The Best Gym Equipment Around, As Chosen By Personal Trainers

Having the right kit to hand can make all the difference to your training progression. From skipping ropes to TRX rigs and dumbbell/kettlebell hybrids, our experts list their favourites.

For many of us, a perfectly kitted-out home gym is the thing of dreams. And, like many dreams, well, we might not actually ever achieve it.

But worry not! These days you don’t need to fork out for a full Smith machine for your garage – with a few smart purchases you can get myriad benefits for your training regime without breaking the bank.

To help you decide which pieces of kit are right for you, we asked expert PTs to list their favourite fitness tool.

Trigger Point Ball

“This is one of my favourite underused pieces of equipment. Get this into your shoulders, around the scapula, glutes or anywhere you’re brave enough to roll on before you do your workout and you’ll see a great benefit in your range of motion. Not only will this help with form, you’ll also increase the blood flow to the muscle which will help with injury prevention.”

Jason Bone, head of strength at FLEX Chelsea, London

Skipping Rope

“It’s simple but effective. I use one every day as part of my training as it is such a convenient way to boost my cardio, get my heart rate up, and work my muscles. Skipping is especially good for runners as it acts as cross training and strengthens the all-important calf muscles, ankles, and feet so that you can improve your running performance and your technique. I have particularly weak ankles and flat feet, so it forms an imperative part of my training so that I can run pain-free.”

Alex Parren, personal trainer and running coach at sundried.com

TRX

“For me, there is no other training tool like it on the planet that is as effective at training the entire body in multiple planes of motion. It can be used for strength training, muscle-building, cardiovascular endurance, explosive power, stability, flexibility and mobility. And it’s low-impact, so is ideal for anyone undergoing rehabilitation for an injury or suffering from poor bone and/or joint health (osteopenia, osteoporosis, arthritis).”

Tom Cuff-Burnett, PT and movement specialist, @tomcuff_fitness

Structured Foam Roller

“A structured foam roller is one of our favourite pieces of equipment to use after an intense workout. The foam roller also helps to prevent injury by maintaining muscle, and reducing tension and tightness. They’re great for improved mobility, injury prevention, muscle recovery, increased range of motion, and improving blood circulation. Anyone who is experiencing tightness, soreness, tension, inflammation, or injury will benefit.”

David Wiener, training specialist at AI-based fitness app Freeletics

Resistance Band

“Not only are these great for assistance in exercises like pull ups, they can also be used to change angles of resistance in exercises like step ups, dumbbell press and kettlebell swings. I’ll even use them to hang kettlebells off a barbell to create instability in exercises to strengthen those stabilising muscles. They’re also a great tool to build your strength back up when you’re recovering from an injury too.”

Jason Bone, head of strength at FLEX Chelsea, London

D-Balls

“These are a phenomenal alternative to dumbbells and kettlebells. A one-stop shop for building full body strength. Lift, throw and carry, they can be utilised in all your movement patterns as well as for conditioning, and just as importantly they’re fun too.”

Ollie Weguelin, director at Sustain Performance Ltd

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