Working out at home has become an increasingly popular way for people to stay fit without commuting to the gym or forking out for extortionate fees.
Add hours back into your week by training whenever it suits you and cut out the time spent traveling or queuing for a machine.
And with social distancing becoming the new norm and no certainty around public spaces remaining open, there’s never been a better time to start training at home.
If you want to lose weight, tone up or just stay healthy, investing in equipment for use at home will help you move towards an in-shape and stronger you.
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Regardless of whether you’re a runner, swimmer, cyclist or yogi (or anything in between), there are benefits to regular cross-functional training.
Even if you’re preparing for a high-altitude climb, building up proper fitness at home as well as on the mountain will be critical for a successful attempt.
Below are 10 of the best pieces of gear you can have at home to start working out like a pro.
Some of the big ticket items can seem like a daunting and expensive outlay, but ditch the gym membership and you’ll make your money back in no time!
Pick and choose from our curated list to create a home gym that works for you. You don’t need even need a lot of space to do it.
- 22kg flywheel
- Low-noise design
- Ergonomic design
- Mobile app and pulse belt compatible
For anyone that wants to get build up their cardiovascular fitness, a static bike is an outstanding piece of equipment.
Cycling is a cardiovascular exercise that raises the heart rate and burns energy long after you finish.
When it’s miserable outside, the idea of pedaling away calories in front of your own television is an attractive one.
Equally, working out on a static bike rather than on the roads relieves the worry of traffic, punctures, map-reading/getting lost and injury.
Smart indoor bike trainers can be linked up to training apps and you can use Google Maps to simulate a real route, giving you an indoor/outdoor experience. Want to cycle across Golden Gate Bridge and onwards to Yosemite? No problem.
Fancy circumnavigating New Zealand’s mountainous regions? Go for it! All from the comfort of your own living room or garage.
A sturdy indoor bike provides plenty of lower-body resistance and is a tough workout for even the most seasoned of cyclists.
Download a pre-determined workout that will push you to your limits whilst you get in and out of the saddle.
This SportsTech bike is low-noise, progressive resistance, has padded armrests for training in an aerodynamic position and is compatible with various mobile apps.
With a flywheel of 22 kilograms it offers a natural motion sequence and ensures a balanced and joint-gentle workout.
Users can experience real distances in video mode with the Kinomap app and compete with others in real-time or multiplayer fashion.
For those who like bio-feedback, there are pulse sensors on the handlebars.
The low-noise belt system means that you won’t annoy family members or neighbours and the integrated bottle holder even comes with a high-quality metal drinking bottle.
- Different anchoring options
- Easy to adjust and set up
- Locking no-slip loop
- Comes with workout guide
- Free carry bag
TRX bands are by far one of the best ways to squeeze in a comprehensive, healthy workout anytime you want, anywhere you want.
Once you’ve got these, you won’t need a full home gym to enjoy a total fitness programme. TRX bands are designed for functional training and they’ll burn fat, build muscle and improve your flexibility – all in one go.
Unlike a running or rowing machine, they require very little room and are super portable. This means you can do a home workout even whilst you’re on holiday.
Once anchored to the wall, a sturdy door or even a tree, the system becomes a full-body training device.
Changing your body angle will increase or decrease the degree of difficulty, so anyone can tailor it to suit their ability and needs.
They’re equally great for recovery and mobility training, allowing you to use your own body weight to stretch your muscles.
There are plenty of similar versions out there but TRX is the original and still the best and their nifty app will enable you to get the most from your workout.
- Easily changed between barbell and dumbbell
- Dumbbell width of 35cm
- Option to choose between 20kg or 30kg set
- Anti-slip grip and protective plate covers
If you want to build muscle in your legs, arms or back, dumbbells or barbells are a must. Suitable for any age and strength, workouts can be designed to meet your specific needs.
Free weights are a great addition to any home gym as they are versatile, space efficient and lend themselves to hundreds of different exercises – from clean and press to bicep curls, and deadlifts to renegade rows.
Ditch the BodyPump sessions and just DIY. That said, weights aren’t just for ‘getting stacked’. The higher your muscle percentage, the more fat you will burn in day-to-day life, so they’re just as good for weight loss as strength.
Most people don’t have room for an entire rack, so opting for a two-in-one set like these ones from SportsTech is a space-savvy option.
This dumbbell set can be rapidly transformed from dumbbells to a barbell and vice versa, adapting to your individual training plan.
On top of that, weights can be added or removed with ease in between exercises or sets to get the most of your session.
You can choose between a 20-kilogram or a 30-kilogram set and undertake full body or isolation exercises, either standing or on a bench.
Family members or friends can then swap in and change the weight or set up to suit their own requirements.
