If Covid has taught us anything, it’s about the need to adapt, and the chances are this includes your fitness routine over the past six months and counting.
With many of us spending more time at home, online Zoom classes and YouTube fitness channels – Yoga with Adriene, anyone? – have become a lifeline when it comes to getting your daily dose of endorphins.
But let’s face it, even the best routine can turn stale over time, so if you’re stuck in a workout rut consider switching things up with some shiny new home gym equipment. Here are some of our favourites:
Resistance band set
Simple, inexpensive, but oh so effective, resistance bands are a good option if you’re looking for a low impact way to strengthen and tone all the major muscle groups. They’re super versatile, so you can incorporate them into your yoga or Pilates routine, plus they’re great for stretching out tight leg muscles post workout. Choose your level of resistance from the colour coded bands, and stow them away out of sight after use.
SOMAZ from Amazon
Foldable rebounder – mini trampoline
If you’re looking for a low-impact cardio workout that’s big on feel-good vibes and super effective, this is the one for you. Regular 15 minute bounce workouts are thought to help improve your cardiovascular health and strengthen leg muscles, while performing static exercises balanced on the trampoline is great for your core stability. Search YouTube for beginners workouts to get you started. Your kids will love it, too. Win win.
Serenelife Portable & Foldable Trampoline – 40″ from Amazon
Kettlebell – 6kg (and upwards)
Combining core strength with cardio, kettlebell workouts have surged in popularity over the past few years, largely due to their serious fat-burning potential. They’re also highly effective for total body conditioning and can help improve balance and stability. Head to YouTube for workout ideas – most tend to use one kettlebell at any given time, so invest in a couple of different weights to switch between exercises and help build up your stamina.
Delta Fitness rubber kettlebell
Balance training is the way to go if you’re looking to whip your core strength and stability into shape. The dome can be placed either way up to perform simple exercises, such as squats, sit-ups, weights and yoga poses, but be warned – it’s intense. Regular workouts can also help improve balance and coordination.
BOSU Pro Balance Trainer at Desertcart
Reformer Pilates machine
For those who have plenty of space, and want to take their Pilates practice to the next level, a reformer machine offers a more intense, dynamic, workout for the whole body. Machine-based Pilates doesn’t put any pressure on your joints, but tension from the springs and cables ensures you get a more satisfying workout than on the mat. The benefits are certainly worth it: as well as strengthening your core and general muscle tone, regular Pilates can help improve your posture and flexibility. A reformer bed is definitely an investment, though, so be sure to try one out at a studio before you buy.
Peak Pilates MVE Reformer + Tower System from Delta Fitness
If vibrating your way to fitness sounds like cheating, well, who are we to disagree. But evidence suggests that performing exercises, such as lunges, squats and yoga poses, while balancing on a vibrating plate can be super effective for weight loss and toning. Vibrations from the plate causes your muscles to contract more frequently which, in turn, causes your body to work harder at maintaining stability. Even better – it’s thought that 10 minutes on a vibrating plate can yield the same results as 60 minutes of a conventional workout. What’s not to love?
LifePro Rumblex 4D Vibration Plate Exercise Machine from Desertcart
Beautifully simple and inexpensive, the ab wheel looks rather innocent at first glance. But don’t be fooled – this often overlooked piece of gym equipment delivers a seriously intense workout by engaging multiple core muscles at once. Build up to a full extension over time to ensure you don’t put strain on your lower back.
Ab Wheel Abdominal Trainer by Perfect Fitness at Amazon
Low commitment and easy to stow away, these 0.9kg ankle or wrist bangles are pretty low-tech, but you’ll definitely feel the burn if you incorporate them into your regular fitness routine. Come with adjustable straps for a snug fit, and are available in assorted colours, so you’ll look stylish, too.
Bala Bangles at Whizzcart
Arise Yoga Mat
Not all yoga mats are created equal, and once you’ve tried cult brand Lululemon’s version, you’ll never look back. Made from sustainably sourced rubber that’s treated with an antimicrobial additive that helps prevent mould, it also features a polyurethane top layer to stabilize your grip during practice. Namaste!
Arise Yoga Mat by Lululemon