Sliders that I got cost me $7 and that was the best investment that I did in a long time. My clients love it and the workouts became much more fun.
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3. Resistance Bands (lower body)
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There‘s no woman in the world that wouldn‘t want perfect butt and legs (read our article on how to lose lower body fat). That‘s where resistance bands come in.
Resistance bands are probably the most versatile fitness equipment out there. You can hit every single muscle in your lower body and mimic gym-based exercises.
Stop doing all these weightless leg raises. It‘s like doing bicep curls with no weights…
Get yourself a resistance band and exercises like leg abductions & adductions, lateral walks, glutes bridges, hip thrusts will become calorie burning machines.
Make sure to get non-latex bands. They last for a lifetime and have a non-slippery surface
4. Resistance Bands (upper body)
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There‘s a reason why I like having different bands for the lower and upper body.
Lower body bands have no handles and after a couple of minutes doing exercise, you‘ll feel like your skin is about to rip off!
Another reason why having different bands is a good idea is that lower body bands can‘t give you enough resistance. You end up going through the motions without even feeling your muscles working.
Spend extra $10, get upper body resistance bands and you‘ll thank me.
Make sure to get at least three color-coded bands. This will ensure you’ll get bands for all levels
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A kettlebell is a perfect way to get strength and cardio training at once while burning heaps of calories at the same time.
What I love the most about kettlebell is that it will build your entire backside. Even the smallest muscles in your posterior chain will be trained with kettlebell movements. You’ll love the way your glutes and hamstrings will transform.
Let‘s say you got yourself a TRX suspension trainer. A kettlebell would be the last missing piece.
With a kettlebell, you can do high calorie demanding exercises like:
- Swings (video)
- Hip Thrusts (video)
- Squats (video)
- Lunges (video)
- Deadlifts (video)
- Turkish Get-Ups (video)
- Overhead presses (video)
- Rows (video)
- And Many More
These are the exercises that are at their best when done with a heavier load.
For women, I would recommend getting a 20-30-pound kettlebell. For men, 40-50-pound kettlebell
6. Stability Ball
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Stability ball forces your muscles to work harder to stay balanced and that requires more energy (calories) output.
On top of that, there are heaps of different exercises that you could perform with it.
The best part about the stability ball is its… instability.
Studies show that stability ball is one of the best tools for training your stabilizing muscles which are sometimes ignored when training with machines.
By the way, exercises like stability ball pike and rollout give you better core muscles activation than any crunch in the world.
Make sure to get the right size! If you’re 5’4″ or taller, go with a 65 cm ball. If you’re shorter, 55 cm will be just fine
7. Ab Wheel
Image Source: Livestrong
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I bet you didn‘t know that ab wheel rollout incorporates over 20 muscles in your body to perform the exercise. 20! So if you’re done with the same old crunches, grab an ab wheel and perform a couple of rollouts.
If I had to choose between ab wheel rollout and crunches, I would roll with ab wheel ten times out of ten.
If you have weak core muscles, make sure to opt for wider wheel. It‘s more stable than a narrow one and allows you to perform ab rollouts with proper form
8. Weighted Vest
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I‘m sure you know well that intensity is the king when it comes to efficient fat loss. And the fastest way to crank up the intensity of your training is, what?
Yes, to add a weighted vest. This will make you burn more calories than any treadmill cardio would.
The weighted vest makes your workout more comfortable too.
Let‘s say you want to do a goblet squat and the only weight you have is a dumbbell. Over many years that I‘ve been coaching women, I‘ve seen them struggling to hold a 20-pound dumbbell in front of them.
If you had the same 20-pound weighted vest, you wouldn‘t even need to worry about holding it.
On top of that, wearing a weighted vest massively increases the number of calories you burn not only with every exercise but even when you‘re having a rest between them.
Make sure you start with a light load. 5-10% of your body weight will minimize the risk of injury. Later on, you could get extra weight plates
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9. 20-Pound Dumbbell Set
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Any well-crafted training routine requires different weights to perform different lifts.
What I love about the dumbells is their versatility. It gives you more exercises to choose from and they can be performed with a greater range of motion unlike with a barbell.
Unlike machines in your gym, dumbells move freely in every direction and there‘s no fixed path of movement.
When you‘re in doubt what weight would be appropriate for you, your best bet is simply go with the whole set.
Opt for neoprene coating on weights. It allows for a secure grip
10. Push Up Stands
Image Source: Livestrong
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Pushup has been one of the best upper-body exercises for decades. And that hasn‘t changed.
However, many people that I worked with didn‘t feel right doing pushups because of the wrist pain.
Pushup stands will protect your wrists and give better chest, shoulders, core and arms muscles activation.
Opt for handles covered with slip-resistant foam for comfort
11. Step Platform
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Many people see the step platform purely as cardio equipment.
But think about it: why would you buy an adjustable bench for $250 when you can get a step platform 8 times cheaper?
If you only need a bench for dumbbell presses, step platform is more than enough to crank up the calorie burning and workout intensity.
On top of that, you get a brilliant cardio option that the step platform provides.
Don’t go with a platform lower than 31′ as it would become way too easy way too soon. Look for shock absorbing, non-stick, non-slip surface
12. Yoga Mat
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You might think: “Are you out of your mind, Egis? I have a towel for that“. Yes, you have a towel and please use it for what a towel is supposed to be used.
You might find yourself having a session outside with your friends and using a towel…
Technically, yoga mat has nothing to do with burning more calories. However, it will make your sessions more enjoyable and comfortable.
A yoga mat is key for at-home exercises. Hard floors would make your training miserable. Sweat would make you feel uncomfortable on a plush surface. A yoga mat will help to protect your back and front from that and make it easier to center yourself in exercises like push-ups or glute bridges.
Please, please, please! Spend $5 extra and get yourself an Eco-friendly mat
You don’t need to have every single one of these training tools. Who would be that crazy, right?
If I was the one looking for ways to burn more calories at home faster, I would go with these:
- TRX Suspension Trainer
- A Kettlebell
- Resistance bands (both lower and upper)
- Yoga Mat
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Certificate in strength and conditioning, 2014. Lithuanian Sports University, Lithuania
Athletic Training, 2013. Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Certificate IV in fitness, 2017. The Eagle Academy, Australia