Casey’s At-Home Workout Favorites
Anyone else loathe the gym during January? My usual workout classes are suddenly packed to the brim with new gym-goers, and I have to wait to get on any cardio machine. Plus, this cold weather has been a major deterrent for me when it comes time to make the 7-minute walk to our neighborhood workout center. The thought of bundling up, to take it off, and bundle up again sounds absolutely miserable on a 5-degree day.
In year’s past, I’ve found that my workouts have slacked during January and February because of this. But this year, I’ve been determined to not let that happen. Instead, I’ve upped my at-home workout routine! Obviously, we don’t have a dedicated “workout room” in our home, but I’ve still found ways to get my sweat on.
Where I Workout
You guys know our 2-bedroom condo isn’t huge, but I’ve found a way to transform our family room into a mini workout area! You can see in the gif above that I simply move the large chair to make room for a yoga mat and equipment in front of the TV. You don’t need a ton of space to get moving and this little area gets the job done for me.
I also like that my workouts take place on our large natural fiber rug. This cushions the noise a bit when I’m jumping up and down, so hopefully our neighbors down below don’t have to hear me making a racket upstairs. The rug, combined with the yoga mat, helps to dampen the sound.
I also keep a majority of my workout gear in our family room, inside one of our built-in cabinets.
You guys know I love me some secret storage, so instead of having any of these items out for our guests to see, they’re tucked neatly away behind closed doors.
My Exercise Gear
I truly believe that you don’t need fancy exercise equipment to get a good workout. In fact, most of the workouts I do just use your own body weight! But here are some of the other pieces I have accumulated over the years…
- DIY Booklet of At-Home Workouts (more on this below)
- 5 lb weights
- 10 lb weights
- Yoga Mat
- Exercise Bands
- Foam Roller
Light and heavy weights are always good to have around. I use them for squats, lunges, arm exercises…just about everything. Finn just got these dumbbells for Christmas to add to our collection. They go all the way from about 5 lbs to 50 lbs with the click of a button. Pretty awesome if you are looking to save on space.
When I hurt my back last year, I went to the physical therapist and ended up coming home with lots of exercise bands. I now keep those in the gray box in our built-ins so they’re somewhat organized. These bands are so inexpensive, take up hardly any room, and can be used for so many exercises! I have some that are tied in a loop that I use for butt and leg exercises. Then I have other ones that have 2 long ends that I use for upper body workouts. I simply stick them in a door frame and then can use them for chest and back exercises.
My other “secret” weapon is a step stool! Yep, just a regular ol’ stepstool that we use all around the house. I use this for weighted step-ups and quick cardio bursts.
This step stool folds up and slides right next to our washer and dryer, and then I simply get it out when it’s time for a workout session.
I also recently created a little at-home workout binder to keep printed out routines a bit more organized.
This holds lots of papers from the physical therapist that outline exercises for my injuries and Finn’s injuries. You’d think we’re 100 years old with the amount of crazy things we have wrong with our bodies.
I also keep all of my BBG workouts (more on that below…) organized in this binder. They used to just be shoved in our junk drawer and it was always so difficult to find the proper workout for the day. Now I can just flip to the page and get moving!
My Favorite At-Home Workout Routines
Bridget & I completed the BBG 12-week workout program a few years back (you can read more about our experience here), and I really loved the ease of the program. You need minimal equipment and it’s only 28 minutes. That may not sound like a lot, but holy hell, by the end I’m always out of breath and sweaty! Not to mention, incredibly sore the next day.
I’ve picked out a few of my favorite routines from the BBG program and I do those every other week or so when I need a quick and sweaty session.
At least 2 days a week, I try to get in a good yoga workout. Sometimes it’s when I’m sore, feeling tight, or just need a bit of a change from cardio and weights. We have an Apple TV, so I often follow yoga videos on Youtube directly on our TV.
My absolute favorite is Yoga with Adriene. She is just so relatable, cute, and she has so many different videos. If you’re new to the yoga game, don’t want to spend money on a class, or just want a good at-home yoga workout…definitely check out her Youtube channel. It’s pretty amazing! I usually just flip through her videos and find one that fits my mood for the day.
Favorite Workout Gear
Oh and I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about some of my favorite athletic wear, because I truly believe that new cute gear can bring some extra motivation! I always opt for black gym shoes because I can then wear them even when I’m not heading to the gym. These ones are my favorite, but I also have my eye on these Nikes for the new year.
I feel like a gal can never have too many yoga pants, especially if you wear them all the time like I do. I love the tights from Athleta because they are high-waisted, so I’m not constantly pulling them up when exercising. These ones are similar to my gray ones.
And finally, I always love a good workout top with a built-in bra. This one has such a cute back. If I’m doing yoga, spinning, or a body pump class I like to wear tops with the bra built right in. However, that’s often not enough support for me if I’m running or on the treadmill. But for most other things, I’m good to go with an all-in-one top. Makes getting ready for the gym a bit easier!
I also can’t forget to chat about my favorite wrap that I wear before and after workouts. This cardigan is so soft and is perfect to wear when you’re still warming up and not quite hot enough to go with a tank!
So I hope you guys learned that you don’t need a ton of space or equipment for a good at-home workout. Just find something you love and stick with it!
Yoga, BBG, and random exercises with the bands are my usual at-home workouts. But I’d love to know what you guys do at home? Give me some fresh inspiration for 2018, please!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.