Did you eat too many carbs during COVID?
I gained about 10 pounds between 2020 and 2022. Not a huge amount, but more than enough to make my "real pants" uncomfortable. Exercise became a priority. But most traditional gym equipment is bulky and just plain ugly. I'm always looking for attractive options that require minimum floor space. For your consideration: some unique, design-led options for almost any type of workout. The point is that these pieces are cool enough (or portable enough) to offer a legit exercise space that won't cramp your style.
DESIGN NOTE: A floor-length mirror (or, even better, a mirrored wall) is a huge plus to help you correct your form as you work. Mirrors also double any natural light, which is always good no matter how you use your space.
FOAM ROLLER by LOROX Aligned Life Roller by OTPT
A foam roller is a combination Massage and Yoga session in one. I've been following Lauren Roxburgh (LoRox) since I read about her on the Goop site.
I bought the book, the roller, the lot! At first, I didn't get the point of them. It felt like it wasn't doing anything, and some exercises hurt too much to do them properly. But I stuck to it, and little by little, I felt my body start to change, and now, if I don't roll every day, my muscles feel bunched up and tight. That’s why I bought the travel version, too!
REBOUNDER by Bellicon Trampoline
People that dismiss Rebounders as mere mini-trampolines have got it all wrong. They are the best low-impact way to simulate a run without the joint damage of running. Your entire body: mind, legs and core are naturally engaged to keep upright and stable as you jump. You can go hard or just do a gentle 'health bounce," as you build up your endurance, balance, and mobility. The added benefit of pelvic floor strengthening bouncing and lymphatic drainage. There are plenty of free online workouts you can find to keep it fresh.
WATER ROWER by WaterRower Rowing MachineThis is the OG of Water Rowing Machines. I’m going to be honest with you (and myself) and admit that the look of this machine is the biggest factor pulling me in. Good looks aside, there are practical reasons for including this gorgeous piece of home gym equipment on this list.
Think of this like a stationary bike (vs. a real one). You get all the benefits of actual rowing at home. Like toe Rebounder, this exercise is a great low-impact, total body workout that targets your abs, shoulders, arms, glutes and (of course) your legs. My favorite thing about it is that it works to tone and strengthen my back (goodbye, bra fat!)
BARRE by The Beamstore
Barre classes have been around for over a decade. They are popular because they combine traditional ballet moves with cardio and yoga. The emphasis is on strength, flexibility, and tone, without any danger of “bulking up,” from weights. I love it. I used to go to Cardio Barre classes in Studio City, but at around $20 a pop they weren’t cheap. Having a Barre at home means I can take his classes whenever it suits me. You can choose between a freestanding barre or a wall-mounted version, so room isn't an issue.
The FEET UP TRAINER
This odd little guy kept popping up on my feed until I finally clicked through to check it out. This is an inversion stand to help you safely and easily achieve Yogi status headstands from the comfort of your own home. So, what’s the point of being upside down? Well, the short answer is gravity. A headstand (quite literally) takes the pressure off. Reversing the downward pull of gravity, allows your spine to lengthen and your spinal discs to “breathe,” and that’s a good thing.
Tria Trainer Exercise Bench by NOHrD
This bench was my compromise to the boys, who wanted a bench press in the gym to lift weights. Most benches are ugly and since I don’t “lift,” I didn’t want to waste my prime gym floor real estate with a piece of equipment I would never use. I was delighted to find this guy. It transforms into three different positions to target back muscles and glutes, or core, and fully extends to make a very decent bench.