at home workout

For the past eight weeks, Allie and I have been working out three days a week (one hour per session) with Jennifer Nyp at Zen Girl Fitness, a pilates and personal training studio in SOHO. This has been my first time back in the gym since I was pregnant with Harlow, and although I was skeptical at first (would working out make me overeat again? where would I find the time??), I could not be happier with the results.

Last week, Jennifer took our measurements and I lost three inches around my waist!!! Allie lost four and a quarter. I haven’t weighed myself because I don’t really like the scale so I am going to base my success on the fact that I no longer hate my bare upper arms when I see them in photos. I’ve been walking around sleeveless, without hiding my arms under a cardigan, which makes me look much less like a crazy person, particularly when it’s over 90 degrees.

I also want to be clear that I am not dieting AT ALL. In fact, Jennifer would probably be appalled at some of the things I have eaten over the past weeks. I did the initial five day detox, which I think was great from a motivational perspective, but I am now eating just like before. My results have been purely from exercising and not from depriving myself, which makes me feel like this is something I can maintain.

Also, working out has made me remember that I used to enjoy it. Or at least I enjoy the feeling that you get after you work out.

My only problem is that for the next two months, I will be living out at my summer house, which makes it a little hard to trek the two hours back into the city for a work out. To help me out, Jennifer agreed to do an at-home summer workout series on my blog, starting with this post, where she lists the exercise equipment (all can be bought on Amazon and are not very expensive) that I need to purchase for my home. Then, every Wednesday for the next few weeks, she is going to pick one piece of her recommended equipment and give video examples of various exercises you can do with it.

If you purchase the items below (like I will be doing today), then you can work out alongside me this summer. FYI, none of this is sponsored but if you click the Amazon links I’ve listed, I’ll make like 5 cents in affiliate money.

11 Pieces of Equipment You Will Need to Follow My At-Home Workout Series

By Jennifer Nyp (aka @zengirlfitness)

This is a must. I prefer the high density version, but if you are sensitive to discomfort or have serious injuries, you can go for a lower density foam roller that comes in white. It’s important to buy the 36 x 6” size so you can lay lengthwise as well as roll your body out.

I love these so much! Get the Red (medium) or Blue (heavy) version. They are inexpensive, efficient and easy to throw in your suitcase when you travel.

3) Dumbbells and/or Kettlebells

I realize I’m kind of cheating by putting these two tools in one, but they are very interchangeable. But, if you prefer to buy only one- get the Kettlebell. These old school tools make new school moves more effective. As for the dumbbells, If you can, I think it’s best to have a set of 3lb., 5lbs. and 8lbs. If you prefer to have just one set, buy the 5lbs.

In the studio we have both professional and non-professional Kettlebells. I start my clients on 10lbs. and move up quickly to the pro 18lbs. bells. However, I think it’s safer to use the lighter bells when no one is watching your form.

There are so many great exercises you can do with this handy little ball. It really is a must have. We use the 8lbs. ball in the studio and I think it’s perfect for my female clients. Men may want to go up to 10lbs. or 15lbs. though.

5) TRX

I cannot say enough good things about the TRX. It’s a perfect on-the-go or in-home workout system. As a pilates instructor and trainer, I can replicate so many of the Pilates exercises with the TRX for a full body workout. The lighter $99 version (pictured above) is very travel friendly.

This is the professional version that we use in the ZenGirl studio.


It’s been around almost as long as I’ve been training and I still use it almost every day with clients. You can use it with almost every other tool on this list for added benefits and results. Everyone can benefit from better balance.

Another “old-school” tool that has become new again. We use the 5lb. version, but 3lbs. are also effective if you prefer lighter.

I take these with me when I train clients outside. They can be wrapped around just about anything and used anywhere.

This is every Pilates teacher’s dream fitness tool and every client’s nightmare. But, my clients will all attest to it’s effectiveness.

Just like the BOSU, a stability ball can be combined with almost any tool above for an added challenge. It’s an absolute must-have in my opinion. If you are tight on space, then opt for the TRX and/or BOSU instead. If you get a ball, please note that the 65 CM version is for those 5 ft. 4 in. – 5 ft. 11in tall and the 75 CM is for 5 ft. 11 in. and taller.

11) Jump Rope

A jump rope is great workout tool that takes up very little space. You can burn as many calories jumping rope as running, without having to go outside.

Make sure to tune in every Wednesday for the series!

Please leave a comment below if you’ll be following along with the workouts. The more people, the more I’ll be motivated to keep up my summer workouts too.