As the days get shorter and the temperatures gets colder, home-based workouts are a great alternative to heading outside or driving to the gym. The only trick is making sure you have the equipment on hand to keep your workouts varied and fresh.
One of my favorite pieces of equipment is Lebert Fitness Equalizer Bars. The Equalizer Bars come as a set of two, and they look and function a lot like hurdles. The main difference is that these hurdles are weighted (eight pounds each) and are designed to independently support up to 400 pounds. The result is a multifunctional piece of equipment that can be used to perform hundreds of exercises targeting the entire body.
Lebert Equalizer Full-Body Workout
Here are 10 exercises you can perform as a total body routine:
1. Agility Side Steps
Get warmed up by performing agility side steps. Set a timer for two minutes, and after turning your Equalizer Bars on their sides, laterally step across the bars, moving your feet as fast as you can.
- Set up your Equalizer Bars so they’re lying on their sides directly next to each other, creating a “W” shape.
- Start by standing to the left of the bars. Hop your right foot into the first “U” created by the bars, followed by your left foot. Hop your right foot into the second “U” created by the bars, again followed by your left foot. Finally, hop your right foot to the right of the bars, picking up your left foot as if to follow – but before setting your left foot down, switch directions.
- Hop back across the bars by reversing the movement. Continue laterally side stepping back-and-forth across the bars for the two minutes.
2. Squat With Overhead Bar
Exercise your lower half while sculpting your shoulders and perfecting your squat form with the overhead squat.
- Pick up one Equalizer Bar so that you’re holding its vertical supports in each hand, approximately halfway between the top and bottom.
- Lift the bar directly overhead, your arms straight, so that the Equalizer is being held parallel to the floor.
- Tip your hips backward and squat down, as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep your heels planted on the floor and your head and chest up, facing forward. Stop when your thighs are parallel or slightly deeper than parallel to the ground.
- Reverse the movement and return to standing. Continue for one minute.
This version of a lunge is actually more like a one-legged squat because it requires you to isolate each leg independently, enhancing balance, coordination, and strength.
- Stand about two feet in front of one of the Lebert Equalizer bars so that your legs are parallel to the equipment’s vertical supports. If you need help with balance, place the other Equalizer directly in front of you.
- Lift your right leg behind you, hooking your ankle over the top of the Equalizer’s crossbar. From this position, the knee of your right leg should be slightly bent, the rest of your body upright and straight. Place your hands on your hips, or rest them on the other Equalizer bar for support.
- Begin bending your left knee, lowering your torso toward the ground. Be sure to keep your left heel flat on the ground, and watch your left knee to make sure it tracks inline with your toes. Keep your chest and head forward-facing throughout the exercise.
- When your left thigh is approximately parallel to the floor, reverse the movement and return to start.
- Repeat on one side for 30 seconds before switching sides. Perform two sets, or a total of one minute per side.
4. Lateral Step-Overs
Constant sitting and infrequent lateral movements lead to tight hip flexors, limited range of motion in the lower body, and lower back pain. Keep tightness at bay with lateral step-overs.
- Set the Lebert Equalizers up so that they’re upright, directly next to each other, with the rubber feet of one bar touching the rubber feet of the other bar.
- Start by standing directly to the left of the bars, your feet between the bottom supports.
- Lift your right foot, bringing your right knee up toward your chest, your knee bent, until your foot is high enough to clear the crossbar. Rotate your right hip outward so your foot clears the crossbar, then place your foot on the ground between the bars. Follow your right foot with your left foot.
- Continue stepping across the other bar in the same manner, then reverse direction and cross back over the bars to your starting position.
- Continue stepping back and forth across both bars for two minutes.
Like the step overs, over-unders are designed to enhance hip flexibility. Just keep in mind that the taller you are, the more difficult this exercise becomes because the bars are a set height. I’m six feet tall, and I can barely make it under the bar. If you’re taller than six feet, mimic the movement from behind the bars, rather than trying to slide under the bars.
- Set the Lebert Equalizers next to each other so that the cross bars are parallel with approximately 12 inches between the rubber feet of each bar.
- Start by standing to the left of the bars, your feet between the bottom supports. Lift your right foot up and over the first bar, rotating your hip outward as you step over. Follow your right foot with your left foot.
