I Tried the Most Popular At-Home Workout Equipment—And I Have Thoughts

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Hello, everyone, and happy … well, nothing.

By now we should all be well-aware that we’re on a whirling dervish of scary news cycles and seriously eerie statistics. At the time of publication, most cities are imposing shelter-in-place orders, and everybody across the country should be self-isolating for the well-being of themselves and others. While gyms and fitness studios in most cities are closed, the CDC advises daily exercise and fresh air at a healthy distance of 6 feet or more from other people during periods of quarantine.

I’m sort-of a germaphobe to begin with. I normally find most gyms and yoga studios to be too dirty and over-populated for my liking. I also despise when an instructor touches me. I literally tense-up and start panicking whenever I’d see someone coming over to rearrange my hips or shoulders, and potentially injure me. The privacy and comfort of at-home exercise is really attractive to someone like me. I can listen to the music I want to, people aren’t looking at me or my mismatched outfits, and nobody’s “adjusting” me.

I’m also a certified kundalini yoga teacher, so I feel confident and capable of leading my own exercises, and thoroughly believe that everyone can be their own leader too (with a little bit of help in the beginning).

Self-isolation can feel, well, isolating. But it doesn’t have to. We’re lucky to have crazy amounts of technology at our fingertips. At least your exercise feels integrated with streaming classes, so that you’re getting the right dose of endorphins to stay sane during this unfathomable time. So, until we figure out who started this game of Jumanji (and I pray they finish it quickly), here are some pieces of equipment to use at home.

Best Overall: The DB Method

db method machine

DB Method

This is my new favorite thing. It’s compact and won’t take up your whole apartment. You may recognize this at-home squat machine from the background of practically every one of Khloe Kardashian and Hailey Beiber’s mirrored gym selfies. The DB Method becomes an obsession, in that it literally promises to give you a "better" butt in 30 days, and here’s the best catch: The brand’s workouts are only 10 minutes long. The DB Method also sells bands and weights for you to wear during workouts if you’re looking to work your arms and legs. Now, I’m not saying the workouts aren’t hard. They are. But you will absolutely love how your butt and core look after using this. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to show off the results somewhere beautiful and outdoors soon.

Best Subscription Service: P.volve

pvolve bundle

P.volve

P.volve’s method aims to create lean, elongated muscles; adding shape without bulk. You won’t be hurting or sore after a P.volve routine, and that’s what the founders hoped for. Right now, P.volve is offering its community a free 30-day streaming trial, which gives access to hundreds of different workouts like morning stretches, burn and sweat programs, and focus sessions on their online platform. I love this system. The Ultimate Bundle includes a weighted ball, gliders, two-pound hand weights, light ankle band, heavy ankle band, ankle weights, and a proprietary band, and they’re all really compact. 

Best Investment: Peloton

peloton bike

Peloton

This at-home spin bike is a totally immersive experience. You can stream online cycling classes, or just go off-piste. If you love spin classes, you’ll be really happy you bought a Peloton. What’s nice is, you can set your home temperature to whatever you want. Close your bedroom door and make it a hot spin class, or have the window open so you don’t feel like you’re going to pass out while an instructor is screaming at you to go faster. The comfort of an at-home spin class is truly unique. Do yourself a favor and try it. 

Best Full Body Work-Out: Water Rower Club Rowing Machine

waterrower club

WaterRower Club 

This is also a pricier product, but it’s uniquely amazing. This rowing machine actually mimics the dynamic full-body feeling of rowing in real water. Connection to nature is something we all need right now during self-isolation. You control the resistance by filling more or less water into the tank. I found this at my friend’s house (pre-isolation) and I became obsessed with it. The sound of water is also very meditative, and can really wipe out some stresses of the day.

Best Mood-Lifting: Level Balance Board

Level Balance Board

Level

This is less of a full-body workout, and more of a way to keep yourself from getting stiff and sore sitting at a desk. This ergonomic board makes it so you’re sort of working out while standing on a conference call, or standing at your desk. It’s sneaky, in that your natural body’s micro-movements while standing on the board burns calories, strengthens your body, soothes stiff joints, and keeps you alert and awake. Level’s trials report that 83% of users felt happier when using the balance board. Sign us up.

Best Cost-Efficient: Jade Yoga Mat

jade yoga matt

Jade

A yoga mat is the only accessory you need to do yoga. Jade makes eco-friendly mats made in the U.S. with natural rubber. The brand is also sustainable; they plant a tree with each purchase. In my professional opinion, this is the best non-slip, full-grip mat.

Best Free Weights: Sunny Health Neoprene Dumbbells

weights

Sunny Health

Whether you’re using free weights to add resistance to your lunges, improving your squats, or just doing bicep curls, these are the best. Always go for a neoprene coating; these have a non-slip grip, and they won’t give your hands calluses or make them red like chrome free weights will. These are small and compact enough that you can store them in your closet until your next home work-out.

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