Getting to the gym is half the battle won, but on days you can’t bring yourself to make the journey, consider starting a routine you can work on at home. While your own body weight is good enough for a complete workout, and you can always rely on the usual planks, sit-ups and burpees to whip yourself into shape, sometimes you might need a little extra help in the form of home exercise equipment to spice things up a bit.
We’re not talking about bringing in a huge treadmill, tricep bar or rowing machine — unless, of course, you’re planning on starting your own personal mini gym at home. The home equipment we’re focusing on are much more portable and less clunky; think resistance bands and balance balls, which can go a long way in helping you nail your workout routine. Some of these pieces of exercise equipment even incorporate strength and conditioning training, while working on flexibility and core stabilisation. And with swimsuit season around the corner (or perpetually, in Singapore), you don’t have a lot of time to get cracking.
Which is why we’ve picked out 5 effective types of exercise equipment to supplement your routine at home — and they don’t take up unnecessary space too. From speed ropes to suspension trainers and the popular BOSU ball, it’s time to start rethinking your routine at home.
Jumping rope is a great way to burn calories in a short amount of time — moderate jumping speeds burn 10 to 16 calories a minute, so imagine if you did it just a tad faster. Speed ropes are great for developing coordination and conditioning, and usually come with bare cables for faster speeds and less friction. You’ll be able to achieve party tricks such as double-unders in no time.
Pictured: RPM Speed rope 3.0, S$73
Designed to mimic the movement of your arms when you throw a punch or press up a dumbbell, rotating push up handles are a great way to challenge more areas of your body as compared to doing a regular push up. Expect to not only torch your arms and shoulders, but also your back and abs.
Pictured: Perfect Pushup Elite, S$41
For those who want to marry cardio with strength training, suspension trainers are an extremely versatile tool to target different parts of your body while also simultaneously raising your heartbeat. Originally developed for Navy SEALs, the exercise involves two cables on your hands or feet to partially suspend your body so you use your own body weight as resistance. It’s easy to tweak workouts to your own level of difficulty, and the advanced muscle integration means your session will be super efficient too.
Pictured: TRX Home Gym, S$207
First used in rehabilitation and physiotherapy programs, resistance bands have come a long way in proving they’re a great addition to your workout at home. Like free weights, they come in a few resistance levels, so you can work your way up at a comfortable pace. They’re also extremely easy to store, making them perfect for those who are tight on space at home, or jet-setters who fancy a quick workout in the hotel room.
Pictured: Bodylastics flat bands set, S$28
Identified by a flat platform on one side and a rubber dome on the other, these half balance balls add an element of instability to your workouts, which effectively fires up your core. Standing on the flat platform will engage your stability muscles — which is a calorie-burner — while working out on the domed side will simulate being on a regular exercise ball, and is useful for stretching or doing crunches on.
Pictured: BOSU Pro Balance Trainer, S$221