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3 Essential Bits of Kit for a Home Workout

Updated: Jun 28, 2022

Example of exercise floor space
A kitchen can be ideal as workout space

Workout at home with these 3 (and some) essential bits of kit. Perhaps you want to ditch the eye watering gym membership fee? You can get a hell of a workout with these any one or all the suggestions coming up. All of them are affordable but that's not to say there aren't expensive versions out there. Even if you are a gym rat, you may want these items at home for those days you can't get over or it's closed.

In order of importance we have:

  1. Floor space - Your living room floor will suffice, a garden or a space at the park. Either way you need a space at least as long as you are tall and as wide(er) as you can reach. Bigger is better. There are so many workouts that can be done with just you, the floor and some know how. Yoga, HIIT, and Callisthenics are but a few. You can do cardio, you can do weight training, you can stretch and recover. A plot of turf you can commandeer for the time of your workout is essential. Ideally flat and clear of obstacles is always a winner. If you can get a mat it makes the whole process a little more comfortable. Yes, carpet is great but if you get somewhat moist in a workout I reckon you'd rather drip into a mat than make sweat stains on the carpet. A mat also adds a little cushioning, keeps the cat hair out of your mouth and your kids Lego hurts a little less with a mat on top.

  2. Pull up bar - There are few other items that can add a large number of exercises to your repertoire. For the cost and ease, a pull up bar will give you so much quality. It adds a whole new dimension to your workout by putting in another plane to work with. Vertical pulls are now possible, you can do knee raises, L-sits, pull ups, chin ups you could even hang upside down and shrug. A seasoned veteran or new enthusiast can make use of a pull up bar. You could brave the weather year round or there are various options for door frame or in home/garage options. Ideally go for the widest that will fit as it will give you more options to work with. It may also seem tempting to get a bar with lots of attachments and bits hanging off but these often get in the way. A straight bar will be absolutely fine. Buy the sturdiest bar you can afford as you'll literally be hanging of it so the last thing you want when trying to work up a sweat is to take the exercise gingerly for fear of it and you collapsing.

  3. Dumbbells - A pair of dumbbells will take your workout to a whole new level. If you can do it with a kettlebell, you can probably do it with a dumbbell. If you can do it with a barbell, you can probably do it with a dumbbell. If you can, buy plate dumbbells so that you can adjust the weight with your needs and progression. They also save on room but are a little slower to use. If cash isn't a problem you can buy adjustable dumbbells. These are more expensive but much faster to use and tidier overall as there's no plates lying around. My metal plate dumbbells have lasted me 16 years so far and still going strong. They cost me £20, brand new, for two 10 kg sets and I spent another £15 to get some 5 kg plates to push each dumbbell up to 20 kg.

With these 3 assets there's more exercises, workout combinations and styles than you can shake an Olympic barbell at. Need a quick all round workout, use your new dumbbells, pull up bar and floor space to get in a TABATA circuit. Buns of steel? Dumbbells and floor space. Abs like a cobblestone street? The floor will work.

I've assumed here you have some clothing to use. Dedicated gear is better but not necessarily essential providing its comfortable but can also help with keeping your routines consistent.

If you want a do it all option, look into a suspension trainer. They can be expensive, but can add so many more movements and styles it's unbelievable. Better yet you can take them to your gym as a back up if it's rammed. Going on a business trip, your suspension trainer can keep you covered. Holiday? same thing. A suspension trainer isn't essential but is pretty damned close. The variations you get are fantastic and the ability to progress with your development is near perfect. With all these 3 bits of kit you'll be well on the way to achieving your goals.

Holding small dumbbell
Adjustable is better, but solid will help a lot


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