Grace’s Workout Equipment

Girl on Recumbant BikeFit Woman doing a PlankOlder People Exercising

You’ve been reading about Grace for 3 weeks now as we took you through her early years, then middle age and you know that at her age, nothing is keeping her from her goal of being a fit 100-year-old and at the rate she’s going, she’ll get there in another 35 years! You’ve been patiently watching us build her exercise descriptions and you know that she’s been passionate about exercising her entire life. Her enthusiasm about exercise is very motivational and she wants to help us too. Since we don’t have the luxury of being able to visit a gym 3 days a week, she linked the images to Amazon where we can shop for a few pieces that will help us get started. You can also use her alternative suggestions by using items that you already own!

See Grace’s workout

31 exercises to print and review while you exercise…

If you are shopping for equipment, keep in mind that exercising is a lifetime goal so be sure to find equipment that you’ll want to use consistently and that will last. If you are on a limited budget most exercises have inexpensive or no-cost alternatives for your home gym – see below – or you can find equivalent no-equipment exercises for the muscles you are working – just leave a comment and we’ll create some you can print and take to the gym. You can get some good resale equipment at Amazon for a bargain.

We’ve listed the equipment Grace uses as well as a few other categories for one-stop-shopping – including some equipment for the kids so you can exercise together. We hope you enjoy it!


It’s important that you get the right equipment and that you are happy with your purchase. Be sure to check the Amazon customer reviews and rating for each product before buying.

So here’s the equipment – store-bought or home-made that you’ll need for Grace’s workout – read on…

Thick Exercise Mat
A Good, Thick Exercise Mat

Exercise Mat – Be sure to get a good quality mat to cushion your body during any exercise that requires you to be on the floor. Some people use 2 of these stacked up at the gym for additional comfort, but buying a thicker mat may be a good alternative for home – try the Reehut 1/2-Inch Extra Thick

Purpose: the purpose of the mat is to cushion your back, knees and elbows (joints that would otherwise touch the hard floor) while exercising.

Alternative:Towels – you can fold large bath towels or use beach blankets as a cushion. If that is too rough, try placing a bed sheet over them but don’t use so many that they slide under you.

Set of Free Weights
Set of Weights

Free Weights – sets – 3, 5 & 8 can be just right for your triceps. Try Amazon Basics – with Neoprene coating. Adding wrist and ankle weights will increase the challenge as you progress. Also note that exercises can be always be performed without weights.

Purpose: the purpose of adding weights to your exercise is to build muscle mass and increase your physical capacity.

Alternative: Bottlesyou can use a water bottle of various sizes, depending upon the weight you need. You can fill them with water, sand or other materials to make them heavier.

Aerobic Stepper Stair Stepper – the Step Original Aerobic Platform – had good reviews but a caution on weight limitations. The commercial ones at the gym look like the Preston, but there aren’t any reviews yet. Be sure to read the reviews so you get a sturdy one. Amazon often resells items so search around for a bargain. Also note that as you progress, or for sit/stand exercises, you’ll want to be sure you can increase the platform height with Risers.  Step Platform Risers

Purpose: Cardiovascular (cardio) or endurance workout as well as balance exercises.

Alternative: Stairs you can use the bottom step of a sturdy staircase or even a step stool – be sure it doesn’t move easily and is not on wheels.

Foam Rollers
Foam Rollers

Foam Roller – be sure the roller is wide enough – 6 inches is the best. If the roller is too small, you won’t be able to roll it back and forth easily. The LuxFit Speckled seems to be the right size for us. Grace uses this for her Foam Roller Plank.

Purpose: increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility, helping with recovery and improving performance.

Alternative: a tennis ball against a wall for deep tissue massage or a PVC Pipe with a towel wrapped around it – secure the towel with heavy-duty tape or large rubber bands.

Stability BallExercise or Stability Ball – there are lot of exercises for the stability ball as an effective tool for strengthening your abs and core muscles and making an exercise more challenging. You should be able to sit on the ball with your knees at 90 degree angle. Be sure to select the size – this is for a person of an average weight for their height:

Exercise ball diameter Person’s height
45 cm 5′ and under
55 cm 5’1″ – 5’8″
65 cm 5’9″ – 6’2″
75 cm 6’3″ – 6’7″
85 cm 6’8″ and taller

Also referred to as Swiss Balls, Physio Balls, Balance Balls or Stability Balls.

Purpose: improves balance and coordination, stability, core strength and sports performance due to body-awareness.

Alternative: there really isn’t an alternative to the stability ball but you can get one for less than $20.

Exercise Bands

Lat Pull Down / Push Down – if you don’t have a Lat Machine at your disposal, try exercises bands, they are great for an all over workout, not just your lats.

Purpose: a pull down builds strength in your back and bicep and mimics a pull up except you are pulling weight down stead of pulling yourself up / a Push Down builds strength in your triceps

Alternative: use exercise bands for resistance or weights.

Precor Elliptical Trainer

Elliptical – Running, cycling and aerobics are suitable alternatives to elliptical machine workouts.

Purpose: depending upon the intensity and speed (level & incline), you can use this as your warm-up or cool-down as well as your endurance exercise to achieve and maintain your heart rate.

Alternative: running requires no equipment other than a great pair of sneakers and all exercises require water so you can stay hydrated.

So you see, exercise equipment can be simple items you have at home or the best equipment for your dream home gym. No matter what you choose, the important thing is that you use that equipment. If the top-of-the line elliptical will motivate you, then the cost over years of use is minimal. But if that same piece of equipment is used once or twice, well then it makes that equipment expensive. But in the long run, the most expensive thing you can do is nothing, so have fun finding what works for you.

We enjoy bringing you this information each week and hope that you do too. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us!

Wishing you the best of health!

Ps. We apologize that Amazon cancelled their aStores (Grace’s Gym Equipment was an aStore), but please know that the other images above will still provide you with links to the Amazon store where you’ll find the great Amazon customer service and delivery (Try Prime Discounted Monthly Offering) services! If you purchase a lot of Amazon products, you may want to try Prime – you can save by being a loyal Amazon customer!)

Author: Joan E Wilder

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It is our hope to help people invest in themselves by staying active throughout their lives. It's that important.

4 thoughts

    1. Thank you very much Roger! And be sure to keep up those exercises – it sounds like you are making great progress and sticking with your new routine is very important!
      Stay healthy!!

  1. Thanks for the alternatives to buying the gym equipment ! I’m on a limited (temporarily :) I hope) bugdet and think just the mat and some of the stretch bands would be great now for me right – now as I’m just starting… Thanks for the info!

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