With the confinement, our lifestyles have largely changed. If some see it as a kind of torture, others take advantage of it to set up new routines and shake up their habits. Thus, staying at home is seen more as a time-saver. Many of us have taken the opportunity to (re)start working out, either to keep up with the pace or to try to get a summer body in less than a month (sweet dreamers). Anyway, the intention is clearly commendable and we can only encourage them, especially if this sportive motivation continues after the confinement! For that, we propose you a list of accessories to have at home for a complete circuit training. And with, some exercises and the muscular zone plebiscite (if it is not beautiful all that)!
The skipping rope
Every good sports session starts with a good warm-up! More than a game reserved for the playground, the skipping rope is a perfect accessory for a complete warm-up, but that’s not all! In addition to cardio work, skipping rope is a valuable ally for losing fat and burning calories. Also, the venous return is facilitated, the tonicity and the muscular explosiveness are developed. Besides, through repeated small jumps, jumping rope facilitates the circulation of lymphatic fluid, thus reducing muscle soreness. Be careful, however: although the exercise is accessible to all, it is advisable to avoid jumping rope in case of joint problems and/or if you suffer from a herniated disc. It is also recommended not to do jumping rope sessions that are too long, and to limit yourself to 15 to 30 minutes of practice. A certain position should be adopted if you wish to limit injuries:
- Aligning the neck, head and spine
- Keep the belly in by slightly contracting the abdominal muscles
- Low shoulder position
- Elbows close to the body, forearms at 90° and hands slightly forward
- Always jump on your toes
- STAY FLEXIBLE
A pair of dumbbells
This is without a doubt the basic accessory par excellence. Of course, dumbbells are primarily used to work the arms. One will think then of the dumbbell curl, which consists in coming to fold down the forearm towards the biceps, the top of the body quite right. It will then be a question of gently controlling the load while controlling our breathing. But dumbbells are not only used to develop the biceps! Indeed, it is possible to work practically all the zones of the body: the shoulders, in elevations, helped by a bench, it is also possible to work the back. One knee on the bench, the back perfectly straight, we start the arm stretched towards the ground. Gently, we raise our elbow above the back. Always helped by a bench (or on the ground), the dumbbells can help us to work the pectorals. Lying on the back, we stretch our arms facing us, a dumbbell in our hands. All you have to do is lower them behind your head! Also, associating dumbbells to our lunges will allow us to work our thighs more. In short, the list is still long, we invite you to discover the rest and to share your favorite exercises in comments!
A weight bench
A bench is… for sitting (that was it for me, thanks and see you soon!). More seriously, a weight bench can be used in a variety of ways, for just about every part of the body. For example, you can use it for bench presses, combined with dumbbells or a bar and weights, to work on pectorals. You can also use it to work on the chest press for the abdominals. Depending on the muscle group you want to develop, bench sessions can last from 30 minutes to 1h30. Undeniably, the bench is an efficient equipment to sculpt your body, develop your power and your muscle volume.
A pull-up bar
Of course, the pull-up bar allows above all to work the upper body. Thus, at the level of the back, several muscles will be solicited: the large dorsal, the large round, the trapezoids and the rhomboids. This will have the effect of strengthening the support of our spine, preventing potential injuries and improving our posture. The arms are put to contribution, in particular the biceps. But that’s not all! The pull-up bar allows for an effective workout of the abdominals. Legs well stretched forward and hop, abs (almost) in concrete! The last advantage of this accessory is stretching. Large dorsal, large pectoral, lumbar muscles and abdominal part, all these zones will be stretched, thus supporting the muscular relaxation. But as for the jump rope, a certain position is essential to avoid injuries:
- Arms slightly bent
- Curved torso when lifting
- Inhale when you lift and exhale when you lower yourself
- Legs bent backwards
- Vertical position, in the axis of the bar
A floor mat
As harmless as it may be, the floor mat is a must for good home gym sessions. It allows several exercises, on the floor (abdominal, gluteal, legs etc.), with the help of other instruments (like dumbbells) or stretching. In addition to a significant gain in comfort, the floor mat is also hygienic.
An abdominal wheel
A real variation of the abdominal exercise, the abdominal wheel is one of the best exercises for abdominal muscles (at the same time, if someone had told me it was for the legs, I would have found it suspicious). The gesture is simple: you start on your knees, the wheel in your hands and your arms advanced towards the front. These last ones must then form an angle at 90°. Then, slowly, we make slide the wheel in front of us in order to go down by blowing as low as possible. Then, it is necessary to return to our initial position by contracting abdominals and buttocks and by blowing. Be careful however to maintain a natural arch of the back at the risk of injuring yourself.
Another interesting tool for practicing sports at home is elastic bands. They allow you to work the whole body! The back, shoulders, biceps, pectorals, abs, legs and buttocks, everything goes. The other big advantage of these bands is that they limit the risks of muscular rupture. Indeed, the muscular force to be produced here is exponential. In other words, the effort is minimal at the beginning of the exercise and increases progressively at the end of the movement. This progressive resistance then limits the muscular tensions at the beginning of the movement.
If the effectiveness of push-ups done in the traditional way is no longer to be proven, doing them with the help of handles allows for more in-depth work. Indeed, these last ones make it possible to go down lower and, thus, to make us gain in amplitude. Also, they have the advantage of relieving our joints, in particular the wrists and the elbows. The handles allow to work pectoral and triceps. Note that there are two types, support handles and push-up bars, which are more stable than the former.
An exercise bike or elliptical
Clearly, both the exercise bike and the elliptical have many advantages and benefits. And the first is undoubtedly for our joints. Indeed, the regular pedal movement of the exercise bike allows to strengthen them. Also, they are both very good tools to work on your heart tone. In addition, it promotes weight loss and allows for very personalized training. In short, there are many advantages to the two major disadvantages: the price and the space required to use them.
A training book
Because before getting down to the nitty-gritty, you often need to know the theory, the book is the first accessory you need to do sports! I recently spoke to you about this in my article on the “10 books to start working out”, the interest of this type of book is, first of all, to motivate you to start or to surpass yourself, but above all to better understand your body and the action of exercises on it. It is difficult to stop at only one book as the subjects are so numerous and sometimes complementary, so it will be a question of developing our sports library in order to improve ourselves as much as possible.