The high-quality weight discs are made of iron with a removable silicone protective cover and anti-slip handles for extra confidence.
- Suitable for all fitness levels and strengths
- Can be used on fabric/carpet floors or wood/tile floors
- Useful for both cardio and stretching
- Lifetime guarantee
Core stability is often overlooked when it comes to getting fit. However, a strong core prevents back pain and provides the basis for everyday and sporting activities.
Using sliders to enhance classic body-weight exercises like lunges and mountain climbers is a great way to elevate an otherwise simple workout.
They are a useful supplementary tool for calisthenic training and are relatively inexpensive.
Best Gear’s gliding discs can be used on carpeted or hard surfaces thanks to different materials used on each side. They are so simple yet so effective for core, strength and balance training.
Users can target abs, legs, glutes, hamstrings or opt for a full body workout.
As your legs start moving faster, whether going forward and back or side to side, the muscles around the spine and shoulders have to create stability, engaging muscles in areas you didn’t even think you were using.
Core sliding is intense yet simple to perform and creates a real challenge without adding impact – ideal for anyone with joint issues.
Like the TRX bands mentioned above, they’re lightweight and portable, giving you no excuse to duck out of at-home and on-the-road training.
Best Gear’s model even comes with a free guide on how to effectively train your abdominals and whole body using their gliding discs.
The comprehensive PDF details real core training, exercises and a programming guide and their Core Sliders are protected by a lifetime guarantee. So now there’s really no getting out of your workout!
- Space efficient and folds away easily
- Specially developed High-Tech running surface for extra cushioning
- 12 training programmes
- Pulse belt included
A staple piece of gear in any gym is a treadmill and for anyone that is looking to build up their fitness (and has enough room and cash to spare), this is the perfect option.
Many people question why they would fork out for a running machine when they can just run outside, but it is much easier on your body.
All aspects of the workout can be chosen by the user, including speed, incline, warm up/down period, calories, time, etc.
Newer running machines are incredibly smart, offering event videos, international routes, coaching modes or just plain old television channels.
On top of all of this, you can still do a workout when it’s pouring with rain, after dark or the pavements have totally iced over.
Workouts can be tapered according to fitness, starting at a very slow walking pace and level gradient. As strength and endurance are developed, the treadmill can be used for jogging and/or interval training.
Running is the best calorie-burner of any exercise. It is also a great way to increase bone density and stave off a variety of future musculoskeletal issues.
This model is joint-gentle too, with a layered High-Tech running surface and extra side treads for more safety.
And with so many running apps on the market, it will be like having a gym AND personal trainer in your own home.
If you’ve got a multi-day hike ahead or you’re training for a marathon, a treadmill could be the best investment you’ll ever make.
- Height-specific options
- Extra thickness for increased durability
- Anti-burst and anti-slip design
- Money-back guarantee
A gym ball is the perfect addition to your workout gear, whether you use it for pilates, yoga, Crossfit, abdominal training or just stretching.
Exercise balls are incredibly versatile with options to target your core, upper body and lower body. You can even get some cardio in and build strength gradually.
Daily use will considerably improve your general state of health, helping you to gain energy, firmness and tone.
More than just an accessory, these balls also help to strengthen, relax and stretch your muscles.
Google and Amazon offer gym balls as an alternative to office chairs and with good reason.
They require constant engagement of the core, toning you up and improving your posture with every passing minute, as well as helping to relieve back pain.
Proiron uses two-millimetre thick construction in this model, allowing the ball to hold up to 300 kilograms and letting you move freely and safely.
Eco-friendly materials won’t irritate your skin and different sizes accommodate users of all heights.
The exercises are printed around the circumference of the gym ball to make it a simple yet effective workout option.
Toning up muscles all over the body will aid every sporting activity, from hiking and climbing to skiing, surfing and beyond. If you don’t need it for a while, just deflate it and store it in a cupboard with ease.
- Extreme non-slip grip
- 180cm length suits almost all heights
- Eco-friendly and sustainably sourced
Whilst cardio and weight-lifting is great for weight loss and endurance, the importance of stretching and strengthening your body should not be overlooked.
Done correctly, yoga is a full-body workout, engaging muscles that you’ve long since forgotten about.
Yoga improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina and even elite athletes now build it into their daily routine.
A good quality yoga mat like this Yogi Bare one has just the right amount of thickness to cushion your knees and back without being too bulky to carry around or store at home.
On top of this, it has enough grip to allow you to move between poses without slipping or losing focus or balance.
The benefits are most felt when you are forced to perform extreme poses. Even in sweaty conditions there will be no sliding around.
