How to make your home gym feel like the real thing

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As businesses have begun to cautiously open their doors to consumers, gyms are still in precarious position. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets, and even the fanciest gyms are a fluid-fest of germs. I'm not saying it's a more dangerous place to be than, say, the post office. But I am suggesting that you delay your return to a closed space where several people are grunting, sweating, and wiping their faces in endorphin-fueled glee (god, I miss the gym).

I know you're under-stimulated though — bored of apps and using cast iron pans as makeshift free weights. So here's some awesome, innovative gear you can add to your home gym to make working out at home more fun. Go ahead and get those gainz without stepping into a weight room a minute before it's safe to.

The side plank support

While your body might be in desperate need of a thorough stretch, don't try anything cute without support if you need it. A yoga block or two under you could get you exactly where you need to be without any injury and this cork one has the perfect amount of give.

The bands

These resistance bands are nothing like the usual cheap, glorified rubber bands that risk snapping at the worst moment. They're thoughtfully crafted by a woman-owned company (if inclusivity is something you care about), come in multiple sizes, and are portable, in case you want to throw them in a bag and take your squats outside.

The "weights"

Free weights are challenging to get shipped and are sold out on a lot of sites right now. Ergonomic grips and easy adjustment make this band system an amazing stand-in — plus, their app tracks your full body workout to make sure you don't slack.

The tracker

The newest Fitbit tracks your steps, strides, and strokes (if you're lucky enough to have access to a pool), as usual but also boasts Active Zone Minutes, a personalized metric that devises a plan to help you meet your specific goals. This device's design is light and thin, if you like your trackers a little less imposing.

The watch

If traditional fitness trackers aren't your thing, this fun timepiece has a built-in pedometer, a calorie counter, and several other features to help you plan effective workouts. Plus it's sexy and unpretentious, which is always a win.

The speaker

This speaker is far superior to the aggressively mediocre sound system that blares Top 40 at your gym. It's light, inconspicuous, and bestows each instrumental and vocal with its own lane, allowing for a crisp and energizing listening experience. A must, if music is an important part of your fitness routine.

The virtual personal trainer

Tempo — the first A.I.-powered home workout system that tracks motion — is on you like that overzealous CrossFit instructor that you both love and hate. The 42" touch-screen display, 3D sensors, and on-demand classes (with real instructors) might make you want to break up with your real gym over text.

The (stationary) bike

This bike is perfect for that transition from quarantine cardio to Phase 1, where you can finally get out and feel the wind in your face. At home, this turns into a stationary bike (it's a way cheaper option than Peloton) with the help of a trainer — we loved Saris's.

The running sneaker

These are light and great for any type of cardio, but their cushioning and traction soles make them particularly awesome for jumping rope.

The cross training sneaker

This women's cross-training sneaker is as versatile as it is understatedly chic — so don't be afraid to venture out into the streets in them after your workout.

The joggers

Not all yoga pants need to stick to legs like an uninvited second skin — these are great for stretching and everything else you're into. Plus, they're insanely comfortable and breathable.

The shorts

These shorts are light, perfect for layering, and sweat-wicking because just because you're at home, doesn't mean you get to take it easy.

The herbal aftercare

That 24-hours-later muscle soreness hurts so good, but this cannabis-infused balm could be the all-natural treatment that doesn't let it disrupt your life too much.

The recovery

A compact, textured, vibrating massage ball is an affordable, travel-friendly version of the percussive massagers that runners swear by. Perfect for rolling out after a workout, but also at the end of a long day you spent way too much of sitting down.

The headphones

These headphones — which are sweat-proof, light, and wireless — are for people who need musical motivation but share a space with someone who doesn't appreciate their affinity for doing box jumps to very loud Roddy Rich tracks.