Home Gym: Essential Gear

Keep your training on track without leaving the warmth of your front room. Here’s the very best home-based cross-training kit



by Kerry McCarthy

trx training
 8 of 12 

TRX

From £115; trxfitness.co.uk

"This workout strap can be hung from a door hook, fireplace or a tree. It uses your body weight to give you an all-over strength training session," says RW running coach Nick Anderson.


Make it Work

Plank to Prone Pike

"This improves core, arm and shoulder strength," says Anderson.

1 Assume a plank position on the floor, before putting your feet in the stirrups and pushing up on to your hands into a press-up position, back straight. Adjust the TRX straps if necessary.
2 Keeping your legs straight and elbows locked, pull your feet towards your body, making sure your toes are pointed to the floor and your bum pushed up so you form an upside-down V shape. Lower again. This is one rep.
3 Perform as many reps as you can. Rest for one minute. Do one more set.


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Discuss this article

Essential gear for a home gym?  Is this a joke?  Exercise equipment research should extend a bit further than QVC and the shopping channels.

What happened to dumbells - are they just too cheap to be worthwhile?

Maybe I'm out on a limb, but I think I'll get by just fine without any of your "essential" equipment. 


Posted: 15/11/2011 at 19:25

So you don't want a ''Dynamic Movement Skills Mat'' for Christmas then?
Posted: 15/11/2011 at 20:10

£175

and they say its the cheap option.....surely a kids dance mat for a fiver would do the same thing


Posted: 15/11/2011 at 20:42

Honestly, this is the biggest heap of horse manure I've ever seen. ESSENTIAL?!  The thought of my family seeing this and spending an exorbitant amount of money on some utter tripe as a Christmas present seriously concerns me. 

Perhaps I'm not taking this lightly enough, but the blatant commercialism of this is enough to make me want to cancel my subscription to RW.

Is it just me?! 


Posted: 15/11/2011 at 20:49

Agreed. Especially as a lot of them claim to give you a 'total body workout' or to 'work every muscle in your body', so you kind of wonder why you need anything else then.

I AM tempted by the round skateboard at the end though. Wheee!


Posted: 15/11/2011 at 21:14

I just did some press-ups.  (True story.)  This would've been more difficult without some soft material under my palms, so I'm adding this to the list...

http://www.johnlewis.com/284247/Product.aspx


Posted: 15/11/2011 at 21:23

Are we talking to runners? Then toughen up and get outside to do your workouts.
Posted: 15/11/2011 at 22:49

I've been thinking about a home gym. I'm fed up of getting colds at the gym. Here's my essential list

An olympic barbell and a set of bumper plates.

A Squat rack.

A pullup & dip bars.

A skipping rope.

 I think this would pretty much cover everything for strength & conditioning. Squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, olympic lifts (+ pullups, dips, pressups) would cover strength and power. Running, swimming, circuit training etc. would cover conditioning.


Posted: 16/11/2011 at 05:02

Guess my idea of "essential" is based on a whole different budget!  My home gym consists of a step a bar plus variety of weights, 4 sets of dumbells and a set of weighted gloves.  The step is a recent addition but it doubles as a weight bench as well.  Hey ho!

 There surely must be more to the mat thing than just a mat with lines letters and numbers on it?????????????????


Posted: 16/11/2011 at 09:05

Joe Bing wrote (see)

I've been thinking about a home gym. I'm fed up of getting colds at the gym. Here's my essential list

An olympic barbell and a set of bumper plates.

A Squat rack.

A pullup & dip bars.

A skipping rope.

 I think this would pretty much cover everything for strength & conditioning. Squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, olympic lifts (+ pullups, dips, pressups) would cover strength and power. Running, swimming, circuit training etc. would cover conditioning.


In all seriousness, I'm not best set up for regularly working out at home (first floor conversion flat) so I do go to the gym, but if I did have a dedicated space for it the list of equipment you've got there looks like a good one. Not that I know what bumper plates are.
Posted: 16/11/2011 at 09:25

Glad I'm not the only one who thought it was a load of expensive tripe. My 'home gym' consists of the following:

The floor - sit ups, press ups etc
The hoover - upper body stuff and extra effort carting it upstairs
The stairs
My daughter's skipping rope and a swiss ball that lives in the garden.

I am very lucky to have one of those outdoor gyms for pensioners in our local park and make full use of it, obviously not a home gym but free to use

Posted: 16/11/2011 at 09:27

These are bumper plates

 https://www.strengthshop.co.uk/weight-plates/pro-bumper-plates.html

Just weight plates covered in rubber so you can drop them. It cuts down on the noise of a lot of clanging weights. Obviously not the cheapest option, but then gym membership quickly adds up.


