5 Fitness Toys You Need This Year

Meet guest blogger, Annie Slayton. She’s a mom of four – kids ages four, three, 18 months and 3 months. She’s also a fitness fanatic who recently left the corporate world. She asked if she could share some of her favorite fitness equipment that you should be asking for this holiday season. Of course, I said yes . . . mostly because I wanted to see if there was anything on the list I needed. LOL But seriously, if you’re looking to step up your at-home fitness game this year, read on . . . take it away, Annie!

I have four kids, all four and under, so finding time to go to the gym is simply not realistic most days. Instead, I created a small workout room in our basement as an effort to create a dedicated space to focus and get my workouts done during the day. By investing a small amount of money, you too can set yourself up with some great home gym. Plus, maybe we can convince Sara to create some workout challenges with the equipment:? Check out some of my favorite equipment below for resistance training and toning and let me know in the comments if you have any favorites I forgot to put on my list!

1. TRX Trainer Kit

The TRX is probably the most expensive toy I have on the list, but it’s so worth it. You can tighten, tone and sculpt your body anywhere with a very short time commitment. The strap goes over a door, so it’s great for travel too. I love suspension training and truly think it’s the most effective workout for your core strength. 

It’s also a great tool to use during pregnancy to assist with your balance. Check out Sara on the TRX here (when she was pregnant with Liam) busting out some single leg squats.

2. Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are a great way to mix things up. It can make traditional exercises more challenging and functional just due to its shape and size.  For instance, holding a medicine ball while you squat is much more similar to holding a baby while you squat than free weights would be. Swings, chest presses, rotational chops, and behind the head slams are some of my favorites. 

Here is Sara using a medicine ball as part of one of her favorite warm-ups here:

These are some of my favorite go-to warm up exercises that I’ve been using for over seven years. Hey, if it ain’t broke! . 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 Grab a medicine ball (or free weight) and do 10 reps of each exercise (I shortened it for your viewing.): 1️⃣Sumo Squat OverHead Swings (10 reps) 2️⃣Rotating Lunges (5 to each side) 3️⃣Reverse Lunges with OverHead Chop (10 on each side) 4️⃣Curtsey Lunges with OverHead Obliques (10 one each side) . 🔹🔹🔹 Depending on time I repeat the sequence 1,2 or 3 times through. . 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 Warming up the right way truly makes your workouts better – you’re more mentally focused and your body is more physically prepared. Chances are you’ll also decrease your risk of injury too. Do you make an effort to include a warm up in your workouts? C’mon be honest . . . . . . . . #warmup #warmupexercise #medicineball #medicineballexercises #homegym #athomeexercise #momlife #postpartumbody #5monthspostpartum #saraspostjourney #bodybethankful #trainerlife #exerciseball #exercisesoftheday #postnatalfitness #fitmom #fitmomsofig @fitgirlsworldwide @noexcusemums @fitgirlvideos @fit_moms_of_ig #sarahaleyworkouts

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3. Hand Weights

Hand weights, or dumbbells, are a no-brainer to me in terms of having home workout equipment. If you want some great exercises to do with hand weights I recommend signing up for Sara’s FREE Upper Body Blast Challenge

Here’s a peek at one of Sara’s favorites from her FREE Upper Body Blast Challenge:

4. Stability Ball

Stability balls are so fun, but moreover, they help you strengthen your core muscles, work on your balance,improve your flexibility, and are also great for pregnancy! You can even use them when sitting at your computer. Plus, your kids will love them. 

See below as Sara demonstrates some serious core training with the assistance of a stability ball. Don’t worry – this is an exercise you would work up to over time. 

Took my core strength to a new level today. I'm not feeling any leaner yet but I am feeling stronger. I actually attempted this same exercise a few weeks back and my hips weren't stable enough to handle it, my core strength was definitely not there and my shoulders were just beat from holding Kiera all the time. Today I felt much more in control of my body placement. . 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 Please note that I do NOT recommend this exercise for pregnancy or diastasis recti recovery. I also recommend you building up to it as I did. Practice planking first and doing less reps. As always leave your questions in the comments. . 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻 If you are looking for safe core recommendations for pregnancy, post or diastasis recti recovery click the link in my bio for some FREE info on the Do's & Don'ts of Core Training during said seasons of life. . . . http://pregnancycoreexercises.com . . . #diastasisrecti #fitpregnancy #postpartumbody #saraspostjourney #coretraining #plank #plankchallenge #coreexercises #stabilityball #equinoxmademedoit #postnatalfitness #postnatalexercises #postpartum #postpartumexercise #sarahaleyworkouts

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5. Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are another easy addition to home fitness equipment. They are cheap, give you a total body workout, and barely take up any space. Sara loves the mini ones and if you go HERE you can join her private Facebook Group where she shares some FREE workouts with the bands.

They are great for pregnancy too, as demonstrated by Sara here: 

A little workout for your Mother’s Day weekend . . . I’ve received requests for band work. Swipe left to get all 6 exercises. This is a great series to do to work the butt and legs (and also involves the core). It’s not a pregnancy specific workout but is a great one for pregnancy. If you don’t have a band like this, then I would double your reps. For instance, I did 10 reps of each exercise – all on the right leg and then all on the left. If you do NOT have a band, do 20 reps of each exercise. If one time through is not enough for you, rest and repeat. The band should be ABOVE the knees for all of this. Note: I was using a blue band. The only one with more resistance is a black . . . so if you have a lighter band you might also be able to do more reps. It might also depend on the brand of bands you are using. You can click the link in my bio to see the bands I use. . . For all the exercises you can prop yourself up on your forearm, put your hand behind your head or lie all the way down on your arm. Choose whichever is most comfortable for you. . . Slide 1 Top Exercise: CLAMS – Begin with the knees pulled forward. If you’re pregnant leave room for baby. If not, then bring knees almost directly across from your belly button. These work the glutes and inner thighs. Keep the heels together as you open and close. . . Slide 1 Bottom Exercise: HYDRANT LIFTS – These work the glutes and outer thighs. Keep legs parallel. The top leg will want to turn out, but the knee and toes should stay facing straight front. Lift up and lower down with control. . . See the rest of the exercise descriptions in the comments below. . . . . . http://amzn.to/2pIdPUz This post contains affiliate links. If you click on my links in this post and make a purchase, I'll receive a referral payment — at no additional cost to you.

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Annie is a mom of four kids who is now focused on her passion for health and fitness after 14 years in corporate America! Besides chasing around her littles, she loves to run, exercise, cook and be outdoors. She is currently pursuing her NASM Personal Training Certification and lives in Elmhurst, IL.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click on my link in this post and make a purchase, I’ll receive a referral payment — at no additional cost to you. Mama’s gotta make a living!

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