If you’ve been struggling with bringing yourself to the gym — why not bring the gym home to you?
Building your own workout space at home has countless advantages. On top of being an incredibly convenient means to work up a sweat or build some muscle, it can also be a source of motivation for those of us who just can’t seem to bring ourselves to a gym. Exercising at a gym can be daunting, particularly if you are a beginner to the world of fitness or don’t enjoy the idea of working out where others may be watching. Alternatively, you may simply be without access to a gym but are hoping to maintain your progress as you work towards your fitness goals. Regardless of the reason or circumstance, the reality is that it can be easy to build your own at home — without having to break the bank.
An effective home gym for many may consist of as little as a yoga mat and resistance bands — you may not need any additional equipment at all, as the power of bodyweight exercises are not to be underestimated. That being said, if you have the means to take things up a notch, having additional equipment to help increase resistance can do wonders as you consistently exert your muscles to their limits.
Below we’ve rounded up some suggestions on basic gym accessories that are versatile and can be applied to a range of different exercises that target multiple muscle groups. Not all of the following products are necessary for every individual, as you should make sure to tailor your home gym to your own personal needs and goals. Start small with one or two items (if any), and make adjustments from there. The most important thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing, and are able to safely and effectively get your sweat on.
Perhaps the most versatile of all gym accessories, the yoga mat can be used to complement almost any exercise. A thicker mat is ideal, as it can protect your back or knees from the hard floor — it’s also helpful if you’re ever thinking to move your workout outdoors. This one by Adidas is a sturdy yet plush option, with a PVC-free composition that is also slip resistant.
HK$299 from Adidas
Glute bands are a great way to add a more challenging element to your lower body training. These resistance bands are the perfect addition to a home gym for bodyweight exercises, but also serve just as well when used in conjunction with weights at a gym with heavier equipment. Add the resistance band to glute bridges, clamshells or side-steps for effective glute activation, or use during squats for more a challenging variation.
HK$64 from Decathlon
Longer bands can be helpful to increase resistance in bodyweight exercises, and are particularly useful when working your upper body. Simply step onto the resistance band and pull it upwards to do bicep curls or latch the band onto a wall or pillar to do back rows, tricep extensions and more. Not only will longer resistance bands help build muscle strength, they can also be helpful tools for stretching and increasing flexibility.
HK$64 from Decathlon
Ankle and wrist weights can be added to virtually any exercise, allowing you to increase weights and further challenge yourself without altering the technique of the exercise. These nifty tools can also be incorporated to balance and stabilisation exercises to increase core strength, such as in single leg Romanian deadlifts or leg scissors.
HK$398 from T8 Fitness
For beginners, anywhere between 2–5kg is a great place to start for your first set of dumbbells. Aside from the typical muscle isolation exercises that you can do with dumbbells (such as bicep curls and triceps extensions), you can also add dumbbells to compound exercises such as squats, or by adding bicep curls to lunges.
HK$99 from Decathlon
Experienced gym-goers who are hoping to invest in heavier weights should look into an adjustable dumbbell system. This is a convenient option that is perfect for smaller spaces, with weights ranging from 5 to 90lbs. In the NutroOne Adjustable Dumbbell, 15 sets of weights are combined into one, with a unique dial system that can quickly and safely switch your weights when needed.
HK$2,560 from NutroOne
Foam rollers are wonderful tools that can help relieve soreness and tightness while reducing inflammation. In fact, incorporating a foam roller into warm ups and cool downs can help to prevent injury and increase range of motion. Foam rolling your lower back is also a great way to relieve lower back pain and tension caused by exercise, or even from sitting at a desk at all day.
HK$299 from NutroOne