Undertaking 20 minutes of yoga a few times a week has been shown to boost cardio and circulatory health, improve athletic performance, protect from injury and decrease stress levels.
Practicing postures, breathing exercises and meditation is now a whole lot easier with a plethora of yoga tutorials online.
A mat is the perfect companion to take on your journey towards a healthier body, mind and spirit.
Yogi Bare mats are eco-friendly, made from sustainably sourced and biodegradable rubber and a portion of proceeds go to Sea Shepherd Ocean Conservation.
As you progress it might be worth purchasing a strap and block to deepen your practice.
- LCD screen relays all performance information
- Mobile/tablet holder
- Magnetic and air resistance
- Easy to construct
Rowing uses virtually every muscle in your body and takes your heart rate through the roof, making it a great calorie-burner than blasts fat and builds muscle.
Many agree that a rowing machine (or ergometer) is the best exercise machine for weight loss and toning, as well as vastly improving fitness and endurance.
Using a rowing machine is beneficial whether it’s done a few times a week or every day. Within no time you’ll be able to notice a change in your legs, back, shoulders and arms.
The JLL Ventus has an ergonomic handlebar coated in a sweat resistant and non-slip plastic for an irritation free workout and the padded foam seat keeps things comfortable.
Although it is by no means the smallest piece of equipment, the machine is surprisingly lightweight and foldable, with inbuilt wheels allowing it to be easily transported.
Adjustable magnetic resistance, as well as air resistance, means that the faster you row the more air is sucked into the flywheel and the harder you’ll be trained.
An LCD monitor allows you to track your time, strokes per minute, distance, calories and pulse as you workout.
For longer stints you can place your tablet or smart phone in the tablet holder for in-workout entertainment.
Splashing out on a rowing machine is a great way to help you achieve your fitness goals.
- Three different strength/resistance options
- Extra wide for comfort
- Material (rather than latex) won’t roll over, over-stretch or snap
- Free carry bag and exercise guide
Over the past five years, resistance bands have become a go-to item for home and travel workouts.
They can be looped around your ankles, shins or thighs and can be used for a huge variety of exercises and allow you to challenge yourself as much (or as little) as you want.
And don’t be fooled into thinking they’re an easy option – professionals use them in Crossfit, Pilates, Yoga, HIIT, weightlifting, weight loss, physio and post-injury recovery.
Resistance bands come in a range of sizes and tension levels.
Opt for a low-resistance band for an easy workout or to start training weaker muscles, then switch to a heavier-duty band to kick it up a notch. You can even double up on the bands.
The reason they’re such a great addition to your home workout kit is that users can easily switch between working their arms, core and legs without changing equipment or even getting up off the floor.
On top of that, they are a great way of building strong and healthy joints – ideal for those who can’t undertake impact exercises.
Bands are also a good way of targeting muscles in the glutes and hips that are underdeveloped from a sedentary or office lifestyle.
These Elvire Sport Resistance Bands are for all levels of athletic ability and come with three bands of increasing difficulty and weight equivalent.
Super lightweight and portable, they can be thrown in a bag and taken on the road with you.
What really sets them apart though is that the bands are all the same size but the resistance of the fabric varies.
Unlike standard latex bands, their focus is on comfort and longevity.
They are built from premium elastic, anti-slip rubber layers to stop them sliding or rolling up, and rows of reinforced stitching on the inside to ensure maximum durability over time.
- Trigger point therapy for full body relief
- Quality dense and durable EVA foam
- Dimensions of 33cm X 14 cm X 14 cm
- Free instruction guide
A crucial part of any workout is recovery. Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique.
It sounds scientific but essentially it relieves muscle tightness, soreness and inflammation, allowing you to recover quicker and avoid injuries.
Foam rolling is much more effective than just stretching as it applies pressure to pinpointed spots on muscles, tendons and ligaments, and can improve blood flow.
This increases your joint range of motion gives your bones a better support system.
As such, a good foam roller is an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cool-down, both before and after exercise.
You can even do it lying in front of TV at night. Most home workouts are lower body-dominant, so it’s important to pay special attention to your calves, hamstrings, and quads.
This Starwood Sports roller is ultra-strong and has indents to really get deep into the muscles. At 33 x 14 x 14 centimetres, it’s ideal for throwing in a bag to take with you but wide enough to effectively roll out any part of your body.
The Starwood team have even written and included a free instruction guide (that comes in the box) with suggested movements to help you start using your foam roller immediately.
Whether you’re using it for exercise or recovery, this sturdy roller won’t collapse or lose its shape – no matter how much you abuse each other.
For those who want something a little less intense, try a smooth-sided roller, such as this one from Core Balance.
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Last update on 2020-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API