- Once you’re standing between the bars, reach your right foot underneath the second bar as far as you can, your toe angled outward, your foot flat on the ground. Squat down and place your hands on the ground between your legs. Your right leg should be fairly extended, while your left leg is bent, your left heel coming off the ground.
- Carefully shift your weight from your left side over to your right side as you move your torso under the Equalizer’s crossbar, bending your right knee and straightening your left (essentially reversing your positioning).
- Once your torso has made it beneath the Equalizer, pull your left leg through and return to standing.
- Reverse the exercise and proceed to go over the bar to your left, then under the second bar.
- Continue this over-under exercise for two minutes.
Lebert Equalizers were originally invented as a way to perform assisted pullups at home without installing a pullup bar in a doorway. There are lots of versions for performing this exercise with the Lebert bars, so experiment a little and have fun.
- Set the bars next to each other on the floor so the crossbars are parallel and the support feet are close to each other.
- Lie down between the bars and grasp the foam hand holds with each hand. With your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, lift your hips up off the ground so that your body forms a diagonal line from shoulders to knees.
- Pull your torso up toward the crossbars, bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. When your chest is almost at crossbar-height, reverse the movement and carefully lower yourself back toward the floor, stopping just before your shoulder blades touch the ground.
- Continue the exercise for a minute. Rest, then repeat for another minute.
Lebert Equalizer bars are a great tool for performing an assisted pushup that’s more difficult than a wall pushup, but less difficult than a full pushup performed on the ground.
- Set up the Lebert Equalizers so that the crossbars are parallel and the rubber feet of each bar are touching.
- Stand facing the bars, your body positioned between them, your feet about two to three feet away from the nearest support.
- Bend forward and grasp the foam hand holds, then straighten your legs and body so that your body forms a straight line from your heels to your head, your arms fully extended.
- Bend your elbows and lower your torso toward the bars. When your chest reaches bar-height, press yourself back to the starting position.
- Continue for one minute; then, rest and repeat for another minute.
Work your triceps easily and effectively with this simple dip exercise.
- Set up the Equalizer Bars so the crossbars are parallel, the rubber foot supports touching.
- Stand slightly in front of, and facing away from the bars, your body positioned between them.
- Tip your hips back, squatting down slightly so you can reach behind you and grasp the foam hand holds. From this position your arms should be fully extended, your hips and knees slightly bent, your heels on the ground and your ankles flexed so your toes point up.
- Bend your elbows, lowering your torso toward the floor, allowing your hips and knees to bend to accommodate the movement. When your elbows form a 90-degree angle, reverse the movement and press yourself back up until your elbows are extended, stopping just before you lock out your elbows.
- Continue for one minute, rest, and repeat the exercise.
9. Front Raise
Use the weight of the Lebert Equalizer Bars to perform upper body exercises that strengthen and tone. This front raise targets the shoulders.
- Stand with your knees slightly bent, holding one Equalizer Bar in your hands. Grasp the upright supports with both hands, slightly above the bottom supports, the bottom supports closest to your body. Your arms should be fully extended, hanging at your sides.
- Keeping your arms straight, lift the Equalizer Bar directly in front of your body until your arms are extended in front of your shoulders. Reverse the movement and carefully lower your arms back to your sides.
- Continue for one minute, rest, and repeat the exercise for another minute.
10. Hanging Leg Lift
The Lebert Equalizers allow you to work your abs in ways that are traditionally more difficult to do at home. Perform a hanging leg lift to work your abs and hip flexors.
- Set up the Equalizer Bars so that the crossbars are parallel, the rubber foot supports touching. Stand between the bars and grasp the foam hand holds with your arms fully extended, elbows locked.
- Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, removing your feet from the floor so that your body is suspended between the bars.
- Tighten your abs, and, while keeping your torso steady, pull your knees up toward your chest until you can’t pull them any higher. Hold for one second, then carefully reverse the movement and return to the starting position.
- Continue performing the exercise for one minute, rest, and repeat.
When it comes to home fitness equipment, Lebert Equalizers are just one of many good fitness options. Equalizers cost about $100, depending on where you purchase them, making them an affordable and flexible piece of home fitness equipment.
Have you tried Lebert Equalizers? What’s your favorite exercise?