Best home gym essentials: 10 things you need in your life right now
Maintain your fitness levels with these simple purchases.
Just because you’re stuck at home, it doesn't mean your fitness needs to suffer. With the help of these home gym essentials, this may well be the best chance you’ve ever had to focus on your body.
With that in mind, we spoke to Iontrop Fitness PT Josh Portnoi to find out what are the ten most important pieces of gym kit you need for the ultimate home workout.
- For more fitness equipment, check out our best treadmills and best exercise bikes round-ups
- If yoga is your exercise of choice, take a look at our best yoga mats, best yoga blocks and best foam rollers
1. A Kettlebell
Ah, the kettlebell. Your tried and tested one-stop shop for a total body workout. “You can do a huge variety of exercises with a kettlebell,” says Josh. “Due to the shape and dynamics of a kettle bell they work more muscles in the body at the centre of which is your core which has to work hard to stabilise through all KB movements.”
2. Resistance Bands
Not only are resistance bands incredibly helpful, but they also come in loads of pretty colours! “These are great for injury rehab and prevention,” says Josh. “Your power is one of the first things you can lose if you can’t get to a gym or train properly, but resistance bands can be used to enhance power, and maintain the effect of weight on the body.”
3. Adjustable Dumbbells
Dumbbells can give you a more even workout than barbells, according to Josh. “Dumbbells work each side of the body evenly – sometimes that might not happen with a barbell where you can overcompensate with one side. You can also perform a huge range of exercises with them from upper to lower body.”
4. TRX/Suspension Trainer
Do you have a door where you live? Thought so. Because that’s all you need when it comes to suspension training. “Once attached to a door, this can be used for every part of the body, works the core, and helps build muscular endurance through constant time under tension,” says Josh.
5. Pull Up Bar
“The ultimate upper body strength move is being able to pull up your own bodyweight,” says Josh. Enter the pull-up bar (also attached to a solid door frame). “You get a full upper body workout, and it’s great for building shape to your back including that ‘v’ taper,” he adds. Even better, it barely takes up any storage space and is great value.
6. Ab Wheel
Sometimes, if we’re completely honest, crunches and sit-ups can get a bit boring. Even if you’re as dedicated to fitness as Josh. “This is a great addition to your ab workout as it works more of your core muscles in one movement than traditional flexion exercises. Especially if you already have a reasonably strong core.”
7. Skipping rope
If you thought cardio was going out for a run and pounding the pavements (on your own, of course) then it’s time to think again. “Skipping is one of the best forms of cardio you can do,” says Josh. “It’s great for building stamina and endurance, and you can use it for steady state cardio as well as HIIT.”
8. Swiss Ball
Not just an absolutely massive football, but also a wonder aid for improving your core stability, just by sitting on it - and probably by doing a few other things too. “This is great for strengthening your core including your abs and lower back muscles,” says Josh. “It also improves balance and can be used for yoga, pilates and general resistance work.”
9. Yoga Mat
A proper stretch before and after any workout has always been de rigueur, but way better to do it on a proper mat than on your wooden floor. “It’s ideal for stretching, or for any ground exercises, will stop you slipping, and will save your knees and elbows,” says Josh. “It’ll also prevent you sweating all over your floor or carpet during your workout.”
10. Foam Roller
Not for the faint of heart, a decent foam roller will leave you wincing and whining if you use it properly after a workout - but it’s all for a good cause. “This is an ideal tool for post-workout recovery at home, as you can massage yourself with it, and get right into those tight muscles and knots,” says Josh.