Whether it’s because you’re spending more time working from home or want to make the very most of your space, it’s never a bad idea to set up your surroundings with the best home workout equipment. Although if your house allows it you can make the most of your space with the best home workout machines that money can offer, we believe the simpler the essential, the better.
1) Yoga or workout mat
Why it’s essential: No matter what body area you’re focusing on or how long you plan to work out for, it’s vital that you warm up before you start exercising. Not only does warming up prevent muscle injuries by loosening up the joints, but it also helps prepare the muscles for the upcoming exercise. So whether that be yoga or a workout, a mat is a piece of essential home gym equipment.
Finding the right one for you: Although they can both be used both for warm ups and working out, it’s important to note the difference between a workout mat and a yoga mat. Workout mats are known to vary in thickness, ranging from 1 to 3 inches, and if you’re looking to do bodyweight exercises alongside your warm up, this would be a far better option. Yoga mats, on the other hand, are much thinner, easier to roll away, and, much better for exercises based on flexibility such as (you guessed it) yoga poses.
Whichever option you go with, if it gets you regularly warming up before workouts, it will have been the right choice.
2) Exercise ball
Why it’s essential: While they are ideal for your core and trunk activation, exercise balls are great for burning calories and stretches that work parts of the body that are ignored by everyday life. It’s also good as an office chair and will help you improve your posture and balance.
Find the right one for you: Although an exercise ball can be used for many different activities and is often known by a number of different names, such as ‘Yoga Ball’, ‘Stability Ball’, ‘Fitness Ball’, ’Physio Ball’ and the name is even sometimes used for Medicine balls and Slam Balls. However, the type of exercise ball we believe is the best for home exercise equipment is an inflatable ball made of a thick vinyl material, which should be not too big and not too small for both your own personal height and whether or not you want to use it as a desk chair. If you go too much to either extreme, it will make it harder both for your home workout, and working from home.
3) Your weight collection (and the different types)
Why it’s essential: Weight lifting isn’t just about building strength and muscle gains. It’s got a wide range of health benefits, including improved posture and bone density, better sleeping, boosting metabolism, and can lower your chances of chronic disease later in life.
There are also plus points to each type of weight.
Why it’s essential: A must-have piece of equipment for your home gym, the kettlebell is so versatile, and you can get good results. From squats to push-ups, a kettlebell workout can burn up to 20 calories per minute – about as much as running a 6-minute mile. A kettlebell uses every muscle in your body from head to toe, and it focuses a lot around your core and increases flexibility.
Finding the right one for you: A 2kg weight is perfect for beginners, and both men and women can use them as part of their workout routine. Just choose the weight that works for you.
Why it’s essential: As well as being usually a good price and adjustable, there are endless benefits from working out with dumbbells, from isolated joint movements, all the way through to cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.
Finding the right one for you: Look for the hex-shaped dumbbells with black rubber coating as they’ll last the longest and are the most comfortable to workout with. It’s a good idea to get a few different weights to accommodate the different exercises you’ll be doing.
Why it’s essential: It’s a great tool for building endurance and conditioning, as well as exercises that can help develop explosive power.
Finding the right one for you: When it comes to finding the medicine ball for you, it’s all about getting the weight and size correct, and making sure it provides enough resistance but not to the extent where you’re struggling to work out with it. For those just starting out with medicine ball workouts, you should be looking for one that weighs between 4-15 pounds, although it's always better to start small and build up. Another way to choose is by thinking about the type of workout you will be doing with the medicine ball. If you are looking to use it for high speed sets based around power and quality reps, it’s better to go for a small ball, whereas a large will serve you far better for purely strength-based exercises.
4) Mini trampoline
Why it’s essential: This is a fun, top-to-toe workout. It’s low impact work, which makes it great if you’re recovering from an injury, and can also help tone your muscles and strengthen your skeletal system, which improves both balance and posture. It’s also believed that rebounding exercise is 68% more efficient than going out for a jog.
Finding the right one for you: Look for a mini trampoline or a rebounder that measures at around 3-4 feet or 38 to 50 inches in diameter. For those on the taller side, choose a mini-trampoline with a larger space, which will decrease the chances of you hitting your head on the ceiling mid workout. If you are on the heavier side, it’s worth picking one that has more resistance and longer legs, to stop you from hitting the ground mid bounce.
5) Resistance bands
Why it’s essential: Also known as toning bands, these are a risk-free, effective way of building strength and improving mobility across the whole body.
Finding the right one for you: It’s actually best to hedge your bets and get one of each, as the different colours work for different types of workouts. These include yellow which offers light resistance and is best for beginners, green which will offer medium resistance, red for a greater level of tension, then blue for heavier exercises, and black for toughest workouts on the largest muscle groups.
6) Skipping or speed rope
Why it’s essential: It’s fantastic cardio and is also great for coordination. Skipping can give you a full-body workout that uses your abs to stabilize the body, legs (calves, hamstrings, quadriceps) for jumping, and upper body (forearms, deltoids) for turning the rope.
Finding the right one for you: If you’re a beginner, just get a durable rope to work on your cardio. Or look for a lightweight wire rope to work on speed, or a weighted rope to work on strength.
7) Pull up bar
Why it’s essential:The pull-up is the finest upper-body bodyweight exercise there is. Beginners may find it tough to start with, but it’s great for building muscle in your arms, back, and shoulders. It will even strengthen your core too. You can also do a number of basic gymnastic exercises on a pull-up bar to vary your workout.
Finding the right one for you: As this will be hanging from somewhere in your home, it’s vital that you get the measurements right. Once you’ve found the spot you want to hang the bar from, make sure you know that whatever bar you choose, fits. It’s also important to make note of its weight limit, as hangable push-up bars have a lower weight limit than ones that can drill into the wall. It also comes in two versions, the telescopic and the self-supporting pull bar. The telescopic is far better if you’re only looking to do pull-ups in your workout, whereas the self-supporting has a range of grip variations, and in turn, allows you to work a greater selection of muscle groups.
8) Suspension training kit
Why it’s essential: As a versatile workout system, making a suspension training kit part of your home gym will give you access to a wide array of different types of exercises. With the unstable nature of the suspension training kit, each exercise challenges joint stabilisers more than usual and helps develop core stabilisation and development.
Finding the right one for you: It all comes down to both the design of your home and the type of workout routine you are planning to partake in. Before you set out to purchase your suspension trainer kit, make sure that fits with the interiors of your home. If you aren’t using your suspension trainer for heavy-duty exercises, you can look for a lower-end kit, which often has plastic or nylon buckles. However if you are looking for a more strenuous workout, it’s best to choose buckles made from metaill. It’s also important to make sure these buckles comfortably fit with the shape of your feet.
9) Gliding discs
Why it’s essential: Used mainly for improving push-ups and lunges, They’re great for improving flexibility and agility, cardiovascular conditioning, building stamina, and preventing injury.
Finding the right one for you: Available in versions for both carpet and hard floor, most good quality gliding discs are round or oval-shaped, with foam on one side for hand and foot placement, and with the other side made of either plastic or a felt-like material to slide across your chosen surface.
10) Turbo trainer or roller
Why it’s essential: An affordable, time-efficient way of feeling the cardiovascular and strengthening benefits of indoor cycling without having to take up too much space. Not only that but a long-distance indoor cycling creates a steady stream of endorphins, which can do wonders for your mental health.
Finding the right one for you: Of course, much of this decision will depend on how you want to tackle your indoor cycling, and what kind of bike and tires you have. For more information on Turbo Trainers vs Rollers, click here.