Three weeks after the government announced the closure of all gyms and fitness studios in the UK, you probably have your home workout class schedule organised, but now is the time to upgrade your live classes and create your own boutique studio at home with the help of some functional exercise equipment and gym props to enhance your workout.
Louisa Drake, fitness expert and founder of the Louisa Drake Method (LDM), explained the importance of adding props into your workout and why they are such a benefit to your training. “I use props, including resistance bands, mini stability balls, gliders, blocks, and hand and ankle weights, in the majority of my LDM classes,” she said. “By mixing up the moves and using equipment in my sessions, the workouts stay fresh, clients don’t get bored, and the body is constantly being challenged so it doesn’t plateau.”
Whether you are looking to add more resistance to your barre and Pilates classes, keep tabs on your daily progress with a fitness tracker, or invest in the ultimate yoga mat, using props adds a new dimension to your workouts. “Using props when working out can be hugely beneficial in two ways,” Louisa said. “In some cases a prop can make the exercise more difficult, creating a stability challenge, or increasing the work on one part of your body. They also help to increase muscular strength, conditioning, and support depending on how you master them.”
If you have been furloughed, would rather save money until your favourite London spin studio reopens, or if you’re new to exercise, improvised props also come in handy. Make these with objects you have at home; towels, for example, add extra resistance for core activation, water bottles can become makeshift dumbbells, and even cookbooks can be the perfect ingredient for strengthening exercises.
We discussed all aspects of home exercise equipment with some of London’s top fitness instructors, so you can take inspiration from what they are using at home to step your workout up a gear; the props ahead will give a whole new dimension to your sessions.