Some people have home gyms. They buy a stepper, a weight trainer, a treadmill, and more. That’s not just expensive, you need a lot of room for it.
But you can get enough exercise kit for a really good workout and still keep it in the closet, if you know the right things to buy. Here’s a quick guide to equipping your home for good, healthy, and interesting exercise.
First of all, grab a yoga mat. They’re not just for yoga; any kind of exercise that needs you to lie on the floor, from push-ups to planking, is better with a mat.
If you’re a tall person, check out the dimensions – a lot of yoga mats may be too short for you. And buy a heavier weight mat, which will give more stability than a lightweight one.
Free weights or kettlebells are great additions to your home exercise regime. You can integrate them with exercises such as squats, or you can do repetitions to exercise your arm muscles and core. Start small; a set of hand weights from 3 lb to 8 lb is probably best for beginners. Remember you’re aiming to be able to do a set of 10-20 reps, not just to be able to lift the weight.
A lot of people prefer the rubberized grips or neoprene covered weights to traditional metal dumbbells. The grip is better, particularly if you get sweaty.
Kettlebells can be used for lunges, squats, swings, and all kinds of aerobic training. They’ll give you a really good workout but if you’re in a small room, do watch out where you’re swinging them!
For resistance training, you have a few different options. Weights for your wrists and ankles give you a little more resistance while you’re doing your regular exercise, and take up almost no space.
Resistance bands can also help you with strength training. They provide a quite different kind of workout from weights, and because you need to use more stabilizer muscles to keep the band properly aligned, you’ll work out more different muscles at a time. You can stand on the band and grip the handles, attach the band to a door or post, wrap it round a sturdy chair, or exercise with it on the floor.
Grab a set of bands which provide different levels of resistance. And try to find bands with padded handles. Some sets will come with handles for each band, while others will have come with a single set of handles, so you’ll need to swap them over every so often.
Finally, consider getting a medicine ball. This will take up a bit more space, but can give you a completely different form of exercise which is about balancing and flexibility rather than strength. Make sure you get the right size. If you’re shorter than 5 feet 6 inches choose a 55 cm ball; if you’re taller than 6 feet 2, choose a 75 cm ball. (65cm will suit anyone in between.)
And make sure you check out Vipon for offers on exercise kit, so you exercise your muscles, not your pocketbook.