Best home workout equipment for 2020
27 September 2019
If, like many Mumsnet users, you're in need of a home-based solution to all your fitness woes, we've got you covered. Here's our roundup of the top 10 home fitness must-haves to buy right now.
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 2020.
Best cardio equipment
1. Best treadmill: NordicTrack C220i, £299 (was £699)
With 20 workout settings and a large running deck, the Nordic Track C220i is the ideal treadmill for improving performance and fitness levels.
While it's original retail price may make you flinch, Mumsnet users rate NordicTrack treadmills for their robustness, reliability and functionality. You can't ask for more than that really, can you?
- FlexSelect cushioning system reduces impact on your joints
- LCD screen displays heart rate, time, calories burnt, speed and distance covered
- Can be folded for easy storage
“We've just invested in a secondhand NordicTrack. I asked my PT for advice, and he suggested treadmills in the region of £500 to £1000 would be best as the cheaper ones burn out very quickly.”
“I've had two NordicTrack treadmills. Just bought a secondhand one for £300. They are robust, their motors are between a domestic and commercial, and they are functional and reliable. I'd always opt for one of these as I've always been impressed. I hill walk on it for around one hour, four times a week, and have noticed the difference in my legs.”Buy now from Decathlon
2. Best elliptical cross trainer: JTX Strider-X7, £399
Want a machine that'll satisfy all your cardio needs but also give you a full-body workout? Look no further than the JTX Strider-X7.
Offering all the features you'd want for exercising at home, this cross trainer is compact, hard-wearing and a really smooth ride to boot.
- 16 resistance levels
- 12.kg flywheel
- 21 programmes with the option to design your own
- 16-inch stride length
“A cross trainer is probably the best all-round option. That's what we went for. Rather than buying a new one, see if you can pick one up secondhand.”
“I have the JTX Strider-X7 cross trainer and I love it. I was running but it killed my knees, and I also found lots of excuses not to go if it was too hot, raining, etc. I wanted something that I could hop onto with no excuses and this has done just that. I watch TV on my laptop while I work out.”Buy now from Amazon
Read next: Best women's trainers for 2020
3. Best rebounder: MaXimus Pro, £159
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
“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.”Buy now from Amazon
Best full-body workout equipment
4. Best exercise ball: Opti Gym Ball, £10
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.”Buy now from Argos
5. Best indoor rowing machine: Concept2 Model D Indoor Rower, £850
If you're after an exercise machine that'll tackle your hamstrings, your glutes, your back and allow for a spot of cardio at the same time, then a rowing machine may well be the one piece of fitness equipment you should invest in.
The Concept2 Indoor Rower is a stylish but functional option, with a PM5 monitor that offers a variety of different exercise modes to suit your needs. It also provides lots of accurate data including stroke rate, pace, watts and calories burnt, but it could take up a fair bit of space in your home.
- Flywheel design minimises noise
- 35.5cm seat height
- Separates into two pieces for storage
- Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
“Get a Concept 2. They are expensive, but the cheaper ones are a false economy. The resistance on them is rubbish. Beware, though, the Concept is a very long machine – 10ft, so make sure you have the space before you shell out!”
“We got a Concept2 from eBay. Obviously much cheaper than new and hardly used at all.”Buy now from Amazon
6. 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.”Buy now from Amazon
7. Best yoga mat: Mandula eKO Lite Yoga and Pilates Mat, from £54
Whether you're a die-hard Yogi or simply want to brush up on your Downward Dog, then Mumsnet users recommend a trusty Manduka yoga mat.
Made from biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber, Manduka mats are praised for being non-slippery and really durable. Useful for more than just at-home yoga, these can also be used for stretching, Pilates or ab workouts too.
For tighter budgets, there are a number of great mats online for under £30.
- 99% latex-free
- Eco yoga mat with no PVC or toxic plasticisers
- 4mm thick
“We have Manduka mats at the studio I go to. They are really good and non-slippery. I like them a lot.”
“I have a 4mm Manduka eKo Lite. Love it for Hatha, Ashtanga, Yin and Pilates.”Buy now from Amazon
Read next: Best yoga mats – as chosen by Mumsnet users
8. 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.”Buy now from Amazon
Best strength training equipment
9. Best suspension trainer: TRX Go Suspension Training Kit, £80
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.”Buy now from Amazon
10. Best kettlebells: AmazonBasics Cast-Iron Kettlebells, starting from £11
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.”Buy now from Amazon
Read next: Mumsnet's favourite gym leggings
Why you should trust us
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We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.
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