Welcome back to my blog! It’s great to see all of your shining faces.
Today, instead of posting the promised workout plan that I haven’t lived up to yet (awk), I want to talk about my favorite workout products that I love and hold near and dear to my heart. They’re the essentials to helping you get started with your fitness journey (I sound like the Bachelorette) or add onto what you use to workout already. The best part is that you can take them with you to your workout sessions or use them in the comfort of your own home. Take a look!
These little suckers don’t get enough love in the gym. Resistance bands are a great addition to your strength training routine, and they can also be used for stretching and rehabilitation. Just like dumbbells, resistance bands come in different shapes, sizes, and resistance levels. The most common resistance bands that you’ll find in the gym have a handlebar attached to them or look like giant rubber bands. Both of them are perfect to use during your warm up and/or cool down, but if you’re new to working out you can use them for your whole routine as well. A few examples of workouts that you can do with resistance bands are bicep curls, tricep extensions, lying glute bridges, and squats. Just take a peek around YouTube or the internet on how to use them properly, or ask me! That’s what I’m here for. Utilize me, people.
Also, a key to remember is the tighter the resistance band, the harder the workout and vice versa. They can be stored virtually anywhere and kept clean quite easily. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s seen them lying around and thought, “What on earth are these and how do I use them?” and hopefully now you have a better idea!
You had to have known this one would be on my list. Yoga mats are an absolute necessity because they give you a clean and neat space to workout anywhere and everywhere you want to. Seriously, if you have a yoga mat you could climb up a mountain and have a sweet spot to do some crunches. You could workout in the parking lot of a Walmart. You could workout during your wait time at the doctor’s office. Literally anywhere. Yoga mats take up virtually no space, and most of them come with some sort of holder for easy transport. Most gyms provide yoga mats for you, but if you’re a lazy girl like me, you need one for watching the Bachelorette and working out at the same time. I also like knowing that I’m the only one using my yoga mat and a ton of other sweaty bodies that I don’t recognize haven’t touched it before. Get outta here, unidentified bodily fluids!
Okay, so I know some of you may be thinking, “Hold up, Victoria! I thought you just said resistance bands are a good alternative to dumbbells. If that’s true, why would I need to use these as well?” Hold your horses, Charlie. Resistance bands are great for strength-training and can give just as good of a workout as dumbbells, but there’s some things dumbbells can do that resistance bands just can’t – and that’s okay! Variety is the spice of life. I personally prefer to use dumbbells during the meat of my workout, aka when I’m looking to push my limits and put up weight that resistance bands can’t match. Dumbbells are also simple to just pick up and start working out. You could be sitting on the couch watching TV (do you see a pattern here?), pick up a dumbbell, and just start doing tricep extensions on your couch. They take up no space and can be used in 1,000 different ways! Great workout without a lot of equipment = my personal utopia.
This is another thing that I’ve always looked at in the gym but never really knew what it was for or how to use it. But now I know and want to share it with you! In a nutshell, foam rollers are used for self-myofascial release which is a fancy term for giving your muscles a deep massage to release tightness or tension. They’re also great for improving circulation and stretch reflex. I typically use a foam roller after my workout since my muscles are warm and ready to be massaged, but it’s always okay to use it during your warm up to loosen up any tightness as well. My best advice is to take a look at YouTube videos for instruction on how to use one properly before you get started because form is everything when using a foam roller!
Giant Starbucks Cup
We’ve all been to Starbucks, right? Have you ever seen those giant 24 oz plastic cups that they sell by the merchandise? The ones that resemble regular Starbucks cups but bigger and have crazy patterns? Yeah, those! I’ve always thought those were a little overpriced (as with everything at Starbucks) but I decided to buy one after seeing my coworker take hers everywhere. She says it’s been her lifesaver because she only needs to drink about three of them a day to hit her water goal, and it’s a little cuter than your typical water bottle. The straw makes it virtually spill-proof, and the clear ones are usually $12 so you won’t have to chop your arm off to buy one of the fancy styles. It has been a total LIFESAVER because you need to stay hydrated throughout the day if you’re working out or not. You. Need. To. No more thinking of getting in your water as a hassle with this cup! Take this sucker everywhere and sip away.
I saved the best for last because I’m absolutely in love with my Fitbit. Honestly, if marrying my Fitbit is wrong then I don’t want to be right. This little watch works in so many different ways and is the best thing that’s helped me stay on track towards my goals. Even us personal trainers need a little help! It does all of the logging for you, plus more. It tracks your heart rate, how many steps you’ve taken, how much water you’ve consumed, how many calories you’ve burned, etc etc and you can even download the Fitbit app to set goals for yourself, track your sleep, challenge your friends, and evaluate your progress overtime. Did I mention you can see text messages, control your music, and take phone calls all through the touch of a screen as well? Bonus points! It’s honestly the best investment that I’ve made for myself, and there’s preset workouts that you can use if you need some help. If you’re reading this Fitbit, holler at a girl for a job/sponsorship?
And that’s all I have for you guys! These are the items that I use on a weekly basis, and everything can fit inside of a tote bag. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out because I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thank you all for the support, and keep tuning in!
High five and huggies,