TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Some of my clients will have been subjected to my ‘toy box’ of various items.  I thought I would post list of all I believe you need for a good home-based workout. When you’re short of time or space, there is no excuse!
Bands
You can get loop bands such as these
Good for putting around the ankles or above the knees, for squats, lateral leg raises, lying on your side and performing leg extensions to work the glutes and hips.
You can also get straight bands with various attachments for a full body workout. I have these
These can be used for EVERYTHING – pop round a banister for rowing, under your foot for bicep curls, around the ankle and a chair for glute kick backs, under the foot for upright rows or shoulder press…
I also have these
These are longer bands, typically I would loop them round a bar or sturdy branch for assisted pull-ups. But with a bit of creativity, they can also be used for most of the above exercises.
Weights
These are less portable, but I believe a great part of any tool kit is either an adjustable set of weights, with interchangeable plates, or a couple of pairs of dumbbells (heavier and lighter pair)
  • Heavier pair can be used for leg work (holding whilst squatting, lunging, stepping up)
  • Lighter can be used for upper body (bicep curls, tricep kickbacks/overheads, bent over rows, chest press/flyes)
Kettlebells are also a great versatile piece of equipment. I would start lighter if you have never used one before – 4 or 5 kg max.
For those who are experienced and have no lower back issues, aim for 8kg +
Kettlebells are fantastic for upper, lower, cardio and core workouts with minimal equipment.
What you don’t have to buy:
The steps in your home! 
Brilliant for:
  • raised burpees/mountain climbers, plank jacks, squat thrusts and press ups
  • Step ups and knee repeaters
  • Toe Taps
  • Calf-raises (single and double leg)
  • Tricep dips
  • Split lunges
A simple dining chair:
  • good for all the above, but also a good anchor for straps if you are performing leg exercises
  • sit-to-stand squatting practice
  • balance support for lunges and calf raises
Any solid, weighted object:
Heavy books are a great item for pressing over head, lateral raises for the shoulders (one in each hand), holding whilst squatting and lunging, using in russian twists abs exercise..
and finally…
Your own body
You needn’t spend a lot of money to have a good strength or cardio workout. Use your own body. Vary intensity with speed, depth, direction, number of repetitions or number of sets of the exercise.
  • Press ups (off floor, step or even upright off a wall
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • tricep dips off chair or step
  • crunches, knee folds, ….in fact ALMOST ALL ABDOMINAL EXERCISES
  • Glute bridges
  • Donkey kicks (on all fours)
  • Super-mans
  • cat-cow stretch

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