January 4th 2018
You’d be hard-pressed to find a month where gyms are more jam-packed than in January. The queue for a machine or the uncertainty of a class space can make venturing out pretty unappealing, so if you’d rather bring your workout to the comfort of your own living room, there’s a wide array of at-home equipment that can help facilitate that. We’re not talking shelling out thousands for a treadmill here, rather buying more for less and spending your money on clever multitasking apparatus and fitness products that can be used for a variety of different exercises.
Here are 10 of our favourites that cover strength, stretching and cardio and don’t compromise quality for convenience.
Great for muscle toning and strengthening, this versatile ring can be used to work the thighs, back, triceps, glutes and more. Providing gentle resistance and two handles to aid control, it adds extra intensity to a range of Pilates exercises to help strengthen core and improve posture. Not bad for under a tenner.
If your mind has a tendency to drift mid-workout (*raises hand*), this balance-boosting piece of equipment will help get it back on track. Creating an unstable surface to keep both attention and core muscles stimulated, it adds an extra dose of difficulty to moves such as planks, squats, rows and crunches.
When it comes to stability and comfort, this yoga mat offers the best of both worlds. Made of 5mm thick TPE (an easier to recycle alternative to PVC), it’s ideal for gentle yoga types such as hatha, yin, nidra and relaxation plus, it comes with a useful carry strap and is quick drying too for added practicality.
Ranging from 0.5 to 5 kg and ergonomically designed to prevent slippage, these dumbbells are an essential in anyone’s fitness arsenal. From weighted squats to bentover rows, they suit a variety of different exercises and they’re also cleverly shaped to ensure they don’t roll over too.
Possibly the easiest way to add weights into your workouts, simply strap these onto forearms, wrists or ankles to instantly intensify exercises that work the pectorals, upper back, arms, abs and legs. Available in 0.5 to 2 kg sizes and easily adjustable thanks to their rip-tabs, they serve as a more compact alternative to dumbbells for the space-conscious.
A great all-rounder, a medicine ball allows you to hit a number of muscle groups in one go to improve both coordination and strength. Available in 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 kg sizes to suit beginner to advanced levels, it can be teamed with a range of different twists and throws to help whittle down waistlines, burn calories and improve proprioception (your awareness of how your body is positioned).
Skipping is one of the easiest at-home workouts you can do - and one of the most far-reaching. Working the abdominals, legs, shoulders and arms, it’s also a serious calorie burner and a great way to increase endurance and coordination (plus, it gives you the opportunity to channel your inner Rocky). The functionality to be adapted to anyone’s height and fitness level gives this rope universal appeal and with foam handles to ensure better grip, you’re guaranteed to soup up your skills soon.
Particularly effective for core and abdominal work, use this versatile piece of equipment to add a dose of creativity to a full body workout. Whether used to increase the intensity of your crunches, add power to your squats or for overhead or lateral slams to target legs, shoulders, arms and core, there’s just reason for why you’ll find it used in many a gym HIIT class.
Providing some snuggle factor to your Savasana or Child’s Pose, this lightweight soft fleece hoodie helps to aid your yoga wind down or warm up. Enveloping and warm, think of it as a cocoon for prolonging that post hatha feel good feeling.
However, if you prefer to break a sweat during your Sun Salutations, then this loose fitting breathable T-shirt is certain to make the experience all the more comfortable. With a long, asymmetric cut that skims over stomach and bum and made from sweat-wicking fabric, it’s ideal for dynamic, ashtanga, vinyasa or power yoga types in particular.
Written in partnership with Decathlon.
January 4th 2018
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