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  • Mick Hurrell

The inexpensive kit you should think about buying for exercising at home

Did you see that fashion brand Louis Vuitton has launched its own set of home workout equipment for the ultra style-conscious? Their set of dumbells will set you back $2,700 and a skipping rope is $670. If you're feeling sporty, there's a table tennis set – with 2 bats and 4 balls – for a cool $2,200!


I think I'll give them a miss. However, with so much focus on exercising at home during Covid-19 restrictions, shouldn't we be willing to invest a little in equipment to make workouts safe, more effective, and useful in the longer term? Don't get me wrong, there's a time and a place for two tins of baked beans to use as makeshift hand weights, but for just a few £ you can set yourself up with a few basics that will benefit you now and in the future.


I'm not talking about workout stations or rowers or weightlifting racks – although if you've the space/budget then do consider them – more the hand-held equipments that can help you to add challenge, resistance and intensity to your home workout to supplement body weight exercises.


There are so many places to buy basic workout equipment. Online is as good a place as any, through the specialist sports retailers, supermarkets, Amazon, Argos, e-bay, etc....With a budget of £50-£100 you can kit your self out from scratch and be ready to workout a bit harder and with more variety – which will make being active more fun. Here are some ideas to kick-start your home kit:


BASICS

1. Yoga mat. For extra padding and hygiene, whether you're exercising on carpet or wood. Take extra care on tiles/concrete

2. Loose-fitting clothing or tight fitting lycra and trainers. Just make sure you're free to move in all directions!

3. Set of exercise resistance bands. These are colour-coded by their resistance from light to strong and you can use them to help build strength in just about any muscles, seated, lying and standing.

4. Dumbells. These can be used instead of, or as well as bands. These are great for localised targeting of the upper body muscles and core and for adding intensity to lower body bodyweight exercises such as squats, walks and lunges


INTERMEDIATE

1. A stability/Swiss ball. These inflatable rubber balls are great for adding instability to bodyweight and weighted exercises - to help challenge and strengthen your core

2. Skipping rope. Much under-rated, an exercise skipping rope is a great way to add variety, intensity and all round muscle training to your backyard workout.

3. Kettlebells. Incredibly versatile piece of equipment that can be at the centre of whole body workouts to build strength and stability. If you can afford 2 sizes, you've the basis for working large and smaller muscle groups.

4. Doorway pull-up bar. Take it to the next level, for building arms, upper back and core muscles with a portable bar


PLEASE NOTE: Safety first: As with any exercise regime, make sure that you're OK to proceed and consult with your GP first if you're at all unsure. Good technique is essential with all exercise equipment, particularly any you've not used before. Talk to a personal trainer and get them to work with you online to make recommendations on the best kit for you and to coach your technique online – to get you started safely, so that you can work out effectively.






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