42 Clever Things Fitness Trainers & Athletes Swear By


If you’re in the market for a home fitness routine, there’s no shortage of workout gadgets and clever self-care equipment on the market. On the one hand, that’s a great thing (there are definitely plenty of options to choose from), but on the other hand, it’s not always easy to narrow the selection down to the stuff that actually works. That’s why Bustle reached out to the experts in order to find the most effective home fitness products on Amazon.

Before diving into the recommendations, though, it’s important to note that the best fitness products for you may vary from the best fitness products for someone else, since everyone moves and recovers differently. For that reason, we interviewed everyone from personal trainers and chiropractors to yoga instructors and former Olympians, not to mention a few fitness company founders — to highlight the range of genius products out there.

Keep reading to check out these 42 recommendations from fitness experts from all different backgrounds, plus why they love and use these products themselves. The best news? All of them can be found on Amazon, so they’re easy to order and affordable.


The Smoothest Gliders This Fitness Studio Founder Has Ever Used

“These gliders make you think you’re back on a Pilates reformer!” wrote Amanda Jenny, founding instructor of Bande. “It’s the smoothest glide I’ve found from any gliders on the market. I love them because the top of the glider is padded so you can do planking work comfortably from your knees without slipping off. Bonus, the bottom is felt so it doesn’t scratch your hardwood floors!” Currently, they have an overall 4.5-star rating from over 700 reviewers.


Some Resistance Bands For Your Fingers & Forearms

“Those who work long hours at a computer and perform some physical activity may eventually suffer from forearm or elbow pain from overuse,” wrote James de Lacey, Master of Sport & Exercise Science and professional rugby strength and conditioning coach. “The Expand Your Hands Bands train the muscles that never get worked during regular exercise. By balancing out the muscles of the fingers and forearms, you can relieve a lot of overuse elbow and forearm pain.” For $16, you get a pack of 10 in five different resistance levels, and they’re color-coded for convenience.


A Wobble Board That Challenges Your Balance, Core & Strength

According to Allen Conrad (BS, DC, CSCS, and chiropractor for the Blackthorn Rugby Team in North Wales, Pennsylvania), “using this board at home will challenge your balance, core, and strength as the board uses balance and proprioception to help improve overall core stability.” On the top, the EVERYMILE wobble balance board has a nonslip textured surface, and on the bottom, it has a rounded, tear-resistant bubble that allows for 360-degree rotation and a 15-degree tilt. It also comes in eight different colors, all with built-in handles.


This Massager That’s The “Best Purchase Any Athlete Or Fitness Enthusiast Can Make”

According to Garret Seacat, CSCS and head coach of Absolute Endurance, “without a doubt the best purchase any athlete or fitness enthusiast can make” is a trigger point massager, which uses dense nodes and leverage to get almost any hard-to-reach spot. “This cheap ($20 or so) device can be used to massage a variety of sore spots on your body, relieve tension, and help reach trigger points all by yourself. They are easy to use and can be easily stored away when not in use.”


This Powerhouse Pilates Tool For A Boost To Your Mat Exercises

“Exert more energy […] with this powerhouse Pilates exercise equipment that tones and strengthens all muscle groups,” Joy Puleo (M.A., PMA-CPT, and Balanced Body Education program manager) wrote about the balanced body SmartBell. Just by holding its comfortable grips during your Pilates routine (or any other mat exercise), “it targets core muscles in the abdomen, back, shoulders, and chest.” It also comes in five stylish color options.


A Pilates Ring To Up Resistance During Your Routine

Puleo also recommends this Pilates ring, which has a 4.7-star overall rating from hundreds of reviewers: “It can be used for different parts of the body,” Puleo wrote. The ring itself is made from flexible plastic with a rubberized shell, while the rounded grips are comfortable against your hands, thighs, ankles, or arms.


