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Struggling to Keep Fit Through Lockdown?

6 Essential Pieces of Exercise Equipment that’ll Help Keep You Fit Through Lockdown

a woman keeping fit in her home gym during a Coronavirus lockdown

When the gyms shut up shop that’s not an excuse to denigrate into a couch potato and forego your sweat sessions.

Even amidst a global pandemic, as plenty of people are proving, we can still keep up a training regime and retain a respectable level of fitness.

But how do you keep fit when the gyms are closed?

Easy! If you’re no longer allowed to go to the gym bring the gym to your house.

For a little over the price of a yearly gym membership (averaging at £250 – not including the cost of travel and other financial externalities) you could have yourself a descent set-up. And one that will more than suffice to help keep you in shape.

Really, to replicate a gym, for most people, would require only a few items of resistance equipment – as few gym goers stray further than the free weights. Cardio machines aren’t necessarily needed because most can substitute the treadmill for the tarmac and stationary bike for one which you can actually go places on.

In this article, I have identified 6 pieces of reasonably priced exercise equipment that will tie you over whilst the gyms are shut. The equipment selected mostly requires very little space to use – thus suitable for people who live in cosy abodes. In addition, they are highly functional and offer a diverse range of applications.


1: The Kettlebell (£59.99)

The kettlebell has got to be the single most versatile – not to mention durable – piece of exercise equipment in existence. I once tried to tally up all the different exercises you can do with them but, before I even got close to completing my list, I got bored and gave up. Not only are kettlebells mega versatile but they are damn near indestructible. In my opinion, anyone who is looking to build a home gym absolutely must start with a kettlebell. In fact, I’d go far as to say a gym ain’t complete without one.

Click image for availability

  • ATREQ Competition Kettlebells are manufactured from cast steel and available in sizes ranging from 8kg through to 36kg at 4kg increments. The kettlebells are all the same size and shape of across each size.

  • One of the most versatile tools for all-around strength, balance, power and core conditioning. All the benefits of dumbells with hundreds of new challenging exercises options.


2: Resistance Bands (£49.99 for 5 and all the gubbins)

Resistance bands make for brilliant training tools for three reasons: 1) they are crazy versatile; 2) they’re comparatively inexpensive; 3) they take up no more room than a pair of folded socks . . . oh, and 4) they’re eminently portable – you can take them anywhere with you, something that can’t really be said of my 32kg kettlebell (or Concept 2 rower for that matter).

Also, resistance bands can be used to modify or advance other exercises. When I’m feeling a bit physically frisky I use my resistance bands to increase the resistance of other exercises such as press-ups, kettlebell swings and squats.

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Odoland Pack of 5 Resistance bands

  • Super- Portable with Free eBook: Powerlifting Stretch Bands comes with a storage bag, light weight and takes little space in your bag. Detail free eBook can be down to your mobile phone, doing exercise in anytime! You can take it at home, to gym, office or take it on your trip. With it you can do resistance band workouts wherever you go!

  • High-Plastic and Durable: All bands are made of heavy duty material so as to avoid easy breakage or tearing. They are high-plastic and can be used for a longer time than other competitors in the market.


3: Skipping Rope (£7.99)

Bruce Lee maintained that 10 minutes of ‘jumping rope’ is like 30 minutes of jogging. Yeah I’ve used that quote before now, but only because Bruce lends additional credence to the contention that skipping is a stellar exercise. For fat loss, augmented physicality and improved cardiovascular function few exercises target all three quite as effectively as jumping rope.

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In addition to providing an almost unparalleled physical workout, skipping also stimulates that gelatinous 2.2lb blob between the ears (colloquially called the brain). When skipping you have to concentrate on the task in hand; there’s no switching off or mind wandering, you have to remain fully focused at all times; that’s if you want to avoid whipping your thigh (or worse, your arse!).

Gritin's Skipping Rope has been awarded Amazon's Choice and has received over 18,000 4 to 5 star reviews

  • Anti-Slip Soft Memory Foam Handle: Constructed with anti-slip light weight ergonomically shaped handles coated with soft skin-friendly memory foam grips for extra comfort.

