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Essentials for an effective home workout

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I love training at the gym, it’s a time I use to listen to my favourite podcast, audiobook or playlist. It’s MY time. But I don’t always manage to get to the gym. In fact I actually started off my training journey with home workouts and found them to be just as effective as long as I had a plan and the right equipment.

As a busy mum, you might never actually be able to make it to a gym for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean you can’t get effective workouts done at home.

Many of the mums I train only train at home and have seen great results. I always encourage them to buy some of the equipment below in order to have variety in their workouts but also to allow them to progress as they get stronger.

The below list includes items that you can easily store in small spaces and safely keep away from children. I appreciate that some of you might be complete beginners, so have also included a list of clothing I recommend you get as you should wear appropriate clothing when exercising.

Equipment

Dumbbells

I recommed buying at least 2 sets of dumbbells. One lighter pair, around 2-3kgs per dumbbell and a heavier pair, around 4-6kgs. There are some exercises where a lighter pair is sufficient to get a good workout, but there are others where you need more resistance to develop strength and challenge you and I find these 2 ranges work well for most.

Recommendations:

5kg Dumbbells from Decathlon

4kg Dumbbells from Fitness Superstore

A range of lighter Dumbbells from Fitness Superstore

Kettlebells

Similarly to dumbbells, you’ll want to get at least 2 kettlebells. If you’re going for 2, then again a lighter one, somewhere between 4kg and 8kg and a heavier one, either 10kg or 12kg.

You can do many great full body workouts with just kettlebells, so if that’s wher you’re at then, I’d recommend going for 2 lighter ones that are the same weight (you’ll be using them instead of dumbbells) and one heavier one.

Recommendations:

Buy a variety of Kettlebells from Argos

Buy a variety of Kettlebells from Fitness Superstore

TRX

This is a brilliant piece of equipment, created by an ex-navy seal, in a bid to create a tool that can give him a full body workout in a small space.

TRX stands for Total Resistance Exercises. It’s a suspension trainer that is great for beginners as well as pros as the range of exercises is endless.

It takes up no space at all and can be anchored to your door or something strong like a pole or tree in your garden. There are so many exercises you can do with the TRX using your own bodyweight as resistance.

Visit the TRX website to buy yours and to see the endless possibilities of exercises you can do with it.

Barbell Set

If you want to add some heavier weights for compound movements like squats and deadlifts, then I would encourage you to also invest in a barbell set. These do take up a bit more space, but once set up can be stored in a corner to save you the time each time you want to do a session. The great thing is that you can adjust the weight on these, so you can make them as heavy as they go or keep them light if you’re just starting out.

Recommendations:

20kg Barbell Set from Argos

35kg Barbell Set from Argos which also comes with adjustable dumbbells

Resistance Bands

You might have seen the term glute activation on your social media feed when it comes to home workouts. Or seen videos with ladies walking funnily or in side lying positions with weird looking bands around their knees or ankles. Those are resistance bands.

They’re great to improve glute strength which can help with knee, hip or ankle pain. I always use one to warm up before training legs and glutes and recommend this to new mums to help them rebuild glute strength after pregnancy.

It’s a good idea to buy a bundle so you have different levels of resistance.

Recommendations:

Shop this bundle of 3 bands from Amazon

You can buy a bundle from The B-nd store which is little more pricey but the quality is amazing and they last forever. You can also go for individual bands (I’d go for light or medium as these bands are really tight)

Clothing

Whether you actually leave the house to exercise or not, I find having great activewear motivates me to train. On days I want to work out, I tend to wake up and put on my gym clothes straight away to ensure I actually get my workout in. But it also serves as comfortable clothes to get things done during the day!

There is an endless list of brands now that sell leggings and it can be very confusing trying to pick. Some are more expensive than others and it can be hard to see why a pair that costs nearly £100 would really be better than a pair for £30.

You can actually get leggings, shorts, sports bras and trainers for specific purposes, like running, cycling and gym/home workouts. That’s where some of the price difference comes from as different materials support different training styles.

Leggings/Shorts

Recommendations – ranging from £20 all the way up to £135

ASOS 4505, Flexx Fit, Gymshark, Sweaty Betty, Lululemon, PE Nation

Tops/Vests

Recommendations – depending on the activity, you don’t really need to spend a lot on tops. You do want to opt for breathable and sweat-wicking fabric though whenever possible especially during cardio.

ASOS 4505 , Nike, Sports Direct, Under Armour

Sports Bras

Please do not skimp on buying a sports bra. You cannot wear your normal everyday bra to exercise. Depending on your size, you might even get properly fitted for a bra to make sure you are properly supported.

Recommendations – be sure to have a variety of bras to suit different activities. You’ll need a very high level of support for high intensity/impact exercise like running and HIIT. For yoga, you can get away with medium to low support.

Sweaty Betty, Under Armour, Nike

Trainers

Recommendations – when it comes to trainers you can spend as much or as little as you like on them. You can go for the latest pair and spend around £100 or try Sports Direct that will have some older models for less money.

When it comes to running, you will find that these shoes are a little more expensive as they do need to support you properly and it is worth spending the money to avoid injuries.

If you run regularly and also do gym style workouts, then you’ll want to invest in 2 pairs, one pair you only wear for running and the other for your training.

Running Trainers – Runners Need, Pro Direct Running, Under Armour

Gym & Training – Nike, Reebok, Adidas

If you make any purchases based on these recommendations, please don’t forget to tag us on social media using @strongforeveryday and #strongforeveryday!

About the Author

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Funmi is the co-founder of Strong for Everyday and a pre and post natal qualified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor.


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