Since we are all living in lockdown again, it seems like a good idea to invest in some home workout equipment. Regular exercise not only keeps us in good health and keeps our immune system robust but it also helps improve our mental health. Also, with malls and shops shut, buying new workout gear would also double up as retail therapy (think about it!). Here’s our curated list of five must haves for an active summer.
This is a relatively new addition to most gyms but it has, for long, been an excellent source of weight training for improving strength, stability and explosive power. The biggest advantage of a kettlebell for home workouts is that it doesn’t take up too much space for storage. Secondly, unlike with barbells, you don’t need too much space to perform complex exercises such as cleans, push-press etc. It is perfect for mobility and stability workouts such as kettlebell swings and Turkish get-ups. Prices of all home workout equipment have gone north since last year, and kettlebells are no exception. Decathlon has really good kettlebells with rubberised finish and non-slip grip for ₹2,399 for the 8kg option. Also, look out for HRX launching weights in coming weeks.
Also Read: Why you need to train with a kettlebell
Wrist wraps and gloves
One of the most overlooked workout gear are wrist wraps. Weightlifters might not use a belt or knee sleeves, but it is unlikely that you’d find them lifting without wrist wraps. These are useful for regular fitness enthusiasts as they provide support and also protect our wrists from over-extension and stress injuries; especially when executing movements such as push-ups, burpees, cleans, bicep curls, push-press, bench press and more. Once again Decathlon has good CrossFit-style wrist wraps for ₹499. You could also find regular ones from Nivia and other brands on popular e-commerce sites.
Gloves, on the other hand, are one of the first things people buy. The misplaced belief is that gloves improve grip. Most gloves on the market actually do the opposite and compromise grip. The only thing they do is protect our hands from calluses. However, try Reebok’s crossfunctional training gloves, which are often used by CrossFit Games athletes. They ensure a good grip as well as protection for your palms. However, at ₹2,399 they certainly aren’t cheap.
Another excellent option for weight training in smaller spaces is the sandbag. You can perform almost all the exercises that you could with a barbell, but a sandbag makes the moves more challenging. We all know how cumbersome it is to lift a heavy duffel bag. Now, imagine using one for workouts. From bicep curls to deadlifts, squats and clean and press, you can do everything and more with these. The Kobo 10kg sandbag is available for ₹3,045 while the USI 5kg Nylon bag from USI is for ₹1,499 on Amazon. You could also make your own if you have a duffel bag strong enough to withstand dynamic movements without ripping at the handles.
Also Read: How to create your weekly training plan
Compression gear is hugely popular among endurance athletes such as runners and cyclists as they are constantly trying to find ways to reduce fatigue and aid recovery in their tired limbs. Compression gear helps with both. It helps slow down muscle fatigue while in action and compression sleeves for calves and socks for feet improve blood circulation, thereby aiding recovery. Finding Skins and 2XU is difficult in India, but their competition CEP has already launched and you can find their products at Bums On The Saddle as well as on other e-commerce platforms.
The Right Apparel
Well, finally, here is the real retail therapy. Even though confined within our walls, it feels good to look good. Now, that Uniqlo is shipping India-wide, waste no time and check out its Airism collection. I prefer the mesh material because it is airy, light, efficiently soaks away the sweat and dries quickly. Starting at ₹999 for tops, the designs are simple yet timeless. Unqilo offers good athleisure bottoms as well, which are smart and stretchy and cause no chafing. There’s plenty to choose from for all genders.
Also Read: How to avoid a fitness burnout
Among Indian brands, HRX has steadily grown in popularity over the last few years. First, they got the designs right and now they are also getting the functionality of their apparel right. In its spring-summer offerings across all active wear collections, HRX has launched seamless garments. From sports bras, tops and tights to shorts and tees, everything is seamless, thereby reducing chances of chafing. Their lightweight fabric with sufficient stretch is breathable too. The seamless products start at ₹300 for a cotton tee and go up to ₹1,899 for bio-washed joggers.
Among the traditional sportswear brands, Reebok still offers the best value for money. Their designs remain innovative thanks to the numerous tie-ups with celebrities and the materials are used keeping movement in mind. From sports bras to tights and from vests to track pants, there is a lot to pick from for everyone.
Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.