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Exercises to do at home to skip the January gym rush, according to a fitness expert

Gyms are usually crowded in January, when many people are trying to stick to their fitness resolutions. But if you aren't a fan of such busy spaces, you don't have to abandon your workout routine just because of all the new faces at the gym.

BestReviews fitness expert Judd NeSmith, NASM-CPT, PES and founder of Serious Fitness, explained how you can exercise at home and get similar results to those in the gym, whether you want to use your body weight to drive your workouts or invest in higher-priced equipment.

In this article: Gaiam Essentials Fitness and Exercise Mat, Theraband Resistance Band Set and TRX Pro3 Suspension Training Kit.

What are the best exercises to do at home? 

Getting an effective workout at home may seem difficult, because you might assume you need to invest in a bunch of pricey weights and machines. Not so, says NeSmith.

"Bodyweight exercises can build muscle and burn fat, and you don't need special equipment to do them," he explained. 

Pushups are one of NeSmith's favorite at-home exercises because they work so many muscles in the upper body. These include the chest, triceps and shoulders, as well as core muscles in the back, stomach and hips.

You don't need a ton of upper-body strength to do them, either, NeSmith said. "Beginners can do modified pushups from their knees and get many of the same benefits."

In fact, you can work out all the muscles in your body without any equipment. Other bodyweight exercises NeSmith recommended include squats to work your rear and legs; prone planks and side planks for your upper body, lower body and core; reverse abdominal crunches to work your abs; and the cobra for your shoulders, back, arms, core and rear. 

When it comes to cardio, good old-fashioned jumping jacks are another of NeSmith's favorites. Do as many as you can in a 30-second period, he suggests, and then rest for 30 seconds. Then repeat the set five times to really get your heart pumping.

If you don't mind spending some money, NeSmith recommends investing in an exercise mat to make your workouts more comfortable, resistance bands to make your exercise routine more of a challenge and a stability ball for core exercises. For those willing to splurge, he says, a high-quality suspension trainer is definitely a worthwhile investment. 

Best at-home gym basic equipment

Gaiam Essentials Fitness and Exercise Mat

You'll be much more comfortable exercising at home with this cushioned fitness mat. It's made of soft nitrile butadiene rubber foam that offers padding and support during your workouts. It also has a carrying strap, so the mat is easy to store and take on the go. 

Sold by Amazon

Harbinger Push Up Elite

You can make it easier to do pushups in your home gym with these easy-to-use pushup handles. They have padded grips that are comfortable to hold even through long sets. They also help keep your wrists in a neutral position and rotate to engage more of your muscles. They can hold up to 400 pounds.

Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods

Theraband Resistance Band Set

These high-quality resistance bands are an excellent alternative to dumbbells if you don't have much room for a home gym. They're easy to use and color-coded, so you know exactly how much resistance they offer. And they're made of durable natural rubber latex to ensure they last through plenty of workouts. 

Sold by Amazon

Sklz Slidez Stability Discs

These core sliders make it easy to get in an effective core workout at home. They have a sturdy, low-friction base that slides smoothly without damaging your floors and a comfortable non-slip grip for your hands and feet. Their unique shape helps reinforce functional movement to engage your shoulders and core. 

Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods and Amazon

Black Mountain Exercise Stability Ball

This professional-grade stability ball makes it easy to do stretching and balance exercises that strengthen your core. It can hold up to 2,000 pounds and comes in five colors and sizes. It even has a pump to inflate the ball. 

Sold by Amazon

Champion Sports Rhino Medicine Ball

This durable medicine ball is perfect for home workouts for beginners and experts alike. It has a non-slip exterior that helps you maintain a secure grip even when your hands are sweaty. And it comes in multiple weights, so you can choose the best option for your fitness level. 

Sold by Amazon 

WOD Nation Speed Jump Rope

This jump rope can help you do a surprisingly effective cardio workout at home even if you don't have much space. Its ergonomic handles feel comfortable in your hands and its ball-bearing system helps them rotate smoothly. The lightweight coated steel construction lets the rope move quickly for fast-paced workouts.

Sold by Amazon

Best at-home gym advanced equipment

Stamina 36-Pound Adjustable Kettlebell

This adjustable kettlebell offers the benefits of six kettlebells in one because you can choose a weight from 16 to 36 pounds. It's easy to change its weight, because you only have to push and pull a pin. It works well for cardio, strength training and mobility exercises and has a comfortable brushed metal handle.

Sold by Dick's Sporting Goods

NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Dumbbells

This fully customizable set of dumbbells lets you choose from 30 weights in 15-pound increments, so you can replace multiple dumbbells and save space in your home gym. They feature durable steel and plastic construction, are labeled with each weight, and come with a convenient tray for storage.

Sold by Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods

TRX Pro3 Suspension Training Kit

This durable, sturdy suspension trainer is ideal for at-home strength training workouts for beginners and experts. It's easy to set up and comes with strong straps and anchors for setting up in any doorway. The rubber handles provide an excellent grip for safe exercising, and it comes with an exercise guide if you're new to working out.

Sold by Amazon

Goplus 2-in-1 Folding Treadmill

Whether you like walking or jogging, this compact folding treadmill provides an excellent cardio workout at home. It boasts a 2.25-horsepower motor and speeds up to 7.5 mph. The non-slip running belt helps keep you stable, while the LED display shows your workout time, speed, distance and calories burned. It has a Bluetooth speaker and phone holder.

Sold by Amazon


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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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