How to start training at home: tips and equipment for beginners (2021)

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I consider myself an athlete, but I don’t engage in particularly impressive physical feats. I am not “cut” or “swole”. My super power is consistency. Unless rare knee surgery or occasional childbirth, I have been training daily for over 20 years. Physical activity is also how I avoid hurting myself while going to pick up my children and how I fight anxiety.

As the pandemic has spread, it has become more vital to find a way to move your body every day, especially if you have found that sedentary days are starting to grow. wreak havoc on the neck or lower back. For suggestions, I enlisted the help of Cassey Ho, the animator behind the very popular Blogilates fitness platform, as well as Ben Musholt, physiotherapist, parkour trainer and author of The Mad Skills Encyclopedia. (Disclosure: Ben is a friend, and I worked in his garage.)

And an FYI: This is not a guide to making “gains” or achieving your weight loss goals. This is just a quick tip to help you get (or stay) active.

Update January 2020: We have added new information, new apps and new equipment reviews.

Configure your space

Photography: Suga

Most sports manufacturers won’t tell you, but you don’t need anything – no, not even a pair of fancy leggings or shoes – to start training. Just do a few push-ups in your pajamas every time you pee, and congratulations! You are on your way.

Still, a basic kit can help you establish a routine. Fitness expert Cassey Ho recommends starting with a yoga mat. “Obviously a lot of us don’t have space for our own home gym,” she says, but a mat can help you define a workout space in the chaos of your living room floor. .

A yoga mat will cushion your joints and keep your feet and hands safe. Parkour enthusiast Ben Musholt also notes that for apartment dwellers, it will dampen your footsteps for your downstairs neighbors.

Ho uses his Popflex carpet; I have a basic Gaiam rug, but I also recommend the dense, recycled suga rug, although it is more expensive.

Many free online workout tutorials will also offer weight training workouts, like little dumb bells or a kettle bell. Musholt likes a versatile piece of equipment called a Lebert equalizer, which can be used as a hanging weight, stepladder, dip bars, etc. My colleague Matt Jancer also builds his muscles using a weighted vest.

These are fine, but bodyweight exercises will suffice for most people. You probably also have a lot of alternative weights in your house. I danced in my living room, swinging cans of beans, jugs full of water, and a backpack full of books. A 3-year-old hanging from your ankle that needs to be picked up and cuddled repeatedly works as well.

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