We are approaching the one year anniversary of the pandemic here in the USA. Depending on where you live and what you do, that may mean a year of rarely leaving your house. In many places gyms have been closed for at least some of that time. The weather is not always conducive for getting outside. We’ve been cooped up for a long time now.
As I’m exploring getting back into moving my body more regularly, I’ve begun to look for some at home equipment ideas. I’ll be honest the last time I looked for at home equipment may have been back when Suzanne Summers was squeezing her Thighmaster! Ok, that just totally aged me! And really it's not been that long, but it feels like it. Turns out, there have been major advancements and new technology since then! Who knew?
For part two of the movement series, I’m looking at some of the best at home equipment that fat humans love!
Can I confess something? I have ALWAYS wanted a rowing machine. Maybe it's because I love kayaking and being on the water and it's a “rowing” machine? Maybe it's the enjoyable whirring sound it makes? I know, I’m weird. I do think the difference between the pulling and releasing is more interesting than the monotonous repetition of a treadmill or stationary bike. But they are big and not cheap! If I had the room and coin, this is what I would buy right now.
At over $1,000 this is not affordable, but it is considered one of, if not, THE best rowing machines out there. It has thousands of glowing Amazon reviews. They are extremely well designed to be smooth and very quiet. Easy to assemble, or disassemble for storing. It gives a fantastic cardio workout, though if you are looking for resistance/strength building this is not the machine for you
Stationary Bikes have changed a lot over the years! There are a lot of different types of to choose from these days. You can go for a recumbent bike, a desk bike, a mini under your desk bike, a trainer to turn your regular bike a stationary bike, something small and foldable, or the fancy bikes with screens and at home spin classes! But this is the bike I want.
With a price around $200, a weight capacity of 400 lb, and a whole lot of 5 star ratings, this foldable stationary bike is hard to beat. It’s got a large seat for a stationary bike, and fits people 5'1" to 6'5”. It does not come assembled, so that may be a problem for some. If you want to do some of the fancy spin classes, you can sign up for the apps and get access to the classes without the $2,000 stationary bike.
Are accessories a necessity for yoga? No. But do they make it better? So much so! From blocks and xl mats, to bolsters, balls, and straps, accessories make poses so much easier. I’ve got a mat, strap and blocks. I would like a bolster and a ball, but this is what I really want:
Rated for up to 500lbs, I know a lot of people love their Chirp Wheel. It's a yoga wheel meant to help stretch and align your back. Chirp’s version has a groove in the center so it’s not pressing against your spine, a common complaint with other yoga wheels. It comes in three sizes, with the largest size being the most gentle stretch. The overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon often include a large number of exclamation marks. Some people do find them too wide to fit between their shoulder blades, so that is something to be aware of. Keep an eye out for fakes. A lot of copy cats mimic the teal and black color of the Chirp wheel, but they usually don’t have the groove or weight capacity.
Mobility exercises are getting more and more popular, especially with us larger folks. I’m not particularly interested in being jacked-up with muscles and unable to use my arms because the muscles are in the way. Frankly, as someone who doesn't love exercise for exercise's sake, the main reason to exercise, for me, is staying mobile and active and doing the things I want in life. There are a lot of great mobility aids from bands to foam rollers. But recently I was introduced to a mind blowing piece of equipment that I need to get.
That's right, a good old, cheap, basic PVC Pipe! There are a lot of great mobility exercises that require a long stick of some kind. I’ve tried a broom, but the head kept getting in the way. There are fancy expensive sticks you can buy. But there is a lot you can do with a $4 pvc pipe! Just do a quick search for PVC pipe exercise.
An interesting element of being fat, for some of us, is that we are surprisingly strong. Somehow most folks think because we’re fat we will be weak. But in reality it takes muscle to move this body around! But we are all capable of gaining strength. If I was to say that I actually liked something at the gym, I would say it’s lifting weights. Because my body has always gotten stronger more easily than it learns to move quickly, I’ve always gravitated to the weight section of a gym, if I go. There are a lot of great tools to help gain strength at home. There are systems designed to use your bodyweight. There are dumbbells and kettlebells. There are more dynamic options like a punching bag or medicine balls. But if I had the room, I would get some Battle Ropes!
Battle Ropes just look like fun! Ok, they also look exhausting and painful. To me they look like the extreme version of jump ropes. I imagine throwing your arms up and down to move the ropes would be very cathartic, a great way to get out stress! They’re a nice change of pace from the repetition of just lifting weights or doing curls. And let’s be honest, you kinda look like a badsass!
Whether your gyms are open or not. I hope you are getting the chance to move your body in ways that make you feel good!
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