A Celeb Fitness Guru Shares Her 4 Fave Products For Getting Fit at Home
If the holidays have left you more than a little strapped for cash (read: a $150-per-month gym membership is NOT in your budget), getting in shape for the New Year can be quite the daunting task, especially if the weather is keeping you cooped up indoors. How the heck are you supposed to get an action hero bod like Cara Delevingne when you’re working with a space the size of a shoebox and a budget to match? Never fear. In addition to picking up some gym equipment that fits in your apartment and maybe even figuring out a small space home gym setup (no pressure), we chatted with celebrity yoga guru and pilates instructor Kristin McGee (the gal responsible for getting LeAnn Rimes Cibrian, Bethenny Frankel and Tina Fey fit), to get the lowdown on how you can actually put that stuff to good use… for $30 or less.
1. TheraBand ($14): McGee suggests beginning with the TheraBand, probably the cheapest and most simple piece of equipment to use.
Try Backrows: “Sit with your legs out in front of you and wrap the Theraband around the soles of your feet,” she says. “Hold each end of the band in your hands and pull your elbows straight back. Squeeze [your shoulder blades together] and let go.”
Try Bicep Curls: McGee says this exercise is great for those of us (ahem, or, more likely, all of us), that sit with a rounded back looking at our iPads. “From that same seated position, turn your palms upright, [and], still holding each end of the band, pull your palms toward your shoulders with your elbows high in the air.” Bonus points? “This is also great for your abs if you lean slightly back,” she shares.
If you want to mix things up, McGee says it’s also okay to stand and “wrap [the middle of the Theraband] around a handle (such as a door handle) and take each end [in your hands] and step a few feet away” before performing the motions described above. But do be warned – McGee says the band can slide off handles, so beginners may be safer keeping the band around their feet, where it can’t slip off.
2. Stamina Pilates Magic Circle ($25): “The Magic Circle is another thing I love,” McGee gushes. “It’s great for toning your inner thighs.” Oh, and it’s also under $30. (Tell us more, tell us more!)
Try Thigh Squeezes: This move is just what it sounds like. “You can lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat,” McGee says. After positioning the Magic Circle between your inner thighs, you simply squeeze them together for 20 reps. Do three sets of these. Easy peasy!
Try Skull Crushers: Don’t be scared by the name of this one — it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. “[Put] one end of the Magic Circle around your foot and lie down on your back,” McGee instructs. “Hold the other end.” With your feet flat and your knees bent, McGee says to hold the Magic Circle straight up above you with your hands wrapped around it (your fingers should be facing your face). Bend your elbows back toward you while squeezing, and then extend them back out toward the ceiling.
3. Gymnic Mini Exercise Ball ($13): “The ball is similar to the Magic Circle, in a sense,” McGee tells us.
Try Ankle Squeezes: “[Lying] down on your back, [place] a squish ball between… your ankles,” McGee begins. “Lower your legs down to the ground and then back up, squeezing the ball [as you go].” She says this works that hard-to-reach lower pooch as well as your inner thighs.
Try Bridge Up: “While you’re still lying with your back flat on the floor, put your feet on the ball,” McGee coaches. “Then try to press into your feet to lift your hips. This is killer for your hamstrings, glutes, lower back and abs.”
Try Tick-Tock: Sitting up with your knees bent in a tabletop position, McGee says to place the ball between your inner thighs, then drop your knees from right to left. This targets your obliques and waistline while “still getting your hips and inner thighs.”
4. Empower 3-in-1 Kettlebell ($27): McGee tells us that an 8-10-pound kettlebell ($27 at Target) is a good weight to start your home gym out with.
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!