The WagDoll Protocol : Essential Equipment for Home Workouts Post-Lockdown
Gyms may be opening soon, but after months of working out from home, how many of us are actually thinking about not going back to the gym? With just a few of the right pieces of equipment, you can easily get a good workout from home, you just need some motivation to keep you going! If you've followed me on my blog for any length of time you'll know I'm a huge advocate for working out at home. The Wagdoll Protocol is my quest to get fit at home with minimal space or equipment.
So if you are still going to be embracing being at home over the next few weeks and months, then this post is for you. Here are some of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment that can be used at home, as well as some style essentials, to be able to get just as fit and healthy as you would in a gym.
Supportive Workout Clothing
It can be tempting when you’re at home to just work out in your pjs and barefeet. But if you want to make sure that you avoid injury, then getting some supportive workout wear is a must. For starters, a good pair of properly fitting trainers needs to be on your list. When you have shoes that support your feet and ankles, you will be much better able to perform the exercises and avoid injury. Flat soled trainers are great for weights type exercises, cushioned soles are needed for running and HIIT type workouts, and for stretching, yoga and ballet based workouts then soft soled ballet slippers or grippy socks are best.
Other essentials for your workout kit should include sports tights, as they fit well, hold everything in place, but are comfortable too. A good sports bra is needed too, am I right ladies? Look for clothing in breathable materials, and make sure you make that effort to get dressed into it all when working out. You’ll feel more able to move, and feel more comfortable too.I tend to workout straight after finishing work. Normally that would mean driving to the gym, but as I'm currently working from home I find changing into workout wear is an signal to my brain that I've finished work and I'm now about to do exercise ...and that's a huge motivator.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Although you will be at home, and have cold water on-tap, it is a good idea to get yourself a stainless steel water bottle, to keep cold water cold for several hours. Keeping hydrated is hugely important for health and more so when working out. Conveniently sipping water during your workout is much better for staying hydrated than waiting until you've finished and downing a huge drink. A bottle with a lid is more hygienic and less prone to spills, rather than an open cup. And bottles come in a huge variety of styles and sizes and are much more environmentally friendly than single use plastic water bottles.
Wrist and Ankle Weights
Now you know I'm a massive fan of bodyweight exercises, burpees, squats, lunches, press ups, all of which can be done with no equipment whatsoever. Check out my guide to doing press ups if you are looking for some help to do your first full pushup. But if you want to step it up a level, then a set of ankle and wrist weights are amazing! Usually made of neoprene filled with sand these flexible weights wrap around your wrists and ankles attaching with velco. You can then do your normal workout routine, whether that's dancing, running, HIIT or skipping etc and reap the benefits of the extra effort your muscles have to put in. They take up very little storage space, and the feeling when you take them off at the end of a workout is amazing, like walking on air LOL!
If you love the wrist and ankle weights, the also consider a set dumbbells. They are super versatile for using when working out at home, as you can work pretty much any area of the body. You can use them for legs, arms, abs, and for cardio movements, as you can use them in ways that you would use a kettlebell or medicine ball. You can even use them for boxing practice, using them in each hand. It's a good idea to look for some adjustable dumbbells, mine in the main photo above have chrome rings which can be added to increase the weigh,t making them extremely versatile and easy to store.
Whether you’ll actually be using it for yoga or not doesn’t really matter, however, a mat is a key piece of equipment to have at home. Working out at home on wooden floors, kitchen tiles or a concrete garage floor in my case, isn’t going to be very comfortable. A yoga mat is easy to store, as they just roll up. But for your body weight training, sit-ups, stretching, and for actually doing yoga, having a mat is essential. I bought mine from Aldi a couple of years ago during one of their fitness promotions for around £10, I use it at every workout and it's still going strong!
Having a set of resistance bands is something that is really easy to use, and it is really versatile. They are small and so easy to store. You can use them in a number of ways, for legs and arms in particular, but they add weight or resistance, without needing to have a wide range of weights. They can be good to use when recovering from an injury as a low impact workout, as the resistance can be less intense than it would be with weights. For toning up, it is a great inexpensive piece of kit.
I love skipping (or jumping rope!). It's a fantastic fun cardio workout that is great for toning arms, abs, legs and improving agility. Don't be put off if the last time you used a skipping rope was in the school playground, there's a reason boxers are known for skipping. It looks deceptively easy but 5 or 10 minutes of skipping is a fantastic workout, elevates your heart-rate and is one of the top calorie burning exercises you can do. Check out my previous skipping post and video to see how much it can help your cardio fitness and blast those fat cells! Believe it or not, you don't need much space either, I tend to sip on the patio or drive and you could use a balcony too. A skipping rope takes up next to no storage space too. I prefer one with padded memory foam handles and a leather rope like this one.
Have you been enjoying working out from home? I have to say my after work home workouts every day have kept me sane during lockdown, and I plan to keep them going even when the gyms re-open. I find working out at home so convenient, and so easy to squeeze a quick workout into a spare half an hour. I get my favourite music on and get moving. The improvement to fitness and mental health is amazing with consistent regular workouts!