Get stronger at home: fitness model Alex Crockford's pick of the best home workout kit and how to use it

No gym, no problem as this ultra-buff expert shows how you can stay in shape using just a few essential home fitness items

(Image credit: Alex Crockford)

If you are looking to get stronger at home, look no further than Alex Crockford. He's like a more advanced Joe Wicks. Ever since the dreaded news that gyms were closing up and down the country, fitness fanatics have been getting increasingly creative with their workout routines. From the aforementioned Joe Wicks’ PE lessons in the morning to garden-based HIIT sessions when the sun is shining, the nation is collectively getting in shape and keeping the mood positive.

Alex Crockford, a successful fitness model and the man behind the #CROCKFIT app, has a solid track record of helping folk get in killer shape and he claims that a home workout can be just as effective as something you might get in a gym. 

“I often set my clients home work to do when they are embarking on a new fitness programme, so the fact you can’t get into a gym shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals or setting some new ones,” Alex says.

Below is a collection of Alex’s top five pieces of the best home gym equipment and how to squeeze the most out of each one. We’ve also shoved some links in to where you can buy said items, as we know fitness-related products are about as hard as fresh eggs to track down these days.

Get yourself over to the App Store or Google Play and download the CROCKFIT app now, to take advantage of Alex’s free workout routines. 

1. Kettlebells

(Image credit: Bowflex)

So, a lot of what’s in the guides below is currently sold out. For the UK we have compiled a list of the best home gym equipment you can still buy

You can also browse our favourite retailers of the best home gym gear:

Shop home gym at Fitness Superstore (UK)

Shop home gym at Wolverson (UK)

Shop home gym at Amazon (UK)

• Shop home gym at Best Buy (USA)

• Shop home gym at Dick's Sporting Goods (USA)

“A kettlebell is a must have! They’re universal, great for building strength, muscle and flexibility. But here’s the thing, they can be used to work pretty much all of the body, which most people don’t know, assuming they are just for swinging,” Alex explains.

Yup, this versatile piece of equipment can be curled, grabbed, lunged-with and pressed until every single muscle in your body is screaming out to stop. Alex says his essential kettlebell exercises include: goblet squats, lunges, presses and pulls just to start with the basics. All of these, he claims result in a strength and muscle gain, as well as a serious calories burn, too.

Top tip: start off with a light kettlebell if you are an absolute beginner here, but look to purchase another, heavier ‘bell for when you start to make progress. This will help with the gradual weight-loading that is essential to building new muscle.

Something like the JaxJox KettlebellConnect does for the kettlebell what the Bowflex SelectTech do for dumbbells, in so much as they feature a neat spread of weights in one handy, if slightly cumbersome unit, making progressions that bit quicker and easier.

2. Dumbbells

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I advise all my clients to have a set of  dumbbells at home, simply because you accomplish the compound exercises, such as squats, presses and pulls, plus they’re a phenomenal tool to isolate areas of your body to help build strength and muscle, like bicep curls, tricep extensions and lateral raises,” Alex explains

What’s more, we have plenty of dumbbell workouts from fitness experts that should see you turn that excess isolation flab into rock hard muscle in no time. Check out the links below.

Alex Crockford works out at home, can you tell? 

(Image credit: Alex Crockford)

3. A suspension trainer (you might know them as TRX)

(Image credit: Auster Fitness)

"A suspension trainer is a piece of equipment that’s so light and small that you can easily keep it at home or on the go - just make sure you have somewhere secure to attach it to. It takes standard bodyweight training to another level, helping you make exercises more intense and adding a balancing element. For example a lunge with one foot strapped into it,” Alex explains.

According to our man in the know, the major benefit of a suspension trainer is the added instability it provides. If you are doing a chest press, for example, it gets more muscles firing in your upper body just to keep things stable, offering much more of a workout than you would in a normal push-up on the floor.

As always, we’ve got you covered with a great selection of TRX-style training workouts, as well as cheaper alternatives to the straps themselves.

Get out and run, like Alex. But wear a shirt, in case it gets nippy

(Image credit: Alex Crockford)

4. Resistance Bands (long loop and short loop)

(Image credit: Future)

“This is one of this year’s most popular home workout essentials, but before you go rushing out to grab yours, be aware that there are two types of bands to use in workouts, and here’s why…” Alex says.

Long loop

Short loop

We have a great guide to the best resistance bands, if we say so ourselves, plus the best resistance band workout, for you to put those elastic wonders to good use.

You: as in, bodyweight exercises

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Slightly cheesy, I know, but bodyweight exercises are some of the most effective. All you need is a clear workout space, an exercise routine and a towel. The variety of training and types of workouts you can achieve by using just your body is limitless. Plus, my HomeFit workout plans rely very much on just the body and HomeFit 1 is now free to download until June 30th 2020. So let’s get started!” Alex explains.

• Follow Alex and get home workout tips and fitness tricks galore

Instagram: @AlexCrockford

Twitter: @AlexCrockford

YouTube: Alex Crockford

Facebook: @AlexCrockfordFitness

Best home gym equipment: index