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I’m sure many of you have at least tried an at-home workout in the last year. Personally, I started taking Zoom yoga classes and a few online dance classes, too. Pre-pandemic, I was going to a studio for yoga or dance almost daily and the at-home workouts have been a struggle.
It’s not the instructors’ fault — it’s just very different doing a workout at home that you used to do in-person. Mentally, it’s very tough for me to focus on the workout and not on all of the other things I should or could be doing instead.
But, at the end of 2020, I realized that we might be doing at-home workouts for awhile. So, I started looking for a weight set. Earlier in the year, I bought a few pieces that would help me in my at-home barre classes:
- A small inflatable ball to put behind the knee in barre, or behind my low-back for core
- Floor sliders for leg and core workouts
- A balance ball for core workouts
I had a set of .5-pound weights I was using and those still provided a burn during barre, but if I really wanted to make progress at home, I was going to have to invest in heavier weights (I used jarred candles and canned goods a few times – ha).
So, I started researching what was out there and what had the best reviews. And I kept coming back to BALA. I’d seen the BALA Bands on “Shark Tank” and the more I looked at the site, the more I realized how much I could use them.
I’ll admit, I was a little set back by the price, but I always try to put it in perspective of the quality of the item and how much it’ll get used. I’ll explain more how I ended up buying The Essentials Kit. But, here are my individual reviews for each item in the kit:
Review of 1LB Bala Bangles
This is BALA’s signature item and I knew I at least wanted to buy a pair of these because I could use them for barre on my wrists or ankles. Plus, I could use them for yoga, dance, fitness, or even just walking around my neighborhood.
I figured the 1LB would be a good place to start (they come in .5LB and 2LBs, too), plus I had my .5LB hand weights that I could still hold while these were on my wrists.
The Bangles come in their own mesh zipper bag for safekeeping and they are cute! I got the powder pink set. They have velcro on the back so they are easy to get on and off.
I will say that these are not really “comfortable.” It’s not painful or anything but if you’re doing a workout that requires you to bend your wrists, these aren’t it. Otherwise, they’re ok.
I am also not sure how many different body types these will fit. It says one size fits all, but I don’t think I have large wrists or ankles and I just felt like when I wear socks it seems like a tight fit… so how could this fit everyone?? It’s something to consider — especially since these are marketed toward men and women.
Depending on the type of workouts you do, it might be nice to have more than one pair. I took a few fitness cardio classes wearing these and it was sort of a drag to switch the Bangles from ankles to wrists and back again.
In general, I like these and I do think they will last a long time. They are easy to wipe down and keep clean and I feel like even when I do get back to “gym life” I will bring these for my workout classes. I’ve also just found myself wearing them around my apartment when I’m cleaning… it’s not a cardio blast or anything but it feels like I’m doing something 🙂
I bought these from the BALA site (because I purchased the set), but if you just want the Bangles, don’t forget to look on Poshmark and eBay. I’ve seen tons of sets there, however, they are often not any cheaper, but sometimes you’ll find a set that’s $5 or $10 off.
If you’re new to Poshmark, you can get $10 off with my code THEBITTERLEMON.
Review of the 3LB Bala Bars
After I decided I was definitely going to purchase a set of the Bangles, I started looking at their other weights. At the time I was looking (and of this writing), they only had the 3LB set of Bars.
But, 3LBs would add another level to my workouts. With what I had — the .5LB hand weights and the 1LB Bangles I was planning to purchase — the 3LBs would mean I could use each item separately or wear the Bangles and hold the Bars for 4LBs in each hand. For a barre class, that’s really substantial.
I liked the sleek look of them, and they had great reviews. Many of the reviews said the material made them easy to hold and easy to clean. They are also waterproof if you’re into water aerobics!
I was also really sold on Bala as a brand. It was started by a husband and wife right in their garage, and the weights are made from recycled stainless steal. I am really into paying attention to who gets my money, and I was okay paying more if it went to a business like this.
So, I mentally added the Bars to my wish list — I was waiting to see if they would have a New Year’s sale of some sort.
Now that I’ve had them for a while, these are my favorite item of the bunch. They also come in a mesh bag for portability, once I’m allowed to go anywhere 🙂 The color is so bright and fun and they are easy to hold. Anytime I take a workout class, I wear the Bangles, but I put out my Bars and the .5LB weights and just use each set as needed.
I’ve seen sets of the Bars on Poshmark, too — just search “Bala” and see what you can find.
Review of the 10LB Bala Power Ring
Okay, so how did I go from sort of wanting one item to buying the kit?! Well, it was really the money for me. I am not “in shape” and I am not someone who necessarily enjoys working out, but I know it helps me mentally more than anything.
So, when I saw the Power Ring, I certainly thought it looked cool — there’s nothing out there like it — but I was thinking, “Oh my god, I’ll never be able to use a 10LB weight.”
But, if I just bought the Bangles and the Bars, I’d be spending $105. By itself, the Power Ring is $85, but the Kit is $160 and if you sign up to get the Bala newsletter, you get a 10% coupon, making the kit $149. This is how I make my purchase decisions!
So I thought, why not spend $44 more dollars for a weight that I can work my way up to using? That way I’ve already sort of “invested” in my workout future – ha!
I went for it and I’m so glad I did because even though I have not even scratched the surface on this one, I have used it more than I thought I would. It’s great for squats and core work. But, according to Bala, there are 75 different ways to use this weight.
This one also is covered in silicon, like the other items, so it’s waterproof and easy to clean.
Overall, I’m really happy with this purchase, and would definitely recommend you take a look and see if it might be for you. Even if the products aren’t your jam, check out their reservoir of free workout videos!
Have you tried Bala? What equipment has worked for your at-home gym?
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