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The Best Home Exercise Equipment for Women

Holly Smith

By: Holly Smith, M.D. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

best home exercise equipment

Looking to purchase some new exercise equipment but you're not sure where to start? We're here to help you make sure you're using the best home exercise equipment for women!

Women everywhere are looking for awesome workouts and fitness tips to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

But let's face — there are so many different workouts and exercise gadgets out there, it’s hard to know what actually works, and what is just a money-making gimmick.

There are a ton of products that make astounding claims about gaining muscle and losing weight. All you have to do is “order now” and you will be on the way to that toned beach body.

But are any of these claims real?

Here's how to figure out what is worth the money, and what is junk.

Worst Home Exercise Equipment

Let’s start with the bad.

Unfortunately, a lot of the products touted on TV aren’t worth the commercial time they take up.

If you are looking for fitness results, stay away from these pieces of home work out equipment.

The Shake Weight

This product has garnered a ton of media attention, but the fact is, it doesn’t do much to help tone your arms.

The infomercial claims that the oscillating movement of the Shake Weight is “flab-busting” and will get you firm and toned arms in just six minutes a day.

However, research out of the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that this was not the case.

Not only was the Shake Weight not significantly effective for eliciting muscle activity when compared to traditional dumbbells performing the same exercises, but it also did not elicit enough maximal voluntary isometric contractions to stimulate an increase in muscle strength.

Vibrating Ab Belts

Can you imagine losing that stubborn belly fat and achieving those six-pack abs without working out? This is what vibrating ab belts claim is possible.

But, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The idea is that the vibrations will evoke muscular work and elevate your metabolic rate, which in turn could be a potential method for weight reduction.

However, research studies have shown that while muscle activation is elicited, the energy demand is quite low.

So while vibration exercise can potentially increase muscular oxygen uptake, the high vibration frequency and/or amplitude it cannot match the demands of conventional aerobic exercise.

Plus, you cannot spot reduce fat anywhere on the body. So a vibrating ab belt won’t melt away belly fat.

Just like any fitness routine, you need a combination of strength training, cardio, and proper nutrition if you’re looking to get those chiseled abs.

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The Ab Lounge

This piece of exercise equipment is not only ineffective, but it can also be dangerous.

Lounging back can put your body in a compromising and awkward position that can lead to injury.

Plus, a study found that a traditional crunch is more effective than the jackknife movement created by the Ab Lounge.

So save your money, and your back, and instead target your muscles with high-quality core exercises, like Russian twists or planks.

Thigh Master

This device has been around for decades and is still being sold online.

The thigh master is supposed to strengthen and tone your thighs.

But while you may be hitting a few specific adductor muscles, you can never spot reduce fat.

In the end, you're better off saving money and working on leg exercises that target multiple muscle groups at a time, like squats, lunges, or leg lifts.

Best Home Exercise Equipment

While there is a myriad of bodyweight exercises you can do from home, using home exercise equipment will add an extra challenge to any workout.

These are the must-have products with proven fitness benefits that every home gym should have.

Resistance Bands

Having a set of resistance bands at home is an affordable way to stay in shape and tone your muscles.

While free weights give you a great workout, resistance bands work your muscles in a whole different way.

The tension changes as you perform each exercise, which allows you to target your muscles differently and really work the smaller stabilizing muscles.

Research has shown that women can get similar strength and fitness gains from resistance bands when compared to weight machines.

So when looking to add to your home exercise equipment, resistance bands are a solid buy.

Awesome exercises with resistance bands include:

  • Bicep Curls
  • Chest Press
  • Squats
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Front and Lateral Raises

TRX Bands

TRX bands are one of the most versatile pieces of home workout equipment.

Like resistance bands, they are easy to pack up and travel with, or fold up and keep around the house.

These bands allow you to use your body weight as resistance while you get a full-body workout using something known as “suspension training.”

There are tons of different exercises that can be done with these bands so that your workouts never get boring.

Not only can you target all of your muscles just like with free weights, but TRX bands also force you to engage your core and stabilizer muscles as you balance throughout the movements.

This adds an additional challenge to your workouts.

And TRX bands even have research supporting their fitness benefits.

A study from The International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology found that regular participation in TRX Suspension Training improved muscular fitness.

Not only that, but there were improvements in major cardiovascular disease risk factors including reductions in waist circumference, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and body fat.

TRX bands come with great diagrams that demonstrate all types of suspension training workouts that will help build strength and tone your muscles.

Ab Roller

An ab roller is an affordable piece of workout equipment that you can store anywhere.

This awesome addition to your home gym will not only target your abdominal muscles, but it will also build strength in your core muscles that protect your spine and back.

The ab roller forces you to engage multiple core muscles at once as you roll out into a moving plank.

The rolling out movement primarily works your lats and deltoids, and the rolling in part really targets your abdominal muscles.

The other challenging part of the ab roller is that it requires synchronized control from a variety of muscles, extending from your hip flexors up to your shoulders.

Swiss Stability Ball

You can add a whole new level to your exercises when you perform them using a stability ball.

Doing planks, bridges, crutches, or push-ups on a stability ball forces you to balance yourself so that you’re not just targeting your big muscle groups, but also recruiting all of your small stabilizing core muscles.

Research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has shown the numerous benefits of the use of stability balls in training regimens.

A stability ball core strength training protocol can improve core muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance.

Not only this, but these exercises have been found to aid in the prevention of low back pain, falls, and recovery from lower back injuries in sedentary adults that can help increase their quality of life.

Dumbbells

Sometimes keeping it simple really is the best.

Having a set of dumbbells to use at home allows you to target every major muscle group from the comfort of your home.

You can do most exercises standing or seated on the floor.

Or, you can purchase a bench to make exercises like chest presses and dumbbell flys more comfortable.

The downside of dumbbells is that you often need a wide range of weight.

It can be tough to find room for an entire set of weights, not too mention it will get pricey.

However, there are now adjustable dumbbells that allow you to change the weight you are lifting by simply turning a dial.

The range of weight is typically anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds.

Add A Challenge to Your Workouts With The Best Home Exercise Equipment

Working out from home is a great option for busy women.

And with the ongoing gym shutdowns, it may be your only choice currently.

Adding some home exercise equipment will allow you to still get a killer workout without stepping foot into a gym.

The key is knowing what works, and what is a waste of money.

Products that promise quick results with little to no work are always too good to be true.

So don’t waste your time, or hard-earned cash, on things like vibrating ab belts or shake weights.

Instead, take simple bodyweight workouts, like squats or lunges, and add the weight of resistance bands or dumbbells, to build strength and fitness.

And instead of doing hundreds of crunches, perform core workouts with an ab roller or TRX bands.

These products will give you a total body workout that will get you a toned, great looking physique.

Holly Smith
Holly Smith

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is an osteopathic physician, runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast.

She is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelors degree in dietetics and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, olympic distance triathlons, half marathons and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

She has also recently qualified for the 2020 World Championships for Ironman 70.3, in New Zealand!

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If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the best home exercise equipment.

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