Three Ways to Stay Active at Home With Minimal Fitness Equipment

exercise equipments, laptop laying on the floor

Trainer Hunter Crine shares his favorite workout equipment for your at-home gym

We asked NYC fitness trainer Hunter Crine how to get a fresh start on fitness in the New Year. Hint: Cut down as much as possible on back-to-back Zoom meetings and consider adding a kettlebell to your life. Here’s more: 

Katie Couric Media: With gyms closed or restricted, how can people stay active at home?

1. Find a time during the day that you can commit to moving. Hold yourself accountable and stick to it. It doesn’t need to be very long — 20 minutes is plenty — but nothing can replace it on your calendar.  

2. Once you have a time picked out, find an activity that you enjoy. This varies by individual, but chances of adhering to exercise drastically decrease if it feels like you’re dragging yourself to the session. 

3. Stop scheduling back-to-back virtual meetings. Leave time so that you can add movement in between work obligations. It can be as simple as taking a ten-minute walk.

For those interested in purchasing in at-home gym equipment, what are some products you recommend?

Kettlebell: When the pandemic started, all of my clients purchased kettlebells for their homes. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of fitness equipment. For an affordable price, you have the variability to train for a multitude of goals — whether it’s getting stronger or increasing mobility or flexibility.  The best part is the kettlebell can be tossed in the trunk of your car, so you have the freedom to pursue fitness wherever you go. Buy here.

Jump rope: A jump rope is a piece of equipment I always recommend. It offers a fun conditioning element, that brings us back to when we were kids. Instead of logging countless miles walking or jogging, I like the jump rope to produce peak fitness results and provide a fun experience with movement. Buy here.

Medicine ball: This one rounds out the equipment wish list.  The medicine ball allows you to train the core and strengthen the whole body. With one medium sized ball, you can do hundreds of movements, which adds variability to your workouts so it never gets stale. Buy here.

What’s one piece of exercise equipment that’s worth the splurge?

A Crossrope jump rope. It’s $90, and my guilty fitness-equipment splurge. If I had to recommend one product to a new client, it would be a Kettlebell Kings kettlebell.  

What are three exercises people can incorporate into their daily routine?

1. The isometric lunge hold for time: The longer you can hold it dictates your lower body strength and health of the legs.

2. The single leg glute bridge: This trains the hips, glutes and hamstrings — all muscles that contribute to feeling, looking and performing better.

3. The side plank: This trains the core and obliques while also reducing the stress on the lower back, which is vulnerable in periods of extended sitting.

What’s an easy, actionable goal people can set in the New Year?

The biggest barrier to an exercise goal is lack of time. Set a realistic goal that requires you to evaluate how much time you currently dedicate to training, and increase that number slowly over time. If you’re starting from zero, then 10 minutes a day is a large increase — and will be plenty sufficient for getting results.

Many times, people go into the new year with a goal of working out 5 times a week for an hour. When they miss the second day because they don’t have sufficient time, they get discouraged and it’s a slippery slope. My recommendation is to set goals with a 10% increase in activity per week, until you get to CDC recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults. Slowly building this, increases motivation and adherence.

How can people stay motivated and turn a New Year’s resolution into a way of life?

Most exercise resolutions end within six months. The ones that prevail have an element of community and social support. Nothing keeps people motivated like a friend checking in to see if they are going to attend a class, a spouse who wakes them up to exercise together, or a gym where members congratulate each-other on reaching goals. Even if in the beginning it’s a solo effort, getting involved in a community has long lasting results. 

Hunter Crine is the director of strength and conditioning at Reload Physical Therapy in Manhattan, New York. He’s a celebrity trainer, certified kettlebell coach, and holds a master’s degree in Sports Science.

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