Posted: 16/11/2011 at 09:59

Whats wrong with a floor and a couple of tins of baked beans
Posted: 16/11/2011 at 10:11

Kryten wrote (see)

Agreed. Especially as a lot of them claim to give you a 'total body workout' or to 'work every muscle in your body', so you kind of wonder why you need anything else then.

I AM tempted by the round skateboard at the end though. Wheee!


That skateboard thing does look like amazing fun, but I can't help thinking about the potential for near-fatal accidents when combined with the wooden floor and glass doors in my living room

These products do seem to be from the most expensive end of the market, I'm sure that there are cheaper versions to be had on ebay, gumtree (or freecycle ... lots of weights benches crop up on there) or from TK Maxx, Argos etc. 

My home gym consists of the floor, a couple of kettlebells and a swiss ball from TK Maxx (I've got such little storage space that I have to inflate it every time I want to use it and deflate once I've finished, so bit of an upper body workout thrown in). Oh and the Nike Training Club app on iPhone, which is free to download and actually pretty good for varying boring situp/pressup routines. Anything else would probably end up as a very expensive towel rail or clothes horse ...


Posted: 16/11/2011 at 10:20

What an absolute joke - the most non essentail rubbish i have ever seen. - a home gym needs such basic equipment - my simple home gym would be

a cardio machine - cross trainer

free weights and bench, bar bell and dumb bells

excercise ball

combine this with natural excercises such as crunches, situps, pushups etc and everthing should be covered.

This article sound like a bad shopping channel advert, and frankly makes Runners World look like a joke! - shambles shambles shambles - glad everyone else agrees as well.


Posted: 16/11/2011 at 11:39

They missed out the most essential bit of equipment of all - the Shake Weight!

Shake Weight youtube


Posted: 16/11/2011 at 11:53

Not to mention the following:

  • Weighted hula hoop
  • Shape-up shoes
  • 6 second abs
  • Thigh-master
They are just not trying really.
Posted: 16/11/2011 at 12:18

And the Tug Toner (even worse than the Shake Weight)
Posted: 16/11/2011 at 12:52

Ditto

Cancelled my gym membership years ago as i purchased a set of dumbbells a rope and i go out running all the time. You can do everything you need to apart from blatantly stare at the women


Posted: 16/11/2011 at 16:43

Well it looks as if the article brought in some new posters, so perhaps it isn't all bad
Posted: 16/11/2011 at 16:47

local council in fife charge £25 per month for gym n swim membership

its less than half price of some private gyms and as for the dvd/mat/book ps3 second hand  dance mat n game disc £28

for the viper go to a diy n buy a plastic tube cut to u size u want fill with weight u want n tape up ends

have a rummage in charity shops its amazing what u can buy i got ankle weights 2x2k weights (to run with) a skipping rope an ab trainer all for £12


Posted: 17/11/2011 at 16:34

There's no such thing as an essential home gym, it's an oxymoron! However if you wanted to build a home gym then Joe is spot on.

Bodyweight exercises done properly are as much as anyone really needs in addition to our love for running, unless you want to pack on serious muscle, which most runners don't.

Don't get me wrong I am a gym rat, but when I can't get there my "essential home gym" is a pull up bar and a speed rope.

Just my view
Posted: 17/11/2011 at 17:59

Hi Guys,

I think there's more to the mat than meets the eye, it is much more about what exercises you do on the mat than what that mat does. A series of exercises can improve rythme, timing, coordination, dynamic core, turning ability, speed of foot contact and strength. This is done all on piece of equiptment with a series of exercises. The fact it is all done on one piece of equpitment makes it ideal for the home gym.

Check the link out for more details, sure you'll see it's worth past just commericialism. 

http://www.runningschool.co.uk/dynamic-movement-skills/about-us/


Posted: 21/11/2011 at 12:09

I'm going to start selling a plastic circle, called a "spot" in a range of colours to match your home decor.

You can place the "spot" on the floor to assist in a range of exercises.  Some examples are:

Jogging on the "spot"

Running on the "spot"

Jumping on the "spot"

You need never accidentally move from the "spot" again during exercise.  

By adding extra "spots" you can extend the range of exercises exponentially!  They are very portable and can be taken anywhere.  Only a small space is required to do your very own "on-the-spot" workout. 

Only £40 per spot.  You'll save that in one month by cancelling your expensive gym membership.

I hate to charge, but I think it's worth way more than pure commercialism alone. 


Posted: 22/11/2011 at 10:34

This article sound like a bad shopping channel advert, and frankly makes Runners World look like a joke! - shambles shambles shambles - glad everyone else agrees as well.
Posted: 25/04/2012 at 07:42

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPyzdw2LhsM

The gym for me every time: it just gets me in the right mood to do some proper work.

If you don't want to spend money, The Naked Warrior or Convict Conditioning are both pretty useful.
Posted: 27/04/2012 at 09:54

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