A Sturdy Wooden Workout Box That’s Surprisingly Versatile

Alayna Curry, founder of Work Out With Mom, recommends the Yes4All wooden Plyo Box. “The reason I love it is because of its versatility for so many different types of workouts. You can stand on it, jump on it, sit on it, lean on it or lie on it. I utilize it in some way for almost every workout. Depending on how you set it, it will be 12 inches, 14 inches or 16 inches high. A few of the exercises I use it for include step ups, Bulgarian split squats, hip dips, glute bridges, chest presses, and flys.” It’s also nonslip and can support up to 350 pounds.


Some Travel-Friendly Resistance Bands For Less Than $15

“These bands add an extra punch to all bodyweight exercises. I especially like using them in glute workouts with donkey-kicks and fire-hydrants,” wrote Lily Allen-Duenas, founder of Wild Yoga Tribe — but you can also “use them to target your biceps, triceps, and more!” They come in a set of five, all with varying resistance levels, and since they’re flat and pack away in the included carrying bag, they’re the most travel-friendly workout solution around.


Or This Resistance Bands Set For A Full Workout Anywhere

“Like a stretchy jump rope, these resistance bands are phenomenal for body weight exercises,” Allen-Duenas wrote. “I always have one band on hand during workouts and when traveling as they are highly effective at building strength and muscle — it’s all about time over tension!” In addition to five bands in five different resistance levels (all made from 100% natural latex), the set also comes with handles, ankle straps, a door anchor, and a carrying bag.


These Massage Balls That Take Up Way Less Room Than A Roller

Rather than carrying around a large foam roller while you travel, Kawan Kardaghi, certified personal trainer and owner of four Anytime Fitness franchises, recommends these massage balls. They “[fit] in your pocket and [are] the best investment you can make under ten dollars for working on tight muscles on the go.” Since they’re made from dense rubber, you can use your own body weight to relieve knots and minimize tension.


This Spray That Stops Water From Getting Into Your Ears

According to seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard, if you’re a swimmer, Ear Pro ear spray is a must. “This is fantastic for anyone who gets water stuck in their ears or has earache issues,” Beard wrote. In short, it covers the outer canal with a protective film that stops water from getting in, but it doesn’t leave any residue. “The best part about this product is that it does not damage your ear like other drying agents and it is preventative so it helps keep you in the water longer!”


A Cult-Favorite Detangling Brush For After A Swim Or Shower

Beard called the Wet Brush Original Detangler the “best hair brush hands down to use if you have wet hair after swimming or even just getting out of the shower. I have one of these brushes in every gear bag I own.” Unlike your average brush, this one uses flexible bristles that glide through strands to remove knots without tugging. It’s a cult-favorite because it works on all types of hair, wet or dry.


These Rotator Discs In 3 Resistance Options

According to Puleo, this balanced body rotator can be used as a “stability disc, for ankle training, stretching, and more during your workout.” Whether you opt for the no-resistance free-spinning disc, the light-resistance disc, or the heavy-resistance disc, they can help with balance, flexibility, and core strength — plus they come in two diameters so you can choose the size that best suits you.


These Loop Bands That Replicate Cable Machines

“Without access to cable machines, it can be difficult to target your back muscles,” wrote Tami Smith (ACE personal trainer and owner of Fit Healthy Momma), but “these large loop bands are the perfect tool for replicating cable machines. They’re incredibly versatile and this particular brand is stellar for quality.” These are made from natural latex rubber, and they come in four different resistance levels from 5 to 75 pounds.


A Trainer’s “Favorite Way To Get In Cardio When You’re Short On Time & Space”

A weighted jump rope is trainer Smith’s “favorite way to get in cardio when you’re short on time and space!” That’s because they’re “so effective at getting your heart rate up and helping you to challenge your muscles, too.” This one in particular has an adjustable length, a thicker, snag-free rope, and comfortable, stylish hand grips in your choice of three colors. The 1-pound load blocks can also be removed.


This Comfortable Pad That Cushions Your Knees During Yoga (& Other Mat Exercises)

“The knees are one of the most vulnerable places on the body, especially if you do a lot of yoga,” wrote Brett Larkin, founder of Uplifted Yoga. Luckily, this kneeling pad “is inexpensive, effective, and can be used any time you need to kneel for extended periods of time.” It comes in your choice of five different colors, all made from easy-to-clean, closed-foam TPE, which is dense and nonslip, too. It’s also great under the hips and anywhere else that could use a little extra cushioning.


