Home Workout Kit - Top 5 Picks
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
With the Covid-19 pandemic responsible for the closure of gyms & leisure centres, limiting access to parks & recreational spaces, more people than even are working out at home to keep on top of their health and wellbeing. There is an infinte amount of bodyweight exercise and variations you could rely on, but if you want vary things a little here are my top picks for home workout kit, all coming in at under £30 and none taking up too much space around the house.
I want to give mention to a couple of items that didn't make my top 5 purely on the basis of price and suitability for an average home.
My absolute go-to piece of kit for versatility would have to be the kettlebell. They are perfectly suited for all movements (push, pull, squat, hinge, carry) but to get best use you would need a wide selection of weights, and that simply wouldn't come cheap.
Likewise, if you have a dedicated home gym, and the budget to kit it out, you would do well to consider the trusty barbell. It's uses are almost limitless, but a decent bar and plate package doesn't come cheap, so it too falls short of my top 5.
Ultimately, any equipment is only as good as your knowledge of using it (and then actually using it) A huge amount of kit gets bought with the best of intentions, only to then sit in the corner of the room gathering dust. For more advice on working out at home, click here to get in touch
#1 Speed rope
Yeah, I know it’s a skipping rope, but speed rope sounds much cooler. Compact, portable and available for just a few pounds, a speed rope is ideal for a quick workout during lockdown. If you can’t get out, don’t like to run, or have limited space a speed rope can provide a great conditioning workout and challenges your agility, coordination, speed and stamina. But be warned – you’ll need to start off small. If you’re not conditioned to skipping, then go with the ‘little and often’ policy. Try this beginner-friendly rope workout.
#2 Suspension Trainer
Another compact and portable piece of kit that can be used both indoors and out. A suspension trainer (TRX is the most common brand) is an adjustable set of straps anchored above you to allow a variety of bodyweight exercises.
Varying body position changes the resistance of each exercise so it is suitable for athletes of all abilities.
#3 Resistance Bands
There are whole range of styles, sizes and (equivalent) weight of resistance bands but this type of set is probably the most versatile. Relatively cheap and with plenty of attachments you can work all body parts. Even before lockdown I’d use these to change up a workout - for example, deadlift with a bar or bells and the hardest part of the move is near the bottom. Deadlift with bands, and the most resistance is encountered at the top of the move. I've out together a great total body workout using a set like this - get in touch for a free copy.
#4 Pull-up bar
There is a huge range of pull up bars available from heavy duty wall mounted frames to simple ‘twist-to-extend’ bars that are seen in many blooper or gym-fail videos. Probably the most versatile of the bunch is the doorway bar similar to this, https://www.amazon.co.uk/HXZB-Doorway-Strength-Workout-Exercise/dp/B086LJV8BX/
Not only can it be mounted in all but the widest of door frames and used for pull-ups, it can be used as an aid for dips (although shallow), press-ups, and as a foot hook for sit-ups. Resistance bands can be looped over the middle of the bar to take some of your body weight and help progress your pull-up. (Click here to see a little challenge we recently did on our home pull-up bars)
Although not really exercise equipment in the traditional sense, no-one should be without a good timer. Whether to monitor recovery periods, give structure to a circuit, time your HIIT or Tabata workout, or any other kind of interval, a decent timer is an essential bit of kit. You could get away with using the timer on your phone but it’s really not a very flexible way of doing things. There are hundreds of free timer apps available but most are quite limited. Instead, I go with what’s widely regarded as the best timer app available - ‘Seconds Pro’.
For less than a fiver you get fully customisable timers, editable interval names, half-way markers, voice prompts, workout templates, music integration and loads more. You can even share timers (workouts) with other users. If you’re a fan of Joe Wicks, you might even recognise this timer from his HIIT workouts.
So thats my top 5. Hopefully it helps you a little, and if you have some thoughts on other tools that could be included or think there's something that shouldn't be there, then drop a comment below.
Stay safe! A