A good workout doesn’t necessarily require any special equipment, but sometimes a few props will help switch things up. So whether you’ve hit a rut, lack motivation or are just looking to get the most out of your workout, here are my five favorite exercise accessories that will make your sweat session that much more enjoyable.
Must-have exercise accessories
Completely unrelated before I kick this post off, I had a dream last night that freaked me out. I don’t always remember my dreams but last night I was back in the kitchen of my childhood home and crazy caterpillars were descending from the ceiling and inching across the kitchen table. I screamed and called for my dad and that’s all I remember. So yes, the freaky processionary caterpillars incident of last week still has me riled up subconsciously… If you have a dog, you need to read that post.
“Wait, don’t you write about France? What’s up with the fitness content?” I shifted focus last year and you can read about it here >>
OK, let’s get on with it.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated all types of exercise accessories, but these are the five that I use the most often:
Next time you do an interval workout, make sure you have a trusty GymBoss Timer at your side. Forget watching the clock or having to rely on your phone to keep track of how many seconds are left. With a beep and vibrate option, this timer will make counting down your intervals a breeze. It’s durable, can clip onto your clothing and is small enough to just toss in your gym bag or a pocket. (Amazon, $20)
You’ve seen these long styrofoam tubes at your gym, right? Well, foam rollers are magical! Ease the pain of sore muscles with a hurts-so-good foam rolling session, target trigger points or just roll out areas that tend to get tight. Roll out your legs, hips, back or whatever is ailing you for a bit of relief and you’ll wonder why you didn’t get on the foam roller bandwagon sooner. I have a black one similar to the roller pictured and it works wonders. (Amazon, $38)
Resistance tubing or bands
Your muscles won’t know what hit ’em when you incorporate some resistance band exercises into your workout. Pick up a handy resistance band set like this one and don’t forget that tubes and bands pack easily if you’re traveling and still want to get your workout on. For me personally, I love hitting my triceps and my glutes with resistance bands — you can really feel the burn! Karen over at Lushious Lifts has some challenging band workouts to help you get started. Check her out! (Amazon, $32)
A kick-butt DVD
Sometimes you just want to press play and follow along with something on a screen and this is what you’ve been waiting for. I reviewed the Fusion Fitness Dream Body Cardio Series a little while back and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for a true challenge. It’ll work your body to the max and introduce you to moves you’ve probably never seen before. Endurance, strength, flexibility and more all come into play in this action-packed workout series that will have you well on your way to getting the body you want. (Fusion Fitness, $130)
Ever try to do crunches on a hardwood floor? Ouch. If you’re doing yoga or floor work exercises, a soft mat is a must to keep you focused on the exercise and not the pain in your knees or back. This moisture-resistant one comes in a variety of colors, is extra thick and even has a carrying strap if you’re taking it to a class. (Amazon, $20)