With gym memberships out of action, 2020 was the year we all got used to setting up makeshift gyms on our living room floors. While gyms and studios are slowly starting to open up again, many of us are choosing to stick to our at-home workouts – after all, it saves money and means you can use exercise to break up your WFH schedule with a bit of HIIT between Zoom calls. For me, working out over the past year has had massive benefits for my mental health and has given structure to my days, while forcing me to get active and release some precious endorphins.
If, after a year of using tin cans as weights, you’re keen to upgrade your at-home workouts, we’ve rounded up the best at-home gym equipment to help increase the challenge – and bring a little ‘pro’ to your exercise routine.
Smug Skipping Rope
Perfect for a quick break in-between time spent at your (makeshift) desk, skipping is a great way to raise your heart rate and get some cardio activity into your routine. This lightweight rope has an adjustable length, so it works for any height.
Bala Resistance Bands
Resistance bands work by adding extra pressure to your muscles when you stretch, forcing them to engage to fight the tension – they’re often incorporated into pilates and yoga exercises to add an extra challenge. This multipack from Bala offers five different levels of resistance so you can gradually increase your strength.
Lola Portable Massage Device
The next best thing to getting an IRL massage, massage guns target muscle tissue with rapid bursts of pressure to help release knots and relieve post-workout aches and stiffness. With four heads, designed for different areas of the body, Lola’s Portable Massage Device is perfect for targeting everything from stiff legs to sore shoulders.
Smug Core Sliders
Another barre class staple, sliders can easily be incorporated into your at-home workouts (everything from mountain climbers to lunges) to add an extra challenge that helps target core strength. These extra durable Smug Core Sliders are dual-sided so they work on a variety of soft and hard surfaces.
Ankle weights are an easy way to make your living room workouts more challenging and effective – in fact, you can even wear them around the house or on your lunchtime walk if you want to add a little burn to your daily routine. With their super-soft silicone surface and adjustable Velcro straps, Bala Bangles are some of the most comfortable and secure we’ve tried.
Psychic Sisters Gemstone Bottle
Staying hydrated is key when you’re exercising and having a reusable water bottle to hand is much better for the environment than cycling through multiple single-use plastic bottles. Featuring a Reiki-charged semi-precious stone (which helps to boost alkalinity and increase oxygenation), this Psychic Sisters Gemstone Bottle ticks all the boxes.
Designed to increase support by preventing excessive movement, the Smug Boobuddy Breast Support Bands will be a welcome addition to your workout routine if you experience pain or discomfot while working out. If you find that your sports bras don’t offer enough support, simply slide this on top.
Bala Power Ring
Think of the Bala Power Ring as a cross between a kettlebell and a dumbbell – just much easier to grip and maneuver. Incorporate it into your workout as you squat, press, and swing to increase strength and endurance and to test balance.
Smug Pull-Up Resistance Band
These heavy-duty latex resistance bands from Smug have a looped length of 104cm and a resistance of up to 29 kilograms – perfect for assisting with pull-ups and full body stretches.