This Ball With Illustrations To Coach You Through Your Exercise Routine

“I personally love the SKLZ Sport Performance exercise ball,” wrote Natalia Maldonado, founder of Warrior Life Code, certified hot yoga instructor, and certified health coach. “It has illustrations on it to show you the targeted muscle areas as you work out.” It’s tested to endure up to 2,000 pounds of pressure, so it’s durable and stays inflated, and it even comes with a free pump.


These Gloves That Protect Your Hands During Your Workout

According to John Gardner, CEO of Kickoff and a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer, these workout gloves provide “an extra layer of comfort when doing planks, pull ups, etc.” As a result, they “protect the hands and skin from friction and blisters when lifting weights” or while doing floor exercises. The palms have grippy, shock-absorbing foam, while the Lycra fabric is breathable, stretchy, and comfortable.

  • Available sizes: Medium — X-Large


This Pull-Up Bar That Attaches To Your Doorway Without Screws

“Home workout routines are now more accessible with these Iron Gym pull up bars,” Maldonado wrote. Since they hook onto most doorways with an adjustable width and without any screws, they’re one of the best damage-free, space-savvy solutions for your impromptu home gym. “They are one of my favorite products on the website.”


This Peanut-Shaped Massage Ball That’s Great For The Back

Looking for a deep-tissue release that costs next to nothing and travels especially well? Here’s Allen-Duenas’ recommendation: “Perfect for recovery, the peanut ball helps your body regenerate after an asana practice or a long workout. Able to get into the muscles and fascia, I use these peanut massage ball every single day on my back, targeting the areas on either side of my spine.” Get it in your choice of four colors.


These Funnels For Mess-Free Protein Powder Mixing

“Ever try to fit protein powder in a water bottle then ended up making a mess?” personal trainer Kardaghi asked, “This funnel fixes that. Pour it in the funnel, twist the cap and take it where you need to go.” For $10, you get two of them — one large and one small — and they’re both BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and compatible with most shakers and bottles.


This Tool That Turns Your Dumbell Into A Kettlebell In Seconds

According to Smith, “for those working out from home, this tool can turn your dumbbell into a kettlebell in seconds. It’s easy to use, comfortable, and allows you to get creative with what you’ve got.” The Kettle Gryp has a clip-on design that fits most standard dumbbells up to #55 size, plus it’s lightweight and compact. No wonder nearly 6,000 reviewers have given it an overall rating of 4.6 stars.


A Durable Step Platform That’s Worth The Investment

“I always recommend investing a little in a good quality step to use for your workouts,” Smith wrote, and the Tone Fitness Aerobic Step platform is one of the most popular on Amazon. “I’ve seen too many people try to use something like an ottoman or a cooler and lose their balance and get hurt.” Even though it’s lightweight, it’s surprisingly durable — and it has removable inserts for two different height levels.


These Handles That Increase The Grip Diameter To Work Muscles More

Amplify the benefits of your workout by sliding these Fat Gripz Pro handles onto most barbells, dumbells, and pull-up bars. “By making the bar thicker, you place greater stress on your hands, grip, and forearms which transfers to everyday life such as opening that pesky jam jar!” wrote James de Lacey, Master of Sport & Exercise Science and professional rugby strength and conditioning coach. The larger diameter forces your arms to work much harder, thus building muscles faster — but without adding any additional reps.


This Contoured Mat That Supports Form During Sit-Ups

David Sautter, NASM-certified personal trainer on staff at Top Fitness Magazine, recommends this ab exercise mat, which — thanks to its contoured design — “supports form during sit-ups and crunches. It even allows for more extension, ensuring the abdominal muscles are properly activated.” The high-density material is both cushioning and supportive, while the non-skid base keeps it in place. It’s also lightweight and wipes clean when you’re done.


