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Best home gym essentials: 10 things you need in your life right now

Maintain your fitness levels with these simple purchases.

Best home gym essentials: 10 things you need in your life right now
Gershon Portnoi
24 March 2020

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.

To learn more about training at home, visit Josh’s Instagram or Facebook.

1. A Kettlebell

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
York 16KG Vinyl Kettlebell
£29.99
A kettlebell is a great way to work on your entire body. This kettlebell's handle is designed for the most comfortable hold possible and has an anti-slip bottom.
Buy now at Fitness Superstore

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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
Core Balance Resistance Bands
£7.99
These Premium bands made from natural latex material for superior durability and elasticity, no matter how far they're stretched. There are four resistance levels so you can target muscles and get the most out of your workout.
Buy now at Core Balance

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

Our selection
Our selection
BodyMax 36KG Selectabell 18-in-1 Dumbbell Set
£640.84
This adjustable dumbbells offer 18 variations in weight from 2KG all the way up to 36KG. Their adjustability saves on space and should speed up your workout, too.
Buy now at Powerhouse Fitness

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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
Oyria Sling Set with Door Anchor
These fitness straps are made of high density polyester, and comfortable and non-slip rubber handles. A great option for all levels of performance and strength.
Buy now at Amazon

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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
Men's Health Pull Up Bar
£29.99
Requiring minimal assembly, you can get straight to your workout with this pull up bar. It's also pretty reasonably priced, too.
Buy now at Argos

“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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
H&S Abdominal Exercise Roller
£14.99
This compact Ab wheel weighs only 340g making it small and easy to store away. It also comes with foam knee pads.
Buy now at Amazon

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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
Gritin Skipping Rope
£10.99
With memory foam handles, this skipping rope is comfortable to use while you workout. The rope length is also adjustable, which is handy.
Buy now at Amazon

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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
Core Balance Swiss Ball
£9.99
Core Balance's Swiss Ball is made with anti-burst PVC and comes in four sizes so you can find the one that's just right for you.
Buy now at Amazon

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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
Yogamatters Sticky Yoga Mat
This machine-washable yoga mat is made from high-grade PVC and offers cushioning to protect your knees and back when working out.
Buy now at Amazon

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

Our suggestion
Our suggestion
FX FFEXS Foam Roller
£11.93
The FX FFEXS Foam Roller is designed for deep muscle massages to help you recover quicker. It is also heat and water resistant.
Buy now at Amazon

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.