Think outside the box and take your home workouts to the next level!
Most home exercise setups will feature solid choices of kit: dumbbells, a bench, a barbell and plates, perhaps a squat rack or power rack. But when you’re ready to add something a little different to your home fitness collection, where should you look? Here are 5 items leading the trend in home workout strength and conditioning.
Kettlebells are hardly new (they date back to the 18th century) but they are making their way out of specialist gyms and into our homes. And no wonder – they’re small, easy to store, relatively cheap to buy, and hugely effective. They lend themselves to a wide range of workouts. Swing, snatch, or clean them for cardio. Press, row, or squat with them for hypertrophy. Work them into a fast-paced circuit for conditioning work.
Suitable for: Any level of fitness, but it’s crucial to get the technique right before you start.
Usually seen in strength and conditioning gyms or specialist facilities like MMA and boxing gyms, Bulgarian Bags are a brilliant bit of kit for home use. They’re relatively small, and easy to store away. You can use them for a range of S&C type exercises including swings, windmills, presses, squats, and moving exercises like walking lunges and jumps. They come in a range of weights.
Suitable for: Advanced levels of fitness and mobility, you do need to be relatively strong and flexible.
Sleds and Prowlers
Push/pull sleds and prowlers are taking the strength and conditioning scene by storm and can be found in most forward-thinking gyms. But you can get one for home use, too. There are lots of companies out there constructing sleds and prowlers for people who want to do conditioning, rehab, and cardio work at home. All you’ll need is something to load it with (plates, or sandbags), and something to pull it with (a harness, or some rope). You’ll need a decent amount of outdoor space, of course. A big garden, or access to a playing field, would be ideal.
Suitable for: Cardio, sports-specific conditioning, rehab work, coming back from injury.
Functional Training Rig
Usually seen in strength and conditioning gyms or CrossFit boxes, training rigs are a perfectly viable option for a home gym set up. You need less space than you think for a personalised version. And they offer so many training options, you could possibly replace other bits of kit (or remove the need to buy things separately). A functional training rig is great for body weight exercises, calisthenics and strength work. Think pull-ups, chin-ups, inverted rows, leg raises, hanging squat jumps and gymnastic work.
Suitable for: People with a good level of strength, and a strong power-to-weight ratio, who want to work on functional strength and body weight workouts.
A Turbo Trainer
Have you already got a bike? Then buy an entry-level turbo trainer, and you can use one bike for two functions: out on the road, and as a stationary bike. Turbo trainers are typically used by triathletes or road cyclists to perform focused training sessions whatever the weather. But they’re a brilliant (and small) addition to any home gym. You can set your turbo trainer up in the shed or garage, out on the patio, or inside, in front of the TV!
Suitable for: Anyone who owns a bike (even an old or unused one) who wants an at-home cardio option.