I’ve got two gym memberships and a park opposite my house. Yet I can always find a reason for not going outside to exercise, especially in winter.
This is why I’m a big fan of home fitness equipment: not only can you set it up in front of the TV, but it’s ready and waiting whenever you have a spare half hour.
Working out at home is cheaper than gym membership, it can fit around childcare, and you can workout without having to wash or put make-up on first.
The only downside is that gym equipment is big and bulky. It can take over your living room or bedroom. It can also cost a lot of money to buy.
However, this article is proof that a home gym is available for all budgets and can be squashed into even pokiest of flats.
These beauties both keep you fit – and fit into your house.
This might look pretty fiddly but it’s actually an incredibly versatile piece of equipment that can be used for anything from bodyweight, explosive movements to stretching. Simply hook it over the door, or to a discrete nail, and off you go.
Skipping is seriously underrated: you sweat buckets, it gets your heart pumping and all you need is a bit of space and a certain level of coordination. I still always feel the urge to sing a school song as I skip, but it works well with R’n’B music too.
WonderCore Smart, Argos, £79.99
On the surface this sounds like one of those intense pieces of equipment you see on extended American infomercials, but this is actually an effective way of targeting your upper, middle and lower abs, as well as your core. Follow the DVD supplied and then fold and slide behind the sofa, or under the bed, when you’re done.
Low impact and easy on the joints, this machine will take you through a 360 workout from the comfort of your living room. It’s basically an elliptical machine with some nifty extras. Though you might work up a sweat while using it, you won’t when putting it away as it simply folds up for easy storage.
If you’re nervous about lifting weights unaccompanied then this versatile pull-string machine will help you use your own body weight to create resistance and strengthen up. Whether you want to do bicep curls or take your pilates session up a notch, this machine is worth its weight in gold.
PBX Bags, Physical Company, from £65.38
For the equivalent of one month’s gym membership you can get a functional fitness bag that will help you upgrade your weighted squats and give you access to a whole host of new exercises. Plus, it comes with an extensive online exercise library if you’re ever stuck for ideas.
This is proof that an exercise bike needn’t be consigned to your bedroom. It’s slimline, includes both foot and hand pedals for a full body workout and the LCD screen shows you how far you’ve got and how many calories you’ve burned. You’ll be the next Lance Armstrong in no time. And you can slide it behind the sofa when you’d rather sit on a cushion than a saddle.
Reebok Step, John Lewis, £89.99
If you’ve ever been to a gym class you’ll already know just how handy this adjustable step is. I like to set it up in front of the telly and watch Fleabag for the thousandth time. If you’re feeling creative, there are all sorts of moves that can be carried out on this.
Opti Balance Trainer, Argos, £49.99
Work on your balance while your dinner cooks in the oven, with this full body trainer. It combines lots of exercise elements so you can get a cardiovascular workout, tone and improve your flexibility all in one go. It’s difficult to get on with at the start, but stick with it, it’s one of the most enjoyable pieces of home fitness equipment out there.
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