These Booty Bands That Actually Stay In Place

Certified trainer Jody Braverman, recommends these booty bands, which work your legs and glutes during various activities. Thanks to their thick, adaptive stretchy and nonslip material, they’re designed to stay in place and hold their shape use after use. Get this set in three different color options, all with light-, medium-, and heavy-resistance bands.


These Ankle Or Wrist Bangles Wrapped In Soft Silicone

These Bala Bangles come in a huge range of colors (including rainbow), and they’re a great addition to your yoga, dance, Pilates, cardio, aerobics, or walking routine. Since they’re adjustable to fit on your wrists or your ankles, they add hands-free resistance in your choice of 1 or 2 pounds. They’re also made from recycled stainless steel wrapped in soft silicone, so they’re durable and comfortable at the same time. No wonder they’re one of Braverman’s direct recommendations.


These Sand-Filled Weights That Are Extremely Versatile

“I use these soft, sand-filled neoprene bells all the time,” wrote Shari Zisk, a health and fitness writer. “I toss them around, squat and press them, kneel on them, and sit on them. They are great to squeeze onto while doing lunges, and are soft and comfortable to place on the body when doing hip raises and other floor work.” They come in a huge range of different weights, and they’re easy to stack in a closet when not in use.


This Top-Rated Ab Wheel That’s Less Than $20

This ab roller wheel “allows you to work the entire abdominal wall as well as the obliques while challenging stability,” according to Sautter. Over 13,000 reviewers have awarded it an overall 4.6 stars because of its comfortable grips, sturdy stainless steel shaft, and nonslip wheel. Plus, it comes with a free knee pad.


A Super Affordable Addition To Your Home Workout Routine

Sliders allow you to train your muscles in new, intense ways without putting too much strain on your joints — and this set (a suggestion from Braverman) costs just $7. Despite the low price tag, their double-sided design allows you to work out on both hard floors and carpets. “Good price and good product,” one reviewer wrote. “Lots of ways to use it.”


This Digital Jump Rope That Keeps Count For You

For a serious leg up on your average jump-roping session (no pun intended), check out this digital jump rope, which is a recommendation from Braverman. Its LED display tracks and informs you of the time and rotations. The quality ball-bearings keep the steel rope moving smoothly, and the adjustable weights allow you to customize your level of difficulty.


A Multi-Use Bar For The Doorway Or The Floor

“If you have the room and the budget, get a Captain’s Chair with the additional pull-up bar,” Sautter wrote. “This allows you to work on your core as well as your mid-back. At the least, I’d suggest getting a pull-up bar, one that you can easily install in your door,” and the ProsourceFit bar is a great option; that’s because its multi-grip design allows you to use it for pull-ups and chin-ups (in a doorway) as well as pushups and reverse pushups (on the floor).


A Smart Waterbottle That Glows & Tracks Your Hydration

If you often forget to hydrate throughout the day, Braverman suggests a smart water bottle, like the HidrateSpark STEEL. It’s made from BPA-free, insulated stainless steel that keeps your drink cold for up to 24 hours, resists sweating, and has a leak-proof lid — but the best news? It glows to remind you to stay hydrated and it syncs up with your smartphone using a free app so you can track your water intake.


This Clever Cooling Cuff So You Don’t Overheat

If you have a tendency to overheat while you work out, marathoner and inventor Dillon Turnbow recommends this clever accessory: “During exercise, your body wastes over 70% of its energy cooling itself to prevent overheating. Wear a body cooling product, like the Cooling Cuff, to save some of that energy and apply it to your workout. You’ll get better results.” The ice packs are reusable and slip right into the cuff, which is made from comfortable silicone and adjusts to fit various-sized wrists.


These Finger Stretchers In 4 Resistance Levels

“Most exercises focus on squeezing your fist and grip, but many people don’t realize you have to work your hand in the opposite direction as well,” Sautter wrote. “This prevents tension and issues like tendonitis.” For that, these finger stretchers are a great tool; they use five stretchy loops (made from durable rubber) to work your hands in an ergonomic way, and they come in a pack of four with all different resistance levels.


