b “Shutdown” or “Lockdown Light”: every time, all leisure and sports facilities are forced to temporarily close. How long and how often this will continue remains to be seen.
But every time the question arises for fitness fans: How will the training continue? The answer: training in the home gym. You need the right equipment for this. Fortunately, Christmas is coming soon! We show you which fitness tools belong under your Christmas tree this year.
Why should I even want home gym equipment?
On the one hand, the fitness studios have closed, which is why new paths have to be found now. But training at home also has decisive advantages that also apply outside of the corona crisis.
“On the one hand, those who train in the home gym save time,” says Jannik Schöning, personal trainer from Hamburg (Jannik Schöning on Instagram). “In addition, many women enjoy the newly won privacy during their training sessions. The music can now also be fully boomed.” With a little equipment, you can take full advantage of these advantages.
Which home gym equipment is particularly suitable for women?
“On the one hand, the kettlebell is recommended. It is wonderfully suited for training the lower body – especially the front of the thighs,” says Schöning. The expert continues: “Resistance bands are also recommended – especially for the buttocks and hamstrings, they can be used to perform effective exercises that can replace training on cable pulls and the like – for example kickbacks,” says the expert.
“Equipment for back training is also important. The back is the only muscle group that is difficult to train without tools,” says Schöning. With dumbbells, straps, a sling trainer or a pull-up bar, you can also work your back muscles in the home gym. This is how you can do your first pull-up.
Which home gym equipment should I not want?
“Any equipment that promises you a flat stomach without a lot of effort is not recommended. A prime example of this are so-called vibration trainers that promise you defined stomach muscles. A flat stomach is made in the kitchen,” explains Jannik Schöning. In other words: It depends more on nutrition than on the tools.
Top 10 fitness tools that should be on your wish list
If you want to use Christmas to top up your home gym, you should orient yourself to the standards that should not be missing. And of course your personal taste. We can recommend all of these tools to you (no ranking):
An all-round fitness device with which numerous exercises can be performed. The kettlebell is used to train especially in crossfit. In recent years, however, it has become an essential part of most fitness studios. A classic exercise, for example, is the kettlebell swing. But there are many more exercises. Characteristic of the kettlebell: the strain on the entire body. Those who train with a kettlebell can prepare for intense workouts – even at home.
There are different versions of kettlebells. On the one hand in the iron version, but also plastic models are bought again and again. Both have advantages and disadvantages: The metal kettlebell is more robust, but it can cause one or two scratches. The plastic kettlebell is less robust, but a little less dangerous for home furnishings – as a beginner, the latter should be used.
Before you put the kettlebell on your wish list, you should think about the weight. Depending on the exercise, this will vary. While a comparatively high weight is required for the kettlebell swing, a much lower weight is recommended for other exercises.
2. Resistance band
Resistance bands can be used in many ways and are particularly suitable for lower body training – but not exclusively. In short: If you want to do without iron in your home gym, resistance bands are an effective alternative.
There are different resistance bands: Thera bands, loops and tubes. The Theraband is particularly suitable for upper body exercises such as biceps curls or rowing. Loops are looped through either both arms or both legs. The best way to train your lower body with them (see picture).
Tubes are resistance bands with a hook to which certain handles can be attached. They are particularly suitable for upper body exercises that require firm grip – such as lateral raises or curls. Important: In addition to the type of band, your wish list should also include resistance. This should be adapted to the respective exercises. If you don’t know exactly how great the resistance your band should be, then first choose the easiest possible.
3. Medicine ball
Certainly one of the most unpopular school sports tools ever. But the agony that was worth it back then is also worth it today. The list of medicine ball exercises is long: crunches with a subsequent throw against the wall, squats with straight arms, or difficult push-ups on two medicine balls – this is how a full-body workout can be completed with just one tool.
Medicine balls are available in different designs: in classic real leather, plastic or fabric. While the balls made of synthetic and real leather are often more stable and are therefore better suited for exercises in which you support yourself on the ball, the fabric medicine balls have the advantage that they bounce better, which is advantageous for throwing exercises. Weight is also crucial: a lower weight is often sufficient for throwing exercises; a somewhat heavier, more robust ball should be chosen for exercises in which you support yourself on the ball.
