Fitness

The necessary bits of fitness kit for your home

  • The necessary bits of fitness kit for your home

    What is it?

    A special non-slip mat useful for all sorts of exercise including yoga, stretching and high intensity moves. It prevents your hands and feet from slipping and also provides cushioning against the hard floor underneath. We wouldn’t attempt a yoga headstand without one!

    How much does it cost?

    Anything from £3 to around £100. Most come in at around £20.

    What michelle says:

    If there’s one piece of kit you’re going to invest in, make it an exercise mat. It is one of the most portable pieces of equipment out there, and can be used for any form of exercise, anywhere in the world and owning your own is far better than borrowing or renting one. Be sure to choose a mat which will best enable you to complete whichever type of exercise you enjoy – for example, if you’re doing yoga, it’s important to opt for a well padded mat, which will be easier on your knees!

  • The necessary bits of fitness kit for your home

    What is it?

    A raised platform that can be used for stepping on and off, and that can also be incorporated into moves such as bench presses, high knees, side leg raises and box jumps. It’s an easy way to up fitness levels – even when watching TV!

    How much does it cost?

    Usually between £20 and £140

    What michelle says:

    The step bench is a fantastically versatile piece of equipment – it can be used in more ways than you might think. Step-ups, lunges and box jumps are some of the more common uses, but why not mix it up a little… put your feet on the bench and do elevated press ups and planks, or lie on it and do abdominal leg extensions. If possible, choose a step bench which has blocks to increase its height, so that exercises like the step-up can be made harder as your strength increases.

  • The necessary bits of fitness kit for your home

    What are they?

    Handweights, or dumbbells, are small weights that can be lifted while completing moves to add further resistance. They can come in all shapes, sizes and weights so can be used by total beginners or real fitness bunnies.

    How much do they cost?

    Individually, from around £3 to £15. Sets can be bought from £10 upwards.

    What michelle says:

    I use hand weights and dumbbells in most of my programming because they are so versatile. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they’re just for body builders – they can be used by anyone who wants to get fit, if you’re taught to use them in the right way. Pressing, pushing, curling or pulling are all good, but make sure you’re moving in all planes of motion, forward and back, side to side and rotation. This allows your whole body to be trained using one simple bit of kit.

  • The necessary bits of fitness kit for your home

    What is it?

    This is a relatively inexpensive bit of kit which can be used to give your home workouts more resistance. They are literally a piece of stretchy rubber, sometimes with handles on the ends, and can be bought in a range of resistances.

    How much do they cost?

    Mostly between £2 and £20, although more expensive ones are on the market.

    WHat michelle says:

    Resistance bands are great for mobility as well as strength training without using weights. They can be used anytime and anywhere. I anchor them with my feet, tie them to permanent fixtures or hold either end. Bands can also be used for stretching exercises and can be combined with other pieces of equipment such as a bench press, or moves like a squat.
    However you use them, resistance bands are a long-term piece of gear, because they grow with you. When you or your personal trainer feels that you’re ready, you can simply move up a band to increase the resistance, ensuring that this piece of kit continues to give you a great workout.

  • The necessary bits of fitness kit for your home

    What is it?

    A round circular weight, that is available in a variety of sizes and weights. It can be used with moves such as v ups and lunges and can even be thrown and caught (carefully!).

    How much do they cost?

    Roughly between £10 and £70 depending on the weight and quality. Sets can also be purchased.

    What michelle says:

    Whether you throw it, catch it, press it or use it for abdominal exercises, med balls are awesome. I play games with them such as throw and fetch and roll and touch. I also use them with squats and explode upwards throwing it in the air. Med balls come in many different weights and sizes, so make sure you are choosing one that’s perfect for you, and not just the heaviest one you can find.

  • The necessary bits of fitness kit for your home

    What is it?

    Also known as a stability or Swiss ball, this a large inflated tool that can be helpful in improving balance and core stability. They are sold in sizes ranging from around 45 to 85cm and can be used in a whole range of exercise moves. Or just sit on it to watch TV!

    How much do they cost?

    Mostly from around £5 to £40

    What michelle says:

    These started life in the physiotherapy world and have now moved into the fitness space. The key is to ensure that they are properly inflated to allow for correct positioning on the ball: when you’re sitting on it, your hips and knees should be at 90 degree angles. I use these for core stability and abs exercises, but they are also great if you want to challenge your core whilst performing compound exercises you may have otherwise done on a bench, such as chest and shoulder presses. It’s crucial to make sure that you get the right size for your height.

Michelle Brewter is a personal trainer and founder of SupaChick – a virtual personal training programme with a downloadable app. For more details visit supachick.com
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