Almost everyone has one – that dirty secret, hidden in their closet, reminding them of a mistake they made and about which they’d rather forget.
We’re talking about exercise equipment, obviously – what else?! – and the millions of pounds that Brits waste on gear every year that they’ll never use.
It’s a gigantic industry: it’s estimated that, for every adult in Britain, there is £75-worth of equipment that gathers dust somewhere in the house or garage. But that’s an average number, and there are many people who will have hundreds, if not thousands of pounds worth of gear that goes untouched.
The compulsion to buy exercise gear comes from believing there might finally be a shortcut to help you get fit, quick. But we’re here to tell you there really is no shortcut, and most exercise equipment is basically unnecessary.
You can achieve almost everything you want or need to with a few choice, basic bits of kit, letting you get into shape, and stay there, without breaking the bank.
So here is the boot camp guide to what equipment is actually worth having, and what you can ignore. Best of all, most of these take up next to no room, so can be stashed when not in use.
The guide prices have been taken from Amazon, but make sure you shop around.
Swiss ball: A large inflatable ball that can be used of a wide range of strength and core exercises. We would recommend a 65cm or 75cm ball. Expect to pay: £8-£20
Exercise mat: Essential for providing a comfortable base for floor exercise. Helps to avoid wear and tear on your carpets and your knees! Expect to pay: Around £10.
Resistance band: These are just large, flat elastic lengths. These are available in different lengths and strengths. Start with a lower strength and move up as you become more adept – a length of around a metre should be enough. Expect to pay: No more than £3 per band.
Suspension trainer: The most complicated piece of equipment that we would recommend purchasing, but really worth their weight in gold. Suspend these from door frames, archways, ceiling beams, etc, and use your own bodyweight to improve strength and core conditioning. Expect to pay: around £30 for an unbranded kit. It’s worth it, believe us!
Of course, all equipment is only any good if you use it, and as with anything, there is a right and a wrong way to use these. We’ll follow this up with more in-depth guides and tips for using each of these – watch this space for more in-depth guides and instructional videos to get the best out of all of the above.