As we face another lockdown, here are five of our favourite pieces of kit that allow you to get a great home workout in. This essential equipment will ensure you get enough variety in your routine to keep things interesting and effective. Plus, staying fit physically will work wonders mentally, too.
A good workout is a sweaty workout. If you want to burn calories by sliding all over the floor, then check out the last entry on this list – otherwise, you’ll need a yoga mat for good grip. A decent mat is also a good cushion for whatever is in contact with the floor. You could use a carpet, but they’re itchy and not as easy to wipe down. A towel doesn’t stay in place particularly well.
It’s worth investing in a decent yoga mat – “buy cheap, buy twice” applies here. You don’t have to spend RM300 on a branded mat, but steer clear of the cheap ones, which lack in longevity.
Weights are the most basic way to create resistance. You can use one or two at a time, and they even double up as push-up handles when on the floor. If you can afford to spend RM700-1500, ‘selectorise’ dumbbells are a great investment. No more fiddling with screws to adjust weight, or having an entire rack of dumbbells taking up space. They’re a bit unwieldy, but the convenience factor is high.
You can get 2x 10kg twiddly adjustable dumbbells for RM150-200, and you can put up to 18kg on one dumbbell for more weight on rows and squats. Decathlon sell a decent pair with clips that aren’t so fiddly – however, they can’t take much more than 10kg or be held vertically for too long, in case a plate falls off and a toe gets broken. Decisions, decisions …
Proper use of these bands is an excellent alternative – or accompaniment – to the usual dumbbell exercises. They can be tricky; the resistance that increases with extension rarely matches the strength profile of the exercise you’re doing with them, but worth figuring out.
Be sure to buy a variety of 2-3 bands, because your strength profile (read: mechanical advantage) will vary from movement to movement, and different bands will allow you to progress your strength over time. Expect to pay RM20-50 per band – but bear in mind a cheap one could snap easily, and you don’t want a stretched rubber band smacking you in the face.
Hang these off a door or rail and suddenly you’ve opened up a new world of bodyweight movement. Commonly touted as great core training, we actually think it’s the vertical and horizontal pulling movements that are highly underrated. Like resistance bands, they’re more valuable when you’re working with an experienced coach who understands resistance profiles (and gravity), but generally they provide a fun way to get a workout in.
You can find the original branded ones online for around RM180 on Lazada, or get a cheaper set from Decathlon for around RM50. If you get an imitation set, make sure the attachments come as you need them – you don’t want a hook that doesn’t fit over a door.
They provide similar core stimulation to the TRX system, are excellent for hip rehab, and can even be used for upper body movements. Just please do us a favour and don’t use them for sliding ‘curtsey’ lunges. Your knees will thank you later.