So: you want great fitness, with cardio, strength, flexibility and motor skills all hopefully being important to you, but it’s where to start right?
The sometimes considerable costs, then factoring in available space, which may be limited, and also (maybe), considering any medical issues you may have (and the fact you’d maybe like to hit specific areas), squeezes choices down further.
As a Personal Trainer, I’ve often been asked to design home studios or source equipment for clients.
The advice I’ll give here is generic and cannot take into account everything just mentioned, so please don’t go ordering anything – if anything come and see me first, but I’ve definitely got some favourites to share!
As some of you know I had a big Health Club (Gym and Tonic), with PLENTY of equipment until recently (Covid closed that), but I’ve spent months since doing online classes with NO equipment (in case my clients didn’t have anything), and we still kept pretty darn fit, (that said, I’m looking forward to introducing some kit in again).
The Den is tiny compared to G&T’s so I’ve had to be incredibly careful with what I’ve ordered (all brand new as I had no idea I’d be starting all over again)!
So: here goes
Generally, unless you have bags of space and money, you need equipment that will work everything simultaneously so not wasting time and getting bang for your buck!
A stationery bike or treadmill is doing little or nothing for upper bod, so opt instead for an Elliptical, Ski-Erg or Airdyne, they’re not necessarily expensive, work the lot and use less floor space
Weights are crucial - but invest in a good set with .5k increments up to 3k and go to at least 8-10k for starters (as you get stronger you might go heavier again).
It kills me when I ask clients if they have weights and they say they’ve got 3K dumbbells at home and that’s it! - every muscle requires a different weight!
￼Get a great mat (I’ve tried so many and trust me, some are real spine crushers!).
Kettlebells might almost be all you ever need; With different weights, and the potential to be cardio with a huge variety of exercises available, but don’t do these without tuition, I see a lot of errors, (and once you commit, keep going with them or they bite)!
Smaller kit: Bender balls are amazing for spinal decompression and add greatly to Pilates exercises and more. We love them!
Giant resistance bands are great for ‘feedback’ when doing squats, lunges and more. You have something to work against and give you the chance to get a lot stronger whilst supporting you (I know a fabulous press up with them too)
A Bosu or similar is great for challenging balance (motor fitness). We need to keep practising balance as we get older. Like a muscle it atrophies ..
I also LOVE Gliders – they can really tax you and work ‘eccentrically’ (you have to ‘brake’ – so get you working in a very different way to normal). Great for increasing range of movement too
Skipping ropes; SO cardio and cheap!
Bonus no 11! Griprs are like flat, tough, weighted bean bags. You can use them like kettle bells but because you have to grip them they’re incredibly good for your hand strength and as they say not much point in being really strong if you can’t grip anything! ￼(see photo). You can also use them like slam balls. And throw them to each other (post covid), for core and oblique work
Come, and see me for a demo of all these! THAT'S how I want The Den to work. You see, yes - you could buy these things online but you won’t get the advice that I can give you as to how to properly use them and the variety of exercises that I can give you to do with them too! "More than just a transaction" If you'd like help to design a home gym please consider my services - I can ascertain what you most want - what equipment would serve you into what space - and even source good prices as I know many dealers too!