Having the essential equipment to workout at home can be a good idea. Think about those busy days that didn’t allow you to get to class. Or even for days like the ones we are experiencing where social distancing is imperative. Don’t worry, you don’t need to get all the equipment your gym has. With simple tools you can definitely do a complete full body workout at home. Your basic Fitness kit contains kettlebells, jump ropes, and resistance bands. Eventually, you would like to get more gear like a pull-up bar, barbells and a medicine ball. But, for now we are going to keep it simple.
In this article we are going to give you the reasons why we think these 3 tools are the essential equipment for working out at home. And, we are going to give you 2 fun workouts for each tool. Maybe you will like them so much that you will want to include them in your CrossFit program! However, don’t forget that, for a CrossFitter, the equipment takes a back seat to the physical and mental challenges.
Essential Equipment To Workout At Home
I bet that one workout tool you might be overlooking are resistance bands. These awesome old-school bands help you with your flexibility, and work your glutes, core, and arms.
A band’s resistance increases as it continues to stretch, with the greatest resistance at the apex of each exercise. For example, when you do a resistance band shoulder press, at the beginning the resistance level is light. But when you press the band up, you are gradually increasing the resistance. You will feel the highest intensity resistance when your elbows are fully extended. When you are at the top of the movement, the rest of your muscles remain engaged to maintain form and help increase joint stabilization, which, over time, can reduce the chance of injury.
WOD Nation Resistance Bands are a great option. They come in 5 resistance levels, having several different bands on hand is helpful for full-body training. These bands are very good but if you manage to break it, they will send you a new one.
Few Other Options:
Plus, resistance bands are super versatile that you can use them in your strength and mobility training. And to give you an idea, here you have one workout to improve your strength and another one for mobility. Enjoy them!
- Strength training: These two workouts are modifications of traditional CrossFit exercises, designed by the CrossFit coach Elliott Schackne. The idea is using a resistance band instead of weights.
- Wrap the band around your shoulders and underneath the armpits while holding the band in place with your palm
- Keep your legs extended and lean back onto a chair
- Bend your elbows and perform dips as usual
One set: 10-12 reps.
Modified seated rows
This movement activates your abdominals and back muscles.
If you want to ad some intensity, you can raise your feet and balance on your glutes.
- Wrap the band underneath the bottom of your feet
- Grab hold to the ends of the band with both hands
- Push your legs out while you tilt backward
- Bring your knees back in and repeat
One set: 10-12 reps.
- Mobility training
Shoulder and back
This exercise will fire up the rear deltoids, rhomboids, and Teres minor to get them ready to stabilize the shoulder joint.
- Keep a neutral spine, think good posture.
- Slowly pull the band apart. When you pull the band apart, make sure to retract your shoulder blades. You’ll activate all your posterior muscles, getting them ready to stabilize the shoulder joint for big compound movements, while making sure that your shoulder isn’t going to sustain any injuries.
One set: 10-12 reps.
Shoulder and chest
- Stand with your feet hips distance apart and a neutral spine (keep good posture).
- Slightly pull the band apart as you pass it over your head and back around, getting a nice stretch in the pectoral muscles and also that important mobility in the shoulder joint.
- From the back, pull the band apart as you pass it over your head, in front of your chest and ends at your hips level.
One set of 10-12 reps.
Double unders are a common CrossFit movement that requires you to jump explosively and spin the rope faster to pass it beneath your feet twice on one jump. Double unders (DU) work your muscles and get your heart beating faster. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, the women’s 2014 CrossFit Games winner, really likes to train with double unders because “It requires a lot of coordination and really works your cardiovascular system”.
To get the most from your workout, make sure your rope is the right size. But what is the right length of a jump rope? CrossFit HQ trainer Dave Lipson says that “when you hold the rope under one foot, the handles should just reach your armpits. To maximize results, practice good form. Hold your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock and at waist height. Revolve the rope from the wrists, not the shoulders”.
If your goal is to perform the most efficient double unders, we recommend getting a bearing speed rope. If you ask me, WOD Nation has the best value in the market. The ropes are very light and easy to handle. Plus, the vivid colors give you a chic allure!
Here are two jump rope workouts that we are sure will make you burn calories and build strength:
When Camille Leblanc-Bazinet was asked about her feelings for this famous workout she answered “It’s a great way to test your double unders and core stamina. You are breathing hard, your abs are worked to the point of cramping, and your shoulders will burn”. It sounds like a workout for you!
50 double unders
40 double unders
30 double unders
20 double unders
10 double unders
Score: time it took you to complete Annie.
As you see, you’ll complete five sets in total. Just keep in mind that each new round you will do 10 fewer reps than the previous set. Sorry, there’s no rest between sets, so be conscious about your breathing and pace. You got this!
If your double unders aren’t quite there yet, you can do normal jumps but you have to double the number per set. For the first round, you will do 100 single-unders (instead of 50 double-unders) and then 50 sit-ups.
- Double-unders with a twist
This is our home version of a simple workout which was recently posted on CrossFit’s main page. You have to complete 500 double-unders for time. I know it doesn’t feel like you are working hard in this workout. But trust me, this will change when you realize you have to perform 3 burpees at the beginning of each minute.
500 double-unders or 750 single-unders
* At the beginning of each minute perform 3 burpees.
Rest of the time/minute: perform AMRAP double-unders until you hit 500 reps.
Score: time it took you to complete 500 DUs
Few Other Options:
Using kettlebells in your workouts has a lot of benefits. Kettlebells are a great tool for many different goals, whether it be weight loss, increasing muscular definition, improving your grip, or improving overall fitness. And since they are a highly efficient form of training, they allow you to perform quick workouts with excellent results. And to prove that, here you have 2 explosive kettlebell workouts.
- Kettlebell Karen
150 Kettlebell Thrusters
Score: time it took you to complete 150 Thrusters.
Kettlebell Thrusters are a combination of a kettlebell front squat with a kettlebell press, while holding the kettlebell in a goblet or bottoms-up grip. You can do a clean at the start of each set to bring the kettlebell in front of your chest. Also, you can perform a clean between each rep if you choose.
Modification: you can use just 1 heavy kettlebell or 2 light/medium weight for each hand.
- Kettlebell spin
KB Goblet Squats
KB Swings: eye level
Score: time it took you to complete the workout
Take a kettlebell out for a spin. Knock out a few swings, snatches, cleans, and presses and you’ll be convinced. There are a lot of exercises that you can perform with kettlebells. You will feel how your body is working as one unit. And don’t forget to be explosive with your hips, where the power is!
This kettlebell has a lot of good reviews, particularly about its handle. Don’t you like when at the end of the workout your hands aren’t ripped? Well, this kettlebell can help. One reviewer said “It allows me to chalk up and not slip while not tearing up my hands”
We hope you will have fun trying out your new toys at home while performing these WODs. As always, be careful. It can really help if you designate a space at your home as your gym area. Besides the fact that it will help you organize and store your fitness equipment, you can give personal touches to this space and make it your own. Feeling that you have your own space can keep you motivated and fit.
Leave us a comment about how these workouts were for you. Any review about the products is also welcomed.
Keep safe and keep after it, even during these difficult times!
Giuliana is a yoga instructor and Crossfitter from Peru who is currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand with her Crossfit Coach (and husband) Tim.