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Originally published Friday, May 9, 2014 at 11:13 AM

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Here are fitness tools you’ll actually use

Outfit your home with a few of these to mix up what you’re doing during intervals and perhaps you’ll find the motivation to add 20 minutes of movement into your day.


Special to The Seattle Times

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WHEN WAS the last time you actually used your treadmill? It’s time to sell it on Craigslist and replace it with home equipment that is cheaper, takes up less space and is far more likely to get used.

When I’m home, I prefer to do quick, high-intensity interval training, expending a lot of effort in short spurts. Outfit your home with a few of these tools to mix up what you’re doing during intervals and perhaps you’ll find the motivation to add 20 minutes of movement into your day. Luckily, they all cost way less than a treadmill.

TRX Kit, $199

TRX relies on body weight for strengthening, and is a versatile way to do it. The system is probably best in a garage or a shed, where you can drill holes and set it up. It’s worth the effort. You can use TRX for ring rows to strengthen shoulders or turn around and work your chest. Lengthen the straps and put your feet in the handles for crazy-intense plank holds or hamstring curls. www.trxtraining.com

Yoga mat, $29.99

If you don’t have a yoga mat yet, it’s time. Yoga mats are useful padding for doing core work on your back, for push-ups, for holding planks for core strengthening, for stretching, or for adding downward facing dog into your at-home routine. A must for every home gym. www.target.com

Pullup bar, $73.47

The only way to add pullups into your repertoire is by, well, working on pullups. Even if you can’t do a pullup, hanging onto a bar and engaging your shoulders is a great way to strengthen your shoulders and your grip. Over time, you may even get your chin over the bar. www.amazon.com

Jump rope, $15

You probably bought that treadmill for the rainy days. A far cheaper option is a jump rope. You can travel with it, use it indoors or in the backyard. Elevate the intensity and skill level by learning to do double or triple unders, jumping on one foot or doing it with high knees. Set a timer and go, and you’ll see why boxers jump rope. www.roguefitness.com

Step bench, $84.88

A step bench is an old-school and completely solid choice for your home gym arsenal. You could use it to work out to an old-school step-aerobics video, or keep it simple by hopping on and off. One quick way to get your heart rate up: Plant your feet on either side of the bench and step up one foot at a time, then off. Ramp it up by jumping both feet on and off. Do this for 45 seconds on, and 15 seconds off, and you’ll come to appreciate why a bench is still a fitness staple. www.amazon.com

Nicole Tsong teaches yoga at studios around Seattle. Read her blog at papercraneyoga.com. Email: papercraneyoga@gmail.com.



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