4. Fascia roll
Home office and co. Do not exactly ensure a more balanced lifestyle – this also applies to posture. People are constantly sitting at their desks with their shoulders rounded and when they finish their work they don’t swing onto the bike, but onto the couch. This often creates tension.
A suitable tool to counteract this: the fascia roller, also known as a foam roller. It can be used to work on trigger points all over the body and relieve the tension created by home office. The Christmas season is for relaxation: do something good for your muscles too. Why you should urgently do separate fascia training.
5. Jump rope
A simple but highly effective endurance tool. Rope jumps might look easy, but they really get you out of breath and promote coordination to a great extent – the sense of rhythm is also improved. However, jumping rope is not recommended for very overweight people because of the excessive stress on their joints.
Training with the jump rope can be really versatile. There are various jump combinations for beginners to professionals: for example the so-called “Criss Cross” or the “Heel to Toes”. You can also lose weight with jumping rope.
There are different types of skipping ropes: plastic, PVC, leather, or wire ropes. The plastic and PVC skipping ropes are sufficient for beginners. If you are more advanced, you can also choose the versions made of leather or wire.
Easy to store, flexible to use and extremely effective: with dumbbells, the entire body can be trained in various ways. If you don’t want to miss out on the gym feeling at home, you can get a piece of the gym with dumbbells.
Adjustable dumbbells are particularly recommended – because different exercises require different weights. However, we do not want to advise against dumbbells with fixed weights: It may be that these are enough for you for the time being. Find out how to find the perfect dumbbell for you here.
Dumbbells come in different materials: iron, plastic and with a coating. The same advantages and disadvantages apply here as with the kettlebell. For beginners, dumbbells with a coating or made of plastic are sufficient, advanced users prefer to use the iron version.
7. Weight bench
Anyone who would like to have the same comfort when exercising while sitting as in the gym should definitely get a solid, stable weight bench. Living room and office chairs should remain in their designated places – otherwise accidents are inevitable. A weight bench is primarily intended for those who really want to do weight training, but it can also be an advantage to have a stable foundation when training with resistance bands or medicine balls as well as bodyweight exercises.
Before you put the weight bench on your wish list, you should ask yourself the following questions: Is the weight bench adjustable? How good is the stability of the weight bench? How good is the quality of the upholstery?
8. Fitness mat
An underlay that protects the floor and other home furnishings is absolutely essential for the home gym. But you also need a comfortable mat for bodyweight exercises where you lie on the floor, because it protects your joints.
When buying fitness mats, you should pay attention to a few things: On the one hand, it is important that the mat is non-slip – especially if you do a lot of bodyweight exercises such as sit-ups or planks. On the other hand, attention should be paid to the material: natural material is preferable to plastic.
9. Sling trainer
A sling trainer is ideal for full body training. During training, tension must be built up in the entire body, because the sling trainer brings the body into an unstable position, which means that the abdominal muscles in particular have to help out – but overall, the entire body has to work significantly more.
The result: significantly more muscle fibers are used, which is not only functional, but also saves time. Push-ups with the sling trainer are not just a training for the upper body, because without legs, stomach and Co. you will not be able to maintain stability. You can find a variety of different exercises for the sling trainer here.
10. Abdominal roller
You can really torture your core with the abdominal muscle roller. The exercise is significantly more challenging than the traditional sit-ups or planks. You first roll forward – this is how your abdominal muscles are stretched – and then back to the starting position, whereby your abdominal muscles contract to the maximum.
It is important that the handles of the scooter are as non-slip as possible so that you always have a firm grip during the exercise. An ideal home gym tool that should definitely be on your wish list for Christmas.
As you can see, there are tons of effective home training tools out there. Don’t let the closed gym get you down. After Christmas Eve, you can turn your four walls into a fitness oasis. We wish you a lot of fun with a sporty Christmas season!