We all know that gym memberships can be costly and sometimes, it can feel like getting there can be a waste of precious time where you could be working out! So here are some tips for workout gear you can use at home (some of it you may already have!) so you can get your trainers on and start burning those calories any time! No excuses!!
1. The Kettlebell
The weight of a kettlebell hangs a few inches below its handle, which makes it more difficult to control. Everything from your grip to your core has to work harder than if you were using a dumbbell, so you get more out of even standard dumbbell moves. This extra muscle activity means your body burns more calories. Couple that with exercises that target the whole body and you have a formula for significant fat loss.
BEST FOR: Kettlebell Swings that
2. The Swiss Ball
To stay on these tricky inflatable balls forces you to engage every single muscle so it's a great way to build strength but also works on your balance which is a lesser talked about measure of fitness.
BEST FOR: Sit Ups and Back Extensions on the ball, or even try placing the ball against the wall and using it to squat up and down - your thighs will soon know about it!
3. The Humble Chair
Yes that thing that gives your weary legs a rest can also work wonders for toning up!
BEST FOR: Use chairs for exercises such as tricep dips, step ups and decline push ups. Use the back of the chair for leg swings up and over to get your heart rate going in between sets.
Get running. Stair runs are an amazing cardio workout and really push your body - great for a warm up or for a workout if you mix in with weight-training and HIIT workouts.
5. Pull Up Bar
A pull up bar can be a relatively cheap piece of kit to buy but can get great results when it comes to your upper body, mainly your back, chest, shoulders and triceps.
TRAINING TIP: To start doing pull ups straight of the bat is quite difficult, so use a chair to get your form right and to start engaging those particular muscles to perform pull ups. Once you get the technique down and start to build strength you can look to slowly remove the chair.
6. Yoga Mat
Stretching is super important (read the unknown benefits of stretching here) so investing in a yoga mat to stretch out on is a great idea, as incorporating some yoga moves in to your daily workouts can maximise your results and help you to look leaner. Flexibility is such an under-rated and under-discussed part of health and fitness! Plus yoga and stretching (with deep breathing) is good for the mind as well as the body!
7. Workout Bands
If you can't afford a set of dumbells either financially or in terms of the space they take up in your home, try a set of workout bands instead. The resistance from workout bands can be just effective as a set of dumbells, but they are far easier to store, cheaper and you can take them on the road with you if you have to travel a lot for work - you can use them anywhere and they weigh nothing to pack.
8. Skipping Rope
Release your inner kid and get the skipping rope out! Skipping is a fantastic calorie burner and a brilliant way to improve your coordination! It can be a little tricky at first if you haven't touched a skipping rope since you were last in the playground with your pigtails in, but bear with it - once you get the hang of it it can be really fun and is a great way to tone your arms, legs and get a sweat up!
9. Hula Hoop
Carrying on along the lines of being a big kid, get a hula hoop and unleash your hawaiian hula diva! Hula hooping (as well as being lots of fun) is a fab way to tone your core and mid-section - if sit ups are the bane of your life, hula could be the way to go!
10. BOSU Balance Ball
This is a great little piece of kit that can add intensity and a deeper range of motion to your workouts if you start to find that your body is becoming accustomed to your workouts and results are starting to slow down. From press ups to lunges to squats and step ups, the BOSU is a super-versatile bit of kit and takes up far less space than a home-gym / weights machine.