It's 2021, but many of us are still working out at home. And to be honest, we like the flexibility of being able to exercise wherever we are, not only at the gym. It saves us time and money, and it allows us to take care of our bodies throughout the day. A quick cardio sesh before lunch? Sure. Twenty minutes of yoga before bed? You bet!
But one of the downsides of working out at home is not having access to all of that fancy gym equipment. Weights and plyo boxes can be expensive, not to mention it's a pain to store everything if you live in a smaller space like an apartment.
That's why we prefer to keep it simple at home by investing in just a few pieces of equipment. For us, that includes a jump rope, a yoga mat, a kettlebell, and some hand weights (or dumbbells).
If you're shopping for weights for the first time, you may be wondering how heavy or light you should go. At the gym, it's nice to have the flexibility of swapping between weights for various exercises. But at home, unless you have room for a rack, you'll like just have the one pair. So what size should you get?
We recommend choosing weights that you can use for most exercises—e.g., ones that fit right into the middle of what you normally choose. Consider some of the more challenging strength training exercises—like standing dumbbell flies or push-up to rows. And then think about easier ones—like presses or curls. If you'd generally choose 5 pounds for the flies and 10 pounds for the presses, settle on something in the middle. This will allow you to challenge yourself while also ensuring you don't get injured or strain your muscles.
You can always go heavier, too, by adding weight straps or holding both weights for the exercise (we like doing this for tricep extensions). Additionally, while you may eventually want heavier weights, you can always opt for doing more reps in a set as opposed to lifting heavy.
Of course, you may eventually want to sell your weights and invest in something heavier, but this is a good starting place for those who are newly working out at home and simply want to have a pair of dumbbells on hand!