In an ideal world, we’d get to work out every day at the best studios and gyms that are fully equipped with all of the latest props, machines, and weights we need (hello, fancy treadmills and rowing machines). Unfortunately, that’s just not the #reality for most of us IRL. The good news is that effective fitness equipment is actually easy to find, affordable, and transportable for when you’re trying to squeeze in a quick sweat sesh on-the-go.
But with Amazon stocked high with options, how do you know where to invest? Live by my motto: Do as the trainers do. To find out the budget-friendly options that they swear by, I tapped some of the top celeb trainers (whose clients range from actresses to ahem royalty), so follow along for their picks.
Keep reading to find out the 6 fitness props celeb trainers swear by to get a sweat sesh in anywhere.
“My favorite prop is a resistance band. It’s super portable, ups the intensity of any exercise, and creates variety in lower and upper body exercises as well as core work. It’s definitely my go-to travel prop,” says Carrie Dorr, founder of Pure Barre and the Carrie Dorr Method.
And if you love Pilates but don’t have a megaformer in sight, no worries. Pilates Platinum founder, Heather Dorak swears by a resistance band to get in a workout from home or when she’s away from the studio. “I love a good ole resistance band,” she says. “It’s easy to bring anywhere and you can work out the entire body. It adds a challenge to your muscles more than just performing bodyweight exercises.” Some of her fave exercise to work on: donkey kicks, deadlifts, and tricep extensions.
Ever tried super-setting weights or bodyweight exercises? It’s killer. But the loops in this special resistance band make it easy to hold dumbbells and the band at the same time. “Unique, reinforced loops make standard resistance exercises simpler and more comfortable and deliver new full body exercises and unlimited creative possibilities,” says De La Rue. “This band can be used for upper body sculpting and strengthening.”
Give this move from De La Rue a go: Hop into a table-top position on all fours and place the loop around your foot and the other end of the band in your hand. Then, try three sets of 10 reps (20 if you want your entire body to be on fire) of the overhead press, repeating on the opposite side. If you so choose, you can super-set these exercises with weights to turn your full-body workout up a notch.
If you want that extra burn when doing standard workout moves like lunges or planks, sliders may very well become your next go-to. Just ask Megan Roup, founder of The Sculpt Society and trainer at buzzy NYC studios Project by Equinox, Studio B and online fitness platform, Obé. “Sliders are my favorite on-the-go exercise equipment because they’re small, lightweight and easy to travel with. You can also get a quick killer workout with them,” Roup says.
Essentially, they work because…friction. Well, a lack of friction that is. According to Roup, creates instability and forces you to use your own muscles even more than you usually would. “They’re a great addition to make functional exercises like lunges and squats more difficult,” Roup tells me. And if you really want to turn up the heat, add them to your next core workout. “My favorite exercises to use my sliders in are planks. They make the movement much more advanced and really challenge the whole body with their slippery surface,” Roup says.
Ankle weights might be underrated, but don’t underestimate the power of doing high-rep leg lifts or other booty-kicking moves—the added weight of even 1 or 2 pounds will make you break a sweat.”I love a good pair of 1 to 2 pound ankle weights. They’re versatile, easy to use and my fave way to add resistance to any leg workout. Busy Philipps travels with hers everywhere so she can do LEKfit on Demand when she’s out of town,” says Lauren Kleban, founder of LEKfit.
If you love dance cardio and want to take it to the next level, just add some hand weights. Even 2 pound will feel like 200 once you get a few minutes into your sweaty dance cardio routine. Just ask Katia Pryce, founder of Dancebody, who created her own D-shaped weights which are easier to hold when dancing. “The light 2 pound weights are shaped specifically so that they’re easy to hold during any kind of sculpting exercises, whether you’re working out with us at our NoMad studio or on DanceBody@Home, ” Pryce says.
Celebs like Emmy Rossum swear by this mini-version of your favorite recovery tool. This super-cute little roller is light-weight, won’t take up much room in your carry-on bag, and can save your bod from so many things besides just post-workout soreness.
Think: rolling out those tight hamstrings and hips from sitting on a plane all day, to rolling out the tension from your upper back and neck from being hunched over in front of your phone or laptop. “You can use it for a full-body workout too,” says Lauren Roxburgh, fascia and alignment specialist and celeb trainer. “I always say the roller can be your masseuse and your personal trainer. It can help you with detoxification, or to reduce stress and help give you that sense of youth and hydration in your body.”
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