Fitness: Home workout equipment, where to start and what to get?

Whether you have been consistent with the home workouts or you’re looking to get started, it’s wise to invest in some workout equipment to ensure you stay balanced and injury free, writes personal trainer Ollie Booth.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 8:19 am
An exercise ban gives a good range of exercise and takes up little space.
An exercise ban gives a good range of exercise and takes up little space.

Why do we need equipment?

Looking at the weekly physical activity guidelines, hitting the cardio aspect without any equipment is quite accessible, going out for a walk, run or maybe an online exercise class. However, covering the strengthening aspect requires a bit of equipment to ensure the body remains balanced.

For general health, pain reduction and fitness goals, it’s great to think in terms of movement patterns. For example, for everything we push (e.g. a press up) we want to do the opposite motion, a row (e.g. an exercise band row). As you can see in that example, one exercise didn’t require equipment, whereas the other did.

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Certain movement patterns such as the squat can be easily progressed, pick up something heavy like a dining table chair or your dog and hold it out in front of you! Other movements require something more specific.

The Review

With the above in mind, here are my 3 favourite home workout equipment options. I’ll take you through the pros and cons with the variety of exercise options, storage space and cost in mind.

Dumbbells

Fairly obvious how they work, the heavier the dumbbell, the harder the exercise! There are more expensive adjustable dumbbells but with the more affordable fixed dumbbells in mind, here are the pros and cons.

Pros

With the right weight, you can effectively train all of the major movement patterns.

Cons

If you want more weight options, storage space and cost is an issue.

To train effectively you’ll need loads of pairs of dumbbells.

Suspension Trainers

Essentially, they’re straps which you can anchor to something like a door or tree branch. They use your bodyweight for the resistance, with the position of your body determining the difficulty.

Pros

A great range of exercises are possible, including some unique ones.

Require minimal storage space and are reasonably priced.

Cons

Some key movement patterns you can’t train and for the intermediate level, lacking on lower body exercise options.

Resistance bands

There are a lot of different types of bands, each with great uses, but in terms of getting the most out of one particular type, tube bands take the top spot for me.

Pros

Resistance can easily be adjusted and monitored.

A great range of exercises, especially if you want to get more specific with certain muscles.

Require minimal storage space and are the cheapest of the three.

Cons

A couple of movement patterns that you can’t really train with bands. That being said, those movements can generally be performed with just bodyweight or bits you’ll likely have around the home.

Have a go with one of these options which will give you plenty of choice for a relatively low cost. Then once you get a feel for what your home workout is going to look like, you can look to get some more specific bits of kit.

If you need any help with getting a home workout together or have any questions about which home workout equipment is going to be best for you, all my contact info is at www.olliebooth.com