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Everything you need to work out at home

HLN has done the legwork to find equipment that is easy to use, reasonably priced and currently in stock. From weights to apps, here’s our low down on the equipment that’s worth the money.

By Hannah Bullimore

We know, it can be all too tempting to put off working out at home. Especially when you add into the mix homeschooling, working from home and all of the mixed emotions that we’re feeling right now.

Working out and keeping fit can really help to boost our mood and keep us feeling balanced, so try where you can to find just 20 mins – you’ll be pleased that you did!

HLN has done some serious investigating to find equipment that is easy to use, reasonably priced and currently in stock. From weights to apps, here’s our low down on the equipment that’s worth the money to keep you fit in the coming weeks.

Dumbbells

Dumbbells are a staple of at-home workouts. Easy to use, compact and relatively inexpensive, they are a great way to start building strength for the first time or continue your fitness regime from home.

Metis on Amazon offers reasonably priced weights. We recommend starting with 1KG or 2KG for at-home workouts. 

A great way to get started with Dumbbells for the first time would be to use them in conjunction with online resources, such as Davina McCall’s fantastic online fitness platform Own Your Goals which is currently offering 30 days of free fitness for everyone. This platform is great for complete beginners and those gym bunny’s looking for an alternative during isolation. You begin by filling out a quiz about your fitness levels and are then recommended a plan, usually 10-12 weeks long with three workouts a week. The workouts are very diverse with a mixture of strength training and cardio and are really fun and positive.

Yoga mat

If you’re looking to add yoga to your fitness routine then the right mat is crucial. When buying a new yoga mat you need to consider three things – grip, thickness and cost. As a seasoned yogi and teacher, I find that without a good grip on the mat I just can’t enjoy my practice. If your mat is slippy you can try chalk, but I think investing in a really good mat is the best option.

There are a lot of yoga mats on the market but my personal favourite is the Lulu Lemon 5mm Reversible Mat, £68. This is a pricier mat however the grip is fantastic and the extra padding supports your knees and wrists. This mat also wears really well, I’ve had my Lulu mat for about five years and practice for ten hours plus a week.

If you would like a cheaper alternative and have carpets at home so don’t need as much support then you could consider their travel mats. The Reversible (Un) Mat is designed for yoga classes to go over the top of a studio mat, however, when practicing at home on carpet you might not need the additional padding anyway so this could be a great option (plus you’ll be prepared to head to class once isolation is over)!

Resistance bands

So small and yet so effective at giving your workout a boost! Resistance bands make simple movements considerably more effective when strength training and can up-level your pilates without too much effort or expense.

Resistance bands come in a variety of forms, from long bands to circular bands to be used around the legs and arms. Bands usually come in a multipack with a variety of resistance levels so that as you build strength you can up the resistance and the difficulty level of your training. These ones from Home Hut on Amazon are £16.90 and offer six resistance levels and are a great size for pilates and strength-based exercise.

To get started with resistance bands, YouTube videos can offer ideas on how to use them safely. I recommend Allegra Shaw’s Butt Exercise video which shows a few different exercises using resistance bands. She also has a great abs workout which requires no equipment at all.

Workout clothes

If it’s been a while since you’ve worked out or you’re looking to motivate yourself with some new exercise clothes then we have some recommendations. Depending on what type of exercise you’ll be doing, you’ll need some different items in your workout wardrobe.

As a yoga teacher, I swear by leggings and a medium impact sports bra. I also avoid any zips and other unnecessary details as they can be uncomfortable. I love Fabletics for cute outfits, great prices and clothes that last! They are a subscription service, so if you forget to buy or skip the month you will be charged and given an outfit credit. However, they do email you each month reminding you to shop or skip the month, so this doesn’t bother me.

The leggings I swear by are the High-Waisted Powerhold Leggings. They come in a variety of lengths, colours and patterns and are the comfiest leggings I’ve found. They move well, don’t lose their shape and stay in place even during the bendiest of yoga classes. They also come as part of a variety of outfits so that you can pick the bra or t-shirt to suit you.

If you’re going to start jogging as your once a day outside exercise (unfortunately treadmills are like hen’s teeth at the moment), then you’ll need a great pair of trainers, like the Nike Downshifter 9.

New to jogging? Make sure you check out our beginner’s guide to help you get started.

Online Resources

As well as equipment, there are a wealth of online exercise resources that we think will really make a great at-home exercise regime. You don’t even need any equipment for many of these online classes.

First up are live yoga classes. Supporting local businesses at this time is a great way to help others while getting the benefit of a class. Unlike a pre-recorded class, you’ll be able to chat with others in the class at the beginning before settling down for a class with a qualified teacher.

I recommend Wellness Space, where you can catch a class with myself three times a week! The classes are taught through Zoom and you can choose to have your camera on or off. Your audio will be on at the start for some pre-yoga chat before being turned off so that only the teacher can be heard throughout. You might decide to have your own yoga playlist on during the class so that you can imagine you’re in a studio as you move. All classes with Wellness Space are £5 and are offering teachers and studio a lifeline to keep going while we can’t teach in person.

On YouTube, Natacha Oceane has a variety of videos from 20 Minute HIIT to a full-body home workout that requires no equipment and won’t make any noise if you live in an apartment.

However you choose to workout, just make sure you stay home, stay safe and enjoy it. Right now, exercise should be a way to feel good and boost your endorphins, so try a variety of workouts and discover what works for you.

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