Whilst I absolutely love going to the gym, some people don’t, and I totally get that. Sometimes it’s a time issue, or maybe you can’t leave your kid/animal alone. Whatever the reason, it often pays to have a few exercise aids at your disposal.
Whilst I don’t generally have a problem with time (I always make sure I set time aside and prioritise the gym over other things) nor do I have to stay home for kids/animals, I still have an array of equipment which just comes in handy when I wanna do a home workout.
You may just want to workout in your undies, with your own music in your own home without feeling like you’re being judged…
Here are some of my favourite pieces of equipment to have at home which range from super cheap to relatively cheap (compared to a gym membership), easy to use and not too bulky, so you can tidy away if you’re a tidy kind of person (our dumbbells just tend to stay out all the time – they make a nice addition to our living room!).
Just a general note – I purchased my equipment a while back, and so don’t know which ones they are (or if they even sell those specific brands anymore) so all the links I’ve put are ones which are similar to the one’s I’ve got and the type of thing to get. But I’ve not tried any of these specific brands, so can’t vouch for the quality of any of them*.
1) Resistance bands $22 / £13
These come top of the list because they are just so damn versatile. We take them on holiday with us, take them when we are away for a few days and also use them in our home workouts for a few different exercises.
The ones we use have handles attached. The beauty with them is that they can be used for multiple exercises. Some great ones are bicep and tricep extensions. Simply stand on the rubber tubing and perform the exercise as normal. To increase the resistance, you can step further up the tubing, or attach more of the tubes on. Play around with it and you will find some great ways to use them. A lot of them even come with door attachments to make all kinds of muscles work.
For our US readers: Here’s the type I’m talking about
For our UK readers: Here’s the type I’m talking about
2) Medicine Ball $65 / £40
The medicine ball is maybe something you remember from PE, where they just made you hold it up for long periods of time. That wasn’t fun at all. However, modern medicine balls can be used for strengthening those abs. I use it for Russian twists (sit on the ground as if you’re halfway through an ab crunch, then put the medicine ball either side of you).
You can, however, use it for multiple exercises. You could use it to perform the plank on, or even do press ups on. Or you could use it for a goblet squat. Anything you want to add weight to, you can pretty much utilise a medicine ball to do it (just may take a bit of adaption).
For our US readers: Here’s the type I’d suggest
For our UK readers: Here’s the type I’d suggest
3) Dumbbells $45 / £50 (you can get cheaper UK if you just want a standard set of dumbbells)
The classic dumbbell. The only reason this is further down the list is because they can take up a bit more room. Having two of them, they can be a bit clunky and in the way. However to minimise the amount of space needed, instead of having fixed dumbbells, use plate loaded dumbbells, some even come in a handy little suitcase which you can pack them away into after. Obviously dumbbells are also amazingly versatile. You can easily do a full body workout just with dumbbells. They make a great addition to any home!
For our US readers: Just some basic adjustable dumbbells will come in handy, like these
For our UK readers: Here’s a handy set I’d suggest, you can even turn it into a barbell!
4) Pull up bar $30 / £13
Pull up bars are great. Even if you can’t do a pull up, you can do an eccentric release. To do this, you can jump up and try and hold yourself at the top of the pull up, then as slowly as possible lower yourself down, and keep doing this. After a while of doing this type of training, you will eventually be able to do a pull up!
The only catch with a pull-up bar is that it relies on the strength of your door frame. So, make sure you have a very sturdy door frame, and be sure to keep checking it’s stability.
If you don’t want to actually screw the pull up bar into the door, then I’d suggest one which you can just pop on and off.
For our US readers: This type of thing is what I’d suggest
For our UK readers: It’s this type that I’d suggest
5) Ab wheel $16 / £12
As you can probably imagine, this is great for strengthening the abs. You can even get ones which have resistance (to make it easier to come back up). I’d recommend just getting a basic one and trying from your knees first. Eventually the goal is to be able to do it standing – but that takes some serious ab strength!
For our US readers: I’d suggest something like this
For our UK readers: I’d suggest something like this
*Note: We get a small amount of money if you buy through the links above.