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Equipment

TOP 5 Home Workout equipment

Working out at home – The pandemic has brought a revelation

For too long, the general belief was that for an effective workout, you need to go to the gym. After all, this is what we’ve been doing for decades. And understandably so – all the equipment, the dumbbells, barbells, machines and treadmills set a great environment for a truly effective workout session. The downside? You’re tied to the gym membership and its physical location.

If there’s anything positive to take away from the pandemic, it’s the understanding that no matter your goal, it’s entirely possible to work out at home. Get the home workout equipment and reach the same results that we used to believe were only achievable in the gym.

All it takes is some well-curated equipment

Working out at home puts some obvious boundaries to what we can and can’t do. Most of us want the equipment to take up as little room as possible and expect it to be easily put away when the workout is done.

And then there’s the cost of it all. The home gym equipment has to be affordable, yet durable. That’s a big ask, but not as big as you might think. We’ve put together a list of TOP 5 home workout equipment that match those two key criteria and allow you to get a super effective workout in without leaving your home.

No. 1 The Robus GymBars – all the weights you need

The Robus GymBars utilises the variable resistance training method that is scientifically proven to match consistent weights in results, yet be gentler on the joints and ligaments. With up to 152kg of counterweight through four resistance bands at your disposal, you get a whole weight room in Robus that fits into a small carry bag Jetpack, easily stored anywhere at home.

The real magic of Robus are the GymBars. Robus has put a great deal of thought into the these very special handles to make them as comfortable and effective as possible. The geometry of the GymBars allows you to get a confident grip and the end caps protect your forearms from rubbing against the resistance bands.

The GymBars Full Set comes with a tiny, yet all important addition – the door anchor. This small piece of equipment turns your Robus set into a stacked weight machine that allows you to do every single exercise you once thought is possible only at the gym.

TOP 5 Home Workout equipment. With up to 152 kg of counter resistance, the Robus Athletics GymBars are not only for bicep curls, but also suitable for key exercises like deadlifts and squats.
What does it do:

Replaces close to all of the weighted gym equipment and allows you to do strength and conditioning workouts just like you would in the gym.

Price:

Starting from €69

Get it here:

www.robusathletics.com

No. 2 The weighted vest – make your conditioning workouts more challenging

The weighted vest has gained a huge following as a (home) workout equipment, and for a good reason. It’s portable, yet offers up to 25 kg in additional weight, depending on the plates you’re using. Introduced by military fitness enthusiasts, the weighted vest is ideal for adding extra weight to high mobility conditioning elements like sprints, burpees, pull ups, explosive air jumps etc.

As the weights in the vest are close to your upper body, don’t move about and leave your hands free, you can supplement it with the Robus GymBars for some highly effective supersets like 12 squats, followed by 12 air jumps; 12 thrusters followed by 10 burpees or 30 banded rotations followed by 30 seconds of mountain climbers. And the best part – you only need a couple of square meters of floor space to do those killer exercises. All this makes a weighted vest a vital piece of home gym equipment.

There are many companies that offer weighted vests as a workout equipment, but we recommend staying true to the roots and go for the real deal – a true plate carrier with steel weight plates. This gets you into a true combat mood in no time.

TOP 5 Home Workout equipment no. 2. There are many good plate carrier brands out there, 5.11 Tactical included. Just slide in some steel plates, stick a moral patch on and get to work.
What does it do:

Makes your conditioning exercises more challenging

Price:

Starting from €200 + plates

Get it here:

https://www.511tactical.com/eu-en/

No 3 – Heart rate monitor

Knowing how much calories you burn and what is your heart rate at any given moment is vital for both traditional gym and home gym workout sessions. Based on that info, you can adjust your food intake, optimise workout intensity based on your goals and plan rest days.

We find the heart rate monitor to be underutilised for resistance training, as weight lifting is so much more than performing slow reps, bodybuilding style. HIIT, supersets, drop sets – all of those training modulations can be made more effective by knowing your heart rate.

Essentially, there are two main types of heart rate monitors:

  1. Wearables like smart watches and smart rings
  2. Heart rate monitors using chest strap

The wearables are very comfortable, but don’t necessarily give accurate readings. The more intense the workouts, the more inaccurate the results. Granted, as the technology develops, the wearables get better and better, but for now, it’s hard to recommend one if high intensity interval training (or exercises that require a strong grip) is your thing.

The mort accurate way to read your heart rate is by using a hart rate monitor on a chest strap. They can feel a bit uncomfortable at first but you’ll get used to the feeling in a couple of workouts and that we believe it to be one of the essentials to own for home workout equipment.

Our pick is the Polar H10 heart rate monitor for it's proven accuracy.
What does it do:

A must have fitness equipment for plyometric power building exercises

Price:

Starting from €89.90

Get it here:

https://www.polar.com/en/sensors/h10-heart-rate-sensor

No 4 – Slam ball

If you’re living in an apartment building, this piece of home gym equipment may cause some discontent with your neighbours, but no home workout equipment list is complete without a slam ball. A slam ball is exactly what it says on the tin – a weighted robust rubber or leather ball that you can slam to the floor or wall.

So how would a slam ball make your home workouts more effective? The answer is simple – polymetrics. Plyometrics is a type of exercise training that uses speed and force of different movements to build muscle power. Think ‘wall balls’, ‘floor slams’, ‘wall slams’, ‘squat throws’ and many more extremely effective explosive exercises.

What does it do:

A must have for plyometric strength training and power building exercises

Price:

From €45 to €145

Get it here:

https://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-echo-slam-balls

No 5 – The pilates foam roller

No thought through home gym equipment list would be complete without a pilates foam roller. This vital (and cheap!) piece of home fitness equipment is essentially a simple roller, made from a rather dense foam that allows you to massage both upper and lower body and alleviate any trigger points.

While shopping for foam rollers, you are presented with a wide variety of products in different lengths and patterns. Our recommendation is to go for a smooth surfaced full size foam roller (width at least 60 cm). While smaller foam rollers with aggressive patterns might seem attractive and more efficient, the patterns usually create too much discomfort while rolling, especially when you have painful trigger points. Having a smooth surface and letting your body weight The size matters too. It’s best to go with the foam roller that’s wide enough to support your whole body.

What does it do:

Alleviates trigger points, addresses sore muscles and helps to recover faster

Price:

Starting from €10

Get it here:

www.amazon.com

Honorable mention – on demand workout video classes

While you can get a truly effective training session in by using just the aforementioned home gym equipment, the on demand workouts may help you to keep your consistency up and bring new ideas and exercises to your routine.

There are many on demand classes for every fitness level available online, but you should base your choice on what home gym equipment the service requires. If you are expected to have a full range of free weights, it may not be for you. Conversely, if the service does not utilise any strength training equipment, it would be hard to get sufficient muscle stimulation out of the sessions depending on your fitness level.

Our pick would be Robus Athletics that has hundreds of on demand workouts available and does not expect you to have any additional equipment, sans a workout or yoga mat for added comfort. The Robus workouts are strength and conditioning focused and work all muscle groups to get you closer to your fitness goals.