  • Easily Adjustable: You can adjust the length of the rope quickly and easily. Its adjustable 3m length design allows you to customize the length to suit your needs, making it suitable for all ages and all skill levels. Your order includes a set of spare adjustment buckles.


4: Punch Bag (£64.99)

No other exercise busts stress quite like Saturday night windmilling on a punch bag. When you’ve had a crappy day at work – which for most people is every day – you can come home, glove-up and beat ten bells out your bag. A much better option than unleashing your fits on your manager or going the way of Michael Douglas in film Falling Down.

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But boxing does more for us than fight stress. It is also an excellent cardiovascular, muscular endurance and power exercise. Few exercise combinations offer the range of physical stimulation as does 30 minutes of vigorous sticking and moving, sticking and moving. Throw into the mix 10 minutes of skipping for the warm-up and another 5 for the cool-down and you’ve got yourself a tremendous training session.

What if I don’t have anywhere to hang a punch bag? You might justifiably contend. My rebuttal: buy a freestanding bag! Problem solved. For a more in-depth insight of available kit follow the links:

You get a lot for your money with RDX's heavy bag

  • MAYA HIDE NTEARX LEATHER craftsmanship to endure splits, cracks and ripping. Added reinforcements from top to bottom. Perfect for ALL combat sports.

  • COMMERCIAL GRADE WALL BRACKET for Punching Bag is designed to sustain the heaviest loads. HG-STEEL CHAINS WITH SWIVEL are resistant to rust, offer exceptional holding strength, ideal fixture stability.

  • ‘KARA’ BAG GLOVES, manufactured using Maya hide ConvEX Skin Leather doubled with shock absorbent padding. Ventilated design keeps your palm dry and odour free.


5: Power Bag (£45.99)

Power bags are a must have because of their versatility and range of exercise application. You can squat with them, do deadlifts, bent-over rows, clean and press, lunges, throws, carries, Russian twists . . . and on and on the list goes perhaps without end. A good mate of mine is a proper power bag aficionado and he reckons that there is in excess of 50 different exercises that can be performed with a power bag.

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Also, another favourable quality of the power bag, as opposed to, say, kettlebells, is that the exercises are comparatively easy to master and they are much more forgiving on the body; after ten minutes of continuous clean to press on a 32kg KB you feel as though you’ve just been in a physical altercation. In addition, power bags are relatively cheap, durable and double up great as draft stoppers.

A very well rated power bag from Xn8

  • Xn8 power bag is widely used by athletes and professionals of various sporting disciplines for a variety of fitness activities, including deadlifts, squats, throwing alters and lunges. Compact and versatile design makes you use it anywhere you have time.

  • Our power bag is manufactured using Lamina hide leather, which makes it durable, impact-resistant, and washable. Having premium quality, EVA underlay to provide you comfort even during the strenuous workouts.


6: Adjustable Dumbbells (£189.99)

Dumbbells are a great addition to any home gym. The versatility of this classic training tool would put Ray Mears’ pocket knife to shame. And gone are the days when you’d have to buy one pair – which were either too light for strength training or too heavy for muscular endurance – or splash the cash on a whole rack.

Click image for availability

Adjustable dumbbells are becoming ever increasingly popular for the simple fact that, as well as enabling you to access a wide range of weights (from 5 to 25kg), they take up hardly any space – making them perfect for a home gym.

ISOGYM Adjustable Dumbbell

  • A very well rated product with lost of favourable feedback. Made from premium quality materials these dumbbells are built to last.

  • Weight range: 2.3kg, 3.8kg, 4.2kg, 5.3kg, 5.8kg, 6.8kg, 7.2kg, 8.4kg, 8.8kg, 10.3kg, 12.5kg, 14.5kg, 15.5kg, 17.5kg, 18.5kg and 20k


In Conclusion

From this article you should have gleaned plenty of ideas of suitable exercise kit that, for a comparatively small initial cost, will enable you to get your fitness kick whilst the gyms are boarded shut.

The items of exercise equipment reviewed above are both multi-functional and durable. Meaning they will provide you with a training outlet for years to come.


(As we are very interested in user feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

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