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As a parent, finding time and motivation to go to the gym can be a real struggle. This is where a 'home gym' (see also: a couple of bits of equipment strewn around the house) could come in handy.
Convenience? Check. Privacy? Check. Not having to worry about those monthly gym fees or sweating profusely in public? Check check.
Whether you're interested in resistance training, low-impact exercises during (or after) pregnancy or a total-body workout, here are the best home gym equipment buys for 2021.
1. Best rebounder: MaXimus Pro, £208.45
Otherwise known as mini trampolines or trampettes, rebounders are not only ideal for short cardio bursts, but they also help to build muscle, improve balance and core strength, and work wonders on those pelvic floor muscles.
While the MaXimum Pro is on the higher end of the price scale, it boasts large coiled springs that provide correct support to the foot and ankle and allow for low-impact workouts as well as high intensity ones.
- Folds into quarters
- Comes with a whole host of extras, including a storage bag and stability handle
- Can take up to 140kg
If your budget won't quite stretch that far, you might want to try the Body Sculpture Aerobic Bouncer instead.
“Try a mini trampoline for definite. I'm waiting for my new one to arrive today. It's the best cardio workout and you can do some great toning exercises on it too.”
“A mini rebound trampoline is good for an aerobic workout with the added benefit of being gentle on your joints.”
2. Best exercise ball: Opti Gym Ball, £7.99
Gym ball, Swiss ball, Pilates ball… Whatever you call it, this inexpensive piece of kit is a great addition to your minimalist home gym – and also a must for getting you through labour, apparently.
Retailing at under £10, the Opti helps to develop muscle, balance and coordination, and is both simple and easy to use.
- 65cm in diameter
“A Swiss ball is one of the most valuable pieces of kit in either the gym or the home. They're versatile, effective, cheap and easy to store.”
“Mine was an Argos cheapie.”
3. Best exercise bike: Ultrasport F-Bike Trainer, £100
Want to get fit without even having to leave your living room? An exercise bike could well be your answer.
Providing a full-body workout as well as improving circulation and strength, the Ultrasport F-bike Trainer has garnered hundreds of positive reviews online and, best of all, it can actually be folded down after use.
- Eight resistance levels
- Training computer with LCD display
- Folded dimensions approximately 131 × 43.5 × 45cm
If you're looking for a budget-friendly option, Mumsnet users also recommend the Roger Black Folding Magnetic Exercise bike or a turbo trainer.
“I have a folding exercise bike, which is great for effective HIIT workouts which don't take long enough for me to get bored.”
“Mine was the Roger Black Folding Exercise Bike from Argos and I'm very happy with it. It's comfortable, sturdy and fits my short legs quite well.”
4. Best hula hoop: Powerhoop Deluxe Fitness Hula Hoop, £55
If you think hula hooping is just for children, think again. Not only does it burn calories, but it helps you to strengthen your core and improve your balance, all while having fun at the same time.
This Powerhoop has been a lifesaver for some Mumsnet users thanks to its adjustable weights and shock-absorbing compression chambers that'll allow you to exercise in comfort and (most importantly) safety.
Need a low-cost alternative? Try the Mirafit Weighted Hula Hoop.
- Easy to assemble and dismantle
- Hard plastic outer surface protects the hoop against damage
- Can be used in Powerhoop fitness classes
- Comes with four weighted inserts
“If you want to go the whole hog then a Powerhoop will sort you out.”
“I've just started hooping. I got a large weighted hoop and it's ace! Took me a few goes to get the knack, but it's a great workout.”
5. Best suspension trainer: TRX Go Suspension Training Kit, £106.95
Suspension trainers give you the freedom to exercise anytime, anywhere – and TRX's Go Suspension Training Kit is no exception.
Praised by Mumsnet users for its effectiveness, this piece of equipment will help you to tone and sculpt your body, but you can also get individual resistance bands, like this Topelek set, if you want something a little bit cheaper.
- Comes with a travel bag and two digital workouts
- Can be set up quickly
“My PT recommended these. I have them and they are great.”
“If you are willing and able to throw cash at this, one of the best pieces of equipment for core and back exercises (and pretty much any other body part) is a TRX suspension trainer. Very useful to have at home and to take with you if you travel. I have one and nothing touches it for core strengthening.”
“If you have a sturdy doorframe somewhere, a TRX is excellent.”
6. Best kettlebells: AmazonBasics Cast-Iron Kettlebells, starting from £16.81
Free weights are the ideal exercise solution if you're just starting out or have limited storage space at home. The AmazonBasics Cast-Iron Kettlebell supports a wide range of strength training exercises and is definitely built to last as well.
If you're planning to invest in some serious weight training gear, opt for a bar bell or dumbbells with an adjustable plate system instead.
- Made of solid high-quality cast iron
- Painted surface to protect against corrosion
- Wide handle for a comfy grip, with one hand or two
“Just started using a kettlebell a few weeks ago. I love it! Couldn't walk properly/sit down on the loo after the first few goes as the squats killed me, but it actually feels good.”
“I started with an 8kg, moved onto 12kg and 16kg, and am now the proud owner of a 20kg kettlebell.”
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All prices on this page correct at time of writing