This Trusty Stopwatch For Timing Your Workouts

High-tech isn’t always better, according to personal trainer Kardaghi: “A smartwatch battery couldn’t survive the demands of training 15 clients a day.” However, a “trusty stopwatch that just told me the time was all I needed,” and with that, “I timed thousands of hours of workouts with one watch.” This one has over 15,000 reviews, and past buyers love its sporty design, large lighted numbers, 24-hour mode, easy controls, and water-resistant durability.


This Weighted Vest That Adds Resistance To Any Workout

Braverman also recommends the ProsourceFit weighted training vest, which adds your choice of 6, 8, 10, 12, or 20 pounds to your workout. Its adjustable and made from soft, breathable, durable neoprene. Finally, the weights are streamlined and well-balanced, so they add resistance to your workout without getting in your way.


The Tart Cherry Juice An Olympian Recommends To Boost Recovery

“This antioxidant-rich tart cherry juice is the best way for me to recover after a long work or workout day,” Beard wrote. Containing 60 tart cherries per serving, the antioxidant-packed drink helps reduce muscle soreness and even supports a restful night’s sleep. In addition to its ample health benefits, reviewers have reported it tastes delicious, and it boasts a 4.7-star overall rating.


This Resistance Parachute That Makes Swimming More Challenging

“This is a parachute you wear while you swim to create a little extra resistance so you work a little harder,” Beard wrote, “or if you only have a small pool to swim in, it helps make the laps seem longer!” The nylon belt is adjustable, while the parachute part fills with water to boost endurance and build muscle. You can also use it with just about any stroke.


This Braided Resistance Band That’s More Durable Than Most

If you tend to be a little hard on your workout equipment, Zisk recommends these reinforced resistance cords: “These resistance bands can provide a lot of resistance without fear of snapping because of their braided bands. They are great for strength and sculpting at home and on the road,” especially since they have built-in handles. There are five different intensity levels to choose from.


These Dairy-Free Protein Bars That Suit Plenty Of Diet Lifestyles

“Getting protein requirements daily to build muscle can be challenging,” Kardaghi wrote, but No Cow protein bars are “dairy-free and provide 21 grams of protein and a whopping 16 grams of fiber.” They’re also vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened — and you can get this pack of 12 in loads of different flavors. According to reviewers, they’re “delicious and filling.”


This Powder For Faster Recovery That Dissolves In Plain Water

“Taking branch chain amino acids helps to alleviate soreness and speed up recovery time from workouts,” Kardaghi wrote, and as a result, Naked’s amino acid power is “a must-have for anyone who’s always active.” This formula is vegan, unflavored, and dissolves quickly into plain water (or shakes and coffee). Even though it’s energizing, it skips the caffeine — not to mention the soy, additives, and artificial sweeteners.


Garret Seacat, CSCS or Head Coach of Absolute Endurance

James de Lacey, Master of Sport & Exercise Science and professional rugby strength and conditioning coach

Amanda Jenny, Founding instructor of Bande

Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS, and chiropractor for the Blackthorn Rugby Team in North Wales, Pennsylvania

Joy Puleo, M.A., PMA-CPT, and Balanced Body Education program manager

Kawan Kardaghi, certified personal trainer and owner of four Anytime Fitness franchises

Lily Allen-Duenas, founder of Wild Yoga Tribe

John Gardner, CEO behind Kickoff and a NASM personal trainer

Dillon Turnbow, marathoner and inventor

Natalia Maldonado, founder of Warrior Life Code, certified hot yoga instructor, wellness advocate, author, and certified health coach

Alayna Curry, founder of Work Out With Mom

Tami Smith, ACE Personal Trainer and owner of Fit Healthy Momma

David Sautter, NASM-certified personal trainer on staff at Top Fitness Magazine

Jody Braverman, certified trainer

Shari Zisk, health and fitness writer

Amanda Beard, four-time Olympian swimmer and seven-time Olympic medalist

Brett Larkin, founder of Uplifted Yoga


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